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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default What's Wrong With 4e?

    Right off the bat, let me inform you that this the thread's title is not a rhetoricle question.

    I want to know, what you, the people, think is wrong with 4e. I want a list of all of the good ideas that met the executioner's block, the bad ideas that were stuffed in for laughs, wonky substitutions for rules that worked, and the general differences that break any semblance of verismilitude.

    Please refrain from vague comments like...
    "4e has lost its integrity/depth/verismilitude" (tell me in what ways!)
    or
    "4e is now a miniatures game" (tell me how so!)
    And from more sarcastic statements like...
    "to see the problem, open up any 4e book to a random page and start reading"

    Although I know a limited amount about 4e, I want to know as much as possible about what has been perceived to have gone wrong (or strangely different) with it before I decide to buy the books.

    Of the changes I have heard are
    -loss of several base classes (to be reintroduced into future PHBs, with exception of the sorcerer, which is gone forever).
    -loss of prestige classes
    -no craft skill
    -no profession skill
    -multiclassing through feats.
    -minions with 1 hp
    -for some reason players cannot find magic items too weak for them but are expected to find items too strong for them.
    -items sell for 1/5th price instead of 1/2 price.
    -speed measured in squares rather than feet.

    I'm sure that there are a bunch more things that people are somewhat distressed at, if not downright mad at. please help me assemble a list.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2008-06-09 at 05:28 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    first off, i want to say this. Nothing is wrong with 4th ed. Its a matter of taste, thats the simple answer to it. Not only that, but its core, no splat book, 4th ed we are seeing now. Gods only knows what we will get in a couple months.

    The one thing i have to even remotely complain about is the limitied stuff on races....thats it.....Everything else is amazing
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    A chief complaint seems to be that everything relys on powers. I personally don't see how this affects gameplay, but I'm sure someone will tell me in the next few posts.

    In addition, there is a lack of versatillity with character creation and development. There are only 4 options for most classes, emphasized by the paragon path (3 paths for the warlock). 31 classes, and 8 races is only 248 possible character concepts, many of which are poor choices due to race and class not mixing.
    Last edited by Zocelot; 2008-06-09 at 05:38 PM.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Wow. no replies yet? I expect there to be a lot.
    Seems like I'm a slow type.
    What I, personally find wrong with it is mostly Races.
    They dropped Gnomes for one, and added...yes another Elf race.
    This time they're even elfier than normal elves!
    They've moved Elves into a more, Wood Elf-y role. The elves that live in hidden forest cities and such.
    I fear they might have unbalanced somethings, seeing as how almost all the races get a +2 in two things, and no minus to compensate.
    Dragonborn +2 Str +2 Cha
    Dwarves +2 Con +2 Wis
    This may be compensated for, but I don't see how yet, I'm still very new to 4ed. as well.
    Yeah Monk, Barbarian, Bard are gone.
    There's new gods, and altered old ones.
    Alignments have changed as well. Instead of Chaotic, Neutral, and Lawful variations of Good, Neutral, and Evil it's been shimmied down to
    Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, and Chaotic Evil.

    So far that's about all I've read about...oh weapons.
    They've been category name changed as far as i can see that's all.
    Martial is now Military, Exotic is Superior I think it's called.
    I'm sure someone else can tell you a lot more. But that's my short list of what's different/wrong.

