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Necron2.0
2008-06-19, 08:48 AM
Fundamentally, my biggest beef with 4e is that it's just not an improvement over 3.5. It's change, sure, but no actual improvement. It's just a paycheck for WotC.

That, and they've got their history wrong. First off, Arneson's D&D had nothing at all to do with Chainmail - Gygax's only real contribution to the first rev of D&D was as publisher. Second, Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance were NOT the first campaign settings. The first "official" setting was the world of Greyhawk. Even before that, however, there were the campaign settings of Judge's Guild (City State of the Invincible Overlord, Tarantia, etc.), plus a gob of independant home-brews.

I'm sure if you got down to playing it, and once you wrung out the bugs, 4e could be an enjoyable enough game. I just don't see it as a "must have."

Feralgeist
2008-06-19, 09:28 AM
{Scrubbed}

EvilElitest
2008-06-19, 09:41 AM
WELCOME TO THE HORDE OF WHINERS! IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, DONT PLAY

Ug, this is such a pathetic argument. I don't play FATAL, and i don't read Shreeded Moose, am i not allowed to criticize their flaws (through 4E isn't nearly as bad as ether of those but my point remains)



These threads are becoming as common as syphilis in a polygamist cult! ENOUGH!
And so are petty whining about people voicing their right to complain. Its immature and childish


OP, that is pretty much the case. 4E isn't like 3E to 2E, where it is considered a major upgrade (through i think 3E could do with more 2E elements) it is more like an entirly different game. Imagine 4E like a board game system loosely based upon D&D rules, because WotCs claims of still remaining D&D are nothing but BS, it is an entirely new system, and you critique is quite valid. There are a few improvements, but most of 4E is a step down on the evolutionary scale
from
EE

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-19, 10:12 AM
Fundamentally, my biggest beef with 4e is that it's just not an improvement over 3.5. It's change, sure, but no actual improvement. It's just a paycheck for WotC.

That, and they've got their history wrong. First off, Arneson's D&D had nothing at all to do with Chainmail - Gygax's only real contribution to the first rev of D&D was as publisher. Second, Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance were NOT the first campaign settings. The first "official" setting was the world of Greyhawk. Even before that, however, there were the campaign settings of Judge's Guild (City State of the Invincible Overlord, Tarantia, etc.), plus a gob of independant home-brews.

I'm sure if you got down to playing it, and once you wrung out the bugs, 4e could be an enjoyable enough game. I just don't see it as a "must have."

They did seem to get a couple things wrong in that history. Not only that, they glossed over some of the down-and-dirty facts around the demise of TSR, but honestly this is a game system, not a tell-all book so I didn't need the later. (Though it still seemed a bit like "... then the TSR huggybears gave DnD to the WotC fluffybunnies and they had a tea party!")

Really, I like the game, but this history they give just furthers a complaint of mine: that WotC has passed this -- as others have worded it -- as the "spiritual successor" of D&Ds past.

The New Bruceski
2008-06-19, 10:30 AM
OP, that is pretty much the case. 4E isn't like 3E to 2E, where it is considered a major upgrade (through i think 3E could do with more 2E elements) it is more like an entirly different game.
I recall much consternation in game stores when 3rd edition came out, complaints that they were disrupting the spirit of the game (one complaint I remember in particular was "They're removing all constraints of multiclassing," which makes it interesting that a major complaint now is that the reverse is happening.) In hindsight I agree that 3rd edition was an improvement, but that is a decision that, objectively, can only >be< made in hindsight. You are certainly welcome to your opinions, but treating them as fact does not make them any more universal than someone else declaring the opposite.


Imagine 4E like a board game system loosely based upon D&D rules, because WotCs claims of still remaining D&D are nothing but BS, it is an entirely new system, and you critique is quite valid.
So what is D&D, if you're sure this isn't it? When we hack away all embellishments, everything added in revisions, and everything that's been superfluous from the start, what can we hold up and say "This is Dungeons and Dragons, through and through."?


There are a few improvements, but most of 4E is a step down on the evolutionary scale
from
EE
Evolutionary changes are not "up" or "down." Changes from such a process know no "proper" direction, they simply happen. Their deciding factor is not what's elegant, or what an outside observer wants, but what works. The evolutionary scale, when used to argue merit, serves no purpose other than to put "us" at the top and "them" beneath us.

Tengu
2008-06-19, 10:41 AM
no actual improvement

1. More balanced, both between classes and between high and low levels.
2. All classes have options and are fun to play.
3. Got rid of outdated concepts such as random HP.
4. Finally does a good job at representing a heroic high fantasy world.

Thank you, come again.

Indon
2008-06-19, 11:02 AM
Evolutionary changes are not "up" or "down." Changes from such a process know no "proper" direction, they simply happen. Their deciding factor is not what's elegant, or what an outside observer wants, but what works. The evolutionary scale, when used to argue merit, serves no purpose other than to put "us" at the top and "them" beneath us.

Fair enough.

4'th edition is a highly-specialized niche organism, and so far it seems likely it will be out-competed in many ecosystems inhabited by the highly-adaptable D20 organism and its' subspecies.

Matthew
2008-06-19, 11:19 AM
In hindsight I agree that 3rd edition was an improvement, but that is a decision that, objectively, can only >be< made in hindsight. You are certainly welcome to your opinions, but treating them as fact does not make them any more universal than someone else declaring the opposite.

I would say that no decision can ever really be made objectively regarding the merits of one version of D&D over another, least of all at this moment of transition. You will only ever end up with a subjective preference, which is to say 'an opinion'. For instance, in retrospect, and being as objective as I am capable, I think D20 is an inferior system to AD&D.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-19, 12:19 PM
Fair enough.

4'th edition is a highly-specialized niche organism, and so far it seems likely it will be out-competed in many ecosystems inhabited by the highly-adaptable D20 organism and its' subspecies.

Eh. I'd not make predictions as to its success or failure just yet. There's definitely a strong following for 4e. I know a lot of people who think it's the best new system for D&D ever. I also know people like my best friend who really isn't excited about buying a whole new set of books, no matter how good the new system is. Time will tell.

It is somewhat interesting that one of the great selling points of 3e, the OGL, could be one of the knives that take down 4e. WotC may very well look at the open licensing it created and declare "Et tu Brute" before this is all done. Or it may well be that 4e's success overshadows any concern the OGL might bring. It's hard to predict these things, and anecdotal evidence of what we see personally is rarely a good indicator of the facts.

Indon
2008-06-19, 12:37 PM
Eh. I'd not make predictions as to its success or failure just yet.

A fair point. I guess I'm just caught up with Wizards trying to slay the OGL-dragon.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-19, 12:41 PM
Yes, I'd freely admit that if anything about 3e brings 4e down, it's going to be the OGL, a creature of WotC's own design.

Lucyfur
2008-06-19, 01:05 PM
You're right this is only a grab a more money, but we live in a capitalist economic society wtf were you expecting? Hasbro only ONLY give a frack about making more money and if you don't believe that than you need re-examine what kind of world you think you live in. I just wondered what took them so long to put out a new edition. Note that I've already bought the players handbook cause I really like the system.

Frost
2008-06-19, 01:11 PM
1. More balanced, both between classes and between high and low levels.
2. All classes have options and are fun to play.
3. Got rid of outdated concepts such as random HP.
4. Finally does a good job at representing a heroic high fantasy world.

Thank you, come again.

1) By making the more powerful classes less capable, and the higher level characters less capable and interesting. Improvement? Maybe, maybe not.
2) All classes have fewer options and are less fun to play then the most common classes of 3.5.
3) Yay! (No seriously, I like this.)
4) Does a horrible job of representing a heroic high fantasy setting, doe represent a heroic low fantasy setting passably.

Matthew
2008-06-19, 01:12 PM
Yes, I'd freely admit that if anything about 3e brings 4e down, it's going to be the OGL, a creature of WotC's own design.

Or more significantly, a creature of its former employees' own design. Few of the movers and shakers of 2000 are left at WotC.

Tengu
2008-06-19, 01:18 PM
1) By making the more powerful classes less capable, and the higher level characters less capable and interesting. Improvement? Maybe, maybe not.
2) All classes have fewer options and are less fun to play then the most common classes of 3.5.

Only if you have the "I can do everything!" casters in mind. Non-casters have both more options and are more interesting. Really, most builds in 3.5 that didn't involve casting were one-trick ponies, capable of either dealing high damage by charging, or having superior crowd control with their spiked chain, or something. I fail to see what's fun in doing exactly the same thing every every turn for 10+ levels.



4) Does a horrible job of representing a heroic high fantasy setting, doe represent a heroic low fantasy setting passably.

High fantasy is not the same as high magic. Middle-Earth is high fantasy, yet its magic level is low.

ghost_warlock
2008-06-19, 01:55 PM
I fail to see what's fun in doing exactly the same thing every every turn for 10+ levels.

Like 4e characters aren't going to be spamming magic missile, lance of faith, and cleave like in the podcast. (I recognize the podcast is only really representative of low-level play, but still it seemed like a lot of doing the exact same thing for 7 rounds only to -not- kill 2 goblins. :smallsigh:)

Frost
2008-06-19, 02:15 PM
Only if you have the "I can do everything!" casters in mind. Non-casters have both more options and are more interesting. Really, most builds in 3.5 that didn't involve casting were one-trick ponies, capable of either dealing high damage by charging, or having superior crowd control with their spiked chain, or something. I fail to see what's fun in doing exactly the same thing every every turn for 10+ levels.

1) Most 4E characters spend most of their time spamming the same attacks over and over.

2) Which is why you play one of the 10 Base classes that are fun an interesting and do different things every round. And then your PrC for more options.

My point is precisely that in 3.5 you have "good" and "bad" characters, in 4E all the good ones are removed and made into bad ones.

Zeta Kai
2008-06-19, 02:20 PM
1. More balanced, both between classes and between high and low levels.
2. All classes have options and are fun to play.
3. Got rid of outdated concepts such as random HP.
4. Finally does a good job at representing a heroic high fantasy world.

Thank you, come again.

1) It probably is more balanced, but most people will agree that game balance came at the cost of a number of other features that 3E had, such as true multiclassing, potent feats, separated class roles, etc.

2) All classes in 3E "have options and are fun to play". The implied lack of options in 3E argument makes so little sense that I'm just going to skip it & move on to the last part of that sentence. "Fun to play" is highly subjective, & no class system can please everyone. Also, unless you can honestly tell me that you've already played the game with every class through a few levels, & that you enjoyed them all, then I'm forced to conclude that you're merely parroting some bandwagon fanboy or marketing employee of WotC.

3) How is randomized HP an "outdated concept" exactly? Nearly all RPGs, both past & present, have used randomized HP, & for good reason. If nothing else, it differentiates characters from each other. It also emulates real life. The number of stab wounds needed to kill a person are fairly random, from what I can tell; some people need 40, some need 100.

