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  1. - Top - End - #811
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burley View Post
    For your consideration, I posit that 4th Edition D&D is more of a 'roleplaying game' than previous iterations. Classes in 4th edition have clear and define roles: Leader, Controller, Defender, and Striker.
    Interestingly enough, they don't. Nearly every class is a hybrid between two (or three) of these so-called clear roles, and aside from leader the dividing line between these so-called define roles is blurry at best.

    The only thing you really control is combat and, occasionally, small deviations in the general plot, which only determine whether you get some secret character or a shortcut through the mountain pass.
    That sounds like a good description of at least half of the printed 4E modules so far (including LFR)
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burley View Post
    For your consideration, I posit that 4th Edition D&D is more of a 'roleplaying game' than previous iterations. Classes in 4th edition have clear and define roles: Leader, Controller, Defender, and Striker.
    The point of a roleplaying game is not to add your own dialogue and ideas to a story, it is to do things you couldn't normally do and enjoy the story.
    If the point of a roleplaying game (RPG) is to add your own dialogue and ideas to a story, why do things like Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star exist in the RPG genre? The only thing you really control is combat and, occasionally, small deviations in the general plot, which only determine whether you get some secret character or a shortcut through the mountain pass.
    Because there's fangirl/boys with no taste?

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burley View Post
    For your consideration, I posit that 4th Edition D&D is more of a 'roleplaying game' than previous iterations. Classes in 4th edition have clear and define roles: Leader, Controller, Defender, and Striker.
    The point of a roleplaying game is not to add your own dialogue and ideas to a story, it is to do things you couldn't normally do and enjoy the story.
    If the point of a roleplaying game (RPG) is to add your own dialogue and ideas to a story, why do things like Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star exist in the RPG genre? The only thing you really control is combat and, occasionally, small deviations in the general plot, which only determine whether you get some secret character or a shortcut through the mountain pass.
    Discussions what constitutes roleplaying can easily surpass the size of this entire thread, as every person has a different point of view on that, so I'd be careful with statements such as "the point of a roleplaying game is...".
    As for things like Final Fantasy, they do not exist in the RPG genre - at least, not in what passes for tabletop RPGs. They are video game RPGs, of course, but that's a completely different thing that just coincidentally uses the same name while not having anything to do with the type of RPGs this forum is talking about.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burley View Post
    For your consideration, I posit that 4th Edition D&D is more of a 'roleplaying game' than previous iterations. Classes in 4th edition have clear and define roles: Leader, Controller, Defender, and Striker.
    Yet somehow they all feel the same. In combat they all do some damage and hamper the opponent or help their friends in some way (slide him, mark her, buff him, debuff her, take his action away for the round).

    Out of combat they all feel the same. Need to get the X out of the Y? Well lesse, we need the Leader to do A, the Controller to do B, the Defender to do C, and the Striker to do D.

    Do you want to play Circe or Merlin? Well you can't. You can play Storm from the X-men. Do you want to play Gromph Baenrae or Harry Potter? Sorry no. But you can play Starfire from the Teen Titans.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Interestingly enough, they don't. Nearly every class is a hybrid between two (or three) of these so-called clear roles, and aside from leader the dividing line between these so-called define roles is blurry at best.
    Well if you are right, this makes me 4th more palatable for my tastes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    DMing is how you turn D&D from a game into a hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    Well if you are right, this makes me 4th more palatable for my tastes
    He is. Out of 18 classes, only the Ranger really resembles a "pure" class (striker). Some examples of how secondary roles work:

    *The Paladin is a defender. He's a fairly stereotypical defender, in fact: he's ridiculously hard to kill, and makes it a bad idea to attack somebody else. However, he's also a secondary leader. A Paladin is a pretty decent healer, and part of what makes him good at his job is summed up in the words, "kill the healer FIRST." A Paladin who really really tries, in fact, can rival even a "real" leader when it comes to healing.

    *Meanwhile, the Warlock is a striker. The Scout from TF2 said it best when describing what a striker is all about: "Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brotha - I hurt people". Somebody that pisses off a Warlock is going to go down fast. But with a Warlock, death will be a mercy because the Warlock is a secondary controller, and en route to killing you he'll first cripple you, then blind you, then set you on fire, then steal your girlfriend.

  7. - Top - End - #817

    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by HamsterOfTheGod View Post
    That's a pretty good summary.

    As someone who doesn't like 4e, I will say that I do not think 4e "insults ones intelligence". Some things in it are pretty good actually.

