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Thread: 4th Edition DnD

  1. - Top - End - #31
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Elves's Avatar

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    Feb 2019

    Default Re: 4th Edition DnD

    IME, the biggest change when it comes to gameplay flow is that 4e combats are more setpiece-y. 4e combats are slower to start with, and they're all supposed to be multi-component tactical affairs, so the inevitable result is fewer, bigger fights. You should think of each 4e encounter as a big fight sequence in an action movie, instead of the room-by-room style of earlier editions.
    The Age of Warriors (revived 2019) - Huge fanmade TOB sequel. Content needs PEACH and input.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jun 2012

    Default Re: 4th Edition DnD

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackatrin View Post
    Hey all, i'm one of those idiots that likes to rip on 4e despite never playing it.

    I plan on buying the books and running afew sessions, but i'm more so wondering what can I expect to be so radically different?

    As someone who is coming from playing 3.5 & 5e.
    Probably the biggest difference between 3.5 as written and 4e as written is that in 3.5 the rules are written as a physics engine, in 4e they are written as a user interface to the shared fictional space. This means that in 4e the monster statblocks (a) never ask you to look anything (like a spell) up; if the monster is likely to use the spell in combat the stats are right there. And for any offscreen actions there aren't rules; NPC on NPC actions resolve however the GM decides as do most complex plot-related spells. (This is normally how 3.5 is run in my experience but not what the rules say). Also as everything has mentioned, most spells and abilities are written as code rather than in 'natural language' - far faster.

    The corollary to this is that in so far as hit points are concerned they don't really mean anything in D&D in any edition except how long you can keep going. (If you're not taking penalties from being injured you aren't that injured). But 4e for PCs, but not for NPCs, breaks hit points into hit points and "healing surges" - which is a lousy name for long term endurance. (5e hit dice are little different other than that thee aren't many ways to spend hit dice outside a short rest; in 4e you can spend a healing surge either once between short rests by using your second wind in place or attacking, or with various morale boosts that don't actually make you tougher but do let you use your own energy; only surgeless healing is magic).

    TBC
    Currently in playtesting, now with optional rules for a cover based sci-fi shooter.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jun 2012

    Default Re: 4th Edition DnD

    pt2

    Combat

    It's said that 4e combat has the best setpiece combats of any edition of D&D - and this is true as far as it goes. 4e combats makes characters in any other grid-based combat look as if they are acting in front of a blank green screen. Almost all squares in almost all giant setpieces outside 4e can be categorised as "empty spaces", "spaces that make you make a roll", "spaces you shouldn't step in" (pits, fires, traps, etc.), and spaces you shouldn't step in or see through (pillars, statues, etc.). And everyone steps round everywhere they shouldn't be, never interacting with any of the "CGI" elements.

    4e uses one very simple method of ensuring everyone knows this isn't a green screen. Roughly three quarters of PCs and a third of all NPCs have some forced movement abilities to push or pull enemies around that don't require them to give up their entire damage potential for the turn (as e.g. a Bull Rush or Wind Blast does). This means that so much as a fight round a camp fire in 4e will end up with at least someone being pushed into that campfire (or flinging themselves flat rather than going in). All the effects are 'practical' rather than green screen in the best possible way. And they encourage teamwork as two or three separate PCs team up, using their forced movement to push the enemy into that campfire (or latrine), leading to a far more memorable and higher-budget seeming fight than an epic setpiece in 3.5 or 5e where a city blazes merrily in the background as the evil wizard opens a portal to the nine hells, spewing forth demons. (In 4e of course the PCs are going to team up to push that evil wizard into the portal they just opened).

    This leads to another way combat in 4e feels much "higher budget" whether it's an epic setpiece or thrown together on the spur of the moment using a map you've hand-sketched and monsters picked straight out of the Monster Vault (note: Monster Vault is vastly better than the MM1). Monsters particularly in 3.5 feel like monsters from central casting with the interesting ones being "prosthetic forehead wizards" where everything they do that's interesting is a spell. 5e is better with more custom crafting but they feel a lot more bland

    To use two examples the practical mechanical difference between an orc and a kobold in 3.5 is a few numbers; in 4e (Monster Vault) orcs have extra resilience so they get one final action when reduced to 0hp - while Kobolds are slippery blighters who can shift (5ft step) as a minor (swift or bonus) action; even if every attack was identical (they aren't) you'd still really know what you were fighting (orcs then tend to be more forceful and have more hit points, and kobolds slipperier). Then on the other side of the coin there's the succubus; the 3.5 Succubus which cross-references eight separate spells plus the grapple and level drain rules. The 4e succubus meanwhile has everything you need right there in the statblock - and its kiss rather than level draining causes its target to be infatuated enough to jump in the way of attacks aimed at the sucubus - far more evocative. (The superior 4e Monster Vault gives the corrupting touch 3d6+6 damage, only requires the attack against will for the kiss to land, and cleans up the wording). Meanwhile the 5e succubus is at least its own thing even if its kiss merely drains energy rather than doing anything as evocative and compelling as getting charmed allies to jump in and take the attack. It doesn't require looking things up outside the standard effects list though. (On a tangent 4e succubi are devils rather than demons because devils want to rule or corrupt; demons want to destroy or watch the world burn. So a couple of participants in the Blood War defected).

    Next up: The fighter class, monster types, and tactics
    Currently in playtesting, now with optional rules for a cover based sci-fi shooter.
    Games for Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and Silver Age Marvel. Skins for The Gorgon, the Deep One, the Kitsune, the Banshee, and the Mad Scientist

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Jan 2020

    Default Re: 4th Edition DnD

    Monster design is much better IMO.

    Rather than just having one metric to rate a monster, and one that doesn't really go with player character stats. (is 1 CR monster equal to a level 1 player character, how about 4 CR mosnters vs a level 4 character) the game uses levels and roles (and a little of EXP budget) to give you both a sense of what player character level they are built for AND the number of them that makes sense.

    5e has been marketed as you can use the boss monster for level 1 characters as fodder for higher level characters.

    Having played enough video game RPGs, this seems kinda wonky given how much boss monsters can and should take up DM and player resources, such that video game when reusing boss data, cuts down on their more complex effects.

    I also love healing surges, because having healing resources/extra hp be tied to the healed characters rather than healing characters, meaning that as a DM, you can pressure tanky characters encounter to encounter without making the non tanky character even less likely to get long term help.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Elves's Avatar

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    Default Re: 4th Edition DnD

    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    "prosthetic forehead wizards"
    This is pretty funny.
    Good post. Keep going?
    Last edited by Elves; 2020-01-10 at 11:15 AM.
    The Age of Warriors (revived 2019) - Huge fanmade TOB sequel. Content needs PEACH and input.

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