Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 15 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 426
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Missouri
    Gender
    Male

    Default [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    I normally ignore threads which aren't prefixed with [4e] in this forum, but I read several in the past few days, usually to answer questions about 3.5. I couldn't help but notice that there are still some anti-4e posts here and there, and a lot of them are based on misconceptions about it.

    So I thought I'd start a thread where those who want to know more about 4e can ask the questions that they were too afraid to ask (Roy Golem reference there ). I'd like this thread to remain informal, so anyone can post a question and anyone who knows 4e well can answer.

    First, a little background information on myself. My first experience with D&D was with Baldur's Gate 2, a 2e game. My first character was a human sorcerer who didn't make it past the starting location. Basically, the party ran into some goblins, and I had my character Fireball them. It took care of them, and also killed the entire party (friendly fire).

    My first experience with P&P was with 3.0, back in 2001 or 2002 (can't remember which year). I found P&P 3.0 to be much, much better than the Infinity Engine 2e CRPGs. I loved 3.0, and still feel that it is one of the best games I have ever played.

    When 3.5 came out, the idea that it was a cash grab by Wizards never occurred to me and my group. We just saw it as part of the evolution of D&D, and converted without any drama. 3.5 was like 3.0, but much, much better.

    Thus, the drama of the 3.5/4e edition war baffled me. My group had always accepted new editions as part of the game. We always converted without any drama; we were basically too busy having fun to care.

    With my background out of the way, I will concede that 4e does have legitimate flaws that need to be addressed. A short, incomplete list follows:

    1. Feat Taxes - The Expertise feats are considered an inelegant kludge by many players.

    2. Power Creep - Underpowered 4e powers, classes, and paths rarely get buffed. Off the top of my head, I can remember only one such power getting buffed (Dance of Steel). Wizards seems to prefer releasing strictly better powers, classes, and paths to make up for previous underpowered content.

    3. Missing and/or Buggy DDI Tools - A lot of the DDI tools promised when 4e was announced are still missing, and most of existing tools are quite buggy.

    4. Inconsistent Article Quality (Dragon/Dungeon) - The infamous Essentials articles are of considerably lower quality than most Dragon/Dungeon content.

    Wow, that was a long intro. Let's begin.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Could you give some examples of these misconceptions? It would be helpful for a jump-start. I get the feeling that you don't want to ramble on and on by yourself, but I think that by all means you should elaborate as much as you can.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Katana_Geldar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    The Skill Challenges are contrived and clunky and need to be used properly if at all.

    Just a series of roll without the roleplaying makes little sense.

    And there is something to be said about the over reliance on minis, as they slow the game down. Yet this can also be said about other games that rely heavily on minis, like 4E's older cousin of a system Star Wars Saga.

    That said, I found 4E not hard at all to get and play, particularly the skill rolls which are rather useful. Though why Bluff, Intimidate and Diplomacy are broken up is beyond me. Why not just a catch-all like Persuade?
    Avatar by Trixie.

    Running Tomb of Horrors 4E in all that horrific tombyness.

    My Blog The Level 1 GM


  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Manila, PH
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    I think the OP intended to comment on his own post with the misconceptions...
    My mother says: those on fire should roll.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Missouri
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    One common misconception is that you need actual minis to play 4e. Some even believe that you need the official D&D minis to play the game.

    What you do need is a battle grid and a way to represent the combantants. My old 3.5 group used graphing paper and pencil. Yes, folks, you can play D&D with a set of dice, a math notebook, and a pencil.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    York
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    One common misconception is that you need actual minis to play 4e. Some even believe that you need the official D&D minis to play the game.
    I like the idea of crack squads of assault laywers bursting through the windows as a player puts down a little lego man on a grid. heh.

    Also, for any gridbased games, a gridded (griddled?) white-board is very useful

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Akal Saris's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Here's some questions - I'm slowly learning 4E and interested in more informed opinions.