    EDIT: Forgot Druid was removed, along with Half-Orcs too, seems DragonBorn are taking their place as the strong race.
    Last edited by TheCleric; 2008-06-09 at 05:40 PM.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCleric View Post
    I fear they might have unbalanced somethings, seeing as how almost all the races get a +2 in two things, and no minus to compensate.
    Dragonborn +2 Str +2 Cha
    Dwarves +2 Con +2 Wis
    This may be compensated for, but I don't see how yet, I'm still very new to 4ed. as well.
    I haven't had a chance to read the 4th edition stuff yet, but if all the races have two positive things and no drawbacks, then wouldn't they all be balanced with each other?
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by StoryKeeper View Post
    I haven't had a chance to read the 4th edition stuff yet, but if all the races have two positive things and no drawbacks, then wouldn't they all be balanced with each other?
    -smacks forehead-
    Yeah. -laughs-
    I guess that's how it works then.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Of the changes I have heard are
    -loss of several base classes (to be reintroduced into future PHBs, with exception of the sorcerer, which is gone forever).
    Incorrect. Sorcerer has been stated as being in a future supplement, and will be based on more Elemental powers.
    -loss of prestige classes
    Well, sort of. But paragon paths are basically PrCs, and don't think for a minute that there won't be a glut of them with each new supplement.
    -no craft skill
    -no profession skill
    Yeah, but besides Profession (Sailor), when have you ever rolled any of those? And Craft sucked anyway. Just roleplay it already.
    -multiclassing through feats.
    True. I don't really have an opinion on this. I don't really like it, but I don't think it's a bad system. I never really liked multiclassing anyway, except between similar classes (Fighter/Paladin, etc.), and that's still fine.
    -minions with 1 hp
    Not gonna touch that. I like Minions, but this inevitably turns into a big argument.
    -for some reason players cannot find magic items too weak for them but are expected to find items too strong for them.
    Because it was always great to have a 12th level character with 14 rings of protection +1 that no one wanted, and that he only had because the DM needed some way to make those NPCs slighty less squishy.
    -items sell for 1/5th price instead of 1/2 price.[/quote]
    I haven't played yet, so I don't know about how this works out. It may be the case that the economy works better this way.
    -speed measured in squares rather than feet.
    Just multiply by 5. Ta-da! It's the same thing, but easier for people that don't measure things in feet!


    My only problem with 4E so far is just stuff that's hard to find or not clarified. I've been trying to figure out for a while what sort of challenge NPCs built by the rules on DMG pg. 186-88 are, and I just now got an e-mail back from CustServ clarifying it. (They're like standard monsters, sort of, but they're really closer to PCs that monsters.)

    Also, there are a lot of monsters I'm not happy with because of power level. There are no goblins above Level 5 or so, for instance. The section on making monsters stronger, though, helps out a lot. Of course, several monsters I really like aren't there yet, but they're not that hard to homebrew.

    I also don't see a lack of versatility, because WE ONLY HAVE ONE BOOK FOR PCS SO FAR. I've got one player who's pouting because of this now, because he apparently doesn't get that.
    Last edited by RTGoodman; 2008-06-09 at 05:48 PM.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innis Cabal View Post
    first off, i want to say this. Nothing is wrong with 4th ed. Its a matter of taste, thats the simple answer to it.
    In that case, then there is absolutely nothing good about 4e either.

    Anyway, what I most object to is the inability of much rules-based creativity; and, by doing that, I don't mean 'LOL PUNPUN', but rather all those spells/mundane items/abilities that you could use, with a bit of imagination, to jerry rig stuff. Unexpected ways of solving problems, that sorta thing. Now, in the class powers, there are maybe a dozen such powers that even come close to that, and to say that the ritual list is good enough is just ludicrous. If 4e = WoW (which it doesn't - it's a massive exaggeration), then I miss the way that 3.5 = Garry's Mod.

    Of course, that effects casters more than others, but it's still an across-the-board cut.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    The biggest (and only major) drawback of 4e is that it's called Dungeons and Dragons, while being so different from the previous edition - which makes everyone and their dog complain about the differences instead of looking at it from an unbiased point of view.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    There are many players coming into D&D now because of 4th edition. They're the luckily and blissfully ignorant?

    I seem to remember a major soda company pulling something like this. Upsetting a majority of it's brand loyal and then bringing them back with the old version?
    Last edited by TheCleric; 2008-06-09 at 05:52 PM.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    For me, the main issue with 4e is the loss of all those interesting, versatile spells and abilities. Everything really flexible with lots of uses has been either removed or nerfed (check out the difference in spells like Spider Climb or Teleport).

    I don't care about much of the rest, and in fact I've had fun with 4e the times I've played it, but after 3.5, too much of the 4e stuff feels like weaksauce. If 4e wasn't going to replace 3.5 (and thus stop all official support for it), I'd enjoy it much more.

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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    You don't seem to realize how many more character concepts there are then that.

    For examply, my Dragonborn Warlord grabbed the Arcane initiate cross class feat. I gave him Ray of Frost with it in order to improve upon his battlefield control abilities, and because of that feet I have access to the Wizard Paragon, and I fully intend to run him through Stormmage.

    Another guy is taking a ranger and planning to run him through the Cat Burgler Paragon as well.

    I'll give you the problems I think it has compared to 3.5.

    First is the Skill system. Without Skill points, you have no where near the customization in that area you once had. However once you look into the system, it does have a nice amount of customization, and with Skill Training Feats you can expand upon your known skills. So it's still a good system, just not when compared to 3.5.