4) It's the DM's responsibility to represent the game world. The game designers can, at best, provide decent tools to assist the DM in this task. A bad book in a good DM's hands makes for a good game, & a good book in a bad DM's hands makes for a bad game, as well. This "heroic high fantasy world" that they've created is fine, albeit generic compared to most other campaign settings. But it is irrelevent. The DM is the one who provides the game world, & I've never met a DM who just takes the world out of the box & doesn't make drastic changes.

kamikasei
2008-06-19, 02:29 PM
You're right this is only a grab a more money, but we live in a capitalist economic society wtf were you expecting? Hasbro only ONLY give a frack about making more money and if you don't believe that than you need re-examine what kind of world you think you live in. I just wondered what took them so long to put out a new edition. Note that I've already bought the players handbook cause I really like the system.

This is a bogus, though fairly common, argument.

Yes, a company has to make money to survive. Yes, the nature of corporate business means successful businesses are for the most part concerned primarily with making money (as opposed to being concerned primarily with whatever they want to do, and making sure they can turn a profit as a secondary concern).

No, this does not mean that every company must obviously make only the most immediately and obviously "this will line our pockets" decisions. There is such a thing as growing the market - you can make more actual money by having a smaller slice of a larger pie. There is also such a thing as goodwill - customers may be more likely to buy your products and advertise on your behalf if they like how you behave, not just what you make.

Indon
2008-06-19, 02:50 PM
You're right this is only a grab a more money, but we live in a capitalist economic society wtf were you expecting? Hasbro only ONLY give a frack about making more money and if you don't believe that than you need re-examine what kind of world you think you live in. I just wondered what took them so long to put out a new edition. Note that I've already bought the players handbook cause I really like the system.

Well, in an ideal free market, companies don't exist to make money - they exist to provide goods and services, and make money because they provide quality goods and services.

Saying, "Corporations suck because that's how capitalism is supposed to work!" is not so accurate.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-19, 03:04 PM
Or more significantly, a creature of its former employees' own design. Few of the movers and shakers of 2000 are left at WotC.

True enough. OGL was one of the big changes that I fully embraced in 3e. By 23, TSR had pursued several lawsuits against publishers of independant material. It was a shame, really. I remember around the mid-90's, Mayfair Games had a number of simply excellent materials that could be used with AD&D. Those quickly vanished.

The OGL brought out a whole new set of creative minds. There was a whole lot of new material. Some good, some bad. Much of that dried up soon after 3.5e was out, though there's still great finds. Midnight, Iron Kingdoms, and Pathfinder have some good stuff!

nepphi
2008-06-19, 03:08 PM
Well, in an ideal free market, companies don't exist to make money - they exist to provide goods and services, and make money because they provide quality goods and services.

Saying, "Corporations suck because that's how capitalism is supposed to work!" is not so accurate.

Define ideal here. A corporation's only purpose -is- to make money. People don't open auto stores because "gosh darn this town needs a mechanic," they open auto stores because "these people need a mechanic, I can therefore make money in fair exchange for their need." Both sides benefit because of the idea of free exchange, not out of some imaginary 'duty' to provide for others' needs. In short, 'you want what I got, what will you give me for it?'

Indon
2008-06-19, 03:22 PM
Define ideal here. A corporation's only purpose -is- to make money. People don't open auto stores because "gosh darn this town needs a mechanic," they open auto stores because "these people need a mechanic, I can therefore make money in fair exchange for their need." Both sides benefit because of the idea of free exchange, not out of some imaginary 'duty' to provide for others' needs. In short, 'you want what I got, what will you give me for it?'

By 'ideal' here, I describe the market that selects for the best service. Obviously, this is not the case (which is what leads to corporations being built for money rather than quality - no market pressure really exists to force organizations to produce quality goods).

nepphi
2008-06-19, 03:30 PM
Hm. I take issue with your description of ideal, but that's for another time, not a gaming thread. Just curious.

Kurald Galain
2008-06-19, 03:31 PM
WELCOME TO THE HORDE OF WHINERS! IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, DONT PLAY
Since you're welcoming people to this "horde", it follows that you're part of that horde, does it not? If you don't like these threads, don't post in them.



3) How is randomized HP an "outdated concept" exactly? Nearly all RPGs, both past & present, have used randomized HP,
That is completely false. Outside of D&D and its spinoffs, virtually NO rpg has ever used random hit points, especially not recently. GURPS doesn't. White Wolf doesn't. TORG doesn't. Amber DRP doesn't either. Neither does OTE, Paranoia, FUDGE, or a couple of others I could mention. Please do your research before making blanket statements.

Tengu
2008-06-19, 03:36 PM
1) Most 4E characters spend most of their time spamming the same attacks over and over.

That's simply untrue. Not only does every character start with 2-3 at-will powers, each of which will be useful in different situations, but you also have encounter and daily powers on top of that. It's rare to use the same power for three rounds straight, and in many combats you will use a completely different power each round. Compare this to 3.5's auto-attacking.



2) Which is why you play one of the 10 Base classes that are fun an interesting and do different things every round. And then your PrC for more options.

The problem is that these fun classes are imbalanced - ToB classes are much better than standard melee classes, but are still outperformed by wizards. And many PrCs don't give you more options, they just improve your abilities to perform certain tasks - instead of getting to do new things, you get better at old ones.
Not to mention that 4e has prestige classes too. They're called paragon paths.


1) It probably is more balanced, but most people will agree that game balance came at the cost of a number of other features that 3E had, such as true multiclassing, potent feats, separated class roles, etc.

4e's multiclassing lets you replace almost half of your powers with that of another class, without losing efficiency in both classes, while in 3.5 a wizard 4/rogue 4 sucks at both roles. I prefer fourth edition's model.
Third edition has potent feats, fourth edition has potent powers.
If anything, the class roles in 4e are even more separated then before, as even a brief skim through the rules would told you.


2) All classes in 3E "have options and are fun to play". The implied lack of options in 3E argument makes so little sense that I'm just going to skip it & move on to the last part of that sentence. "Fun to play" is highly subjective, & no class system can please everyone. Also, unless you can honestly tell me that you've already played the game with every class through a few levels, & that you enjoyed them all, then I'm forced to conclude that you're merely parroting some bandwagon fanboy or marketing employee of WotC.

As I mentioned before, 3e lacks options because many classes play exactly the same, and only differ in their capabilities to perform the task they are supposed to do. The difference between a non-controller fighter and a barbarian is that the barbarian rages before charging and auto-attack till the opponent dies.

And I am a man of reason - I don't need to experience something purely mathemathical to know it, if I can read about it and analyze it. I have not played all the classes, but I've seen all of them in action and read through the rules regarding them. All 4e classes are fun to play.


3) How is randomized HP an "outdated concept" exactly? Nearly all RPGs, both past & present, have used randomized HP, & for good reason. If nothing else, it differentiates characters from each other. It also emulates real life. The number of stab wounds needed to kill a person are fairly random, from what I can tell; some people need 40, some need 100.

Show me a game released in the past 10 years that had random HP, apart from DND and Hackmaster. If someone is tougher, it's because he has higher stamina/constitution/whatever, not because he rolled higher. Random HP is imbalancing - what if one player rolled all 1s and 2s while the other one rolled max HP each level?


4) It's the DM's responsibility to represent the game world. The game designers can, at best, provide decent tools to assist the DM in this task. A bad book in a good DM's hands makes for a good game, & a good book in a bad DM's hands makes for a bad game, as well. This "heroic high fantasy world" that they've created is fine, albeit generic compared to most other campaign settings. But it is irrelevent. The DM is the one who provides the game world, & I've never met a DM who just takes the world out of the box & doesn't make drastic changes.

I don't mean fluff, I mean crunch. The domination of casters, over-dependance on magical items and frailty of low-level characters is what makes 3.x a game that represents what it's supposed to do poorly.

----

But you know what? I'm tired of this. Frozen really gave the wisest response here - if you don't like 4e, don't play it and be quiet because everyone and their dog already knows you don't like it.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-19, 03:46 PM
By 'ideal' here, I describe the market that selects for the best service. Obviously, this is not the case (which is what leads to corporations being built for money rather than quality - no market pressure really exists to force organizations to produce quality goods).

I find that to be an erroneous statement. The market force is the pocketbook of the consumer.

WotC didn't release 4e just to make money. They released it because they believed that they could make more money on a revised and what's hoped to be an improved system. In the immediate term, it seems to be a success. We've yet to see how it will fair in the following years. It's a highly competitive market in the RPG sense, nowadays. There are plenty of RPGs, old and new, that want players who aren't interested in D&D for whatever reason.

The goal of 4e was to create a product that I (and my fellow gamers) would deem worthy enough to purchase with my valuable entertainment dollars.

nagora
2008-06-19, 04:19 PM
Well, in an ideal free market, companies don't exist to make money - they exist to provide goods and services, and make money because they provide quality goods and services.
However a free market is a mathematical and logical impossibility. It's really like trying to plan your economy on the output of dwarven smithies - they don't exist, so no matter how detailed your analysis it's still always going to be wrong.

rankrath
2008-06-19, 05:04 PM
1. More balanced, both between classes and between high and low levels.
2. All classes have options and are fun to play.
3. Got rid of outdated concepts such as random HP.
4. Finally does a good job at representing a heroic high fantasy world.

Thank you, come again.

1: the game only becomes unbalanced if the DM and players let it. Sure, you can play a mix-maxing batman, your DM can also crush your character under five-hundred pounds of rock.

2: Any class can be fun to play, just be creative.

3: I like random HP, thank you very much

4: It should be up to the DM to create the world, not the source books.

In conclusion, I'd say the difference between 3.5 and 4E can be sumarised like this:
3.5E: you are in a huge mechanics shop, with all sorts of tools, parts and kits, and told to build a motorcycle. Sure, you could build one that blows up in your face, or you could build a jetbike that breaks the sound barrier.

4E: You are shown ten different bicycles, and told to pick one. All go the same speed, but has differently shaped pedals.

Crow
2008-06-19, 05:12 PM
4E: You are shown ten different bicycles, and told to pick one. All go the same speed, but has differently shaped pedals.

I'll take the 3[W] model, with the Dex mod pedals.

SurlySeraph
2008-06-19, 05:12 PM
I would have rather had a 3.75 that removed the obvious imbalances (nerf casters to hell, give fighters more options) than 4E, but that's what house rules are for, and 4E is good in its own way. Very different, but still good.

Duke of URL
2008-06-19, 05:23 PM
2. All classes have options and are fun to play.

I'll note that 4e classes appear to have fewer options available than Complete Arcane Warlocks and the Tome Of Battle martial adepts do, and those are the both closest 3.5 classes to the 4e design concept and certainly not considered overpowered or over-complicated.

Chronos
2008-06-19, 06:07 PM
I'll note that 4e classes appear to have fewer options available than Complete Arcane Warlocks and the Tome Of Battle martial adepts do, and those are the both closest 3.5 classes to the 4e design concept and certainly not considered overpowered or over-complicated.And what's more, they've both had little to no support from further books, so it's hard to claim that the greater options are just a result of comparing splatbooks to core.