    1. Do you think combat takes longer than in 3.5? Are there any houserules or tricks that you use to speed it up?

    2. What's the 'sweet spot' of the game where it runs most smoothly, people have a solid mix of powers, and most characters are powerful without combat bogging down or breaking the game? In 3.5 it's arguably around 6th level, for example.

    3. Does the skills system work well? Are there redundant/useless skills, or things that should have their own skill but don't? What do most games do to houserule or modify skill challenges?

    4. Are martial classes really better than divine or primal ones?

    5. What do you think the most complex class is to play? So far all of my games have been levels 1-4, and I get bored pretty quickly with the limited options.
    Handbooks: (Hosted on the new MixMax forums)
    [3.5] The Poison Handbook
    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

    Trophies!
    Spoiler
    Show

    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Silver View Post
    One common misconception is that you need actual minis to play 4e. Some even believe that you need the official D&D minis to play the game.

    What you do need is a battle grid and a way to represent the combantants. My old 3.5 group used graphing paper and pencil. Yes, folks, you can play D&D with a set of dice, a math notebook, and a pencil.
    I've never understood the idea that this is unique to 4e. 3.5's combat is almost identical with regard to distances and positioning, and equally difficult to model without a map and representational figures.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Silver View Post
    With my background out of the way, I will concede that 4e does have legitimate flaws that need to be addressed. A short, incomplete list follows:

    1. Feat Taxes - The Expertise feats are considered an inelegant kludge by many players.

    3. Missing and/or Buggy DDI Tools - A lot of the DDI tools promised when 4e was announced are still missing, and most of existing tools are quite buggy.
    2 & 4 are true about nearly every roleplaying game. 1 & 3 need to be cleared up, and badly. I'm dangerously close to thinking I wasted my money on DDI right now. I mean, what are the use of the power cards in the character generator if they don't adjust for most feats?

    And #1? Feats Should Be Nice Not Required. I was part of the 3.0 psionics board that essentially invented that phrase on the Wizards board back in the day. The Expertise feats needs to be rolled into the classes, period.

    --------------

    Misconception: "It's just a MMOG on paper!"
    I keep hearing this, and can't help but wonder if the people making this crack have spent much time in MMOG's. They simplified the power mechanics so every classes uses powers, that's it. While we haven't seem them stretch the mechanics behind those powers much yet (PHB3 looks to be their first effort to do so), I've seen several interesting ways to use other ways of handling the power mechanic with a different resource mechanic.

    -------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    1. Do you think combat takes longer than in 3.5? Are there any houserules or tricks that you use to speed it up?
    I can't touch this one, as I played 3.0 a *lot* more than 3.5. Further, I'm used to the HERO system, so I'm impressed with 4.0's speed of combat

    2. What's the 'sweet spot' of the game where it runs most smoothly, people have a solid mix of powers, and most characters are powerful without combat bogging down or breaking the game? In 3.5 it's arguably around 6th level, for example.
    I haven't run into a spot that doesn't run smoothly, as long as people know what their powers mean and the players aren't hoarding their encounter & daily powers because they're afriad they might need them later (at first, my players were almost exclusively using their at-wills because they were afraid more monsters were going to pop up at the end of the encounter).

    [/quote]3. Does the skills system work well? Are there redundant/useless skills, or things that should have their own skill but don't? What do most games do to houserule or modify skill challenges?[/quote]

    I'd say the skill system as a whole works better than in 3.x myself. Under 3.x skill ranks didn't really 'matter' relative to the wide spread of the 1d20 until about 5th-6th level, but after about 9th-11th levels if you didn't have the full spread there was no reason to bother with trying the skill. Now being trained in a skill is the same 25% advantage at 30th level it is at 1st level, and I find it actually works better than I feared. Also, skill focus is now pretty huge (essentially being 6 levels worth of improvement).

    This comes with the disclaimer that the new language system does NOT work, IMO. We've toyed with a few switches but nothing works quite right yet.