    One thing I didn't like about it as a product was that it had some missing classes at the beginning but this is being fixed.

    The main thing I don't like about it as a game is that it is a "lower fantasy level" but also "flashy" fantasy. It sorta feels more like a superhero game more than a fantasy game...not sure if I'm making myself clear.
    Your last point (that 4e feels like a low powered Champions campaign) is echoed by one of the players in the 4e game I'm running. I don't see it the same way, but he feels that the existence of mechanically defined powers for Fighters makes the game play feel this way. I see his point, but I also see very little difference between the Cleave feat in 3.5 and the Cleave at-will Fighter power in 4e. Some mechanical difference, and in ways that I like: No second roll needed, which speeds play. But no functional difference, and certainly not one that reads more like a Champions power than any D&D ability from any edition.

    Quote Originally Posted by HamsterOfTheGod View Post
    Yet somehow they [4e classes] all feel the same. In combat they all do some damage and hamper the opponent or help their friends in some way (slide him, mark her, buff him, debuff her, take his action away for the round).
    Here I disagree strongly. The Fighters Mark is quite different than the Paladin's Mark, and this becomes clear in every single combat. The Rogue operates vastly differently from the Warlock, even though both are Strikers. I'll readily agree that there has been a homogenization of a sort, with a single mechanical system being used to define the abilities of every class. But I disagree that this homogenization of mechanics also homogenizes play style or character class "feel".

    Quote Originally Posted by HamsterOfTheGod
    Out of combat they all feel the same. Need to get the X out of the Y? Well lesse, we need the Leader to do A, the Controller to do B, the Defender to do C, and the Striker to do D.
    I agree that out of combat the classes all operate similarly, with the main differences being marked by different skill choices. To me this is a strength of 4e. Where in 3.5 a caster could overcome many challenges using spells to equal or vastly exceed the skills of the non-caster classes, in 4e people operate out of combat as they would in life: Each contributing according to their skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by HamsterOfTheGod
    Do you want to play Circe or Merlin? Well you can't. You can play Storm from the X-men. Do you want to play Gromph Baenrae or Harry Potter? Sorry no. But you can play Starfire from the Teen Titans.
    I am confused by this. I'd say that you can't play any of those characters, and I recognize that this is a valid objection against 4e: You can not play the same range of character types as you could in 3.5. But while recognizing it as a valid objection I also see it as a necessity: The more free form character building mechanics allowed in 3.5 led to the ability to front load class abilities and cherry pick classes, prestige classes, feats, and spells to make truly unreasonable characters. Limiting choices often means eliminating abuse.

    Things I personally dislike about 4e, several of which may be simply due to the style of play of my group:

    Up and down: In combat my players are often knocked to negatives, only to be healed up again by another player. It's a good thing that death isn't frequent, I'm not looking for a gritty setting. I would simply prefer that healing occurred before a knock down. It's a trivial thing I guess, but the verisimilitude of healing wounds before the character is knocked to the point of rolling their death saves feels better to me.

    Tieflings and Dragonborn: Look, if my spell checker doesn't recognize the race, it doesn't belong in my traditional fantasy setting. That issue does not exist for Elf, Dwarf, etc. Half-elf and half-orc get a pass.

    Objections others have against 4e which I find have no merit:

    It's WoW (or a MMORPG).
    No, it is not. It's not even close. I don't even know where this came from, but it's patently false, and no explanation I've seen for why someone feels this way has been anything other than an emotional rant with no logical backing. I play WoW, and that game plays very differently than any version of D&D I've ever played, including 4e.

    I can't play my (description of their 3.5 character follows).
    The more free form a character building process is, the more vulnerable it is to abuse. I've seen this to be true in every points build game I've played, such as GURPS or Champions, and it is certainly true in 3.5. Yes, limiting choices can eliminate perfectly reasonable characters, and yes, this limitation can be frustrating. I can only suggest this: Create your characters starting with their personality and their roles. Then build a character with that personality and who can fill that role. I think you'll find that the specific powers you might have enjoyed in other game systems don't matter as much as you might think after you do this.

    Referring to the roles of Striker, Defender, etc: I hate that they tell me what my character should do!
    This is no different from 3.5, so get over it. In 3.5 your Fighter could pile on heavy armor and a shield, or use a 2-hander, and this is no different from 4e. And if you read the 3.5 character class descriptions you'll find that those roles are spelled out there for the most part. 4e only formalized an already existing niche for each character class. Formalizing systems and mechanics will never be objected to by me, I've designed too many games to not appreciate this kind of writing over an undefined jumble of paragraphs with ambiguous meaning. And for the new player using a concise label is easier to understand than a half page of text that boils down to the same meaning.