    Multiclassing is vastly different. You are basically stuck on the class you initially pick. However you can grab a Multiclass feat to give you a few abilities from a another class, Such as Arcane initiate automatically gives you Training in the ARcane Skill, 1 wizard at will power as an encounter power, and for purposes of choosing a Paragon Class you are treated as having the Wizard Class.

    Most Multiclass feats, however, allow you to pick from any class skill the class has. Rogue would be another acception, making you pick thievery.

    While again, it's a good system, it lacks the mass customization of 3.5's multiclassing.

    While we'll likely be getting a lot more options later on through splat books and such, it does somewhat limit the options.

    Overall though, I think this edition is looking better then 3.5. Every other problem I have is basically cosmetic, and some minor fluff changes will make me happy. (Like making Tieflings like they were in 3.5 compared to watered down half fiends.)

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Illiterate Scribe View Post
    Unexpected ways of solving problems, that sorta thing.
    Granted, it can be really annoying when PCs completely side-step that brilliant, earth-shaking situation you had planned, but there's also fun to be had in finding creative solutions to problems.
    Some Stuff I've tried brewing:

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    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75765

    Eldritch ghost- Warlock/Ninja PrC
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...eldritch+ghost

    Student of the Fox- Class based on kitsune
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77615


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    Kobold

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Understand that I have only the Player's Handbook so far, and I'm unlikely to be able to actually play the system in an actual gaming environment for at least a month (and two is looking much better). I'm also working off a first blush so I could be wrong about some things, and am probably missing others. Final disclaimer -- I mostly played 3.0, not 3.5.

    There's a lot that I'm still digesting at this point. A few of the issues you mentioned are things I'm prepared to invoke a "wait and see" attitude on. But there's one that right now, pending all the appropriate disclaimers, I think I'm going to have to be convinced to like -- the streamlining/gutting of the skill system.

    There were flaws with the skill system as it existed in 3rd edition. I am very unconvinced at the moment that the 4th edition corrected those problems. Now maybe I'm missing a critical feat, power, or somesuch but I don't like that the most you can train skills above the norm is +25%. I don't like the way the 4th edition system is much less flexible in how I spend those skills. Now, I do like that you have a significant difference between trained & untrained even at 1st level, and I do like the way a lot of skills were combined (Thievery ftw).

    Which brings us to a second, lesser concern: multiclassing as feats. I don't mind the nigh-removal of prestige classes -- yes it was one of the better innovations of 3rd edition, but it also caused some issues and I'm in no way convinced the game was better off with them. I do have a bit of a problem, however, with the idea that I can create a Wizard character, take a single feat, and then be able to pick locks/etc just as well as a same-leveled rogue with the same Dexterity. The idea that theoretically any character in the game can take 2 feats and be able to Raise Dead doesn't sit too well with me either, but my issue with Ritual Spells falls under the "wait and see" boilerplate.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    All very good viewpoints folks. Glad I invested time to check this thread out.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu View Post
    The biggest (and only major) drawback of 4e is that it's called Dungeons and Dragons, while being so different from the previous edition - which makes everyone and their dog complain about the differences instead of looking at it from an unbiased point of view.
    Yes, but when someone asks 'what shall we play', how are we not going to compare the two?

    Quote Originally Posted by StoryKeeper View Post
    Granted, it can be really annoying when PCs completely side-step that brilliant, earth-shaking situation you had planned, but there's also fun to be had in finding creative solutions to problems.
    Yes, but it's the PCs' game. If you're forcing them into your brilliant earth-shaking solution, then that's compromised.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    I don't see anything "wrong" with 4.0, but it still isn't a system I'd want to play.

    My biggest complaint is that magic doesn't do what I want magic to do. When I think about what spellcasters should be doing, I think about manipulation, illusions, conjurations and transformation. Fireballs, lightning bolts and Magic Missiles don't fit my ideas of "what magic should be" at all.

    4.0 caters well to the people who do want their Wizards doing those things, but not to the effects that I want to see magic doing. By removing these sorts of abilities, WotC has built what appears to be a well-balanced game. It just isn't a game that actually appeals to me.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Just a quick note on the item costs - Normal, nonmagical items sell for 1/5th the price, but magical and special items (a golden dagger was mentioned) sell for full price. I can't give you a page number, but I think it's mentioned somewhere in the equipment section.
    If there's a rule, there's someone out there trying to figure out how to get around it just to piss off his DM.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Sigh... where to begin?