    The problems with skill challenges are over-stated. They basically made the DC's about 5 points higher than they should have in PHB1. They overcompensated in the errata, in my opinion.

    The *real* problems are that some people are using them in situations to derail the encounter rather than as the "fork in the road" they work better as, that some DM's are being way to lenient with the skills allowed, and that some people feel they're being used to replace roleplay.

    In my experience as DM, they work best in situations where the party is faced with which way they're going to solve the problem rather than being the solution to an issue. I ran the zombie encounter in the graveyard in the first module as a skill challenge instead of a fight, and the players loved it.

    I've seen examples of people saying players are trying to use Religion in a skill challenge to cross a river. That's blatantly ridiculous, on the level of the people who argued that by RAW you got your full move when prone.

    4. Are martial classes really better than divine or primal ones?
    I can't speak of primal, since I've only theory-run them through Dungeon Delves (since none of my players were interested in them). Fighters were initially noticeably superior to paladins as a defender before Martial Power, they seem to be about equal now (the defender in the group I DM is a swordmage). Warlords & Clerics are both impressive support (we've had both in the party). Both the rogue & ranger are superior to the Avenger, which is still underwhelming after Divine Power.

    5. What do you think the most complex class is to play? So far all of my games have been levels 1-4, and I get bored pretty quickly with the limited options.
    It really starts picking up at 5th, in my opinion, when the characters start having enough options that they aren't as afraid of wasting them (your players may not be as paranoid as mine). Of the classes I've watched in actual play, Wizard is the most complex. Between having spells they can swap from the spellbooks, to deciding whether or not to expand their spells, to options like Tome of Preparation and the option to Fey Step people out of of area powers, our Wizard is the one making hard decisions in play.
    Last edited by TheEmerged; 2009-11-09 at 10:15 PM.
    • Sometimes, the knights are the monsters
    • The main problem with the world? So many grownups, not enough adults.
    • Talk less; say more.
    • George R.R. Martin, Kirkman, and Joss Whedon walked into a bar. There were no survivors.
    • Current Project: Fallout 4 "nerd" build (3/7/2/2/9/3/2, PER 9 after boosts)

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Tyger's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gametime View Post
    I've never understood the idea that this is unique to 4e. 3.5's combat is almost identical with regard to distances and positioning, and equally difficult to model without a map and representational figures.
    I have to say, I agree with this. 4e is hardly more miniature required than 3.5, yet somehow 4e has been flagged as a minis game whilst 3.5 isn't.

    Sure, the books may make it more explicit, but if you can imagine 3.5 in yrou head without a map and figs, then you can do the same for 4e. Just replace each "square" with a 5' measure. Problem solved.
    Thanks The Neoclassic for my avatar!

    Stark Raving Dad - a blog about life.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by theos911 View Post
    Fighter: I can kill a guy in one turn.
    Cleric: I can kill a guy in half a turn.
    Wizard: I can kill a guy before my turn!
    Bard: I can get 12 idiots to go kill guys for me
    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post
    Oh, and Person-Man's real name is a little something called "SKYNET"

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Trog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Katana_Geldar View Post
    And there is something to be said about the over reliance on minis, as they slow the game down.
    I've never found this to be the case in 4e. In 3.x it did a bit, mainly due to figuring out the diagonal movement and keeping track if you spent your movement correctly. 4e eliminated that headache, thankfully. For the most part miniatures (or some sort of counters) speed up the game because if you use only verbal description it inevitably leads to misunderstandings which cause the combat to grind to a halt to explain and sort out. In my experience, what slows down the game in 4e is players picking which of their powers to use and keeping track of all the short term effects going on in combat.

    And I understand the idea of skill challenges, and in principal I can back somehow making your skills matter for things, but the system they have set up is a bit... well... clunky.