    There's probably more, but this post is long enough for now.

  8. - Top - End - #818
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post

    *Meanwhile, the Warlock is a striker. The Scout from TF2 said it best when describing what a striker is all about: "Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brotha - I hurt people". Somebody that pisses off a Warlock is going to go down fast. But with a Warlock, death will be a mercy because the Warlock is a secondary controller, and en route to killing you he'll first cripple you, then blind you, then set you on fire, then steal your girlfriend.
    A warlock that kills things slowly? Reminds me something.. is Constitution worthy for 4th edition warlocks? seeing some powers, seems so..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    DMing is how you turn D&D from a game into a hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

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    biggrin Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    Somebody that pisses off a Warlock is going to go down fast. But with a Warlock, death will be a mercy because the Warlock is a secondary controller, and en route to killing you he'll first cripple you, then blind you, then set you on fire, then steal your girlfriend.
    That's the best description of the Warlock I've ever heard.

    This is going into my Sig.

    Also, A Warlock Stole my Girlfriend (Now I Have More Time to Game) would make an awesome country song.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    Somebody that pisses off a Warlock is going to go down fast. But with a Warlock, death will be a mercy because the Warlock is a secondary controller, and en route to killing you he'll first cripple you, then blind you, then set you on fire, then steal your girlfriend.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    A warlock that kills things slowly? Reminds me something.. is Constitution worthy for 4th edition warlocks? seeing some powers, seems so..
    Not so much "slowly" and "torturously and painfully".

    And yes, Constitution is a primary stat for some - but not all - Warlock builds.



    Quote Originally Posted by Blackfang108 View Post
    That's the best description of the Warlock I've ever heard.

    This is going into my Sig.

    Also, A Warlock Stole my Girlfriend (Now I Have More Time to Game) would make an awesome country song.
    Glad you liked it
    Last edited by Artanis; 2009-06-23 at 11:22 AM.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    I play a Warlock in a 4e campaign (I also DM for 4e), but I helped 2 of my friends with their character designs and getting to grips with 4e, and DnD, for the first time. The 4e core mechanic remains the same - roll, add a number, compare to another number, but character building is simplified, as are many many rules. My friends could get to grips with the abilities of their characters (paladins and clerics respectively), fast, and this got them enjoying the game faster. Personally, I STILL find 3e rules a little hard-going on the eyes, and brain, and I'm not exactly stupid. 4e is, in many ways, nicer to play. On the other hand, because of that, it is a little more bland. Ultimately, everybody has powers that'll deal regular damage, with maybe a useful side effect. Well, except the cleric/warlord, who'll have to be reminded to use an at-will power instead of a basic attack, and who'll still have unused daily powers left after 3 encounters. This is because powers that cause an opponent to run don't seem very useful when a paladin can do 4 d12 weapon damage with a greataxe by 5th level. So in fact, where 3e's versatile magic has survived, it gets overlooked in favour of damage-dealing. I myself play an eladrin Infernal Warlock (constitution-based), with a wizard multiclass and expanded spellbook feat (extra daily power). I'm a straight damage dealer and I like it. It fits the striker description personally, much as a rogue does (use the defender as cover and you can Sneak Attack all day). So, while 4e takes away some of the flexibility, it does allow character builds that can do just what it says on the cover, or multitask (like the paladin).
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyJimBoBob View Post
    I'd say that you can't play any of those characters
    Well I didn't mean exactly Storm or Starshine but rather a blasty character with some control spells and some mobility. I should rather think either could be modeled well as a high level spell caster in 4e. It's the world changing powers of Dr. Xavier and Magneto that can't be modeled...yet.

    and I recognize that this is a valid objection against 4e: You can not play the same range of character types as you could in 3.5. But while recognizing it as a valid objection I also see it as a necessity: The more free form character building mechanics allowed in 3.5 led to the ability to front load class abilities and cherry pick classes, prestige classes, feats, and spells to make truly unreasonable characters. Limiting choices often means eliminating abuse.
    Exactly. While for 3.0/3.5 strive for "versatility" cost it the ability to be "balanced". 4e has "balanced" the game which is good at the cost of limiting the game to what can be "balanced"...so far. I say that because I can't help thinking they will include some "high powered" stuff later on. Maybe one lesson (to learn yet again) is that there is no perfect game system.