    First off, I should say that 4E does not appear to be on the surface a mechanically poor system. As far as it seems to go (having not read it cover to cover; I've only got it this morning and have only skimmed the classes and powers and concentrated on reading the bulk (hah) of the rest of the rules).

    It is not, however, in my opinion, either particularly elegant not particularly good. It's functional. Unlike 3.x, there is nothing that I've looked at gone "wow, that's just...why did we never think of that before!" (E.g. 3.0 multiclassing, easily the finest idea of the edition in my opinion.) (Note: 3.5 is by no means without flaws. But I find despite those flaws - some of which can be fixed with light to moderate house-ruling or simply lived with - it's the most mechanically superior set of RPG rules I've encountered.)

    Lest anyone misinterpret me before I go any further I should qualify my position by saying that D&D - any edition - has no nostalgic hold over me. I started playing with HeroQuest and gravitated to Rolemaster right away (talk about a step up!) No rules system, wargame or roleplaying, commands any degree of respect from me other than what it earns by it's purely mechanical elements. So, no nostalgic grognarding drives me, only what I percieve as mechanical inferiority.

    Right, that said...

    I dislike the design philosphy. I dislike the hero-centric mechanics and 'exception based design'. The greatest strength of 3.x for me was the standardisation of everything. I thought that the monsters and the PCs being on equal footing was an outstanding step foward.

    I hate the skill system with a passion; coming from a background of skill-based RPGs, having skills as basically negligable I find an anthema. Despite the fact I've a pretty heavy optimiser when all's said and done, a look a the skills on any of my characters will show a smattering of skills outside the primaries. My current Necormancer/Pale Master, for example, has picked up new knowledge skills in the last few levels and has skill ranks in Profession (Undertaker) and (Herbalist).

    (The concept of skill challenges is one of the better ideas and one I shall steal, however.)

    I dislike the homogenising of the classes. While I grant you, 3.5's wide disparity in character class power levels was not good, homogenisation to this point was not the answer. After 3.x's superlative multiclassing, 4E's is laughable. I feel that the class roles are too restrictive and artificial for my tastes and I found the lack of permissibility and flexibility to be poor when compared to 3.x.

    I personally find 4E to be littered with too much world-specific fluff. I really hate this because I do not play on existing campaign worlds if I can help it, as world building gives me as much joy as playing. I don't freakin' want shared fictional histories, renamed or otherwise, I want my world to be my world, not some broadly similar thing to what WotC considers ideal (this applies to 3.5 too; I tossed out the entire MM for my current campaign world).

    Related to this, the MM is absolutely hands down the worst bestiary I have ever seen in any game, RPG or wargame, ever. I'm not happy, but don't regret buying the PHB and DMG; but I do the MM because it's just a collection of stat blocks. The mix of monsters and multiple levels of the same type remind me more or those found in Final Fantasy or Dungeon Siege. I've no problems with them in context but I want my table-top bestiary to include some of the normal, generic stuff like animals as well as the weird oddities. Now this would be forgivable, because reading bestiaries are usually a fun read for the sake of a read, except the MM has basically nothing to read. Most monsters get about what four-six lines of fluff. Call me nuts, but while I don't like too much fluff (or at least world-specific fluff) in my mechanics, I expect it my monster descriptions. A picture and a stat block are not inspiring me to use any of them. (Size of monsters, guys? Aside from the size stat, not heights or weights are listed; how do I describe them to the PCs? Plonk the minature down (assuming I was daft enough to buy trillions of D&D minis to have enough to do that)? Show them the picture - which doesn't help because I still don't know how big it is...)

    I find the use of squares as a measurement risable, not only because it forces you to use a grid (I prefer the grid to be a rough guide not an absolute; I don't use a grid in wargames, I'm bloody well not playing a smaller-scale RPG under greater restrictions) but because I find it shatters immersion and forces you to convert back to feet anytime you deal with a described envrioment anyway (see Jump skill example. It tells you to work out your jump distance in squares and promptly has to convert it back to feet. Poor design, folks.)

    The distance in squares is just one of the aspects of the rules that make me think it it too game-y for an RPG. The phrasing of the rules reminds me of a lot of (generally poor) wargames. I was particularly reminded of Warhammer Fantasy Battle (no, not even the RPG) in style - only without the strong Warhammer flavour that characterised the later stuff (not that I would want that anyway, but...)