    Power creep has been happening for a long time before 4e, frankly, as the more you increase the options available to players the more they find out which ones are truly worth taking. So both this and the idea that some things aren't worth taking really shouldn't be much of a surprise to any seasoned DnD player. To a certain extent this is always going to happen in a game that continues to develop over time via designer one-upping and general improvement.


  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Katana_Geldar View Post
    The Skill Challenges are contrived and clunky and need to be used properly if at all.

    Just a series of roll without the roleplaying makes little sense.
    I've played under several 4e GMs and never had one just let me say "I'll make a [skill] roll." I've always had to explain what I'm trying to do/find/learn before I'm even allowed to make the roll.

    Is it common to have skill challenges that are just: make [skill] roll, no exposition/explanation/nothing?

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    UTC -6

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    1. Do you think combat takes longer than in 3.5? Are there any houserules or tricks that you use to speed it up?
    Depends. It takes roughly as long as if it were a party of spellcasters or psionic characters: if you know your powers well, you can pick one out and throw it at the targets as quickly as a 3.5 Fighter could pull a full attack, but if you don't know them, you'll spend a while looking through them to figure out what to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    2. What's the 'sweet spot' of the game where it runs most smoothly, people have a solid mix of powers, and most characters are powerful without combat bogging down or breaking the game? In 3.5 it's arguably around 6th level, for example.
    Personally, I like all levels of play, but mid to high heroic (roughly 5th to 10th level) has a good balance of power.
    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    3. Does the skills system work well? Are there redundant/useless skills, or things that should have their own skill but don't? What do most games do to houserule or modify skill challenges?
    The skill system works well enough so long as you remember that it's the "adventuring hero" set of skills. Crafting and Use Rope don't have their own skills because adventuring usually doesn't mean sitting around at home putting mundane stuff together or rolling to see if you can actually tie a bowline. Skill Challenges don't work well because WotC is still trying to figure out how they should work themselves, so many DMs are just as well off as
    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    4. Are martial classes really better than divine or primal ones?
    No. Ranger and Fighter have some ridiculous damage output when put to the task, and Warlords can improve the team's abilities dramatically, but they're not better than divine, arcane, psionic, or primal heroes. They're just better at using their weapons and wits without channeling power from someone or something else.
    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    5. What do you think the most complex class is to play? So far all of my games have been levels 1-4, and I get bored pretty quickly with the limited options.
    Most complex? Perhaps Psion (DDI-exclusive PHB3 preview content) or Druid. Really, WotC didn't want to make any of the classes more complex than the others so that people can more easily try each of the classes.

    If it's options for varied optimization routes you want, you'll simply need more of the splatbooks. Martial, Arcane, Divine, and Primal Power and Dragon Magazine provide plenty of extra choices for feats and powers, and the Adventurer's Vault books are basically a pair of Magic Item Compendiums...

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    They're just better at using their weapons and wits without channeling power from someone or something else.
    This part sort of confuses me. Martial classes are better at using a martial power source without using a primal/divine/arcane power source? Isn't that a given?

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheEmerged View Post
    Misconception: "It's just a MMOG on paper!"
    I keep hearing this, and can't help but wonder if the people making this crack have spent much time in MMOG's. They simplified the power mechanics so every classes uses powers, that's it. While we haven't seem them stretch the mechanics behind those powers much yet (PHB3 looks to be their first effort to do so), I've seen several interesting ways to use other ways of handling the power mechanic with a different resource mechanic.
    I believe this is about classes and levelling, not powers. Terms like "video-gamey" are thrown around a lot in a pejorative manner, which is somewhat odd as video games are in my mind often fun so that shouldn't by itself make something bad (quite the opposite). That said, it seems quite appropriate for 4th edition classes in that they system 4th edition uses is both closer to that used by MMORPGs than that of 3rd edition and also inferior to that of 3rd edition (this is my opinion, but it's one I hold very strongly. I'm very interested to hear counterarguments, because I honestly can't think of any). The 3rd edition system is basically only used by those games that are specifically based on D&D. It makes sense, of course, because it's not as easy to program. It works fine in pen and paper games, but with computer games it just makes more sense to have players pick a class and (essentially) stick with it. However, when there are no such technical restrictions, and levels confer specific benefits rather than just general power, and you already have the other system in a previous edition it seems a decided step backwards to go to a far less elegant system like that of 4th edition.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Missouri
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Combat in 4e is actually simpler, in terms of mechanics, than in 3.5. The only reason why combat in 3.5 seems faster is because of the higher lethality of attacks available (I'm talking about the prevalence of save-or-dies and the massive damage dealt by martial classes here). Basically, 3.5 battles are decided whoever wins initiative.

