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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Excuse me, but could someone post a round-by-round of a 4e battle? I heard it was supposed to be all tactical and like a board game, but with my group it seemed to be just hitting one another. Things like cloud of daggers were entirely irrelevant since even if an enemy really didn't want to lose 5 hp, they could walk around it.

    I'd really like to like 4e, please show me the brilliance of it.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Make sure your party members are using the "correct" weapons. A dwarf rogue, per the rules, can't use half of his tactical abilities if he decides he likes hammers and not daggers or crossbows.
    Last edited by Deepblue706; 2008-07-20 at 06:26 PM.

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    See, there's three things that the people saying things like a small AoE being irrelevant are missing:

    First, the AoEs really aren't that small when you play with even remotely reasonable room sizes. Yes, if you're fighting on an endless, infinite plane, that AoE may not be much. I'm looking at the 4e DMG, talking about making random dungeons, meaning that each and every room would (presumably) be designed with actual use in mind. Most of the corridors are 2-wide. The big corridors are 4-wide. The biggest rooms are 10-wide. Even in that 10-wide room, a "mere" 3x3 AoE is going to take up a BIG chunk of space.

    Second, you fight more than one enemy. This isn't 3e, where you'd fight 1 v Party a lot of the time, this is 4e, where you're up against groups. Big groups. So maybe you can't trap Grunt #3 behind a wall of fire...but you can catch Grunt #2 and Grunt #1 and Stabbyguy #1 behind it.

    Third, even if the enemies really can walk around it, sometimes that's what you want. The enemy can walk around your Cloud of Daggers? That would be a real shame if it didn't put him next to a ledge that the Ranger can Great Ram Arrow him off of. Enemy can scoot past your Wall of Fire? That would be a shame if it didn't put him right where the Fighter can lock him down and the Rogue can put a serious hurt on him. Enemy can spread out to avoid AoEs? That would be a shame if it didn't make it REAL easy to take them down one by one.
    Last edited by Artanis; 2008-07-20 at 07:04 PM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepblue706 View Post
    Make sure your party members are using the "correct" weapons. A dwarf rogue, per the rules, can't use half of his tactical abilities if he decides he likes hammers and not daggers or crossbows.
    Yes, we're all using our powers. It seems to me that other 4e players have fights that go like this

    "You beat the kobold's init. It'll go fighter, rogue, wizard, kobolds 1 and 3, then the pally, and then kobold 2."

    "Okay, I move forward four squares, then I shift a diagonal and use Icy Fist to slide the guy over four squares. Rogue's move"

    "Well, now that he's over here, I can use Magic Backstab on all three enemies and then shift twelve squares away into that sniper position I saw earlier."

    "Thanks for leaving, rogue, now I can AOE them all. Oh, and it looks like I knocked the big one down. "


    Whereas my own games look more like

    "I hit it with a cleave."
    "I hit it with a frost ray"
    "I hit it with a dodge."
    "I hit it with a -wait, what?"
    "Heh heh. I named my dagger Dodge."
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    I dunno, our round-by-rounds get rather confusing. But for example in a second campaign I've just started:

    Large room with various low walls for cover or dark areas off to the side. Three PCs, an NPC Swordmage (we needed a tank) and 8 militia (minions) against about 8 goblin minions, a couple of fighters, an... underboss I think it's called, and two lurkers we didn't know about.

    It was a battle of mobility as the minions fell on either side, though two of ours kept a lurker out of the fight, rigged boulders fell on a large part of the battlefield, causing damage to us and making difficult terrain. We narrowly avoided a pit trap, and the swordmage then proceeded to circle it trying to pull the underboss in. The ranger was sitting on the opposite side of a wall from a sniper as they dodged and took shots, while the Wizard used his AoEs to try and take pressure off us, or Illusionary Ambush to debuff the heavy hitters. My warlord was constantly shifting our guys around for flanking or buffing the Swordmage's attempts (which since I had to buff adjacent guys meant I was circling with him).

    ...sounds rather tactical to me.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Nice. Good to know it works. Must be something wrong with my DM. I'll have to make him stop using modules.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    The whole 'I hit with X ability, your turn', 'I hit with Y ability, your turn', can happen in any combat, regardless of the system you use. Whether things get more tactically complicated is mostly up to the group, although detailed combat rules can help take a lot of guesswork out of it. ex: I really like having detailed rules for things like trips and knockdowns and pushing people around, because that's a big part of a real fight in my experience.

    One of the reasons I, personally, haven't liked 4e is that, right there. I don't want the guy to fall down because I used my Super Shield Slam ability (which, for some reason, I can only use once during the whole fight), I want him to fall down because I'm stronger and experienced at knocking people down, and the resulting modifiers (or luck) allowed me to win the check and do so. Not just because I hit with an ability that says 'Add'l effects: Knocks target down.'