As I mentioned before, 3e lacks options because many classes play exactly the same, and only differ in their capabilities to perform the task they are supposed to do.
Fighter: This is a really tough fight, probably the toughest we'll face today. I'd better use one of my per-day powers. Then, I'll spend a couple of encounter powers on the toughest enemy, and use my at-wills to mop up.
Wizard: This is a really tough fight, probably the toughest we'll face today. I'd better use one of my per-day powers. Then, I'll spend a couple of encounter powers on the toughest enemy, and use my at-wills to mop up.

OK, the powers have different names, and use different numbers in the rolls, but the gameplay is still exactly the same. I have a hard time seeing how a rogue, barbarian, and wizard play more the same than this in 3rd edition.

The New Bruceski
2008-06-19, 06:45 PM
Fighter: This is a really tough fight, probably the toughest we'll face today. I'd better use one of my per-day powers. Then, I'll spend a couple of encounter powers on the toughest enemy, and use my at-wills to mop up.
Wizard: This is a really tough fight, probably the toughest we'll face today. I'd better use one of my per-day powers. Then, I'll spend a couple of encounter powers on the toughest enemy, and use my at-wills to mop up.

OK, the powers have different names, and use different numbers in the rolls, but the gameplay is still exactly the same. I have a hard time seeing how a rogue, barbarian, and wizard play more the same than this in 3rd edition.

4th:
Fighter: That's a lot of kobolds there. I'll burn my daily to stay alive while my encounter powers keep them from getting past me to you folks. Light 'em up as you get the chance!
Wizard: Get ready to heal, time to roast some lizards.
Ranger: Guys, that one in the back looks like he's goading them on. The Warlock and I will take him out.

3rd:
Fighter: That's a lot of kobolds there. I'll stand here and hope that after my trip attack of opportunity the rest choose to attack me instead of running past.
Ranger: Gah! There's some sort of leader in the back, but I'm firing into melee. No way I can target him! Clear those guys out!
Wizard: I'll take care of them. You guys are fine with a DC40 save or die, right?
Every melee: five-foot step, full attack. (sorry, the rogue does a five-foot step into >flanking<, then a full attack)

(hey, if you get to ignore nuances, so do I)

Kizara
2008-06-19, 11:29 PM
3.5E: you are in a huge mechanics shop, with all sorts of tools, parts and kits, and told to build a motorcycle. Sure, you could build one that blows up in your face, or you could build a jetbike that breaks the sound barrier.

4E: You are shown ten different bicycles, and told to pick one. All go the same speed, but has differently shaped pedals.

Excellent analogy. Props.

Drekkan
2008-06-19, 11:57 PM
Look I don't care one way or another about 4e. I'm going to give it a shot and see how I like it.

That said I just want to get across one thing - I've never had a problem with 3.5 magic users and my longest campaign had me roleplaying a fighter. Honestly - if your DM can't figure out some relatively simple ways of controlling magic use then they're a bad DM; there's no other way to put it.

A couple ways of handling it that are both simple and quick:

1) Magic hate. Yup, don't you think that if there were people (a relatively small amount) that could wield forces beyond the control of mortal man that people would hate and fear them? Especially true if you have a world that suffered a massive catastrophe that can in anyway be blamed on magic.

You try using magic freely in a place where its open use in civilized places results in your being hunted down by units of crack fighters with feats, items, and skills related to negating the magic of others.

2) Spell resistance or element resistance. Now my last GM used almost no "stock" monsters. He loved to make his own - one particular favourite was nitroglycerine golems (which were awesome). He also home brewed demons; demons which were immune to different elements. Further, some demons were immune to fire but not acid... and others were the opposite (cough, utter chaos of demonkind cough). SR and elemental immunities are great ways of mixing things up.

3) Warding. Someone in a previous thread that they had to kill a liche. Instead of fighting/sneaking into the fortress - poof scrye location, poof teleport, poof magic kill liche, poof out. Because, of course, a liche that bothered to build a fortress to protect himself would never consider actually warding his walls to prevent intruders from teleporting in. And he'd certainly not have ways of preventing scrying from working in his fortress of doom. Because all villains are utter and total retards.

4) Challenge different members of the party. I played the aforementioned fighter. I was the only dwarf. My party's boat was set upon by a group of sea dwarves that thought I'd been taken as a slave. I tried to convince them to help us out.

See how my DM worked a way to get me more invovled in the game. See how magic couldn't have solved my problem right there. Now my character wasn't optimized for diplomacy, so it would seem like I'd be SOL - until you realise DMs can set circumstance modifiers for argument. In fact my RP and negotiations were good enough that all but a critical fumble on the check would've worked out (of course, having said that, I proceeded to roll 3 natural 1s on my diplomacy rolls - but that would have been SoL in 4e too).

5) Non magic in combat. Yeah, I autoattacked a lot but there were calculations to be made. Tactical decisions about engagement order. Considerations for power attack and how much. Weapon choice based on encounter. Furthermore, by putting in two or three encounters per "day" our DM forced magic users into rationing spells or being useless later. I was never bored in combat.

***

So right there are five ways of trying to limit magic and not a single one of them requires homebrewing. If you open up homebrews there are even more ways of making things work (such as by improving the combat prowess of fighters or allowing things like intimidate causing nearby mobs to focus on them if you really want to - combine with allowing intimidate to be rolled based off of strength also works well with this option).

TLDR version: Magic was fine if you had a good DM. If you had/were a bad DM then you ran a bad game and ya, magic could easily get overpowered.

Frost
2008-06-19, 11:57 PM
That's simply untrue. Not only does every character start with 2-3 at-will powers, each of which will be useful in different situations, but you also have encounter and daily powers on top of that. It's rare to use the same power for three rounds straight, and in many combats you will use a completely different power each round. Compare this to 3.5's auto-attacking.

Yes you can alternate between your at wills, but since unless you are a Wizard one of them is always better then the other, you are dumb to do so. And the fact is that at low levels, you end up spamming at wills for half of the combat, and that amount increases as you level, until you take Demigod and spam an encounter power forever instead.


The problem is that these fun classes are imbalanced - ToB classes are much better than standard melee classes, but are still outperformed by wizards. And many PrCs don't give you more options, they just improve your abilities to perform certain tasks - instead of getting to do new things, you get better at old ones.
Not to mention that 4e has prestige classes too. They're called paragon paths.

The problem is that these fun classes are fun, and at least five of them are balanced just fine against each other, and the rest all fit fine in a party. The problem is that people insist that NPC classes like the Fighter should actually be comparable to real classes, and never thought of making the fighter better, and so instead we stripped all the good stuff from everyone.

THAC0
2008-06-20, 12:19 AM
Yes you can alternate between your at wills, but since unless you are a Wizard one of them is always better then the other, you are dumb to do so. And the fact is that at low levels, you end up spamming at wills for half of the combat, and that amount increases as you level, until you take Demigod and spam an encounter power forever instead.


I disagree. The characters I've played so far have had different at wills be the best in different situations.

And what's the problem with spamming at-wills instead of spamming "I hit the guy"? The at wills are a lot more fun, IMO.

Frost
2008-06-20, 12:26 AM
And what's the problem with spamming at-wills instead of spamming "I hit the guy"? The at wills are a lot more fun, IMO.

I'm not saying it's a problem, I'm saying it's not a huge improvement. And it is worse then all the real characters in 3.5, who had plenty of options.

THAC0
2008-06-20, 12:31 AM
I'm not saying it's a problem, I'm saying it's not a huge improvement. And it is worse then all the real characters in 3.5, who had plenty of options.

Maybe I missed something - what characters are "real" characters in 3.5?

FoE
2008-06-20, 12:39 AM
I'm saying this in a couple of threads, so don't jump down my throat.

The problem with these threads proclaiming "I like 4E" or "I hate 4E!" is that it's just fueling the war between anti and pro-4E posters. And honestly, there's no winning this fight, because it all comes down to personal preference.

It would be better if every thread stating "I love/hate Fourth Edition" just died, and from now on, if you had a specific topic you wanted to discuss pertaining to either 3.5 or 4E, you would state in the title. But none of this "3E>4E" or "3E<4E" nonsense.

Shouldn't we all be actually playing this game instead of debating which version is better?

Frost
2008-06-20, 12:53 AM
Maybe I missed something - what characters are "real" characters in 3.5?

Druids, Clerics, Wizards, Sorcerers, Artificers, Rogues, Certain varieties of Bards, Factotums, Dread Necromancers, Beguilers, Multiclassed builds of the appropriate levels of crazy, Warlocks, ToB (All), Binders, any build with levels in a PrC that gets 9th level spellcasting.

The New Bruceski
2008-06-20, 12:55 AM
Yes you can alternate between your at wills, but since unless you are a Wizard one of them is always better then the other, you are dumb to do so. And the fact is that at low levels, you end up spamming at wills for half of the combat, and that amount increases as you level, until you take Demigod and spam an encounter power forever instead.


Human fighter, three feats.
Cleave -- if adjacent to two enemies the clear winner, as I get to mark both.
Tide of Iron -- Battlefield movement, and I get to follow them. Very situational (depends on the battlefield)
Reaping Strike -- a basic attack that does 2 damage if I miss. Good if movement isn't necessary, or an evasive opponent.

Any given turn I may have a best move to use, but it ain't gonna be the same one for the entire fight. It's gonna depend on where the enemy is and where my allies are. Care to clarify your position? As stated I believe we have contrary evidence.

Tar Palantir
2008-06-20, 01:00 AM
See, our group has never had a major problem with magic users being better than, say, fighters (or even fighter/monks who wear heavy armor - looong story).I haven't had many problems with 3.5, certainly nothing that can't be fixed with a bit of minor house ruling. Random hit points aren't exactly a huge issue for us; sometimes you roll high, sometimes not. It's just one more thing to get needlessly excited over. But I digress. We have one other regular DM in our group, besides me. He plans to switch to 4e at the earliest opportunity. I plan to wait and see how it plays, although I'm not terribly excited about invalidating a thirty book collection. It's just a matter of preference; go where the wind takes you, and stop whining about it. This is the only such thread I've posted in, and I don't plan on posting in any others, or checking this one (so theorectically, you could say horribly abusive things about me, and I'd never read them :smallwink:). So good luck in your choice.

nagora
2008-06-20, 05:40 AM
4th:
Fighter: That's a lot of kobolds there. I'll burn my daily to stay alive while my encounter powers keep them from getting past me to you folks. Light 'em up as you get the chance!
Wizard: Get ready to heal, time to roast some lizards.
Ranger: Guys, that one in the back looks like he's goading them on. The Warlock and I will take him out.

3rd:
Fighter: That's a lot of kobolds there. I'll stand here and hope that after my trip attack of opportunity the rest choose to attack me instead of running past.
Ranger: Gah! There's some sort of leader in the back, but I'm firing into melee. No way I can target him! Clear those guys out!
Wizard: I'll take care of them. You guys are fine with a DC40 save or die, right?
Every melee: five-foot step, full attack. (sorry, the rogue does a five-foot step into >flanking<, then a full attack)

(hey, if you get to ignore nuances, so do I)
1ed:
Fighter: That's a lot of kobolds there. Fortunately they've made a frontal attack. I'll kill them, save me some sandwiches.
Wizard: Salmon or ham?
Ranger (over sound of buzzsaw): Oh, I don't like the ham; can I have the salmon?
Fighter (now drenched in blood): Sure, sure. I can't believe that leader at the back sent these guys into open melee. We'd be in real trouble if they'd fanned out and used tactics that took advantage of their superior numbers.
Wizard (Sipping claret): I think the DM's only ever played WoW before.
Fighter (stabbing the leader through the head): That's that done - two rounds, not bad. Did you keep the salmon?
Ranger: Oh, man, you said I could have them!