    4e battles, on the other hand, are determined by strategy and tactics. Winning initiative still provides a massive advantage, but not as much as in 3.5 where it literally decided the outcome.

    Here are some tips on speeding up combat:

    1. Use power cards. Whether you're using the official Wizards power cards or just index cards with the necessary information, knowing what your powers do speeds the game a lot.

    If you play using a virtual tabletop like me, use power macros to automate your dice rolls. If anyone needs help writing MapTool macros, just PM me.

    2. Make each player responsible for his character. The DM is busy enough keeping track of enemy combatants, and having the players be responsible for their own bookeeping speeds up play by lightening the DM's burden.

    3. Implement a time limit for each turn. I can get my turn done in less than 10 seconds, and so can you. This also has the side effect of making combat feel fast and frentic. I suggest a 10 to 20 second limit on turns.

    4. Pay attention to the board. Plan your action before your turn comes up.

    5. Work as a team. Focus fire on wounded enemies to take them out fast. Learn to set up an opponent for a flank. An adventuring party is basically an elite commando squad, with the sheer number of opponents it faces on a regular basis.

    Regarding 4e's sweet spot, it was designed to be playable from level 1 to 30. You will notice a spike in power when moving between tiers (10 to 11, 20 to 21), but other than that, it's fairly well-balanced.

    Of course, everything goes crazy at level 30, but by then you should be on your Destiny Quest, the last quest before ascension, retirement, or whatever you get for winning the game.

    The skill challenge system is basically a framework for a skill-based encounter where success and failure have different outcomes. In my games, we basically freeform roleplay a skill challenge, making rolls depending on what our characters did.

    I have no idea why people think it doesn't work when White Wolf games have had them for a long time (they're called extended rolls in WW games). Each time my Malkovian uses Dominate, it's basically a mini-skill challenge.

    The martial classes deal a lot of damage compared to their counterparts from other power sources. Compare the fighter to the swordmage, and the warlord to the bard and the shaman, and you'll see just how much more damage they deal. That said, they are pretty balanced with other power sources.

    And finally, the complexity we 3.5 players enjoy has been moved from character creation and onto the battle mat. As I mentioned above, 4e combat is a game unto itself.

    Think of it as Chess. Chess is a very simple game with enormous strategic and tactical depth.

    As for the most complex classes to play:

    1. Any controller. Setting up area attacks and forcing the enemy to waste his actions is an underappreciated job.

    2. The swordmage. Easily the most mobile defender, playing a swordmage right feels unintuitive at first, but you quickly get the hang of it.

    3. The warlord. Not only do you need to know your abilities, you also need to know your teammates' abilities. Many warlord powers grant free actions to his teammates, and knowing when to attack and when to make an ally attack for you is vital to being an effective warlord.