    Semantics? Perhaps, but that's the way I feel about it, though I don't see that it makes 4e any more or less 'tactical' than any other system. It's all in how you play it.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by Prophaniti View Post
    One of the reasons I, personally, haven't liked 4e is that, right there. I don't want the guy to fall down because I used my Super Shield Slam ability (which, for some reason, I can only use once during the whole fight), I want him to fall down because I'm stronger and experienced at knocking people down, and the resulting modifiers (or luck) allowed me to win the check and do so. Not just because I hit with an ability that says 'Add'l effects: Knocks target down.'
    Want a "realistic" melee system, with various actions avalaible in combat? Then D&D it's not the game you want. Probably you don't want something as overly complicated as Rolemaster, but 4e is as tactical as D&D goes melee-wise.

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Something that's been bothering me about the "tactical" part of the game is the short-sightedness of tactics with the new power system.

    Firstly, since I can't depend on a power to work and I may lose it if it doesn't, I can't plan ahead very much on what to do afterwards.

    Also, since each effect from most of the Powers lasts only 1 round, there's really no long term planning on how to exploit it. Indeed, many effects of Powers work together with those from different classes to harmonize, but if another character isn't within reach of a hindered monster within that one round, then the synergy is lost.

    Thoughts?
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Very true, tumble check, and I really don't understand why all status effects wear off so quickly now. It's almost like they wanted to get rid of them entirely, but didn't have the guts.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by Prophaniti View Post
    Very true, tumble check, and I really don't understand why all status effects wear off so quickly now. It's almost like they wanted to get rid of them entirely, but didn't have the guts.
    It's because they wanted to get rid of all the bookkeeping involved in duration tracking. Also, previous editions seriously underestimated the impact of most status effects. Even a single round of being dazed has a noticeable impact, a round of stun hurts quite a bit, and a round of unconsciousness can be a death sentence.
    Last edited by Dausuul; 2008-07-21 at 08:17 AM.

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post
    Excuse me, but could someone post a round-by-round of a 4e battle? I heard it was supposed to be all tactical and like a board game, but with my group it seemed to be just hitting one another. Things like cloud of daggers were entirely irrelevant since even if an enemy really didn't want to lose 5 hp, they could walk around it.

    I'd really like to like 4e, please show me the brilliance of it.
    Okay, this isn't quite round-by-round, but this was our 2nd-to-last fight last week, as closely as I remember it. 3rd level party - myself as the Eladrin Warlord, a Halfling Rogue, a Human Fighter, and a Human Wizard. We're in a dark dungeon deep beneath Skullcrown keep (the keep is crawling with Hobgoblins and demons - we're not sure if they know about the basement, and we're fairly sure they don't we're in the basement). The Wizard's light spell and my flaming sword are our only sources of illumination - we come into a room with some collapsed rocks, dark puddles, and a stairway leading up and to the left. As we cautiously move in, we spot movement behind a pillar and whip our weapons out as a Ghoul pounces at us (no surprise round, yay for perception checks).

    Round 1: Rogue uses First Strike/magic throwing dagger to get off an early sneak attack - ghoul moves up and slams my warlord, I slam him back and shift to give rogue an easier flanking spot next round. Fighter moves up and marks ghoul to pull his attention away from me, Wizard moves up, thinks about thunder-waving ghoul, decides on Illusory Ambush instead.

    Round 2: Rogue moves up, flanks ghoul, sneak attacks again. 5 vampire bats drop from ceiling and swarm wizard - 4 of them latch onto Wizard and start sucking blood. Wizard lets out high girlish scream, thunderwaves ineffectually at bats. Fighter takes this opportunity to let off a sweeping burst, hitting two bats and the ghoul. I use commander's strike in an attempt to get fighter to finish off ghoul - ghoul is close to dead but not quite, slams itself into fighter.

    Round 3: Rogue kills ghoul, circles around looking to flank some bats. Bats drain the rest of the Wizard's blood, Wizard drops unconscious. Remaining bats attack fighter. I hit a bat with wolf-pack tactics, shifting the fighter to cover the unconscious wizard, then revive the wizard with Inspiring word. I circle around behind the rogue. Fighter uses passing attack to hit a couple more bats, attempting to keep as many of them marked as possible.

    Round 4: Rogue kills a bat with a sneak attack. Surviving bats attack random targets. Wizard crawls to safety, unleashes another thunderwave. Fighter smacks things with cleave. I attempt to fey-step past the fighter/bats melee clump to flank the last bat, but discover that the "puddle" in the corner is actually a deep pool, and drop into icy, foul-smelling water.

    Round 5: Rest of the party finishes off the bats, I dog-paddle back. Everyone catches their breath and spends healing surges while I prepare to dive back in and see what's at the bottom of the pool.