    Overall, the set-up reminded me forceably of a CRPG (not necessarily an MMORPG, because I've never played one) but more of Diablo, Dungeon Siege or JRPGs where the monsters are totally different from the players and everything has to have some combat use.

    Finally, I found that it didn't have enough of a grounding in reality for me (two fantasy armour-types for every loosely historical one? No, I think not.) Now, I'd be the first to agree my games, containing as they do on occasion laser-breathing psionic crow-falcons or Pokemon (once) are not realisitic. They are however, very firmly grounded in reality (and where appropriate history - not just Medieval either), which I use as a springboard to do the crazies. 4E bears very little lip service (longbows have a range of 200' (40 squares)? Keh? That's not even a hundred yards.) to reality, sacrificing it for the game-y aspects, which as mentioned earlier, I don't like as I find them counter to immersion.



    Frankly, WotC seem to me to have done a Games Workshop; a lot of heavy commercialisation (plugging D&D mini cards for random encounters but never suggesting random encounter tables? What?) and trying very hard to recruit new blood. (I could, with perhaps a touch of unfairness but a fair degree of justification, accuse them of dumbing it down.) I imagine it'll be great for newcomers or for DMs who just want to pull WotC monsters right out of the box. But for a mechanic-loving, wargaming, homebrewer like me, it's just not what I want from an RPG system. I may well play it (but I'll play pretty much anything if it eases my DMing duties a touch), but I'm certainly not going to DM it.



    (And clerics with lasers? What?)
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2008-06-09 at 06:41 PM.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    I dislike the design philosphy. I dislike the hero-centric mechanics and 'exception based design'. The greatest strength of 3.x for me was the standardisation of everything. I thought that the monsters and the PCs being on equal footing was an outstanding step foward.
    Yeah, I thought that was the greatest weakness. You know, LA and CR and ECL (so many new DMs and players confused it all).

    I personally find 4E to be littered with too much world-specific fluff. I really hate this because I do not play on existing campaign worlds if I can help it, as world building gives me as much joy as playing. I don't freakin' want shared fictional histories, renamed or otherwise, I want my world to be my world, not some broadly similar thing to what WotC considers ideal (this applies to 3.5 too; I tossed out the entire MM for my current campaign world).
    I won't be getting my books from amazon till next week at earliest (stupid Amazon).
    So I must ask you to explain: What world specific Fluff is you problem?
    A picture and a stat block are not inspiring me to use any of them. (Size of monsters, guys? Aside from the size stat, not heights or weights are listed; how do I describe them to the PCs? Plonk the minature down (assuming I was daft enough to buy trillions of D&D minis to have enough to do that)? Show them the picture - which doesn't help because I still don't know how big it is...)
    Pretty easy:
    Large equal 8 to 9 feet unless panther/dog like than 3-4 feet (like Horse in 3.5). This should only be an issue with new players.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Yeah, I thought that was the greatest weakness. You know, LA and CR and ECL (so many new DMs and players confused it all).
    LA, CR and ECL are definately among 3.5's worst points. That the monsters and characters used all the same base rules wasn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II
    I won't be getting my books from amazon till next week at earliest (stupid Amazon).
    So I must ask you to explain: What world specific Fluff is you problem?
    Example: the fact that Tieflings are supposed to come from some fallen civilisation. Okay fine; but I take umbridge when 4E says, "you can change the name of the fallen empire if you like" and is still going to assume your world will have a temple of elemental evil and whatnot.

    It's akin to 3.5 Complete Champion having all those spells and PrCs which relied on you using core dieties or close derivatives thereof (your sun god must be good for example) which I don't like. I really, really, don't like rules telling me flavour assumptions, especially as I make the effort to avoid cliches where I can.

    (Related quibble: they rabbited on pre-release about how every monster has a story - and then don't bother to present it...wha?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II
    Pretty easy:
    Large equal 8 to 9 feet unless panther/dog like than 3-4 feet (like Horse in 3.5). This should only be an issue with new players.
    Not very descriptive, though is it? Aside from the amoutn of combat space it takes up, there's actually no clue as to how big something is. That strikes me of something I expect out of a poor wargames rule set where you're expected to buy the accompanying figures and so have no need of that information, not an RPG.