    Yes, limiting choices can eliminate perfectly reasonable characters, and yes, this limitation can be frustrating. I can only suggest this: Create your characters starting with their personality and their roles. Then build a character with that personality and who can fill that role. I think you'll find that the specific powers you might have enjoyed in other game systems don't matter as much as you might think after you do this.
    But that goes to the very question of style of play. Maybe what I want to create is a world-shattering wizard. 4e does not do that...yet. However, if what you want is a more low-powered but ubiquitous magic world, like Eberron, then 4e may be better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurantien View Post
    So, while 4e takes away some of the flexibility, it does allow character builds that can do just what it says on the cover, or multitask (like the paladin).
    And if you want to think outside the "box", you use...rituals :)
    Last edited by HamsterOfTheGod; 2009-06-23 at 05:55 PM.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by HamsterOfTheGod View Post
    Exactly. While for 3.0/3.5 strive for "versatility" cost it the ability to be "balanced". 4e has "balanced" the game which is good at the cost of limiting the game to what can be "balanced"...so far. I say that because I can't help thinking they will include some "high powered" stuff later on.
    You mean besides the high-powered stuff they have now? Like characters coming back from the dead repeatedly on their own or virtually becoming gods?
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverent-One View Post
    You mean besides the high-powered stuff they have now? Like characters coming back from the dead repeatedly on their own or virtually becoming gods?
    He means "one guy comes back from the dead and decides to annihilate the family of the guy who killed him in revenge, while his buddy just whacks things a little harder with his stick."

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverent-One View Post
    You mean besides the high-powered stuff they have now? Like characters coming back from the dead repeatedly on their own
    Why do devas want to keep coming back to play 4e invokers?
    or virtually becoming gods?
    Virtual gods? Really? You mean I could do something like whenever I spend a healing surge, I recover an encounter power. And if I have no encounter powers available, I can spend a healing surge as a free action to recover an encounter power, even though I would regain no hit points when doing so.
    Last edited by HamsterOfTheGod; 2009-06-23 at 08:33 PM.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Also, I find that certain overly rules-heavy systems may actually be constricting to a competent GM, so the number of competent GMs outside "an organized system" may actually be larger than the number inside it.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackfang108 View Post
    and it's their fault that they're taking it that way.
    I'm not clear on what you're trying to say; too many unqualified they's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burley View Post
    For your consideration, I posit that 4th Edition D&D is more of a 'roleplaying game' than previous iterations. Classes in 4th edition have clear and define roles: Leader, Controller, Defender, and Striker.
    What does that have to do with roleplaying?
    Kungaloosh!

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Man, the more I see of edition wars, the more I think that I actually wanna try 4e sometime.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverent-One View Post
    You mean besides the high-powered stuff they have now? Like characters coming back from the dead repeatedly on their own or virtually becoming gods?
    You mean the high-powered stuff like being completely unable to affect anything more than thirty yards away from your position? Or like how they've forgotten half of the special moves they've learned over their career, and still cannot do those tricks they learned at level 5 more than once per day? Oh yeah, that high-powered stuff...

    Exalted, Amber DRP, Aberrant, In Nomine, Ars Magica, Nobilis, Scion, and M&M all start at a higher level than 4E ends. Heck, a 3E 14th level caster (and some non-casters too) is far more powerful than a so-called "virtual god" from 4E. Sticking a label with "epic inside" on a can of corn doesn't make it epic corn, it's just corny.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Mind you, a lot of people stop enjoying 3.x around level 14-15 due to inherent brokenness of casters that becomes obvious in-game at more or less that point.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by MickJay View Post
    Mind you, a lot of people stop enjoying 3.x around level 14-15 due to inherent brokenness of casters that becomes obvious in-game at more or less that point.
    And yet on the other hand, a lot of people enjoy playing at level 20, or even 40, in 3E. We get frequent requests in these forums for extreme high level builds. There's nothing at those levels that a good DM can't handle. Of course it breaks if your players are jerks, but why would you want ot play with jerks to begin with?
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    And yet on the other hand, a lot of people enjoy playing at level 20, or even 40, in 3E. We get frequent requests in these forums for extreme high level builds. There's nothing at those levels that a good DM can't handle. Of course it breaks if your players are jerks, but why would you want ot play with jerks to begin with?
    This is actually the point! If you enjoy low level game only, stop the campaign early. Say that the most powerful PC in the world is say, level 10. You can. You have the option. Maybe you lessen the Xp acquiring rate of 30% (no houserule, is DMG).

    On the other hand, I really enjoyed an epic campign 1-40, I had the mechanics (sometimes to fix) to do that.