    4. The warlock, especially vestige pact warlocks. Warlocks deal low damage for a striker, but most of their spells come with nasty rider effects that make up for it. They also have to move a lot to maintain Shadow Walk and curse as many enemies as possible.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    UTC -6

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Foryn Gilnith View Post
    This part sort of confuses me. Martial classes are better at using a martial power source without using a primal/divine/arcane power source? Isn't that a given?
    Exactly. Martial characters are characters that are awesome because they became awesome through sheer physical and mental training. Divine characters become awesome through channeling The Power of The Shiny Ones Who Are All Level 35+, Primal characters are awesome through The Power of Nature, Arcane characters are awesome through Knowing and Channeling That Which Man Was Not Meant To Know Or Channel, and Psionic characters are awesome through the Power of Thinking Things Into Happening.
    Last edited by Mando Knight; 2009-11-09 at 10:28 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Manila, PH
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    I think the reason why it takes so long is because its new. We have been playing 4e since it came out and last sunday, we played through four encounters in 7 hours, which is a lot. This included talking to npc's all sorts of intra-party ball cracking. Lolz. but a year ago, we'd have one encounter a day. Also the wizard in 3.5, can't tpk the baddies in one round anymore.
    My mother says: those on fire should roll.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Akal Saris's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Thanks for the fast replies MandoKnight, TheEmerged, and Joseph Silver :)

    My usual PCs had a good time when I ran 4E after it first came out, but the PCs who were most enthusiastic about it moved and/or had RL issues, and a lot of rulings I made on the spot since none of us really knew the game play.

    Since then I've joined a pair of 4E games through PBP, and a RL game run by my friend, but his group is both large (6 PCs) and very casual, so each combat has lasted 4-5 hours so far, hence question 1.

    I've had the most fun with my vestige lock so far - I'll try out the druid or another 'real' controller next. Being the defender (goliath two-handed fighter) has been pretty disappointing so far in terms of options. The rogue has been alright so far, pretty much like playing a 2E thief or 3.5 rogue without any UMD options. I don't really feel the need for more splatbooks so much as I like having tons of options in a fight - I'm the kind of guy that buys a dozen different scrolls and things like marbles, lard, bouncy balls, mirrors, and the like, just for the off-chance of using them.

    Here's 1 more question: what classes can summon monsters, and how effective/fun is it? I loved playing a conjurer or druid in earlier editions because of all the different combat tricks you could do with summoned and bound creatures =)
    Handbooks: (Hosted on the new MixMax forums)
    [3.5] The Poison Handbook
    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

    Trophies!
    Spoiler
    Show

    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    UTC -6

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    Here's 1 more question: what classes can summon monsters, and how effective/fun is it? I loved playing a conjurer or druid in earlier editions because of all the different combat tricks you could do with summoned and bound creatures =)
    Wizards, Invokers, Artificers, Shamans, and Druids all have powers that summon or conjure creatures depending on their class (you'll have to look around for the power locations, though). Generally, Wizards summon elementals, Invokers summon Angels, Druids summon beasts of nature and the Feywild, Shamans call on spirits, and Artificers summon constructs. The full-out summon powers are Dailies and last the entire encounter, but some lesser powers conjure beings temporarily. I haven't actually played any such characters yet, though...

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Missouri
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Wizards summon elementals, invokers summon angels, druids summon animals, and artificers animate constructs (they use the summoning rules but the fluff has the artificer animating them).

    The wizard gets the most number of summoning powers, having one at each daily and utility level. The wizard's utility summons can't attack creatures, but they can flank and/or provide cover for the party.

    The invoker only gets a handful of summons, but each is much more powerful than the others'. As mentioned above, they're all angels. Charlie the Invoker, anyone?

    The druid's summons have instinctive actions, which is basically a free action they can do when you don't direct them that turn. Instinctive actions are usually the "attack the nearest guy" type.

    The artificer's summons involve animated constructs. Sometimes, the summoning spell animates an actual item.

    Summoned creatures share actions with their summoner, so the only class that can effective summon multiple creatures is the druid, thanks to instinctive actions.

    Edit: Ninja'd.
    Last edited by Aron Times; 2009-11-09 at 11:00 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Akal Saris's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Hmm...so with the invoker I could play the Angel Summoner...