Helgraf
2008-06-20, 06:42 AM
Human fighter, three feats.
Cleave -- if adjacent to two enemies the clear winner, as I get to mark both.


Bzzzt. Wrong answer. The additional attack from Cleave does not mark a target.



Tide of Iron -- Battlefield movement, and I get to follow them. Very situational (depends on the battlefield)
Reaping Strike -- a basic attack that does 2 damage if I miss. Good if movement isn't necessary, or an evasive opponent.

Any given turn I may have a best move to use, but it ain't gonna be the same one for the entire fight. It's gonna depend on where the enemy is and where my allies are. Care to clarify your position? As stated I believe we have contrary evidence.

hamlet
2008-06-20, 07:37 AM
1ed:
Fighter: That's a lot of kobolds there. Fortunately they've made a frontal attack. I'll kill them, save me some sandwiches.
Wizard: Salmon or ham?
Ranger (over sound of buzzsaw): Oh, I don't like the ham; can I have the salmon?
Fighter (now drenched in blood): Sure, sure. I can't believe that leader at the back sent these guys into open melee. We'd be in real trouble if they'd fanned out and used tactics that took advantage of their superior numbers.
Wizard (Sipping claret): I think the DM's only ever played WoW before.
Fighter (stabbing the leader through the head): That's that done - two rounds, not bad. Did you keep the salmon?
Ranger: Oh, man, you said I could have them!

Of course, with a good DM, that should read:

Fighter: I see one kobold in the passage ahead.
Wizard: We're all going to die!
Fighter: What? It's only one little guy!
Wizard: No, man, you don't get it, you only SEE one, there are dozens moer in the walls, with sharp pointy things . . .
Fighter: Oh you sissy. I'll get him.
<two minutes later, the fighter is bleeding out on the floor and the wizard is rocking in the corner mumbling and wimpering, clutching a patched blanket and chewing on the edge>

The New Bruceski
2008-06-20, 08:04 AM
Bzzzt. Wrong answer. The additional attack from Cleave does not mark a target.

Source? Page 76: "Every time you attack an enemy, whether the attack hits or misses, you can choose to mark that target." Says nothing about one fighter having multiple marks, just that two guys cannot mark the same enemy (as then it would be screwed no matter who it attacked).

TheDarkOne
2008-06-20, 10:06 AM
Source? Page 76: "Every time you attack an enemy, whether the attack hits or misses, you can choose to mark that target." Says nothing about one fighter having multiple marks, just that two guys cannot mark the same enemy (as then it would be screwed no matter who it attacked).

I think the deal is you aren't actually attacking the adjacent enemy with cleave, you're just dealing damage to it.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-20, 11:08 AM
I'm saying this in a couple of threads, so don't jump down my throat.

The problem with these threads proclaiming "I like 4E" or "I hate 4E!" is that it's just fueling the war between anti and pro-4E posters. And honestly, there's no winning this fight, because it all comes down to personal preference.

It would be better if every thread stating "I love/hate Fourth Edition" just died, and from now on, if you had a specific topic you wanted to discuss pertaining to either 3.5 or 4E, you would state in the title. But none of this "3E>4E" or "3E<4E" nonsense.

Shouldn't we all be actually playing this game instead of debating which version is better?

Oh, it's just the nature of the internet. We argue stuff like this. The internet is there so we can share strong opinions that we once reserved for friends while we drank a couple beers. Now we share strong opinions with total strangers when we probably should be doing our jobs. The 4e release is the next big thing. Give it a few months, and this will calm down again.

Also, Chocolate > 4E

LurkerInPlayground
2008-06-20, 12:16 PM
And what's more, they've both had little to no support from further books, so it's hard to claim that the greater options are just a result of comparing splatbooks to core.


Fighter: This is a really tough fight, probably the toughest we'll face today. I'd better use one of my per-day powers. Then, I'll spend a couple of encounter powers on the toughest enemy, and use my at-wills to mop up.
Wizard: This is a really tough fight, probably the toughest we'll face today. I'd better use one of my per-day powers. Then, I'll spend a couple of encounter powers on the toughest enemy, and use my at-wills to mop up.

OK, the powers have different names, and use different numbers in the rolls, but the gameplay is still exactly the same. I have a hard time seeing how a rogue, barbarian, and wizard play more the same than this in 3rd edition.
That's really funny, clever and cute.
I really expected better than this.

This is about as meaningful as saying that psionics is basically magic. Or that fighters are basically a weaker version of wizards in 3.x editions. Since presumably all fighters need to stack up on prestige classes with all sorts of wonky class features to even be mildly competitive.

There's a certain element of truth in these gross understatements, but they're not particularly meaningful insights. 4e puts some emphasis on different powers having different roles in the group dynamic (i.e. defender, striker, controller, etc.)

But I suppose it's more fun for you to be condescending.

huttj509
2008-06-20, 01:01 PM
3.5E: you are in a huge mechanics shop, with all sorts of tools, parts and kits, and told to build a motorcycle. Sure, you could build one that blows up in your face, or you could build a jetbike that breaks the sound barrier.

4E: You are shown ten different bicycles, and told to pick one. All go the same speed, but has differently shaped pedals.

Wonderful analogy.

Particularly since the goal of many people is then to tooling around with their friends who have their own bikes. If you like having your buddy build a bike for you so you can keep up, or constantly riding the brake, or have one biker doing laps around the others, or have 4 people with similar motorcycle building experience, or maybe the shop owner refuses to sell jetbike parts, then there's no problem with the warehouse.

Lady Tialait
2008-06-20, 01:40 PM
*snip*
Also, Chocolate > 4E

FINALLY AN ARGUMENT I CAN AGREE ON!

Dausuul
2008-06-20, 02:59 PM
How is randomized HP an "outdated concept" exactly? Nearly all RPGs, both past & present, have used randomized HP, & for good reason.

What? No they haven't. Only D&D and D&D clones do this. The vast majority of other games use a fixed-hit-point system - your hit points, if the system even has such a thing, are based off your stats (which are also non-random).


And what's more, they've both had little to no support from further books, so it's hard to claim that the greater options are just a result of comparing splatbooks to core.

The Book of Nine Swords contains three classes spanning 20 levels each, maybe six or seven prestige classes, plus a smattering of feats, magic items and monsters.

The 4E Player's Handbook contains eight classes spanning 30 levels each, over a dozen paragon paths plus four epic destinies, a full array of magic items spanning 30 levels, eight races, a truckload of feats, and the entire rules of the game.

And you wonder why the Book of Nine Swords has more options per class?

Apples to apples, please. The only fair comparison for the 4E core rulebooks is the 3E core rulebooks (or 2E, 1E, whatever). Looking at the two, I'd say the overall number of options is pretty similar... except that in 3E, casters get all the options and noncasters get hardly any, while in 4E they're evenly spread.

rankrath
2008-06-20, 03:24 PM
Wonderful analogy.

Particularly since the goal of many people is then to tooling around with their friends who have their own bikes. If you like having your buddy build a bike for you so you can keep up, or constantly riding the brake, or have one biker doing laps around the others, or have 4 people with similar motorcycle building experience, or maybe the shop owner refuses to sell jetbike parts, then there's no problem with the warehouse.

thanks. The thing is, it's up to the group to decide what power level they want, and if one player deviates from that, then the group or DM has to bring them in line.

RukiTanuki
2008-06-20, 04:18 PM
In conclusion, I'd say the difference between 3.5 and 4E can be sumarised like this:
3.5E: you are in a huge mechanics shop, with all sorts of tools, parts and kits, and told to build a motorcycle. Sure, you could build one that blows up in your face, or you could build a jetbike that breaks the sound barrier.

4E: You are shown ten different bicycles, and told to pick one. All go the same speed, but has differently shaped pedals.

Ooh, Take That (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TakeThat) Fourth Edition, you mechanically inferior vehicle, you!

Sarcasm aside... I can extend this metaphor.

For me, it was always about going on a ride with my friends -- having fun, staying course with them, and seeing what we'd find on the way. We often got off track, took a different route than I planned, or just went offroad and explored. The bike's just a tool to get there.

I tried the motorcycle shop. I know, and have used, quite a bit of the motorcycle shop by this point. I made a lot of cool bikes in there. Some were very pretty. Some were very fast. Some were too fast, or too big, and ran over people. Some had too may options for a new friend to build it properly. Some had so few options that the rider didn't have much fun. A lot of the time, we had trouble keeping the group together and interested, and it felt like the motorcycles were contributing to that.

The bike shop made it easy to make broken bikes: bikes that couldn't be ridden, bikes that couldn't keep up, and bikes that destroyed anything they drove past. Some bikes were broken and fell apart at the worst possible moment. Some poked or pushed other people's bikes for no reason (and this wasn't always the fault of the driver!) Some of the places I guided my friends to said "bike trail" but didn't handle our bikes well at all.

Now I have a new bike shop. They share a goal with me: to make bikes that friends can use to go on trips together. The parts are a lot more standardized and fit together better, but there's enough options to keep my friends happy. Dan can easily figure out how to ride Aaron's bike at a moment's notice, but it's clear to everyone that they handle differently and are a different experience. A few of the people from the old motorcycle shop keep telling me I'll never be able to leave the bike trails and go offroad with my new bikes, but my friends and I have no trouble. At least, we have less trouble than we had with motorcycles.

The huffy motorcycle people say "you're doing it wrong," but I just ignore them and leave them with their motorcycles. (Note that there are plenty of people who are settled in and happy with their motorcycles, who ignore or just work around the quirks of the motorcycle shop. Good for them! I'm glad we each found what works for us.)

How's that story?

Justyn
2008-06-20, 04:18 PM
Oh, it's just the nature of the internet. We argue stuff like this. The internet is there so we can share strong opinions that we once reserved for friends while we drank a couple beers. Now we share strong opinions with total strangers when we probably should be doing our jobs. The 4e release is the next big thing. Give it a few months, and this will calm down again.

Something about this seems... familiar. WAIT!


The 4e Vista release is the next big thing. Give it a few months, and this will calm down again.Not anything real. This is a joke if you have yet to grasp this.
So... yeah. And I have experiance with Vista, it sucks.


Also, Chocolate > 4E

Agreed!


My biggest beef with 4th is the forced balance. I have lots of lesser beefs (removal of Vancian Magic; removing Oearth as the core setting; no OGL; making the game so reliant on miniatures; one of the games I was playing online switching to 4th after the DM specifically said that he would not do so, this one isn't 4th's fault, more of him being a bad DM (he dropped my character in a pit for being too cautious, and stated in no uncertain terms that he enjoys killing off player characters)), but the forced balance is the big one.