    It just reinforces my opinion of the monster as a stat block. Me, I want to know a monster's size, ecology, biology, eating habits, hell, mating behavior. Natural history is my other big interest and I like to see it applied to my games. I want to see the design guy actually thought about it and didn't just go "a wizard did it" or "hey, it's just a game man, you're not supposed to think about that stuff" because that's a large part of my fun. I was thus very disappointed with 4Es bestiary because it contained nothing fun for me to read as DM, just barely described stat blocks and some (admittedly generally high quaility) pictures.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2008-06-09 at 07:14 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    *puts down MM4*

    Just in the MM

    Lack of ability for to advance monsters. While it took some time they were great for allowing a thematic monster be used in a greater variety of situations. To have a pack of wolves led by one with an extra HD or two even made sense.

    Loss of templates....Again it needed some prep work and could get you some odd CR's (glad to see them go) I thought it was great you could get that kind of variation. Also having applied the Vampire Spawn template to a player's kid sister and use the abilities that they had helped her developed was one of the more disturbing moments my DM ever gave me.

    1 hp minions.....*blink* so any lvl 1 wizard with a dagger will kill the Orc or Legion devil every time he hits.....Why? How do these creatures survive? They would trip over a rock on day and die. I wouldn't be able to take a world in which orcs are supposed to be a menace but only have 1 hp very seriously.

    The lack of the cost/process of how to actually create the created creatures (undead/summoned/contructs). Yes I have had players MAKE stone golems, and having your villian spend a "known spell" on the preqs for a certain undead gives the world a fuller, more believable feel to it.

    The near total loss of flavor/descriptive text. Social aspects, descriptions, etc. This REALLY galls me. In fact everything else is minor compared to this. It is as if you are not expected to do anything OTHER than kill anything you meet. (or meat in 4e)

    Heck you ended up with a stat block that looked like a magic the gathering card or warhammer 40K description for a new unit. Except warhammer gives more history/flavor in most cases. Complete with little "ranged" "melee" "ranged burst" icons.

    It really seems as if the parts of the game that allow for DM creativity, flexibility, and storytelling got shorted all around. From the way powers run (on paper I'm not playing till next week) to the monsters to the feats. It gave me the feeling of a video/mini's game. And while they said they rejected the idea of setting up the DM in a more advasarial relationship (as it was in say Firstquest if we want to stay in DnD) I would say they did it by accident then.




    And Why did they move blue dragons to the coasts? Any good reason? They have desert dwelling since 2e just fine and don't see the point. A Coast is always a coastal something- coastal swamps, coastal hills, coastal tundra, coastal desert, so another dragon from the second part is always availible. Now I have a hole in my deserts.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    For me, the main issue with 4e is the loss of all those interesting, versatile spells and abilities. Everything really flexible with lots of uses has been either removed or nerfed (check out the difference in spells like Spider Climb or Teleport).

    I don't care about much of the rest, and in fact I've had fun with 4e the times I've played it, but after 3.5, too much of the 4e stuff feels like weaksauce. If 4e wasn't going to replace 3.5 (and thus stop all official support for it), I'd enjoy it much more.

    - Saph
    I'd just like to pick up on this to point something out... Let me start by saying I'm by no means criticizing you specifically (or at all), Saph; it's simply something I've been thinking about for a while.

    Magic in 3.5 is incredibly versatile; even just using the PHB, it could do just about anything. When you look at all the supplements, you get an even more dizzying array of options.

    Spellcasters in 3.5 are regarded as broken for exactly this purpose. Present a fighter with an obstacle, and the fighter has a few choices. Because the fighter is a very focused class, the only option our fighter is likely to be good at is hitting the obstacle until it falls down or goes away. Rogues and other skilled characters are better at getting around such obstacles in creative ways, but they're still limited to what seems feasible. Spellcasters have a nigh-unlimited number of options.

    As an example—let's say your task is "free wrongfully imprisoned prisoner". A fighter can... fight his way through the prison, or maybe appeal to the duke to free him, or take the duke captive and order him to free the prisoner. A rogue could sneak into the prison, disguise himself as a guard, forge release papers, talk to the duke and convince him of the prisoner's innocence, bribe/charm the prison guards, or any combination of the above. (A fighter could try these too, but it'd be harder, and some would be all but impossible.) A spellcaster... could enchant the guards, enchant the duke, get into the prison while invisible or polymorphed, teleport in and out of the prisoner's cell (with him in tow), walk through the walls, or simply use brute force. Not only do they have almost every option available to other characters at their disposal (using magic to simulate or exceed skill),

    That's the real problem, and when you think about it, it extends all the way back to D&D's many inspirations. How many fantasy stories tell the tale of a wizard protagonist who goes up against a powerful foe who possesses no magic whatsoever? Unless magic in the story is incredibly, severely limited, or the protagonist is simply incompentent, a totally mundane foe isn't really a threat. A warrior who is nigh-impervious to magic might be, but that's no longer mundane. Far more often, you'll find the opposite archetype—a heroic swordsman going up against an evil wizard who could end his life with a few syllables.