    In 4th, the designer said: "the game has a sweet spot, we extended it, if you enjoy epic or low level oneshot it's badwrongfun".

    This mindset of "I choose for you" is really irritating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    DMing is how you turn D&D from a game into a hobby.
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    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    All of this 4E comparison (discussion/preferred word for it here) reminds me of...


    Better version.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Of course it breaks if your players are jerks, but why would you want ot play with jerks to begin with?
    This. No matter how good the system, it will breack if the players want to be jerks.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImmortalAer View Post
    All of this 4E bashing (discussion/preferred word for it here) reminds me of...
    There's not really a lot of 4e bashing going on in this thread (at least recently). People are, for the most part, calmly pointing out the problems of 4e with well thought out reasons; labeling that bashing is a bit of an exaggeration.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyJimBoBob View Post

    I can't play my (description of their 3.5 character follows).
    The more free form a character building process is, the more vulnerable it is to abuse. I've seen this to be true in every points build game I've played, such as GURPS or Champions, and it is certainly true in 3.5. Yes, limiting choices can eliminate perfectly reasonable characters, and yes, this limitation can be frustrating. I can only suggest this: Create your characters starting with their personality and their roles. Then build a character with that personality and who can fill that role. I think you'll find that the specific powers you might have enjoyed in other game systems don't matter as much as you might think after you do this.

    .
    I'm sorry, but as I don't comment on the 3.5 ed V.S. 4.0 war that seems to be going on, this is a rare exception in which I will step in and tell you something.
    The more free form a system is over structured does NOT make it worse, in fact Free form is 90% of the time BETTER for a Role playing game, if you don't mind being limited by your descriptive abilities as to the AWESOME you can preform rather then being limited to what the book says is law. The fact that alot of 4.0ers hail this balance as some sort of godly chalice of rightousness irritates me to no end, as does the touting of samness from the 3.5ers in the forum. BALANCE is not everything, it barely matters in my opinion so long as everyone is describing their characters the way the want to, if they aren't having fun then it simply comes down to them having to make a new character rather then screaming up and down that Everyone feels the same despite Ted over there sleeping during half the sessions, and Jill putting in a insane amount of detail, and skill into her character. If you have more talent, and put more effort into things then YES you SHOULD be better, simply because of Equivalent exchange, the guy who doodled his char up in 5 mins as opposed to the person who spent all night on their sheet, and wrote a novella length back story SHOULD be awarded for their effort.
    To be honest, I don't see why anyone would care about balance in combat anyways, its out of combat that should matter the most.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogwarrior View Post
    Man, the more I see of edition wars, the more I think that I actually wanna try 4e sometime.
    Heh, funny. The more I read, the less I'm inclined to try it. I'll give it a shot one day I'm sure, but so far I haven't heard anything I like the sound of about it, and the more I hear about it and retain this impression... well you get the picture. I guess it's just not the thing for me, not my style.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Since this whole "insulting intellegince" snippet is pretty much a catch phrase of me i use quite frequently, I rook some time and wondered how i could put the problems with the from my perspective intellectual underperformance of the 4th edition in a convincing, argumentation without becoming too condescending or offending; like alnost always I failed in this regard, but I ry to structure my critique nonetheless.

    To understand what are actually the problems of 4th edition, I think it is necessary to regard it from three different point of views - at first, the system on its own, without the 30 years or so of tradition and the whole bagage and holy cows it transports; secondly as a part of this tradition and as an evolutionary development of the prior editions, and thirdly, from a perspective of other roleplaying games, to create an overall comparison. I will not do this, because I am actually too lazy for this, I am pretty much limiting myself on listing some complaints and refering to Umberto Eco.

    This third part is actually the easiest one, becuase you can pretty much sum it up as: 4th edition is not meant to be an innovative game, it i not meant to be a game for any form of roleplaying avantgarde; it is, in many ways, a blue collar game for a lot younger audience that most other contemporary games, and it pretty much does simple, or even mediocre thngs when compared to systems which actually tries to be innovative - stuff like Burning Wheel, Shadows of Yesterday or the like. That's understandable. The paradox of this is actually that the game is on the one hand targeted at an audience as broad as possible, and on the other hand is hyperspecialised in its internal scope; it is a martial action RPG, which puts almost the complete emphasis on confrontations between the players and their environment, up to a degree where elements of a potential game that does not deal with this kind of conflict do only exist in rudiments anymore.