RukiTanuki
2008-06-20, 04:22 PM
Can I take the listing of fixes as acknowledgment that disparate power levels between casters and non-casters is, in fact, a problem?


1) Magic hate. Yup, don't you think that if there were people (a relatively small amount) that could wield forces beyond the control of mortal man that people would hate and fear them? Especially true if you have a world that suffered a massive catastrophe that can in anyway be blamed on magic.

You try using magic freely in a place where its open use in civilized places results in your being hunted down by units of crack fighters with feats, items, and skills related to negating the magic of others.

Personally, I never try to balance mechanical problems with roleplay penalties. It just never works in practice. To me, this is more of a campaign idea and less of a way to keep casters from dominating the game. Plus, I'm not clear on the implementation. Are you assuming that all people have magic-dar and can identify a mage on sight? What happens to the mage who wears plainclothes, performs no magic in town, and proceeds to leave the village and unleash all his fury on enemies when only his allies and people he's going to kill are near? Not to mention, if you drop all magic, including magic items, you've nerfed the non-casters more severely than any caster who can get away with saving his friends' hides with spells when guards aren't around. I suppose I'm saying that I don't really understand how you'd even try to pull this off, short of telling the caster players "if you cast spells, marut death squads arrive and kill you."


2) Spell resistance or element resistance. Now my last GM used almost no "stock" monsters. He loved to make his own - one particular favourite was nitroglycerine golems (which were awesome). He also home brewed demons; demons which were immune to different elements. Further, some demons were immune to fire but not acid... and others were the opposite (cough, utter chaos of demonkind cough). SR and elemental immunities are great ways of mixing things up.
I'm very, very appreciative that 4e moves away from the misguided idea that "an overpowered ability can be perfectly balanced by making others immune to it on a regular basis." Telling your players more than 50% of the time that they can't use the ability they poured more than 50% of their character resources into, doesn't end up being fun for the player. Telling them that marut death squads or government assassins will kill them for doing the action is effectively the same thing.


3) Warding. Someone in a previous thread that they had to kill a liche. Instead of fighting/sneaking into the fortress - poof scrye location, poof teleport, poof magic kill liche, poof out. Because, of course, a liche that bothered to build a fortress to protect himself would never consider actually warding his walls to prevent intruders from teleporting in. And he'd certainly not have ways of preventing scrying from working in his fortress of doom. Because all villains are utter and total retards.
It's not very effective to list one spell, declare it a perfect counter to another spell, then dust off your hands, put up the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner, and declare magic reined in. This is doubly true when divinations alone offer many ways to bypass obstacles... and warding (or even total divination immunity) doesn't solve the "poof magic kill lich" part at the end.


4) Challenge different members of the party. I played the aforementioned fighter. I was the only dwarf. My party's boat was set upon by a group of sea dwarves that thought I'd been taken as a slave. I tried to convince them to help us out.

See how my DM worked a way to get me more invovled in the game. See how magic couldn't have solved my problem right there. Now my character wasn't optimized for diplomacy, so it would seem like I'd be SOL - until you realise DMs can set circumstance modifiers for argument. In fact my RP and negotiations were good enough that all but a critical fumble on the check would've worked out (of course, having said that, I proceeded to roll 3 natural 1s on my diplomacy rolls - but that would have been SoL in 4e too).
As I read this... your character avoided a bad scene by saying "look, I'm not a slave here... for Moradin's sake, I'm wearing glowing armor, I'm armed, and I'm clearly not shackled!" I'm not following the "ergoe magic is balanced" connection. Your Bard (let alone the Wizard) could just cast Charm Person on the captain and say, "hey friend, want to help us defend the seas?" More importantly, I'm hard-pressed to find an argument why a Bard in the party, who had that level 1 spell handy, couldn't just effectively end the encounter with it. I assume you're not saying that magic couldn't handle the encounter because your Dwarf didn't have any ... and it's clear by my example of a level 1 Bard spell that it's not that magic couldn't easily solve the encounter (barring the DM punishing the player for "cheating.")


5) Non magic in combat. Yeah, I autoattacked a lot but there were calculations to be made. Tactical decisions about engagement order. Considerations for power attack and how much. Weapon choice based on encounter. Furthermore, by putting in two or three encounters per "day" our DM forced magic users into rationing spells or being useless later. I was never bored in combat.
Taking these in order: Tactical decisions about who to engage are made by everyone, caster or not. Fourth specifically lacks the necessity of selecting an exact numerical value for Power Attack, but Third lacks the ability for a melee character to choose from several basic melee attacks, and I have a hard time saying that ends up in 3e's favor. Weapon choice based on encounter is not unique to either edition; 3e has physical damage resistances, while 4e martial powers do unique things with appropriate weapons.

As for the last comment, I've never heard "I charge again" said in anything but a disinterested tone, whereas "another Fireball!" always came across as enthused. But then, opinions are opinions. Which leaves one (oddly disjoined) remark: the use of DM force to guarantee encounter after encounter without choice of rest. This single subject has its own heated threads: Suffice to say that between the ability for single spells to win combats, for winning spell combos to dominate the really interesting big fights (relegating non-casters to cheerleaders during the very part where they're supposed to shine), and the fact that the caster is bored if the DM mandates combat after combat of crossbow-plinking, and I think a strong case can be made that the syste is, in fact, in need of some work.


So right there are five ways of trying to limit magic and not a single one of them requires homebrewing. If you open up homebrews there are even more ways of making things work (such as by improving the combat prowess of fighters or allowing things like intimidate causing nearby mobs to focus on them if you really want to - combine with allowing intimidate to be rolled based off of strength also works well with this option).
I like boosting fighters and giving them a way to stay at the forefront of combat. That's part of why I like 4e. It doesn't really cover my belief that the sweet spot of play involved two steps: raising non-casters up to the sweet spot of power, and shifting casters down to match. Magic needs to be special, but Charles Atlas (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharlesAtlasSuperpower) needs to feel like something more than a fifth wheel or a book-toting henchman.


TLDR version: Magic was fine if you had a good DM. If you had/were a bad DM then you ran a bad game and ya, magic could easily get overpowered.
The ability for a skilled DM to circumvent significant issues in the design of the game, with effort, does not imply that the significant issues in the game should not be corrected.

TheEmerged
2008-06-20, 04:47 PM
RE: Randomized HP. Glad to see someone else called the poster who said this is the norm on it. Frankly D&D is the only system I've played in the last decade or so with this.

RE: 3rd vs 4th. I'm agnostic myself, preferring HERO & GURPS. I will say there are a lot of things people have expressed problems with from a theoretical basis that I am not seeing in "play". I scare-quoted that word because it will be at least another month, maybe two, before I can actually play it as intended instead of playing both the monsters & the players.

From where I type, subject to change, it looks like they've decided to make the rules matter primarily in combat/dangerous situation and to adopt roleplay as the solution to everything else. That's pretty much how I GM anyway.

RE: The Bicycle Analogy, especially the part about "ten different bicycles with the same speed but different pedals". This is truer for some classes (wizards) than others (rogues, warlords).

I have seen some people house-ruling a variant of the wizard spellbook rule for all classes, and I won't be surprised if future classes have something similar or if it gets retroactively added to other classes.

rankrath
2008-06-20, 05:49 PM
<snip>

that works, if that's what you want. It comes down to if you prefer freedom, with the danger of unbalancing the game, or forced balance, with the danger of boredom.

LurkerInPlayground
2008-06-20, 05:58 PM
[snip]

My biggest beef with 4th is the forced balance. I have lots of lesser beefs (removal of Vancian Magic; removing Oearth as the core setting; no OGL; making the game so reliant on miniatures; one of the games I was playing online switching to 4th after the DM specifically said that he would not do so, this one isn't 4th's fault, more of him being a bad DM (he dropped my character in a pit for being too cautious, and stated in no uncertain terms that he enjoys killing off player characters)), but the forced balance is the big one.
There are these really nice vinyl "battlegrids" that you can buy in most stores that deal in comic books, minis and RPG's. You can draw on them with water-soluble markers and erase them with what amounts to a spray bottle and a towel. Cost me $7.

Substitute coins for mini's as needed.

lord_khaine
2008-06-20, 06:00 PM
Human fighter, three feats.
Cleave -- if adjacent to two enemies the clear winner, as I get to mark both.
Tide of Iron -- Battlefield movement, and I get to follow them. Very situational (depends on the battlefield)
Reaping Strike -- a basic attack that does 2 damage if I miss. Good if movement isn't necessary, or an evasive opponent.

Any given turn I may have a best move to use, but it ain't gonna be the same one for the entire fight. It's gonna depend on where the enemy is and where my allies are. Care to clarify your position? As stated I believe we have contrary evidence.

i think ill take this challenge up by comparing to a lv 1 human warblade.
Steel Wind: attack 2 opponents
Stone Bones : gain DR 5
Steely strike: +4 to hit, -4 to ac.
Stance, Punishing stance: +1d6 damage, -2 ac.

he will have about as many tactical options.


Taking these in order: Tactical decisions about who to engage are made by everyone, caster or not. Fourth specifically lacks the necessity of selecting an exact numerical value for Power Attack, but Third lacks the ability for a melee character to choose from several basic melee attacks, and I have a hard time saying that ends up in 3e's favor. Weapon choice based on encounter is not unique to either edition; 3e has physical damage resistances, while 4e martial powers do unique things with appropriate weapons
wrong, thats something from before EPH and ToB came out, after that melee chars had more than enough tactical choices (allmost).


As for the last comment, I've never heard "I charge again" said in anything but a disinterested tone, whereas "another Fireball!" always came across as enthused.

i suspect thats something special about your group, i have often seen a lot entusiasm behind both a change, and the following declarition of "i power attack for all my BAB!"

Drekkan
2008-06-20, 06:32 PM
Can I take the listing of fixes as acknowledgment that disparate power levels between casters and non-casters is, in fact, a problem?

Not really. Because, as I've said, any half-decent DM can make a world where magic is just fine. Your complaint should be with ****ty DMing - not with magic.


Personally, I never try to balance mechanical problems with roleplay penalties. It just never works in practice. To me, this is more of a campaign idea and less of a way to keep casters from dominating the game. Plus, I'm not clear on the implementation. Are you assuming that all people have magic-dar and can identify a mage on sight? What happens to the mage who wears plainclothes, performs no magic in town, and proceeds to leave the village and unleash all his fury on enemies when only his allies and people he's going to kill are near? Not to mention, if you drop all magic, including magic items, you've nerfed the non-casters more severely than any caster who can get away with saving his friends' hides with spells when guards aren't around. I suppose I'm saying that I don't really understand how you'd even try to pull this off, short of telling the caster players "if you cast spells, marut death squads arrive and kill you."

First, it's not always a penalty - it's an opportunity. Further, it adds realism to the setting. How often are people going to stand by and just let people that can bend space/time to their will tromp around without action? Look at our own world (which 3.5 tips its hat to repeatedly) - witches, warlocks, wizards, seers usually end up at the business end of something sharp and painful (and those weren't even real).