    That's not exactly how it went, but it's pretty close, and felt fairly tactical to me when we were in the thick of it - does it measure up to your expectations?

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    i find it funny that D&D started as a portion of a war-game known as Chainmail that used miniatures during a castle siege and now it is slowly going back to its roots...
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by quiet1mi View Post
    i find it funny that D&D started as a portion of a war-game known as Chainmail that used miniatures during a castle siege and now it is slowly going back to its roots...
    ...and that some people are going kicking and screaming...
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post
    Yes, we're all using our powers. It seems to me that other 4e players have fights that go like this

    "You beat the kobold's init. It'll go fighter, rogue, wizard, kobolds 1 and 3, then the pally, and then kobold 2."

    "Okay, I move forward four squares, then I shift a diagonal and use Icy Fist to slide the guy over four squares. Rogue's move"

    "Well, now that he's over here, I can use Magic Backstab on all three enemies and then shift twelve squares away into that sniper position I saw earlier."

    "Thanks for leaving, rogue, now I can AOE them all. Oh, and it looks like I knocked the big one down. "


    Whereas my own games look more like

    "I hit it with a cleave."
    "I hit it with a frost ray"
    "I hit it with a dodge."
    "I hit it with a -wait, what?"
    "Heh heh. I named my dagger Dodge."
    It just sounds like you guys are not using everything you can. Notice, with your first example, for example that when you use an AoE, and the enemy walks around it, you are already affecting him. He's not walking in a straight line, meaning that he may not reach his intended target in that turn, and may walk into the attack of an ally, like the fighter, that can screw him over more.

    I remember my group back in AD&D did a lot of that. Eveyone picked a target and we rolled the d20 until one side dropped. In 3rd ed. we finally started changing it, and 4e looks good for it too.

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    It's because they wanted to get rid of all the bookkeeping involved in duration tracking.
    Am I the only one who didn't care about the bookkeeping? Alot of 4e was designed so that it can be played generally without opening the PHB for reference, but I never minded it.

    I was always the one to play the Bard with a round-by-round list of what I did, who I buffed, and how long each buff lasted. I even had a timeline tacked on so I could predict when effects would end. Was this so bad? Or did it interfere with your beer and pretzels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    Also, previous editions seriously underestimated the impact of most status effects. Even a single round of being dazed has a noticeable impact, a round of stun hurts quite a bit, and a round of unconsciousness can be a death sentence.
    To be fair, this is quite a legitimate issue. I can understand how this is why they took out most Enchantment of 4e, because it's so hard to be quantified into CRs... but that doesn't mean that couldn't have done it. I assume that WotC is working on it now, and plan on having it come out in a supplement. If not, I'm not sure what I'll do. Pure Evocation casters bore me to tears.
    I am of those who subjectively prefer the style of Dungeons & Dragons Edition 3.5 as opposed to 4.

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by tumble check View Post
    I was always the one to play the Bard with a round-by-round list of what I did, who I buffed, and how long each buff lasted. I even had a timeline tacked on so I could predict when effects would end. Was this so bad? Or did it interfere with your beer and pretzels?

    One of MY players is always the cleric who doesn't. He usually isn't even sure which of his spells he's cast.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by tumble check View Post
    I was always the one to play the Bard with a round-by-round list of what I did, who I buffed, and how long each buff lasted. I even had a timeline tacked on so I could predict when effects would end. Was this so bad? Or did it interfere with your beer and pretzels?
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post
    One of MY players is always the cleric who doesn't. He usually isn't even sure which of his spells he's cast.
    This is why I preferred to play barbarians and rogues to Druids and Clerics. I don't have the head to keep track of a million and a half different spells.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    Not wanting to keep track of fifteen things doesn't mean you're a lazy slob.
    I was referring to direction of beer and pretzels games, not the athleticism and motivation of the players.
    I am of those who subjectively prefer the style of Dungeons & Dragons Edition 3.5 as opposed to 4.