    In this regard, D&D 4th edition is a coala bear roleplaying game. It does only one thing with only one kind of players and pretty much one kind of solution, and outside of this scope, it doesn't have much to offer. As long as you stay in this predetermined framework, it works well, very well indeed. It is actually a good action RPG. But if you want to leave this predetermined path, it, well fails. And it fails miserably. There are no characters who does anything but find interesting ways to participate in a combat. Verisimilitude or even simple cause and effect chains are pretty much non-existant, and if you try to tell a plot where combats just not fit in. most of the character data is obsolete and doesn't help you one bit with the game.

    Okay, you could say that this is a result of playing the game wrongly, that you are not supposed to try to play non-combatant characters, or play plots that don't deal with beating things up and that any remarks about the game's verisimilitude just means that your suspension of disbelief is too weak; and yes these are valid arguments if you belief in one highly debatable premise: That there is a right and a wrong way to play a game, and that the intention of the creator is more important than the game's implementation by the gamemaster. This is some kind belief in authority, I have a general problem with, but in this case, it is just... wrong. I mean, seriously why should anybody say how you are supposed to have fun?

    Like films, theater plays or books, roleplaying games are pretty much a medium to tell a tale. Roleplaying games are literature (not necessarily good literature, but that's another debate). The scope is a bit different, and as a medium it has the unique characteristic, that the participants and the audience are usually identical, but apart from that, it is a medium to tell a story. Now, if you would say anyone, that you can't make a comic about serious topics, or a film about complete surreal elements and effects, because the traditions of these mediums does not include these things in broader measure, would still be conscidered laughable by the sheer existance of counter examples; the existance of Maus and Kumbaquaatsi alone prooves that the statements above are utterly and completely wrong.
    The same works for roleplaying books; only a moron with a limited perspective or imagination would proclaim that there are stories which cannot be told via an RPG; and only a moron would believe it. Yes, there are better and worse mediums for different forms of tales, and there are always tales which work well in one medium and completely suck in another (movies based on books are ofen a good example for this).

    Now, when roleplaying games are pretty much a medium which allows to tell pretty much any story one can imagine, than the idea of high specialisation is both necessary and limiting. It is necessary to establish limits to become creative, and it is also necessary to establish a framework of references in which the story - or the game, which would be the more exact subcategory - takes place (see Eco's Comments to the bane of the Rose on this. I could try to quote it, but i have only the German version of this booklet, and I fear that my translation wouldn't be that good). The thing is, there is a sliding scale between necessary framework and restrictive shoehorning, and as roleplaying games go, D&D 4th edition is pretty far on the shoehorning side.

    A propos establishing a framework: to tell a good story, you need a baseline of references, an inner logic to it (I am paraphrasing Eco again), even when telling a completely unrealistic story (or running a completely unrealistic game, which is basically the same thing). Realism in literature is only a subcategory of this superordained inner logic, which applies for cases and works where the internal logic happens to correlate with the real life situations and concepts. It doesn't matter what the paramters of the internal logic are, it only matters that they are used consequently and carefully, because if there is one clear sign of a failure of any piece of literature, than it is a breech of the internal logic. There are only very few similarly clear indicators that the author (director... gamemaster...) fails in establishing basics he can work with as when he obviously is not able to tell his tale while upholding the inner logic.

    Now, fantasy, as a genre is pretty forgiving in the regard of the inner logic. Stuff like magic, which pretty much works in every way the author can imagine, allows to establish a very forgiving framework with high tolerance for the inclusion of pretty much anything you want. It becomes problematic when this freefrom approach is directly transferred to areas which are not arbitrary, fictional concepts. Like beating someone with a sword. There is a clear and very obvious framework of how stabbing someone with a sword works; we, as the audience, have a more or less clear idea how it works, and in some regards, also how it is supposed to work. And in this regard, D&D in general has massive problems, but they are exacerbated by a magnitude or two by 4th edition.

    Yes, you could say that this is a game and therfore abstracted, and I wouldn't disagree to this. The problem is not the degree of abstraction, it is the combination of very concrete actions- most exploits are very concrete in thir description and the completely idiotic form they take, even before they are abstracted. My personal favorite in this regard is the feat which allows you to relaod a crossbow with one hand. A crossbow. With one hand. It feels like facepalm even by paraphrasing it.
    Yes, you can just ignore these quirks and claim that it is not the system's fault that I - or any one else- thinks too much about this, but seriously, this is nothing but the paraphrase of "it insults intelligence", just with a changed agent. When the system shows massive problems as soon as you put more than the utmost superficial though in it, and pretty much requires a very strong reluctance to use you intelectual capacities to run smoothly, it shows a great deal of disrepsect for said capacities.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satyr View Post
    Stuff
    That's... exceptionally persuasive, actually. Bravo.