The idea that you can find spells and spell books lying around any old place, or that you can buy them in a store is largely idiotic. Once a mage has to work for his spells... then things are just fine. Magic items are largely easier to hide and less obvious then just plain old magic. As for the "out in the wilderness" - yes he was powerful, but no more so then the other party members.


I'm very, very appreciative that 4e moves away from the misguided idea that "an overpowered ability can be perfectly balanced by making others immune to it on a regular basis." Telling your players more than 50% of the time that they can't use the ability they poured more than 50% of their character resources into, doesn't end up being fun for the player. Telling them that marut death squads or government assassins will kill them for doing the action is effectively the same thing.

It just means that they have to have alternative spells and, you know, diversify their portfolio. Certain demons immune to fire? Good thing I also had an acid ball prepped. Acid immune guy? Hey, there goes a lightning bolt. It's the same as when the fighter runs into something that's only vulnerable to certain metal types or damage types. As a fighter I carried 3~4 different weapons, so a wizard should carry a diverse number of spells.


It's not very effective to list one spell, declare it a perfect counter to another spell, then dust off your hands, put up the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner, and declare magic reined in. This is doubly true when divinations alone offer many ways to bypass obstacles... and warding (or even total divination immunity) doesn't solve the "poof magic kill lich" part at the end.

There out to be some sort of "Godwin's Law" for comparing things to the Bush regime. But really, why doesn't it work? If you assume that the liche is really the same level (or honestly, probably a little above) the PCs, and that he's likely had millennia of experience in magic, and a good long time prepping up his fortress then I can envision not just a single defensive spell but layers upon layers of defensive wards designed to stop, misdirect, and trap those that try and intrude (one personal favourite was one that detected the scryer, misdirected them to think their spell was working, and then triggered a feeblemind on the intruder).

As for magic as a counter to magic - why not? I mean, he has a whole metric tonne of men as a defense to physical attack (phys on phys) and cunning traps to counter stealth entry (cunning on cunning) so why not use magic to counter magic? If you insist that we MUST have physical counters for magic then it's idiotic.

As for the "poof you're dead" part - easily counterable by items/spells to protect from insta-destruction.


As I read this... your character avoided a bad scene by saying "look, I'm not a slave here... for Moradin's sake, I'm wearing glowing armor, I'm armed, and I'm clearly not shackled!" I'm not following the "ergoe magic is balanced" connection. Your Bard (let alone the Wizard) could just cast Charm Person on the captain and say, "hey friend, want to help us defend the seas?" More importantly, I'm hard-pressed to find an argument why a Bard in the party, who had that level 1 spell handy, couldn't just effectively end the encounter with it. I assume you're not saying that magic couldn't handle the encounter because your Dwarf didn't have any ... and it's clear by my example of a level 1 Bard spell that it's not that magic couldn't easily solve the encounter (barring the DM punishing the player for "cheating.")

So, let's run through events. We're on a ship sailing to a mission in the far south. Ship has about half a dozen sailors, and the 7 of us (cleric, ranger, wizard, two fighters, bard, rogue). Bard wizard cleric below decks. The others on deck relaxing, sans gear. I see a dwarf head stick up out of the ocean (spot check) and wave but no one else does (they were largely sleeping in the sun). No one believes me when I tell them.

About an hour later we're attacked by about two dozen aquatic dwarfs that magically warp the masts of the ship, drive back the others from combat, and then drag me away. After swimming for about 30 minutes on their sea-horse like steeds they surface on their home island.

So... is my bard supposed to somehow psychically teleport to me and then charm the chief? As for bard with level 1 spell - he's supposed to charm 24 hostile dwarfs - not one of which will save. All of which have express orders to rescue me at any cost?

Also, all this assumes some measure of willingness of characters to optimize. Even WHEN we were all together we had a jolly good time of me and others pipping up and talking. If your DM runs purely RAW diplomacy then he's an idiot - well reasoned argument should always help you be persuasive (and there are the reasons posted here in the gaming section of GitP)


Taking these in order: Tactical decisions about who to engage are made by everyone, caster or not. Fourth specifically lacks the necessity of selecting an exact numerical value for Power Attack, but Third lacks the ability for a melee character to choose from several basic melee attacks, and I have a hard time saying that ends up in 3e's favor. Weapon choice based on encounter is not unique to either edition; 3e has physical damage resistances, while 4e martial powers do unique things with appropriate weapons.

Taking yours in order: I never claimed I was the only one making decisions. I don't HAVE to be the only one. I merely have to show I do more then say "I autoattack again". I'm presenting things that I consider before making any decision in combat. As said above saying the same three combat powers over and over again is quickly going to become the same thing as in 3.5 - again, depending on your outlook not a bad thing. True - but you can only have one or two of the power styles in 3.5 based on the encounter powers you pick. Especially with some of the PHB2 stuff that gets you weapon spec/focus across categories of weapons once you hit a certain level I can switch weapons/style in 3.5 without any penalty (ie losing the efficacy of half of my "moves").


As for the last comment, I've never heard "I charge again" said in anything but a disinterested tone, whereas "another Fireball!" always came across as enthused. But then, opinions are opinions. Which leaves one (oddly disjoined) remark: the use of DM force to guarantee encounter after encounter without choice of rest. This single subject has its own heated threads: Suffice to say that between the ability for single spells to win combats, for winning spell combos to dominate the really interesting big fights (relegating non-casters to cheerleaders during the very part where they're supposed to shine), and the fact that the caster is bored if the DM mandates combat after combat of crossbow-plinking, and I think a strong case can be made that the syste is, in fact, in need of some work.

I attack may not be said with a gleam to some. Then again, it's hard to keep a cackle out of your voice when your various combat modifiers give you major +hit bonuses and you can whip out that 2-hander, and smack that demon in the face for the greatsword's 2d6+30 damage 3 times in a round (cleaving into anything assuming you drop it).

Look, I won't say magic is perfect- merely that the case for it being uber broken is wrong. I also will say that if you RPed and didn't just hack n slash player a fighter could also be fun. Now an upgrade WAS needed - and that's what I hoped 4e would be.

Instead of saying "Hey, this is largely a good system. People enjoy it. Maybe we should tweak the magic system a little" and generally building on a good thing... they called up the Python boys and asked for a snappy saying of, "And now for something, completely different".


I like boosting fighters and giving them a way to stay at the forefront of combat. That's part of why I like 4e. It doesn't really cover my belief that the sweet spot of play involved two steps: raising non-casters up to the sweet spot of power, and shifting casters down to match. Magic needs to be special, but Charles Atlas (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharlesAtlasSuperpower) needs to feel like something more than a fifth wheel or a book-toting henchman.

See above.


The ability for a skilled DM to circumvent significant issues in the design of the game, with effort, does not imply that the significant issues in the game should not be corrected.

See above for the correcting of problems of the system. As for the "skilled DM" - no not 'skilled'. Any "non-bad DM" should be able to correct for problems. If you're playing with a bad DM... then find another one.

AjaxTorbin
2008-06-20, 06:41 PM
3: I like random HP, thank you very much
4: It should be up to the DM to create the world, not the source books.
In conclusion, I'd say the difference between 3.5 and 4E can be sumarised like this:
3.5E: you are in a huge mechanics shop, with all sorts of tools, parts and kits, and told to build a motorcycle. Sure, you could build one that blows up in your face, or you could build a jetbike that breaks the sound barrier.

4E: You are shown ten different bicycles, and told to pick one. All go the same speed, but has differently shaped pedals.


Look, I won't say magic is perfect- merely that the case for it being uber broken is wrong. I also will say that if you RPed and didn't just hack n slash player a fighter could also be fun. Now an upgrade WAS needed - and that's what I hoped 4e would be.

Instead of saying "Hey, this is largely a good system. People enjoy it. Maybe we should tweak the magic system a little" and generally building on a good thing... they called up the Python boys and asked for a snappy saying of, "And now for something, completely different".



Thank you for that illistration Rankath.
And thank you Drekkan, you sum it up nicely. almost exactily my thoughts.

i have sat back and watched these arguments whilewwaiting for my copys of 4ED to arrive. i have now read them throughly, so now will involve myself.

1 4ED really is 3.99999. its still D20, the elemants of 3.0 are there, just rearanged. a lot. WRONG. they look the same, even have the same names. but the system is just too differant.
A they have neutered the skills systems. this could have been a good thing, but they Foxored this up.
B limits. in 3.0 the limits made one cry to heavan for gidance WHAT PATH SHOULD I TAKE!!!!!, i liked that. in 4.0, well, you are on a slowly curving road, oh look, it forks ahead. there are choices, by they are preditermend ones. what if i want to make a DEX baised fighter? i am forced into rogue, or to make strength fighter.

2 WOW. World of FRAXING WARCRAFT. i hate that game. and now D&D is patterned after it.
A what the [email protected]#$ did they do to elves? Eldrin? arnt they the CR15+ monster from 3.5? elves now HAVE to be from the woods? i have always liked elves. so made varants, high, wood, and sea IE: Tolkien, anime, D&D.
B draconic base race is great. bout time. people just like dragons. and now you can have one from first level.

3 COMBAT COMBAT more feakin combat. 4.0 has NO real out of combat rules, desent abilitys. this is thanks to the neutering of the skills system. there was a problem with 3.5, not enough skill points. when i DM a game i give each player 15 'background' points. they may spend these on non' combat skills, like craft, profession, perform, and the like. i like to play RPG's, that role-playing-games. NOT KMG's, killing-monsters-games. i want to play a rogue who casts spells badly, i want my fighter to tumble, i like desiging characters with out everything babied down to a grade school level of comprehension.

4 and final. this 4th edition looks like it wants to be a White Wolf game, except with out the ability to choose what powers (beyond teh so-called pargon 'choices') you get at what level. they have made a game that wil apeel to a whole new type of gamer, in my oppinion a dumber, younger, and more killy-death lovin/prone gamer.
i beleive it was put out at the promting of Hasbro, and is an attempt to spur sales. they said it them selves, they want to reach a broader demographic. at that is the mistake, D&D is a nich item, is always has been and always will be.
if you want a popular game to play, go buy poke'mon or yu'gi'o, or some online peice of junk MMORPG. i like my basement, and playing a paper game that makes me think on what i do and how i do it. i don't play D&D for guidance.

PS i have no problem with random HP. but a long standing house rule in my game gives MAX HP at every level.

marjan
2008-06-20, 07:19 PM
Not really. Because, as I've said, any half-decent DM can make a world where magic is just fine. Your complaint should be with ****ty DMing - not with magic.


Fact: If something needs repairing it's broken.



First, it's not always a penalty - it's an opportunity. Further, it adds realism to the setting. How often are people going to stand by and just let people that can bend space/time to their will tromp around without action? Look at our own world (which 3.5 tips its hat to repeatedly) - witches, warlocks, wizards, seers usually end up at the business end of something sharp and painful (and those weren't even real).


Problem here is that those "witches" IRL didn't have any powers so it was pretty safe to harass them. Try that with someone who bends the universe to their will and report back. This attitude leads to another problem: You have all those magic haters using products of magic when attacking casters. That's pretty idiotic to see every day. It's like saying "I hate chocolate, so I'm going to eat it". And then we come to problem where you cannot apply this in non-low-magic setting (at least not regularly), which is almost every published setting.