    And now we have 4e, which is going off the assumption that all the characters should be equal. Which is a fair assumption in a game; you don't want to force people to be playing the underdog. They really have two ways to do this: Make everyone capable of doing magic, or make nonmagical characters the equal of magic-using characters.

    They decided to choose the second, because, well, not everybody wants to use magic. Completely understandable; there are a lot of character concepts magic just doesn't fit. So then they're faced with the difficulty of making magic, a force that does impossible things, equal in power to non-magical means, which are limited to what's realistic... which is tricky.

    To do that, they have to make magic less powerful, in order to keep your group's mundane street rats and career soldiers useful even out of combat. It's now much less versatile (illusions are being redone) and less able to simulate or replace other classes' skills (see: shapechange, knock), but by doing this, they're losing a lot of possibilities for what magic could be doing.

    It's a trade-off, and I think there's points to be made in favor of both viewpoints.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackMage666 View Post
    Just a quick note on the item costs - Normal, nonmagical items sell for 1/5th the price, but magical and special items (a golden dagger was mentioned) sell for full price. I can't give you a page number, but I think it's mentioned somewhere in the equipment section.
    Actually, the golden dagger is an art object. Art objects and Gems are the only thing that sell for their full price. Magic items are still 1/5.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    - Everything's substantially more "heroic" now. This is good, because it makes the players feel more badass (and with dragonborn and tiefling as base races, there's a LOT more badassitude going around), but makes it much harder to do "gritty realism" or "horror" campaigns. Don't get me wrong, it's still possible to do these, it's just harder.

    - Out-of-combat healing is a lot cheaper. Again, this raises the Badassitude factor, but makes it harder to gradually grind down the PCs to put the fear of DM into them; combat's more of an all-or-nothing thing these days. Again, it's still possible to use this approach, but it requires a substantially more contrived set of circumstances.

    - The abundance of bursts and blasts and other area effects make combat more difficult to run in a chat-based environment (MSN, IRC, and various flashchats) where miniatures and battlemaps are not practical.

    - The loss of Druid as a base class. In my experience, Druid has been the single most popular character class among newbs for lord knows what reasons. Losing half-orcs, gnomes, bards, barbarians, and sorcs is basically compensated by what we gain in return, but the lack of the Druid is a major problem in my gaming circles.


    ....by the way, I haven't cracked open the MonMan yet, is there a way to play Orcs these days?

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    I'd just like to pick up on this to point something out... Let me start by saying I'm by no means criticizing you specifically (or at all), Saph; it's simply something I've been thinking about for a while.

    Magic in 3.5 is incredibly versatile; even just using the PHB, it could do just about anything. When you look at all the supplements, you get an even more dizzying array of options....
    .....It's a trade-off, and I think there's points to be made in favor of both viewpoints.
    Wow... That entire post was exceptionally well though out and well written. Congratulations.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    - Out-of-combat healing is a lot cheaper. Again, this raises the Badassitude factor, but makes it harder to gradually grind down the PCs to put the fear of DM into them; combat's more of an all-or-nothing thing these days. Again, it's still possible to use this approach, but it requires a substantially more contrived set of circumstances.
    One thing you can do, and that's suggested in... well, I don't remember where exactly, but it's somewhere in the DMG, is that if the PCs go through difficult stuff out of combat, take away a healing surge. EDIT: It's part of a "Lost in the Woods" type of Skill Challenge, but I can see it being used elsewhere. I mean, if you PCs don't have many surges left for the day (i.e., 1 or less), they're not gonna be in a hurry to get in a tussle with anyone or anything.

    - The loss of Druid as a base class. In my experience, Druid has been the single most popular character class among newbs for lord knows what reasons. Losing half-orcs, gnomes, bards, barbarians, and sorcs is basically compensated by what we gain in return, but the lack of the Druid is a major problem in my gaming circles.
    Again, they'll be out soon, but I can understand that it's disappointing. We've never had anyone play a Druid in any campaign besides me, so it's not that big a deal for us to wait. Note, though, that Gnomes are playable (they're just in the MM instead of the PHB), and you don't really need Half-Orcs since you can just reflavor a full Orc. And speaking of...