    So long as you take 'insulting intelligence' to mean 'presuming you to be less intelligent than you are'. Which is a reasonable interpretation.

    In defence of 4e, I would argue that a willingness to handwave away certain oddities in the name of a good time does not equate to idiocy. Equally, a presumption that you are willing to handwave does not equate to a presumption of idiocy.

    I'll admit, 4e often requires a level of handwaving that makes one resemble a windmill, though. If you wanted to take the position that the sheer amount of handwaving required constitutes an insult to intelligence, I might be inclined to agree.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by potatocubed View Post
    If you wanted to take the position that the sheer amount of handwaving required constitutes an insult to intelligence, I might be inclined to agree.
    That's generally the stance that's taken, I believe; every edition of D&D has required some handwaving to an extent (particularly since they never quite explain that you're supposed to be unrealistically superhuman past level 5 or so, thus some designers take it into account and some don't). It's the fact that 4e has such blatant "we're not even going to bother to fix it" handwaving and such numerous examples that sets it apart.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Insults intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satyr View Post
    I rook some time and wondered how i could put the problems with the from my perspective intellectual underperformance of the 4th edition
    To paraphrase Chappell, I am someone who over-analyzes a lot of geeky things all the time, but that's a lot of over-analyzing of a geeky thing. I mean 4e is a game and sure it engages the intellect but it's first and foremost purpose is entertainment, that is, is it fun and/or engaging. Even if the main interest of the game for you is in "world-building" or "game-design" or "role-play", this as not "intellectual" activies though they do involve the intellect, the imagination and various neurotic capabilities.

    This is not to deny there is some "intellectual" component to 4e but if it, somehow, fails there, it can hardly be a major problem and can hardly be called an "insult to intelligence".

    I am pretty much limiting myself on listing some complaints and refering to Umberto Eco.
    Umberto Eco plays D&D? Cool!

    4th edition is not meant to be an innovative game, it i not meant to be a game for any form of roleplaying avantgarde; it is, in many ways, a blue collar game for a lot younger audience that most other contemporary games, and it pretty much does simple, or even mediocre thngs when compared to systems which actually tries to be innovative - stuff like Burning Wheel, Shadows of Yesterday or the like.
    No. They wanted it to sell. That is, if by innovative you mean "avant-garde" game design then almost by definition, it's not meant to sell. If by innovative you mean, design to market a large, targetable audience with a faster, easier, more straightforward game that fixes some large gaffs in the existing product and doing so by adopting some innovations from other game systems then yes it is innovative.

    The paradox of this is actually that the game is on the one hand targeted at an audience as broad as possible, and on the other hand is hyperspecialised in its internal scope; it is a martial action RPG, which puts almost the complete emphasis on confrontations between the players and their environment, up to a degree where elements of a potential game that does not deal with this kind of conflict do only exist in rudiments anymore.
    It's not a paradox. It's simple marketing. They marketed a certain section of the gaming market. They may have thought that it was a larger share. They may have thought that they could "convert" more gamers to this system. But it was certainly designed and marketed successfully to a certain audience.

    In this regard, D&D 4th edition is a coala bear roleplaying game. It does only one thing with only one kind of players and pretty much one kind of solution, and outside of this scope, it doesn't have much to offer. As long as you stay in this predetermined framework, it works well, very well indeed. It is actually a good action RPG. But if you want to leave this predetermined path, it, well fails. And it fails miserably. There are no characters who does anything but find interesting ways to participate in a combat. Verisimilitude or even simple cause and effect chains are pretty much non-existant, and if you try to tell a plot where combats just not fit in. most of the character data is obsolete and doesn't help you one bit with the game.

    Okay, you could say that this is a result of playing the game wrongly, that you are not supposed to try to play non-combatant characters, or play plots that don't deal with beating things up and that any remarks about the game's verisimilitude just means that your suspension of disbelief is too weak; and yes these are valid arguments if you belief in one highly debatable premise: That there is a right and a wrong way to play a game, and that the intention of the creator is more important than the game's implementation by the gamemaster. This is some kind belief in authority, I have a general problem with, but in this case, it is just... wrong. I mean, seriously why should anybody say how you are supposed to have fun?
    This more a problem with the marketing campaign then with the game per se. When the game went from OD&D -> AD&D -> AD&D2 -> 3e at each point the games rules expanded and codified albeit each one in different ways.