The idea that you can find spells and spell books lying around any old place, or that you can buy them in a store is largely idiotic. Once a mage has to work for his spells... then things are just fine. Magic items are largely easier to hide and less obvious then just plain old magic. As for the "out in the wilderness" - yes he was powerful, but no more so then the other party members.


Wizards can use magic items aside from scrolls. And why do you think that every scroll has "MAGIC" written on it. Basically it's the piece of paper with some strange words on it.



It just means that they have to have alternative spells and, you know, diversify their portfolio. Certain demons immune to fire? Good thing I also had an acid ball prepped. Acid immune guy? Hey, there goes a lightning bolt. It's the same as when the fighter runs into something that's only vulnerable to certain metal types or damage types. As a fighter I carried 3~4 different weapons, so a wizard should carry a diverse number of spells.


That's even counter-productive. Many of the broken spells do not care about elemental resistances, so you didn't accomplish much here.



There out to be some sort of "Godwin's Law" for comparing things to the Bush regime. But really, why doesn't it work? If you assume that the liche is really the same level (or honestly, probably a little above) the PCs, and that he's likely had millennia of experience in magic, and a good long time prepping up his fortress then I can envision not just a single defensive spell but layers upon layers of defensive wards designed to stop, misdirect, and trap those that try and intrude (one personal favourite was one that detected the scryer, misdirected them to think their spell was working, and then triggered a feeblemind on the intruder).


Not every enemy is spellcaster, especially in the world where magic is widely hated. So even if the said lich is well protected you still have bunch of other monsters who are not.



As for magic as a counter to magic - why not? I mean, he has a whole metric tonne of men as a defense to physical attack (phys on phys) and cunning traps to counter stealth entry (cunning on cunning) so why not use magic to counter magic? If you insist that we MUST have physical counters for magic then it's idiotic.


Yes, spellcaster can protect himself against spellcaster. Try doing that without caster and you'll fail.



So, let's run through events. We're on a ship sailing to a mission in the far south. Ship has about half a dozen sailors, and the 7 of us (cleric, ranger, wizard, two fighters, bard, rogue). Bard wizard cleric below decks. The others on deck relaxing, sans gear. I see a dwarf head stick up out of the ocean (spot check) and wave but no one else does (they were largely sleeping in the sun). No one believes me when I tell them.

About an hour later we're attacked by about two dozen aquatic dwarfs that magically warp the masts of the ship, drive back the others from combat, and then drag me away. After swimming for about 30 minutes on their sea-horse like steeds they surface on their home island.

So... is my bard supposed to somehow psychically teleport to me and then charm the chief? As for bard with level 1 spell - he's supposed to charm 24 hostile dwarfs - not one of which will save. All of which have express orders to rescue me at any cost?


Couldn't you do the same even if you were a wizard? In fact couldn't you do the same as commoner.



Also, all this assumes some measure of willingness of characters to optimize. Even WHEN we were all together we had a jolly good time of me and others pipping up and talking. If your DM runs purely RAW diplomacy then he's an idiot - well reasoned argument should always help you be persuasive (and there are the reasons posted here in the gaming section of GitP)


The problem is if everyone is at same level of optimization, casters are much better than non-casters.



Taking yours in order: I never claimed I was the only one making decisions. I don't HAVE to be the only one. I merely have to show I do more then say "I autoattack again". I'm presenting things that I consider before making any decision in combat.


The problem here is that you didn't do anything you couldn't do with some other class.



Especially with some of the PHB2 stuff that gets you weapon spec/focus across categories of weapons once you hit a certain level I can switch weapons/style in 3.5 without any penalty (ie losing the efficacy of half of my "moves").


And now you have several useless feats in your arsenal. That is different how? And not all powers require the use of specific weapon. In fact some are just better with specific weapon.



Look, I won't say magic is perfect- merely that the case for it being uber broken is wrong. I also will say that if you RPed and didn't just hack n slash player a fighter could also be fun. Now an upgrade WAS needed - and that's what I hoped 4e would be.


Sure, RPing fighter can be fun. But the class itself doesn't contribute to your fun then.



Instead of saying "Hey, this is largely a good system. People enjoy it. Maybe we should tweak the magic system a little" and generally building on a good thing... they called up the Python boys and asked for a snappy saying of, "And now for something, completely different".


Or maybe they thought: "We have no freaking idea how to correct the mess we made, so we might as well try from scratch". Just take a look for various errata for Polymorf. And the spell is still broken.

Drekkan
2008-06-20, 07:47 PM
Fact: If something needs repairing it's broken. Fact: If something needs a non-incompetent to work properly doesn't mean it's broken. c wot I did thar?


Problem here is that those "witches" IRL didn't have any powers so it was pretty safe to harass them. Try that with someone who bends the universe to their will and report back. This attitude leads to another problem: You have all those magic haters using products of magic when attacking casters. That's pretty idiotic to see every day. It's like saying "I hate chocolate, so I'm going to eat it". And then we come to problem where you cannot apply this in non-low-magic setting (at least not regularly), which is almost every published setting.

Cough, divine/arcane differences cough. Divine magic can still be used, and is used well to suppress magical abilities. Also if you keep catching 'em while they're young your anti-mage fighters get more experience/powerful while the magic users are level retarded so to speak.


Wizards can use magic items aside from scrolls. And why do you think that every scroll has "MAGIC" written on it. Basically it's the piece of paper with some strange words on it.

No, but clerics can detect magic scrolls and destroy them. Plus common people don't trade them. The point is not that wizards ONLY use scrolls, but that by curtailing scrolls you curtail the ability to learn many spells.


That's even counter-productive. Many of the broken spells do not care about elemental resistances, so you didn't accomplish much here.

Spell Resistance and warded locations.


Not every enemy is spellcaster, especially in the world where magic is widely hated. So even if the said lich is well protected you still have bunch of other monsters who are not.

Again arcane/divine. Some monsters aren't well warded, then again at the higher levels things you're fighting will likely either a) have magic or b) be able to hire people to do magic for them. After all, if you have high level magic at your disposal what kind of idiot DM wouldn't put high level magic at the NPCs disposal?


Yes, spellcaster can protect himself against spellcaster. Try doing that without caster and you'll fail.

If you're a DM that doesn't give your NPCs counters to your players... then you fail at life - please burn your books and never DM again.


Couldn't you do the same even if you were a wizard? In fact couldn't you do the same as commoner.

Having fun attacking a man made of straw? The point isn't that a wizard couldn't do it, nor that a commoner couldn't do it - rather the point is that a fighter COULD and COULD have things to do (when others have said that fighters have nothing to do since "batman wizards" do everything). From now on I'll just dismiss all future iterations of this argument as "Failure at Reading Comprehension" or FaRC.


The problem is if everyone is at same level of optimization, casters are much better than non-casters.

Only if a DM behaves in certain patterns. Throw repeated encounters at your PCs then the non-casters start to increase in power greatly.


The problem here is that you didn't do anything you couldn't do with some other class.

FaRC


And now you have several useless feats in your arsenal. That is different how? And not all powers require the use of specific weapon. In fact some are just better with specific weapon.

They're not wasted feats. How is a single one a wasted feat?


Sure, RPing fighter can be fun. But the class itself doesn't contribute to your fun then.

Except he RPs the way he does BECAUSE HE IS A FIGHTER. If he were a rogue, he'd RP as a rogue. You can't separate the class from the RP.


Or maybe they thought: "We have no freaking idea how to correct the mess we made, so we might as well try from scratch". Just take a look for various errata for Polymorf. And the spell is still broken.

So in other words WotC fails at life and creativity. Thanks for confirming it for me.

marjan
2008-06-20, 08:09 PM
Fact: If something needs a non-incompetent to work properly doesn't mean it's broken. c wot I did thar?


I c wot u did thar. You made a mistake. If something doesn't work even if you following instructions it is broken.



Cough, divine/arcane differences cough. Divine magic can still be used, and is used well to suppress magical abilities. Also if you keep catching 'em while they're young your anti-mage fighters get more experience/powerful while the magic users are level retarded so to speak.


Cough. Talk to the CoDzila. Cough.



No, but clerics can detect magic scrolls and destroy them. Plus common people don't trade them. The point is not that wizards ONLY use scrolls, but that by curtailing scrolls you curtail the ability to learn many spells.


Counter magic with magic. What does this tell us? See above. Divine casters are broken, too.



Spell Resistance and warded locations.


Don't always help.



Again arcane/divine. Some monsters aren't well warded, then again at the higher levels things you're fighting will likely either a) have magic or b) be able to hire people to do magic for them. After all, if you have high level magic at your disposal what kind of idiot DM wouldn't put high level magic at the NPCs disposal?


Just shows how magic is better than everything else.



If you're a DM that doesn't give your NPCs counters to your players... then you fail at life - please burn your books and never DM again.


Which is pretty much the case if you don't use magic. This shows that magic isn't broken, how?



Having fun attacking a man made of straw? The point isn't that a wizard couldn't do it, nor that a commoner couldn't do it - rather the point is that a fighter COULD and COULD have things to do (when others have said that fighters have nothing to do since "batman wizards" do everything). From now on I'll just dismiss all future iterations of this argument as "Failure at Reading Comprehension" or FaRC.


And then we come to the point where the fighter has to be kidnapped in order to do something by himself. Casters have more things to do.



Only if a DM behaves in certain patterns. Throw repeated encounters at your PCs then the non-casters start to increase in power greatly.


And start to decrease in HP greatly.



FaRC


?



They're not wasted feats. How is a single one a wasted feat?


You're not using them ATM, so they are wasted ATM.



Except he RPs the way he does BECAUSE HE IS A FIGHTER. If he were a rogue, he'd RP as a rogue. You can't separate the class from the RP.


Who said you should separate RP from class. With every class you have option to RP, so you're not in advantage here because you're a fighter.



So in other words WotC fails at life and creativity. Thanks for confirming it for me.

They finally did make something that seems pretty balanced system. ATM, it's hard to tell how balanced it is, but seems much more balanced than 3e. So I'm not sure if you could call it a failure. Weather you like it or not is different matter.

JaxGaret
2008-06-21, 12:23 AM
So, Drekkan, your fix for class imbalance in 3e is to have every campaign setting be completely and irrevocably anti-mage at all times - that is what you are advocating, isn't it?

Drekkan
2008-06-21, 01:19 AM
I c wot u did thar. You made a mistake. If something doesn't work even if you following instructions it is broken.

Only if you don't use an ounce of creativity and intelligence. Further, as I've said, 3.5 wasn't perfect; however that doesn't mean you utterly and completely abandon all the great stuff that was in it. I'm not about to defend "3.5 was perfect"; I WILL defend that 4e made a huge mistake by ignoring what 3.5 did well.


Cough. Talk to the CoDzila. Cough.

Again is every single spell balanced perfectly? No, but the majority of the system was just fine. Those few exceptions can be worked around without even homebrewing if your DM pays attention.