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by quiet1mi View Post
    i find it funny that D&D started as a portion of a war-game known as Chainmail that used miniatures during a castle siege and now it is slowly going back to its roots...
    That's the little bit of irony that's crossed my mind more than once. It really is funny, and kinda cool at the same time. Especially because it's a wargame that has the "Specific rules over general rules" paradigm of TCGs. Easy for the players, and lots of customization. And it still has the potential to tell a story.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    It's because they wanted to get rid of all the bookkeeping involved in duration tracking. Also, previous editions seriously underestimated the impact of most status effects. Even a single round of being dazed has a noticeable impact, a round of stun hurts quite a bit, and a round of unconsciousness can be a death sentence.
    That tracks perfectly. Being unconscious while there are people around trying to kill you is usually a bad thing. So, if something happens that would logically knock my character out, hey, I suck it up and probably die. If you feel the status effects are too strong, a better approach would be to have less of them, less often, not cut the duration down to one round. It's like "Oh, I got hit with (magical or mundane) knockout gas and fell asleep. But it's been six seconds so now I'm back on my feet and ready to fight again." It just doesn't make a lot of sense.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by Prophaniti View Post
    That tracks perfectly. Being unconscious while there are people around trying to kill you is usually a bad thing. So, if something happens that would logically knock my character out, hey, I suck it up and probably die. If you feel the status effects are too strong, a better approach would be to have less of them, less often, not cut the duration down to one round. It's like "Oh, I got hit with (magical or mundane) knockout gas and fell asleep. But it's been six seconds so now I'm back on my feet and ready to fight again." It just doesn't make a lot of sense.
    This is what terrifies me when I think about how WotC is going to implement Enchantment, easily my favorite kind of casting. If they make 1-round Charms or some that have saves every turn, it's not gonna be awesome.

    Obviously, I realize that Enchantments needed to be nerfed and perhaps quantified a bit, but I really hope they're gonna be clever about it, not have it stick strictly to this new paradigm.
    I am of those who subjectively prefer the style of Dungeons & Dragons Edition 3.5 as opposed to 4.

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by tumble check View Post
    Was this so bad? Or did it interfere with your beer and pretzels?
    Having to keep track of a bunch of meta game information can interfere with immersion in the "actual game" for some people. Likewise, it can certain bog down the game if all you want to do is kick down the door, kill some stuff and loot the bodies. There's nothing wrong with people who don't enjoy the bookkeeping details, so that's kind of uncalled for.
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2008-07-21 at 02:30 PM.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by tumble check View Post
    This is what terrifies me when I think about how WotC is going to implement Enchantment, easily my favorite kind of casting. If they make 1-round Charms or some that have saves every turn, it's not gonna be awesome.

    Obviously, I realize that Enchantments needed to be nerfed and perhaps quantified a bit, but I really hope they're gonna be clever about it, not have it stick strictly to this new paradigm.
    I think that's exactly how 'Enchantments' is going to work; heck, it's already built into the Core mechanic (see: Fey Warlock powers). The formula is basically: attack vs. Will, does some damage on a hit (few things don't), and has the effect of letting you direct the target to make a basic melee attack against the nearest enemy for one turn.
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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by tumble check View Post
    This is what terrifies me when I think about how WotC is going to implement Enchantment, easily my favorite kind of casting. If they make 1-round Charms or some that have saves every turn, it's not gonna be awesome.
    Honestly, I think it is going to be something to the effect of "vs. Will, deals x amount of damage. If target drops to 0 HP or lower, you can treat that target as a friend for Y time period". Y time period probably starting real small, and then increasing as level increases.

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post

    [Emphasis mine]

    Having to keep track of a bunch of meta game information can interfere with immersion in the "actual game" for some people. Likewise, it can certain bog down the game if all you want to do is kick down the door, kill some stuff and loot the bodies.
    Indeed. (sigh)


    Quote Originally Posted by Edea View Post
    I think that's exactly how 'Enchantments' is going to work; heck, it's already built into the Core mechanic (see: Fey Warlock powers). The formula is basically: attack vs. Will, does some damage on a hit (few things don't), and has the effect of letting you direct the target to make a basic melee attack against the nearest enemy for one turn.
    Fair enough. And you know what, if HP can be extracted to "the will to continue battle" as indeed some posters on this board have postulated, then it would be OK. But HP hasn't been abstracted as such.

    So, is the Enchanter (or whatever they'll call it) basically gonna be a normal Wizard that attacks the Will Defense and not the AC or Reflex Defense?
    I am of those who subjectively prefer the style of Dungeons & Dragons Edition 3.5 as opposed to 4.

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by tumble check View Post
    I was always the one to play the Bard with a round-by-round list of what I did, who I buffed, and how long each buff lasted. I even had a timeline tacked on so I could predict when effects would end. Was this so bad?
    'So bad'? No. Was there anything good about it? Was it necessary?

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by tumble check View Post
    Obviously, I realize that Enchantments needed to be nerfed and perhaps quantified a bit, but I really hope they're gonna be clever about it, not have it stick strictly to this new paradigm.
    Bolded emphasis mine.


    ...HUH? In 3.5, the Enchantment school is the weakest school out of all magic. It was fun, but weakest in terms of strength. Why would it need nerfing?

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    Default Re: 4e: All this business aboutit being a tactical wargame

    Quote Originally Posted by tumble check View Post
    Indeed. (sigh)
    Yes indeed, it's so terrible that some people have different tastes than you do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
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    Bossing Around Mad Cats for Fun and Profit: Let's Play MechCommander 2!

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