    When the game went from 3.5 to 4e they limited options.

    This is not my interpretation. This is what the game designers did and said they did. They said, you can't play X, for ex a wizard who cast save-or-die spells. You can't cast X, for Finger of Death or Time Stop. You can do Y, insert list various powers here.

    The marketing campaign said, "It's the same game, only better!"

    When they meant, "It's a similar game, only nerfed for the better."

    I don't blame the marketers. That's their job.

    The annoying part, for me, is the gamers, who should know better and who have plenty-o-choices for how to indulge in their pastime, seek to have "edition wars" over this basic and easily understandable difference. 3e is high-powered and versatile but unbalanced and wonky. 4e is low-powered and less versatile but balanced and mostly free of gaffs.

    Like films, theater plays or books, roleplaying games are pretty much a medium to tell a tale.
    Partly. RPGs have a major game component which seperates them from the others.

    Roleplaying games are literature (not necessarily good literature, but that's another debate).
    There is a subtle but important difference. An RPG session tells a story but that does not make the game a "story". The musician and the instrument are not music though they make music.

    Now, if you would say anyone, that you can't make a comic about serious topics, or a film about complete surreal elements and effects, because the traditions of these mediums does not include these things in broader measure, would still be conscidered laughable by the sheer existance of counter examples; the existance of Maus and Kumbaquaatsi alone prooves that the statements above are utterly and completely wrong.
    This was the problem with the marketing campaign. Caveat emptor.

    The same works for roleplaying books; only a moron with a limited perspective or imagination would proclaim that there are stories which cannot be told via an RPG;
    Er no, there are many, for ex Waiting for Godot or Proust or The Office.

    DM: *sigh* What are you doing now Proust?
    Proust: I am still staring at the butterfly in the window.

    RPG's offer a limited set of stories, namely heroic stories.

    It is necessary to establish limits to become creative, and it is also necessary to establish a framework of references in which the story - or the game, which would be the more exact subcategory - takes place (see Eco's Comments to the bane of the Rose on this.
    These ideas are far older than Eco so don't even bother.

    The thing is, there is a sliding scale between necessary framework and restrictive shoehorning, and as roleplaying games go, D&D 4th edition is pretty far on the shoehorning side.
    Now that is your over-simplification...but let's move on.

    because if there is one clear sign of a failure of any piece of literature, than it is a breech of the internal logic.
    That again is your over-generalization...but let's move on.

    There is a clear and very obvious framework of how stabbing someone with a sword works; we, as the audience, have a more or less clear idea how it works, and in some regards, also how it is supposed to work. And in this regard, D&D in general has massive problems, but they are exacerbated by a magnitude or two by 4th edition.
    Two words: weapon speed. Introduced in 2nd ed. Realistic? Yes and No. Problematic? Yes and No. Worth keeping? No. The problem with any game model of the real world is that it is only a model and even if based on realistic assumptions, it is bound to break down at some point. The sliding scale is between realism and ease of play, not between what we think the fantasy world is supposed to work like and how it plays in the game. Here, the problem you are alluding to is only a problem of how you think the fantasy world works in 4e.

    Yes, you could say that this is a game and therfore abstracted, and I wouldn't disagree to this. The problem is not the degree of abstraction, it is the combination of very concrete actions- most exploits are very concrete in thir description and the completely idiotic form they take, even before they are abstracted. My personal favorite in this regard is the feat which allows you to relaod a crossbow with one hand. A crossbow. With one hand. It feels like facepalm even by paraphrasing it.
    And now you say you don't want a game that limits the imagination?

    Game action: reload and fire crossbow with one free hand

    In-game action: hang on wall by one hand, loop crossbow handle over foot, pull back to tension with free hand, load with free hand, pickup crossbow with free hand, aim and fire

    Realistic? In-game, in a high fantasy game? Sure. Why not? Does it cost you "realism"? It may. But it's not the "realism" that let you believe a charater fired said crossbow point blank at another character and that target does not die or in any way act hampered. This gets back to the breach of internal-logic that you were talking about earlier.

    What we see is that the "internal logic" of a story has as much to do with the "internal logic" of the audience as with anything else and many Sci-Fi/fantasy writers have observed this point.

    One thing is to say that you don't like the style of game/story that 4e lends itself to portraying, ie "a low powered Champions" style game. (That's my take BTW).

    Another things is to say thet 4e "insults the intelligence" because you don't like the way it games.
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