Counter magic with magic. What does this tell us? See above. Divine casters are broken, too.

It's only broken if it wrecks the game. Countering magic with magic no more wrecks the game then countering physical with physical or cunning with cunning.


Don't always help.

Yes, if we reduce it to infinite there will be situations that magic can do things extraordinarily powerfully. Just as giving a guy lots of armour/HP/DR doesn't always stop physical threats. I don't have to show that it always prevents teleport/magic - after all if those things NEVER worked then it would be a completely unbalanced in terms of being weak.


Just shows how magic is better than everything else.

And yet shows that a DM can easily use magic to level the playing field against casters and thus make other options (stealth, force, etc) more useful, powerful, and valuable.


Which is pretty much the case if you don't use magic. This shows that magic isn't broken, how?

I'm having trouble following what your point is here. I'm stating that a DM of any ability whatsoever will use the tools at his disposal to stymie the party and give them a challenge. If a party relies on magic, he'll find a way to gimp that magic in those situations. The tools are all there in the RAW - and a DM can go further by houseruling situations.


And then we come to the point where the fighter has to be kidnapped in order to do something by himself. Casters have more things to do.

I was merely giving an example from a recent campaign. In another one a fighter had done a service to the king. The King recognized him as our "leader" and thus diplomacy had to be conducted through him (who had been raised to minor nobility). Again, a fighter having things to do. We regularly had rogues diffuse traps/unlock doors and rangers track.


And start to decrease in HP greatly.

Unless they've stocked on potions/scrolls of healing. Heck, even give'em wands and use magic device checks. They can keep on truckin' for a goodly length of time after a magic user has shot his wad o' spells.


?

I used my handy code for "Failure at Reading Comprehension (FaRC)" which I mentioned earlier. It's about all the reply an idiotic strawman deserves.


You're not using them ATM, so they are wasted ATM.

Except I use them all the time - and with the PHB2 feats they cover swaths of weapons (and then a few of my favourites/most frequently used get pumped to greater focus/spec).


Who said you should separate RP from class. With every class you have option to RP, so you're not in advantage here because you're a fighter.

But why should I have an advantage? Once again you make a strawman - so indignant are you that I think fighters are superior RP! My point is that a fighter's RP possibilities are just as vibrant and there as any other class (I use the fighter since it's the one most frequently associated with "I autoattack" and that's it).

Just like with the earlier idiocy involving "other people use tactics too!!111one!!" I never claim that fighters have the monopoly or an advantage. Rather, I use it as a counter to retards that say "Fighters are only good for autoattack stuff in 3.5. They're boring!!!!!"

The only people that say that are twinks uninterested in RP (or people who don't know how to actually play a fighter; though by saying that I get dangerously close to a "No true Scotsman" fallacy).


They finally did make something that seems pretty balanced system. ATM, it's hard to tell how balanced it is, but seems much more balanced than 3e. So I'm not sure if you could call it a failure. Weather you like it or not is different matter.

Balance for the sake of balance is idiotic. 3.5 might not have been perfect, but it was pretty good. It had some excellent features; features that were dumped to the side in 4e.

I really don't care. My group is converting to 4e - partly just to check it out, partly because we have some new people and want the streamlined game that's simple and easy to figure out. It comes at the expense of features and complexity (which make the game more satisfying in my opinion) but them's the breaks. I'll still give 4e a shot - I just wanted to express my distaste at people dumping on a magic system that wasn't as bad as they made it out to be (out of all the games/campaigns I've played in, none in the non-epic levels had a problem with magic - I played once as an arcane caster, once as a divine caster, and many times as a non-caster).


So, Drekkan, your fix for class imbalance in 3e is to have every campaign setting be completely and irrevocably anti-mage at all times - that is what you are advocating, isn't it?

How odd, the person above you accuses me of not fixing magic because many of my solutions used magic to counter magic - and yet you say I'm anti-magic. I'm confused.

ONE way of making sure magic doesn't get out of control is to control for magic by making it an object of fear and hate. Another is to have NPCs plan on defeating a potentially major force against them by equipping them with means of getting elemental immunity, immunity to save or die spells, or SR. Yet another is to have your opponents include high level magic users as well, or at least employ them in the set up of their secret fortresses of mystery and doom.

Also making your God's into donkey bottoms or Republican Jesus helps a lot in the realms of divine inspiration (and reining that in).

JaxGaret
2008-06-21, 01:44 AM
How odd, the person above you accuses me of not fixing magic because many of my solutions used magic to counter magic - and yet you say I'm anti-magic. I'm confused.

I said anti-mage, not anti-magic.

What you are proposing is that the way to make it so that mages don't present a problem is to have mages be persecuted throughout the world.


ONE way of making sure magic doesn't get out of control is to control for magic by making it an object of fear and hate.

Okay, that's one way, and not a good way IMO.


Another is to have NPCs plan on defeating a potentially major force against them by equipping them with means of getting elemental immunity, immunity to save or die spells, or SR.

Houserules, and completely overpowered equipment to boot. If you have to hand your PCs artifacts to overcome a flaw in the system, don't you think that's a problem?


Yet another is to have your opponents include high level magic users as well, or at least employ them in the set up of their secret fortresses of mystery and doom.

Using high level caster NPCs properly is a very tricky issue for DMs in 3e, if they take the time to RP them properly and think about what kind of effect they should have on the campaign world.

marjan
2008-06-21, 06:48 PM
Only if you don't use an ounce of creativity and intelligence. Further, as I've said, 3.5 wasn't perfect; however that doesn't mean you utterly and completely abandon all the great stuff that was in it. I'm not about to defend "3.5 was perfect"; I WILL defend that 4e made a huge mistake by ignoring what 3.5 did well.


You need to adjust system for it to work. Did I try to say something else?



Again is every single spell balanced perfectly? No, but the majority of the system was just fine. Those few exceptions can be worked around without even homebrewing if your DM pays attention.


Not every spell can be worked around.



It's only broken if it wrecks the game. Countering magic with magic no more wrecks the game then countering physical with physical or cunning with cunning.


Spellcasting is broken (with few notable exceptions), because if you don't use it and your opponent does you're screwed.



Yes, if we reduce it to infinite there will be situations that magic can do things extraordinarily powerfully. Just as giving a guy lots of armour/HP/DR doesn't always stop physical threats. I don't have to show that it always prevents teleport/magic - after all if those things NEVER worked then it would be a completely unbalanced in terms of being weak.


OK. Try easily ignored then.



And yet shows that a DM can easily use magic to level the playing field against casters and thus make other options (stealth, force, etc) more useful, powerful, and valuable.


That's just if he focuses on countering magic. Yes, he can do that, but it leaves us wondering why he wouldn't protect himself against mundane means.



I'm having trouble following what your point is here. I'm stating that a DM of any ability whatsoever will use the tools at his disposal to stymie the party and give them a challenge. If a party relies on magic, he'll find a way to gimp that magic in those situations. The tools are all there in the RAW - and a DM can go further by houseruling situations.


My point here is that you need to do much more to challenge the casters than you have to do to challenge non-casters.



I was merely giving an example from a recent campaign. In another one a fighter had done a service to the king. The King recognized him as our "leader" and thus diplomacy had to be conducted through him (who had been raised to minor nobility). Again, a fighter having things to do. We regularly had rogues diffuse traps/unlock doors and rangers track.


Again it didn't matter that he was fighter. If I understand it, what you are trying to prove here is that fighter has the same amount of options as casters, which is not true. If that is not what you're trying to do, then I don't really see the point of your examples.



Unless they've stocked on potions/scrolls of healing. Heck, even give'em wands and use magic device checks. They can keep on truckin' for a goodly length of time after a magic user has shot his wad o' spells.


Unless you are burning every scroll, casters can stock them to. Druid or cleric is still gonna last longer than your fighter, though, because they can kill monster before it kills them more often than fighter.



I used my handy code for "Failure at Reading Comprehension (FaRC)" which I mentioned earlier. It's about all the reply an idiotic strawman deserves.


Strawman? Care to explain what strawman argument did I use?



Except I use them all the time - and with the PHB2 feats they cover swaths of weapons (and then a few of my favourites/most frequently used get pumped to greater focus/spec).


So you have a swaths of similar weapons you can use. Your feats work on all of them, so why do you bother changing between them?



My point is that a fighter's RP possibilities are just as vibrant and there as any other class

Yes, they are, but other classes has lots of other things going for them on top of that.



Just like with the earlier idiocy involving "other people use tactics too!!111one!!" I never claim that fighters have the monopoly or an advantage. Rather, I use it as a counter to retards that say "Fighters are only good for autoattack stuff in 3.5. They're boring!!!!!"


Again people are trying to tell you that you don't get anything special just because you are fighter. And that other classes get more than fighter.



The only people that say that are twinks uninterested in RP (or people who don't know how to actually play a fighter; though by saying that I get dangerously close to a "No true Scotsman" fallacy).


RP aside (you don't actually need class for that). What exactly do you mean by "don't know how to play fighter"? Does it mean fighters are good class?



Balance for the sake of balance is idiotic. 3.5 might not have been perfect, but it was pretty good. It had some excellent features; features that were dumped to the side in 4e.


Balance isn't for the sake of balance (you were talking about strawman?), it's balance for sake of fun, whichever class you choose to play.

And I didn't say that 3e was bad. Parts of it were so broken that if you didn't avoid them it ruined your fun.

The New Bruceski
2008-06-21, 06:57 PM
i think ill take this challenge up by comparing to a lv 1 human warblade.
Steel Wind: attack 2 opponents
Stone Bones : gain DR 5
Steely strike: +4 to hit, -4 to ac.
Stance, Punishing stance: +1d6 damage, -2 ac.

he will have about as many tactical options.

I agree. I was not trying to claim I had more options than a warblade, but rather was countering Frost's claim that 4e guys would always use the same attack over and over since there's always one at-will that's best.

EvilJames
2008-06-22, 01:20 AM
1. More balanced, both between classes and between high and low levels. Perhaps I haven't really gotten a chance to see yet

2. All classes have options and are fun to play. Well since they were all pretty much fun to play before I'm not sure how that's changed

3. Got rid of outdated concepts such as random HP. because after all, all heroes are standard and prepackaged

4. Finally does a good job at representing a heroic high fantasy world. Except that they all did that. It's not a hard thing to represent after all. High, Low, Dark, Sword and Sandal, it may be a something that's said entirely too often, but in this case it's entirely true. The feel and type of fantasy is entirely up to the DM and if it's not working for ya, then you might want to take it up with him(or her). Your Dm might have an entirely different idea of how each type should feel, and a system change will only solve a few of those problems, if any.


Thank you, come again.
No. Thank you.:smallsmile:

nagora
2008-06-22, 05:41 PM
There are these really nice vinyl "battlegrids" that you can buy in most stores that deal in comic books, minis and RPG's. You can draw on them with water-soluble markers and erase them with what amounts to a spray bottle and a towel. Cost me $7.

Substitute coins for mini's as needed.

The problem with 3+ is the need to use mini's not the need to buy them. As such, coins are not a solution the problem.