    Seriously though, I think the druid sounds closest to what I'm looking for - I'll check it out some more tomorrow :)
    Handbooks: (Hosted on the new MixMax forums)
    [3.5] The Poison Handbook
    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

    Trophies!
    Spoiler
    Show

    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Silver View Post
    Summoned creatures share actions with their summoner, so the only class that can effective summon multiple creatures is the druid, thanks to instinctive actions.

    Edit: Ninja'd.
    Invokers don't do too badly, since attacking with a summon is a minor action for them after 1st level, but the wide level gap between summons does mean that the older ones are unlikely to be too helpful.

    I'll vouch for the fact that practice makes perfect when it comes to 4e combat. Getting used to what powers are a good idea to use takes awhile, especially if you start above 1st level. Encourage your PCs to review their powers before each game session until they feel comfortable with them, and to decide what they're doing as other people take their turns.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Katana_Geldar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by sombrastewart View Post
    I've played under several 4e GMs and never had one just let me say "I'll make a [skill] roll." I've always had to explain what I'm trying to do/find/learn before I'm even allowed to make the roll.

    Is it common to have skill challenges that are just: make [skill] roll, no exposition/explanation/nothing?
    My DM had "This is a skill challenge, you need to make a series of rolls". For me, a skill roll and saying what I am doing is intuitive.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Silver View Post
    Wizards summon elementals, invokers summon angels, druids summon animals, and artificers animate constructs (they use the summoning rules but the fluff has the artificer animating them).

    The wizard gets the most number of summoning powers, having one at each daily and utility level. The wizard's utility summons can't attack creatures, but they can flank and/or provide cover for the party.

    The invoker only gets a handful of summons, but each is much more powerful than the others'. As mentioned above, they're all angels. Charlie the Invoker, anyone?

    The druid's summons have instinctive actions, which is basically a free action they can do when you don't direct them that turn. Instinctive actions are usually the "attack the nearest guy" type.

    The artificer's summons involve animated constructs. Sometimes, the summoning spell animates an actual item.

    Summoned creatures share actions with their summoner, so the only class that can effective summon multiple creatures is the druid, thanks to instinctive actions.

    Edit: Ninja'd.



    WTF? thats just dumb. I can understand balance and all that, but a wizard shouldn't have to hold a monster's hand every 6 seconds to guide it through the proper manner to bite someone. Its like your summoning short bus retards.

    how hard is it to say "Maul him until he stops moving"?
    Last edited by krossbow; 2009-11-10 at 01:48 AM.
    Monk sucks, but you know, it's not actually worth negative LA.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Perhaps the Abyssal Maw or Fire Warrior summoned by the Wizard doesn't want to do whatever the Wizard says and it requires a little bit of mental arm-wrestling (that always works for the Wizard)
    Or some such thing.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Or the Wizard is not just summoning the monster, but controlling it. You know, actually takes effort? You need a minor action to maintain a zone (where applicable), why should a flaming sphere be easier?
    Now with half the calories!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Thajocoth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Austin TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by krossbow View Post
    WTF? thats just dumb. I can understand balance and all that, but a wizard shouldn't have to hold a monster's hand every 6 seconds to guide it through the proper manner to bite someone. Its like your summoning short bus retards.

    how hard is it to say "Maul him until he stops moving"?
    It's more like... The wizard is shaping the arcane elements into a solid being. The wizard has to use his/her own mastery of the arcane to force these elements to do his/her will, which is what wizards do best. The wizard is sharp enough to force it to attack, take opportunity attacks, move and manipulate objects at the same speed that the wizard would be able to physically react.

    The wizard is also putting a lot of himself into this being. If the link is severed (the summoned creature takes a total of the wizard's bloodied value in damage), the wizard feels pain from that (losing a healing surge). Unsummoning a creature normally is a minor action. The being's defenses are also based on the wizard's, so the being is more an extension of the wizard than it is a separate being.
    Avatar by me. It's Incendius Darkscale, a Good Dragonborn Dragon Sorcerer, Demonskin Adept, Prince of Hell, worshiper of the Platinum Dragon (Bahamut), specializing in Fire and Lightning, wielding a staff in each hand.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Silver View Post
    Thus, the drama of the 3.5/4e edition war baffled me.
    Welcome to the internet :) Come on, you know what forums are like: people get into flame wars on Kirk vs. Picard, or on Wikipedia on whether Spider-Man ought to be spelled with a hyphen or an en-dash.