    ....by the way, I haven't cracked open the MonMan yet, is there a way to play Orcs these days?
    Indeed there is. Near the end of the MM is several pages of various races' PC stats, which has everything from Gnomes to Dopplegangers to, yes, Orcs. Orcs get +2 Str/Con, a speed boost when they charge, and an encounter power attack that lets them spend a healing surge (which is awesome if you don't have a Cleric/Warlord/miscellaneous Leader).
    Last edited by RTGoodman; 2008-06-09 at 07:52 PM.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    I'd actually like to quote the PHB 4E now for something I was reminded of in an earlier rant. About how the Tieflings come from an already premade fallen empire that it seems you have to have since you have Tiefling players.
    It's not anything wrong, or bad, just comedically....stupid.

    Chapter 2. Page 19. Starts at the bottom of the first column and ends at the top of the second.

    "If you choose an alignment for your character, you should pick either Good or Lawful Good. Unless your DM is running a campaign in which all the characters are evil or chaotic evil, playing an evil or chaotic evil character disrupts an adventuring party and, frankly, makes all the other players mad at you."
    You're playing an evil character!? You ****ing ****bag ***fairy!"

    (^ asterisks inserted myself)

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    *puts down MM4*

    Just in the MM

    Lack of ability for to advance monsters. While it took some time they were great for allowing a thematic monster be used in a greater variety of situations. To have a pack of wolves led by one with an extra HD or two even made sense.

    Loss of templates....Again it needed some prep work and could get you some odd CR's (glad to see them go) I thought it was great you could get that kind of variation. Also having applied the Vampire Spawn template to a player's kid sister and use the abilities that they had helped her developed was one of the more disturbing moments my DM ever gave me.
    They present both of these things in the DMG, P 174.

    1 hp minions.....*blink* so any lvl 1 wizard with a dagger will kill the Orc or Legion devil every time he hits.....Why? How do these creatures survive? They would trip over a rock on day and die. I wouldn't be able to take a world in which orcs are supposed to be a menace but only have 1 hp very seriously.
    Minions are meant to serve a specific cinematic purpose, allowing mook-type enemies that can appear in large numbers without forcing a lot of DM bookkeeping for HP. Think the Battle of Helms Deep: if a hero hits an orc, that orc is dead (except for that one with the torch, he'd be a Brute)

    You're not meant to get hung up on "how do they survive?" Stats are part of the metagame, and are meant to cover only how the heros interact with them. People in your world don't recognize having "hp", nor is their ability to recover from scrapes based on their hp.
    Battles between orc raiders and a small village is determined by story progression, not who's stats are numerically superior.

    The lack of the cost/process of how to actually create the created creatures (undead/summoned/contructs). Yes I have had players MAKE stone golems, and having your villian spend a "known spell" on the preqs for a certain undead gives the world a fuller, more believable feel to it.
    I'm sorry, I guess I just don't get this. Why? Having NPCs run on the same stat/rules requirements of PCs was always really bothersome for me.

    What i need from NPC stats are specific rules that allow them to interact with the PCs.

    The near total loss of flavor/descriptive text. Social aspects, descriptions, etc. This REALLY galls me. In fact everything else is minor compared to this. It is as if you are not expected to do anything OTHER than kill anything you meet. (or meat in 4e)
    So, just because they don't spell out the monster flavor for you doesn't mean you can't have any. Make your own...I can't remember the last time I used the predetermined "ecology of the Grick" sections of a monster manual.

    I vastly prefer the larger number of monsters that not having extraneous flavor allows them to add.
    I don't understand why it seems like everyone says that creativity is shorted because they don't spell out how to roleplay every situation.

    Instead, you're actually required to be creative and come up with flavor to use.

    Homebrew a setting, play Eberron, download Iron Kingdoms. World flavor is independent of your combat rules.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExHunterEmerald
    Incidentally, Armadillo, I'd suggest you were hit by a spark of inspiration, but that would knock your armor off.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With 4e?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    Far more often, you'll find the opposite archetype—a heroic swordsman going up against an evil wizard who could end his life with a few syllables.
    Hate to say it, but I'm not entirely convinced by this; if only because I don't think comparing a hero and a villain is really valid when it's the balance between heroes you're discussing. It feels wrong, both in terms of story conventions and in mechanics; wouldn't the villain NPC simply be a higher level?
    Last edited by SmartAlec; 2008-06-09 at 08:01 PM.

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