    Anyway.
    (1) Agreed.
    (2) I don't entirely agree: underpowered classes do get buffed. For instance, the paladin got a much-needed boost in the Divine Power splatbook.
    (3) Agreed.
    (4) Agreed, but for comparison I should note that third-party sourcebooks (like the Quintessential series) are of much more random quality than Dragon magazine articles.
    I'll add my personal pet peeve (5) WOTC should get off their rear end and release more errata/updates on just a handful of issues that have been unaddressed for over a year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    1. Do you think combat takes longer than in 3.5?
    No, but it doesn't take shorter either. Note that "faster combat" was supposed to be a selling point of 4E, but it doesn't really surface.

    2. What's the 'sweet spot' of the game
    Probably level 5-10. Having a few extra powers and being able to afford decent equipment gives you much more options; and certain combos become broken at paragon tier. Ironically, 4E characters at level 1 tend to feel like they suffer from the "I ran out of spells so I'll use my silly crossbow now" issue, replacing "crossbow" with "at-will power".

    3. Does the skills system work well?
    That depends. Some skills are much more useful than others, but that is to be expected, really. I have a mild dislike for the shortness of the fighter skill list, but I like using backgrounds to add one or two when needed. Skill challenges, on the other hand, are strongly disliked (or considered a kludge) by a significant part of the player base.

    4. Are martial classes really better than divine or primal ones?
    No. However, some classes are really better at certain things than others. For instance, the fighter and wizard are widely considered the best defender and controller, respectively. On the other hand, paladins defend less well but can also heal, which fighters can't.

    5. What do you think the most complex class is to play?
    Strikers tend to be the least complex, controllers and leaders the most. I don't think any class is really complex to play compared to e.g. a 3E summoner (or Omnicaster )

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    Here's 1 more question: what classes can summon monsters, and how effective/fun is it?
    Most controllers can summon monsters (and so can some items, like the bag of many tricks). Almost without exception, summons are daily powers, that put one creature on the table, that uses your actions only. So you never get to do more things. Druid summons do have a default action for if you don't order them to do anything; it depends on the creature whether this is actually useful.

    Druid summons are probably the best. Summoning is a mediocre option for wizards, until they get to level 16 in a particular summoning-related paragon path. Item summonings (like the Bag or Figurines) are underwhelming and mainly exist for flavor.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2009-11-10 at 04:47 AM.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
    Crystal Shard Studios - Freeware games designed by Kurald and others!

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Chrono22's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [4e] Clarifying Misconceptions About D&D 4e...

    On maps being hard to make for D&D 3.5 & 4:
    This is mostly due to reliance on grids. Lose the grids, switch to a measuring stick/thread where 1 inch = 5 feet/1 "square".
    If bursts/area effects become problematic, take half an hour to make some out of cardstock/cardboard.

    For 4e, implement the rule that "A creature whose space is not totally covered by the area of effect, is not subject to the effect".

    All I need for my sessions are a few dry erase color markers, a dry erase board, a tape measure, and a protractor. Minis/tokens are optional.

    And finally, the complexity we 3.5 players enjoy has been moved from character creation and onto the battle mat. As I mentioned above, 4e combat is a game unto itself.
    Eh, this was not my experience. I played incredibly complex and exciting combats in 3.5. I chalk it up to system mastery and player ability. 3.5 could do what 4e does, and more- if the players took the time and interest to make it happen. With 4e, it's more like the tactical aspect is hardwired into it by powers.
    Last edited by Chrono22; 2009-11-10 at 06:20 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •