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Adaro

Diffan's page

788 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Rathendar wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Diffan: While your point is not entirely wrong, it is also quite true that those decisions I paraphrased were a large part of the reason for the edition war. I mean, there would have been an outcry whatever they did, but it wouldn't have become impossible to discuss on any major RPG board for years and years without their ample help.

And yet the "decisions" you paraphrased are basically your negative opinions of the edition and less to do with actual reasons for those changes.

Second, how does ANY of that constitute a trust violation? From my perspective the only thing WotC is at fault for is the taking away of PDFs people bought (though why they weren't saved and stored on a device is beyond me) and falling through with their promises on a VTT and on-line tools. Everything else, no it wasn't a breach of trust. They didnt go in a direction people like and they got mad and complained.

If a company i purchase from goes in a direction i do not wish for or desire, then i can no longer trust them to make what i like. How many things have to diverge from a person's preferences for them to be able to say they have no trust in the company's actions to satisfy your personal definition?

Let me ask, you find a product you like. Do you instantly trust them to continue to make the exact same product forever? I don't think it's about trust, something I generally associate with actual people, I think it's about expectations and disappointment. For some, the direction the game took was a disappointment to them. I severely doubt "trust" was broken. Perhaps people might be more cautious about purchasing products from them OR take a longer in-depth look to what their products do before purchase but that's a stance every consumer should be taking.

Further, 4E had LOADS of changes to try the product before buying it. And the same is true with NEXT. You can easily see the game's direction their taking and either that A) suits your needs or B) it doesn't. It has absolutely zip to do with gaining trust back.


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Sissyl wrote:
Diffan: While your point is not entirely wrong, it is also quite true that those decisions I paraphrased were a large part of the reason for the edition war. I mean, there would have been an outcry whatever they did, but it wouldn't have become impossible to discuss on any major RPG board for years and years without their ample help.

And yet the "decisions" you paraphrased are basically your negative opinions of the edition and less to do with actual reasons for those changes.

Second, how does ANY of that constitute a trust violation? From my perspective the only thing WotC is at fault for is the taking away of PDFs people bought (though why they weren't saved and stored on a device is beyond me) and falling through with their promises on a VTT and on-line tools. Everything else, no it wasn't a breach of trust. They didnt go in a direction people like and they got mad and complained.


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Sissyl wrote:

"Okay, guys, time for 4dventure! Let us focus on tactics and combat only, after all we are trying to attract the MtG and WoW players. Skills? Nah, we just make them a guessing game and call them skill challenges. What else?"

"Well, we could do inspiring monsters?"
"Nah, the bean counters want us to use only copyrightable names, so icefrostchoke elemental is what is going to happen."
"Darnit. How about interesting powers for the PCs?"
"So long as they can only do straight damage, inflict ongoing damage or conditions, or move people around the board. The ninety-year-old focus group doesn't understand more than that. They also think we should have more hotels, free parking and do not pass go."
"Umm.. Okay. I know, we can focus on the IP we already have, like the Forgotten Realms?"
"No, focus groups have said there is too much stuff on it, so we are carpet bombing it with a Spellplague and then a century time jump. The fans are going to love it, by our calculations."
"What calcuations?"
"The ninety-year olds told us."
"Sounds like a tough situation... Computer stuff?"
"Yeah, about that, we really want people to pay every month instead of just once, you know like WoW, so we are going to make this really cool three dimensional dungeon delving system. All the details aren't sorted out yet, but hey, we can still promise it."
"The Paizo guys are REALLY getting fan support nowadays, shouldn't we throw some support their way?"
"Hmmm, no. Let's cancel both mags, and fold it into our monthly scheme. We can even do a cool corporate sketch about four parts of the experience interlocking and supporting each other - the bosses upstairs would really like that."
"But... Cancel? Is that wise?"
"Their fans are our fans. They can't do diddlysquat without legal access to the ruleset."
"Uh, sir... You do know about the OGL?"
"Damn, we... I know, we release a new one, charge five grand for using it and include that those that do never get to publish under the OGL again! I mean, this is the new hot stuff, it has to sell...

*rolls eyes*

And the edition war continues......


Pan wrote:
Diffan wrote:
I like the sculpt spell ability because it shows that Evokers know their way around destructive magics. It shows that training steadily in the particular school has greater benefits than being a generalist. I'd also like to see what other effects are tied to schools.

I agree with the thought process here but I feel the sculpt bit is ultimately cheesy. I probably shouldn't say this but the no friendly fire thing reminds me of an element I dislike in video games. It just removes an interesting challenge of the game and makes it easier. I wish they would have chosen a different school for the PDF.

I'd agree with you if it was something every wizard could do or any spellcaster could pick up with a feat. But since is a limited option from one school of magic, I don't see the harm. Every wizard who isn't an Evoker is still limited to picking carefully where to place their AoE spells.


I like the sculpt spell ability because it shows that Evokers know their way around destructive magics. It shows that training steadily in the particular school has greater benefits than being a generalist. I'd also like to see what other effects are tied to schools.


thejeff wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
So one interesting thing i noticed about 5ed recently, is that they seem to have acknowledged what a longsword actually is as it seems to have the "bastard sword" included this time, being 1d8 damage when used one-handed and 1d10 when used two-handed. And there is no bastard sword in the weapons list (but that doesn't really mean much on its own, seeing as the weapons list for this document is a lot shorter than the 3ed PHB list)
I really like the concept too, makes it seem and feel far more versatile than just adding 1.5 Str modifier when wielded in 2-hands.
It's more of a replacement for adding the 1.5 STR mod, right? That isn't in the rules as far as I can tell.

As far as I know, yes. Adding 1.5 Str to 2-handed weapons isn't in the Basic Rules doc.


Terquem wrote:

*twweeeeeeetttt* yellow flag thrown to the side

Raises arms in cross pattern, swiping both hands down in a choping motion, turning to the side, and making a kicking motion with the left foot, then placing both hands on hips while hopping up and down

from the anouncers booth

Oh, this looks bad, Bob. The ref is calling a fifty three post penalty for raising the Katana issue

That's right, Dave. We've seen this before in many threads. This thread is in real danger of being kicked to the curb

You said it, Bob. How many times can a poster be called on that before it becomes a technical foul?

Well, Dave, that all depends on the ref, if she doesn't stay right on top of that 53 post limitation for discussing the Katana in any way, it could go into overtime, and that risks a complete lock down. Back to our topic. Oh, it looks like the Generic Dungeon Master is stepping up to try and deflect the issue

Haha, nice. :-)

Still, I like it.


Threeshades wrote:
So one interesting thing i noticed about 5ed recently, is that they seem to have acknowledged what a longsword actually is as it seems to have the "bastard sword" included this time, being 1d8 damage when used one-handed and 1d10 when used two-handed. And there is no bastard sword in the weapons list (but that doesn't really mean much on its own, seeing as the weapons list for this document is a lot shorter than the 3ed PHB list)

I really like the concept too, makes it seem and feel far more versatile than just adding 1.5 Str modifier when wielded in 2-hands. Plus I like they suggest that the long sword could serve as a Katana too


Torpedo wrote:

I received my hardcopy of the 13th Age Bestiary earlier this week. Saturday night I'm going to run another 13th Age session, a conversion of Paizo's "Hollow's Last Hope" module for new players. I'm replacing some of the encounters with new creatures from the Bestiary such as stirges, kobold shadow-warriors, and a redcap!

I love 13th Age. I hope the new players do also.

If 5e doesn't pan out, I'm really looking for a new RPG to try. I love 3.5 / PF and 4e but Im not sure Next will be accepted by my players (its been free til now so we've been playtesting) but I don't think it has the feel they're looking for. 13th Age has been said to have been a nice replacement for 4e with some touch up. Now I know its not the sae and I knkw there are MANY different elements, but is the feel similar? By feel, I mean does it feel like Im playing a hero from 1st level and is combat engaging and thorough?


Scott Betts wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
4E died in 2012 and the playtest started.
Calling 4e "dead" in 2012 is overstating things. It wasn't receiving regular print releases but was still receiving active support, including through new organized play campaigns. Over the last couple of years we've seen a transition from supporting 4e, to supporting both 4e and 5e, to supporting only 5e in the last few months.

Last time I looked, Dungeon and Dragon stopped in December of 2013 with new items and paragon paths and adventures. So technically 4E stopped being supported only for the past 7 months.


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I feel Golarion is pretty much Forgotten Realms lite. It's pretty much the "...and the kitchen sink." setting that Forgotten Realms is but without the thousands of years of lore and history FR has or cool things like Zhentarim, Undead nations, or Shades.


Pan wrote:
Diffan wrote:

At-Will magic (Cantrips / Orisons) - Taken from PF's at-will cantrips / 4E's at-will powers this allows caters to be casters throughout the day. Some people like it, others don't. It IS a fixed rule but I'm sure people can find ways to limit it. Personally I think it makes me playing a wizard feel more "wizardly" than "Um, I do nothing but "help action" to save on spell power" 3/4 encounters of the day.

This is the biggest stickler for me and am pretty sad they didnt put it on a dial. Maybe the PHB/DMG will give me some options to mod this unwanted feature.

Auxmaulous's idea of X/day sounds reasonable. Much like various Pathfinder classes have. An easy houserule if anything.

Pan wrote:
diffan wrote:


Bounded Accuracy - This is one of the biggest draws for me. I'm getting really tired of he ridiculous bonuses, ACs, attack mods, etc. that I'm seeing with v3.5 / PF and 4E. I don't need to have PC's who has AC 29 - 32 at 13th level. It's just.....unnecessary and creates a HUGE immersion problem when viewed in conjunction with the rest of the world. I mean, my 13th level v3.5 Fighter has an AC 29. That means he can literally go into any small village and destroy EVERYTHING without fear of reprisal from the locals. Even if 30 villages attack him at once, his AC (even prone) is likely high enough (mechanically speaking) he can lay there for a while and not take damage. That, to me, is just dumb. With bounded accuracy, AC 18 is HIGH but still hit-able with a d20 + ability modifier.

I am 100% with you on BA. In fact, I would say its the crown jewel of 5E.

I think it does help the game in the long run, especially with keeping monsters relevant for longer.


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Josh M. wrote:
Diffan wrote:

Most of this I find pretty funny because if someone had just done with with 4E at the onset such as formatted the powers to look like 3.5 spells / Maneuvers ala Tome of Battle instead of the color-coded boxes, removed Squares with Feet, used more traditional / fluid terminology instead of gamer jargon, and made it more clear that powers were subject to DM adjudication then I think 4E would probably still be supported by the fanbase to this day.

It's quite funny to see many 4E-naysayers gush over how great WotC is for bringing D&D back when so many 4E elements have remained on the fundamental level.

Actually, uh, yeah. *raises hand*

Am I terrible for admitting that?

Haha, not at all. Hell I've been saying that since I opened up the 4E PHB in 08'. It also shows just how important 1st impressions are and how something as simple as layout and colors can skew people's opinions.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Diffan wrote:
In all honestly this is quite easy to do but the question is: Do people want to make the changes that make the game more preferable to them? For 4E, the answer was NO. And I have to ask: Why is it OK for 5E? If someone is going to alter the game THIS much to emulate older systems, why not just...

Not to speak for Auxmaulous, but for me it's a matter of quantity of house rules rather than difficulty of individual house rules. For example, making 3.x play the way I want requires a lot of house rules, while making TSR D&D play the way I want requires...well, I don't think that's possible because I'd end up literally rewriting the entire game.

PS: Thanks for your rundown of 5e 4e-isms!

No problem, they're just things that I've noticed that appear to work in similar fashion to 4E when we were playtesting. But I guess your right in that if somethings are ingrained with the system and if it's harder to remove / rewrite then it's easier to just play something else. Perhaps 5E's mechanics are simpler to remove than previous editions?


Auxmaulous wrote:
Diffan wrote:
It's quite funny to see many 4E-naysayers gush over how great WotC is for bringing D&D back when so many 4E elements have remained on the fundamental level.

I'm a 4e naysayer (a bigger 3rd ed naysayer actually - that was the beginning of the decline imo) and I like basic as a starting point - but everything you listed IS a problem for me.

The difference here is that these problems are actually workable from this lowered baseline than anything I could do with a 3rd ed/PF based high powered default and number assumptions already built into system.

I am going to fix:

[snip]

So to me, this is just a better starting point to get a 1st/2nd ed feel with some easy mods, while having a game that is actively supported. As much of the 4e-isms and 3rd-isms will be chucked and flushed down the toilet as I can possibly strip and rip out of the system. 5e just gives me less to strip out to get the game I want.

Honestly, this could be done with 4E and 3E with little fuss. I think that perhaps your more willing to mod this version than others?

I mean, for 4E to reflect some of the significant changes you suggest, it would take about the same to get working.

Healing Surges would be greatly reduced and remove full overnight healing to something less significant.

At-Will spellcasting (X/per day or X/per encounter)

Include Racial Penalities

Include Alignment restrictions / Race restrictions

Paladin smites (or even spell/prayers that use radiant damage must target evil)

Rogues need special ways to obtain Combat Advantage

Expand Skills

Remove Immediate Reactions / No Action attacks and spells full bar OR make them a standard action to use.

In all honestly this is quite easy to do but the question is: Do people want to make the changes that make the game more preferable to them? For 4E, the answer was NO. And I have to ask: Why is it OK for 5E? If someone is going to alter the game THIS much to emulate older systems, why not just play older systems? And this isn't a post to tell you *NOT* to play 5E or to change to to your liking, I'm just curious as to why it's easier or OK to change 5E but not go to the same lengths with 4E or 3E?


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Cascade wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

...

There is to much 4E in 5E though I think to really drop large amounts of $$$ on it.

Really?

Are we talking about the same game?
Each version of NEXT that I've played couldn't be more opposite of 4e.

• HD healing = Healing Surges.....sorta

• Overnight full healing = 4E style

• Short Rest abilities = Encounter Powers.....again sorta

• At-will spellcasting (Cantrips / Orisons) = At-Will spells

• No Alignment mechanics / restrictions

• No racial ability score penalties

• Shortened Skill list akin to 4E's instead of the vast 3.5 list

• Rogue's Sneak Attack happens without any "sneak" required.

• Paladin smites work against anything (from the playtest anyways).

• Ritual spells = pretty much what 4E did.

In short, many of the 4E-isms have remained but received a "old school" paint job and don't call out game-ist elements like "squares" or "Push, Pull, Slide". Additionally they went back to the older wording for things like adventuring day instead of Encounters.

Most of this I find pretty funny because if someone had just done with with 4E at the onset such as formatted the powers to look like 3.5 spells / Maneuvers ala Tome of Battle instead of the color-coded boxes, removed Squares with Feet, used more traditional / fluid terminology instead of gamer jargon, and made it more clear that powers were subject to DM adjudication then I think 4E would probably still be supported by the fanbase to this day.

It's quite funny to see many 4E-naysayers gush over how great WotC is for bringing D&D back when so many 4E elements have remained on the fundamental level.


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:

5th edition of D&D is the 5th edition of D&D.

If someone invited me to play D&D I would ask which edition. I would avoid 4e and 5e and play 2e, 3.X and PF. 1e would be played out of curiosity as I never played it. Supposed to be similar to 2e.

Exactly. I need to know which version a person is going to try running. I have a few friends that play all the editions and I pretty much will bow out of any attempt at anything TSR related. Just not my cup of tea. So to me, it's important to clarify that the group is running 2E AD&D or 1st because then I can plan on doing something else with my time.

Somewhat the same here. I'll play anything at least once if a friend is running it, but which edition and what level we're starting at suggests my attitude regarding chargen and the game.

Playing low level TSR D&D? I know not to take the game too seriously, and I won't bother thinking about my character's personality until and if he survives a few levels. Beer 'n' pretzels game.

Playing low level 3.x? Again, don't bother thinking about characterization. Instead, brush up on my system mastery!

Playing mid+ level? Might be worth thinking about personality and character history, but there will still be plenty of arbitrarium to mentally prepare for.

Playing 4e? Probably worth showing up to game day with a full character, and chances are good that I'll want to stay for more than one session.

That's pretty much where I stand though I give you credit for playing TSR D&D regardless of level.

As for how this stands with 5E, I've found that low level isn't terribly deadly (with HD healing, full overnight healing, and some cleric spells) and that the game sort of stays the same over the course of the game. Now we did run the Tomb of Horrors at 10th level and I had 1 PC die, however that was far more his fault after I had said "Are you sure you wanna do this?". Normally that gives them pause and many times it's for good reason. This time, however, it was a Shrug and plops on this really bad Crown. He touches the crown with the sceptor and it falls off (no problem). He puts it on again and tries the other side.....disintegrated.... oops! Still, it was sorta funny.


Slatz Grubnik wrote:
Now that the Basic rules are available for free, and you have had the chance to look it over once or twice, how do you feel about it? What are your thoughts?

Personally, I'm OK With the rules. They resemble the playtest rules fairly well with slight alterations here and there. My group, while trying the playtests, were "meh" on it. I think we'd have fun (and had fun with the playtest) but I'm not sure if it's something they'll want to invest their time in. Right now we currently have a few v3.5 campaigns to finish up, a Pathfinder campaign to finish up, an a few 4E campaigns to finish up.

Some of the things that intrigue me:

• Bounded Accuracy - This is one of the biggest draws for me. I'm getting really tired of he ridiculous bonuses, ACs, attack mods, etc. that I'm seeing with v3.5 / PF and 4E. I don't need to have PC's who has AC 29 - 32 at 13th level. It's just.....unnecessary and creates a HUGE immersion problem when viewed in conjunction with the rest of the world. I mean, my 13th level v3.5 Fighter has an AC 29. That means he can literally go into any small village and destroy EVERYTHING without fear of reprisal from the locals. Even if 30 villages attack him at once, his AC (even prone) is likely high enough (mechanically speaking) he can lay there for a while and not take damage. That, to me, is just dumb. With bounded accuracy, AC 18 is HIGH but still hit-able with a d20 + ability modifier.

• Rituals - This is something ported from 4E (well, I think it originally came from an Unearthed Arcana source) and it's something that I really like. No mage wants to waste a precious spell slot prepping a spell that will, most likely, not be used but it's nice to have as a backup.

• Module Healing Rate - This is one of those "iffy" topics that everyone has a different opinion on. Some want "gritty" healing and some like "non-gritty" healing. Personally I'm a fan of overnight healing because it means that I don't have to put unnecessary time restraints on my dungeons and can keep the pace going well.

• No forced Alignment Mechanics - This is one of the many reasons I avoid TSR games and feel obligated to change all my v3.5 / PF ones. The idea that deities don't have their own champions seems silly to me. 4E removed alignment mechanics and so does Next. Of course anyone can add them in if they want and I'm cool with having mechanics thrown in from the DMG to enhance other people's games.

• At-Will magic (Cantrips / Orisons) - Taken from PF's at-will cantrips / 4E's at-will powers this allows caters to be casters throughout the day. Some people like it, others don't. It IS a fixed rule but I'm sure people can find ways to limit it. Personally I think it makes me playing a wizard feel more "wizardly" than "Um, I do nothing but "help action" to save on spell power" 3/4 encounters of the day.


137ben wrote:
3.5 monk is really good after the errata. The point of confusion is that they changed the name of the monk class to 'unarmed swordsage';)

Very true. Now I want to play a Vow of Poverty Unarmed Swordsage!!


goldomark wrote:

5th edition of D&D is the 5th edition of D&D.

If someone invited me to play D&D I would ask which edition. I would avoid 4e and 5e and play 2e, 3.X and PF. 1e would be played out of curiosity as I never played it. Supposed to be similar to 2e.

Exactly. I need to know which version a person is going to try running. I have a few friends that play all the editions and I pretty much will bow out of any attempt at anything TSR related. Just not my cup of tea. So to me, it's important to clarify that the group is running 2E AD&D or 1st because then I can plan on doing something else with my time.

Like Matt Tomason said: "There isn't anything fundamentally wrong with edition wars, in as much as it's perfectly okay to love one edition of the game and hate another." which is very true. In my instance the entire line of a specific companty (TSR) is something that I avoid and that's OK. The problem starts when I attempt to make my beef with the people who play TSR versions of the game.


Zardnaar wrote:
Stick vow of poverty on a wild shape Druid using natural spell= lolz. Note I hate Natural spell and have banned it from the table.

That'd actually be pretty funny to watch. Hell, I might even try that on some unsuspecting DM who runs v3.5.

Zardnaar wrote:

The monk is just a crap class in most versions of D&D and is a waste of a class and that is before you consider the genre.

Sadly it's true. As much as I like the feel and archetype the Monk is attempting to emulate, it often falls flat due to the system's limitations. In v3.5 one way I was able to help it out was give it a Fighter's Base Attack Bonus and changed the Flurry of Blows progression.

4E's Monk attempt was much better, giving them movement abilities in addition to a nice strike feature and burst attacks.

5E's Monk, from the playtest, didn't do too bad. My friend played on for a while in one of the playtest adventures and did pretty amazing until one of our PCs (who died and was instead roleplaying a Kobold that we rescued) ended up turning on us and shooting the monk in the back of the head with a crossbow. So lets hope that they continue with that version, I liked that one of the options was an Avatar: The Last Airbender version with elemental attacks.


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Scott Henry wrote:
Has anyone tried it yet? Is it any good vs Pathfinder? I really don't see the point in handing over yet MORE money to Hasbro who is treating D&D like a Wargame and churning out a new edition every few years. I'm sort of sickened by the same people who were so angry about 3.5 and 4th ed so close together who went to Pathfinder who are now turning around and giving money back to this new D&D. Unless its insanely good I don't see why you'd quit Pathfinder and go back to D&D.

Im going to answer your question honestly: because it's different, it scratches an itch neither Pathfinder (and by that extention 3.5) nor 4E can do. It's lighter, less complex, less bloated (numbers wise), less arbitrary, and more open to free-form. Further, I think it has the possibility of being easily portable to other supplements without a lot of work as well as being modular.

Additionally, 4e is no longer supported and I won't spend money on Pathfinder so what's left?


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P.H. Dungeon wrote:
I think this is a good analysis. It hits on a lot the thoughts I was having about the new system. The lack of reliance on magic items is a huge plus for me with this system. As a GM I hate feeling like I need to give out stuff like cloaks of resistance, rings of protection, belts of strength etc.. just to allow the characters to supposably keep up with the math of the game.

YES! Magic items should be awe-inspiring. I think with the assumption of magical items being required in the game, even ones with just a +1 attached to them will carry significantly more weight within the world. Also, I think it's important for the DM to build up how important magical items are. The DMG should have a nice segment of including them and the consequences of doing so (in both releative power shift as well as making the PCs bigger targets for people who are now going to crave those magical items).

P.H. Dungeon wrote:


I definitely love the 20 attribute cap, and that players are forced to choose between a feat or an attribute boost.

At first I hated it because I felt that I'd always choose a feat and I'd be left out with the ability score bumps but with feat design being "super sized" I feel they're not as necessary. Want to be a good Two-Weapon Fighter? Just take 1 feat and there you are. No more plethora of feat-chains that take 1/4 of your character's progression to achieve just to start playing the sort of character you want.

P.H. Dungeon wrote:


The backgrounds and charts with the ideals flaws etc... were more interesting to me than I anticipated. I really hope they hook players into thinking more about PCs as characters and less about them as "builds." I find the focus on character optimization in Pathfinder and 4e really tiresome. However, I realize that it doesn't have to be the focus in those systems, but I notice it being really prevalent, and I would prefer to play a version of the game that moves away from that.

As someone who routinely creates "builds" and then creates a role-play around that, I agree. Another thing is that I already have systems to do the tinkering with, so 5E doesn't really need at address this aspect for me. If I want to get down into the nitty-gritty of Character Optimization then I have v3.5, Pathfinder, and 4E to scratch that itch.

Also, what I'm going to start doing is have every player write down what their character's short term and long term goals are. A Fighter, for example, might have a short term goal of being accepted into the order of Purple Dragons of Cormyr and his longtime goal is to own an estate or castle and land to become a stronger leader within the country. A Rogue's short term goal might be to get into a local thieves guild and his long term goal might be to create multiple safe houses in the city to which he can store all sorts of his weapons, poisons, etc (the latter example reminds me of Brent Week's Night Angel Trilogy ). Basically thinking less about what sort of feats, powers, spells I'm getting next level and more about "I really need X-amount of gold to buy a small apartment so I can run operations from there to blanket this area"

P.H. Dungeon wrote:


One change that I'm hoping for in the DMG is an alternate xp system that moves away from xp for killing monsters. D&D is one of the only systems that awards xp nearly entirely for killing things. Pretty much every other game grants xp for accomplishing objectives. The D&D default xp system has a pretty profound affect, particularly on published adventures (e.g., pathfinder APs) because it forces the writers to add in extensive "filler encounters" just to ensure the appropriate xp is available. This can often have a negative impact on the pacing of the plot and can cause a storyline to drag out much longer than it should because its stuffed with extra meaningless encounters that really only exist to be source of xp. Sadly, even if the dmg provides an alternate xp system, it looks as though xp for killing things will continue to be the default, and thus will continue IMO to plague published adventures.

While I don't mind the XP progression chart in the basic rules I do remember seeing the DMG as a sort of "Hackers Guide" with lots of alternate tools provided to adjust your campaign accordingly. As for modules and XP, it's been a while since we ran PF but I was under the impression that you gain XP for doing things in the adventure that progress the story (like saving the townsfolk in area B4 will get everyone in the group 400 XP).


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The reason for the quick advancement is because the first three levels are largely meant as a tutorial for playing the game. The designers actually went on to say that after playing the game for a while advanced players will most likely start their characters at 3rd level (the point where many classes get their sub-path).


Robert Carter 58 wrote:
Dennis Harry wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Josh M. wrote:
I'm excited for 5e. I'm going to download the PDF today and give it a go. A big reason I avoided 4e was because I had this huge investment in 3.5 material(over 100 books) and didn't want to see them not get used, so I went with Pathfinder. But, every Pathfinder game I was in, the DM's refused to allow 3.5 material. In my current PF game, after some pleading, I'm actually playing an Incarnate from Magic of Incarnum, and I can tell the DM regrets letting me do it. I've asked about other 3.5 options, and he just groans, so, I guess that's that.

I think it's a shame how many 3.x (and pre-WotC) DMs just say NO to entire books. Even during my 3.0 and 3.5 years, I seemed to be the only DM I knew who just banned or nerfed the individual cheesy options. I still have my massive collection of 3.0 and 3.5 books, which I hardly used before 2008, and not at all after.

4e's "Everything is Core" slogan sounds silly, but it seems to have a positive influence on DMs in this regard -- I'm actually the only 4e DM I know who outright bans anything. 5e sadly seems to be going back to the core stuff vs. optional stuff mentality, possibly with even more emphasis than any prior edition. :(

I rarely ban anything outright. I even allow players the Vow of Poverty if they can present a rational reason for why their players take it. Perhaps it is because I buy al of the gaming products myself and I would prefer that my investment is utilized so if I ban a book it becomes a waste of my own money.
VoP made a monk character actually useful and playable in a 3.5 game I played in.

I looked at the VoP but I couldn't get over the idea that you give up magical items. The Monk, IMO, desperately needs magical items and the feat doesn't scale to the point that such items would probably enter the game. I did, however, use Vow of Poverty for a my wandering Sorcerer character because I didn't want to use any Item Creating feats OR worry about holding a plethora of magical items on me. So it was just home spun clothes and a longspear with a few things of food for the day. I found the use of spells cast (like Mage Armor) in conjunction with the feat's bonuses, it worked out pretty well.


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Hama wrote:

Because the point of tabletop RPGs is teamwork, and everyone using their strengths to complement each other. Unless we are playing Paranoia of course.

If I want to shine solo, I'll play a CRPG.

That is one of the reasons I don't play 4E at all. Everything is the same, just called differently.

I'm not really sure this post really makes sense with a post you just said in which casters are supposed to be more powerful than martials. If teamwork is required, something I actually agree with, then wouldn't it stand to reason that the characters have some parity and that the strengths of one are more than likely a weakness of another?

And if that's the case then why don't you think 4E achieved this? If you've played 4E then you'd be accustomed to seeing the stark differences in the capabilities of the classes, defined by specific roles they assume. Fighters, for an example, have pretty good crowed control but their damage is rather "meh" when compared to a class like the Rogue or Ranger. A Cleric can't match the Fighter OR Rogue/Ranger for power or damage BUT they desperately need him when monsters of darkness approach or when one of them is gravely injured. The wizard follows as someone who has excellent stopping power of powerful targets AND he can control the areas where battle is joined by area effects. Further, he's great at dealing damage to a group of foes at once. However he's extremely squishy and even a few hits can lay him low, so he needs the Fighter to keep people off his back.

Obviously this is my experience with the game and, for the most part, systems like v3.5 and Pathfinder hold to this model as well for a time. However beginning around 7th level and progressing into the mid- and late-tiered games both v3.5 and Pathfinder put HUGE emphasis on the need for magical aid and assistance at those levels. A party without the use of magic is nearly doomed to fail. However the revers isn't necessarily the truth for earlier levels of the game. A party consisting of a Beguiler (or even an Illusionist mage), Cleric, Druid, and Wizard will easily excel at 1st level and I'd dare say pretty much ROFLstomp most challenges of equal level far into the latter stages of the game.

A group consisting of a Fighter, Rogue, Monk, and Barbarian will have an easy time in the first few levels, probably excelling in combat where our spellcaster party will have to take time and recoup their spells more often. But as the monsters they face gain a significant increase in power (to adjust for the assumption of magic) these characters face a fare greater likely hood of all dying due to a lack of aid.

Case in point, the idea of Teamwork is one that is collectively shared, however is has little bearing of the parity of characters that compose a team or party. Each characters should have some strengths to lend the group and sometimes those strengths are what might carry the whole group through an ordeal. However from my experiences it often falls to the caster to fulfill this roll more often than not at the mid- to later-stages of both v3.5 and Pathfinder.


thenovalord wrote:
It is a team game.....your fighter should pleased to be in a team with a guy who can make lightning appear from no where!!

And the guy who can shoot lightning should be please to be on a team with a guy who can.............

....Um, take punches in the face so I don't have to? No, I can just cast a spell and turn invisible so the guy can't find me or just fly up in the air so he can't touch me, or cast a spell that makes so many look-a-likes of me that he each one he punches misses the "real" me.

...Oh, I'm pleased that the guy can kill enemies really fast. Wait, that's not right. It takes him many many rounds to chew through all those HPs monsters have. It really is quite easier to just turn them into a slug or glass or incinerate them completely or even just put them to sleep so the guy doesn't have to worry about hitting such a fast moving target.

.....Yes, I'm pleased to be in a group with a guy who super reliable with the plethora of skills......bwhahahaha ok that was a joke.

Gee, I'm not really sure why I'm glad this dude is on my team? Y'know, I bet the Cleric is up for free agency. He can heal, cast offensive buff spells, AND wear armor just like this fighter-y guy. Can we broker a trade??


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I'll post here what I posted in the Free PDF thread:

Initial reaction for me was "similar to the playtest with some changes." And for the most part I enjoyed the playtest. I think the true merits of the system is that it doesn't require TONS of rules to make fun and interesting characters. Coming from a mostly 3.5 and 4e perspective I can say I'm glad bloated numbers with dozens of effects all stacked together are mostly gone. Further I think monsters of lower levels will remain somewhat relevant for longer periods and magic isn't an assumed progression a character MUST have to stay relevant. Further, feats are actually worth their salt instead of what they were in 3.5 and 4e.

Some things about the system:

· Ability scores max out at 20. So that fighter character isn't pushing his Strength into the strata sphere. He'll probably start rounding out his lesser stats, which makes ability checks better.

· Ability score bumps can be swapped for feats. This makes obtaining them more significant.

· No bonus spells means that spell slots remain a very potent resource that will most likely be held onto longer for the proverbial "right time". This, I feel, puts more emphasis on dealing with encounters with a level of thoughtfulness instead of just tossing in Fireball at every opportunity.

· less is more approach. With 3.5 (and to a lesser extent 4e) it was an exclusion-based system. Meaning that TONS of mechanical obstacles were fabricated to make attempting them severely difficult except if you had a feat, skills, power, etc. If so, its often a moderate or even easy attempt. In D&D next, it appears that things function about the same and proficiency or a feat give you a minimal boost, but not so much that not having it implies any such attempt is near futile.

All in all, it scratches an itch that neither my 3.5/PF or 4E games appear to do.


Hama wrote:
Casters are supposed to be more powerful than martials.

If that's true, and I don't agree that it is, then what is really the point of playing a "martial" if your knowingly going to be outpaced at soe point in the game? That seems tather bleak if you ask me. Personally I like feeling my contributions to the game or quest or adventure should be worth more than saving the wizard a use of his spell slot here and there. Its also a reason why I heavily prefer 4e to 3.5 / PF. But at least with D&D:Next I feel the classes have a balance of a sort and that a Fighter at high levels is holding his own in the game. The wizard still needs his fighter buddy and they both need the cleric and fhe spell slots are too previous to waste on Knock and invisibility so the use of a Rogue is preferrable AND he's killer when Crits come into play.

But hey, if you enjoy your Caster dominance /Caster and Caddies game more power to you. Its not my preferred thing but it works for you and thats what counts.


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Hama wrote:

Roots. That's the problem. People who want to play BECMI will play BECMI. AD&D people will play AD&D. What we wanted was something along the lines of Star Wars Saga, but D&D. And they failed to deliver.

So meh.

Who's "we"? Do you claim to speak for more than just yourself? Further, if people really did have a preference and truly wanted that expressed in the rules where were they during the playtest process? To my knowledge (limited as it is) I never saw outcries for a Star Wars Saga D&D ruleset.

Further, what would that have really done? I have a feeling that no matter what WotC produced there would be huge detractors just for the sake of it being WotC and not a revamped 3.5 (which would equally be met with WotC being seen as a greedy cash cow for producing nearly the same stuff and charging 50.00 for it).

Ultimately I find those whos opinion as "meh" not really interested in buying a new system to begin with. There's nothing wrong with that its just an observation I've made.


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Hama wrote:
Diffan wrote:
To the comments about Next being "meh" or "no wow", I really have to laugh. On one hand, people fled WotC due to 4E's rules being too far from what people have accepted to be D&D. NOW that they have gone back to the basics, so to speak, its not enough or its vanilla or it doesn't compare to what PF already does. I just think its sorta funny and its why I have the perspective listed above.
I see. So opinions of other people are laughable because they differ from yours.

I laugh because I find the opinions ironic. A portion of the fan base left WotC because 4e departure from so many sacred cows proved to be too much and, to them, made the game very un-D&D like. WotC goes BACK to their roots and attempts to rekindle the old D&D feelings and beliefs but the same people claim that its nothing new or lacks a WOW factor. In a sense, WotC cannot win, regardless of what they do.

I, personally, could care less if people like or hate or find it "meh". It scratches an itch that neither 3.5/PF or 4E really scratch. Since Pathfinder is essentially free online and 4e products are done, it provdes me an opportunity to purchase this product where I haven't purchased any in a while other than DDI to keep the 4e tools going.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:

Never got into 3.x before pathfinder, but there are some horror stories attached to the bloat...

Pathfinder cut it out and reworked the multiclass rules. Reworked the core classes. In my opinion they brought over and remade everything that they wanted for this game... I'm not going to track down a decade old book on the off chance something could be reworked to fit the new rules...

Well presumably, your player would provide the decade-old book for you to okay. And presumably you'd at least give it some consideration, because you want your player to have fun options to play, no? As I mentioned earlier, having a forum account means that you can tap the wisdom of those of us who do have experience with 3.0 and 3.5.

Still your call of course, but would you dismiss an idea out of hand because it doesn't come from PF?

Agreed. I've come across those DMs who don't allow stuff they don't own (and of course say they would allow it if I bought them the book) and what I do is just photo copy the relevant information for them to look through. For myself, I'm not so easily terrified from unknkwn rules. In my 3.5 experience the majority of glaring balance problems comes directly from the PHB and supplements that empower spellcasters. Tome of Battle, at-will Warlocks, psionics, Frenzied Berserkers ALL pale in comparison to the Druid, Cleric, or Wizard in the PHB.

I always find it funny when I read opinions on the "brokeness" of later splats but things like Natural Spell or Gate or the crazy uses people come up with with simple spells to defeat encounters that shouldve taken the whole group to overcome.


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Initial reaction for me was "similar to the playtest with some changes." And for the most part I enjoyed the playtest. I think the true merits of the system is that it doesn't require TONS of rules to make fun and interesting characters. Coming from a mostly 3.5 and 4e perspective I can say Im glad bloated numbers with dozens of effects all stacked together are mostly gone. Further I think monsters of lower levels will remain somewhat relevant for longer periods and magic isnt an assumed progression a character MUST have to stay relevant. Further, feats are actually worth their salt instead of what they were in 3.5 and 4e.

Some things that should probably be cleared up about the system:

· Ability scores max out at 20. So that fighter character isnt pushing his Strength into the strata sphere. He'll probably start rounding out his lesser stats, which makes ability checks better.

· Ability score bumps can be swapped for feats. This makes obtaining them more significant.

· No bonus spells means that spell slots remain a very potent resource that will most likely be held onto longer for the proverbial "right time". This, I feel, puts more emphasis on dealing with encounters with a level of thoughtfulness instead of just tossing in Fireball at every opportunity.

· less is more approach. With 3.5 (and to a lesser extent 4e) it was an exclusion-based system. Meaning that TONS of mechanical obstacles were fabricated to make attempting them severly difficult except if you had a feat, skills, power, etc. If so, its often a moderate or even easy attempt. In D&D next, it appears that things function about the same and proficiency or a feat give you a minimal boost, but not so much that not having it implies any such attempt is near futile.

To comment in Scotts observation about the differences in places reactions, I feel it's likely due to these forums being nearly all PF supported where as ENworld has a larger and more vocal diversity of accepting systems. I don't say this to imply people here aren't diverse, but its my observation that the prominent majority here treats PF as their main system where as over at ENworld, they don't have a prescribed "main" system rather PF is 1 system out of many they use in a rotation. Further, I really feel Pathfinder fans (the ones who mostly run PF exclusively) aren't in the market for a new system. I feel that WotC will probably never "wow" these people because they're honestly not looking to be wow-ed.

To the comments about Next being "meh" or "no wow", I really have to laugh. On one hand, people fled WotC due to 4E's rules being too far from what people have accepted to be D&D. NOW that they have gone back to the basics, so to speak, its not enough or its vanilla or it doesn't compare to what PF already does. I just think its sorta funny and its why I have the perspective listed above.


Ken 418 wrote:
Is the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set the same thing as the free pdf but just in hard copy form?

Initially, no. The Starter Set has everything you need to run an adventure with the new edition. The PDF created is just the basics for players (race, class, items, etc.). As books roll out (Monster Manual, DMG, etc.) the PDF will be updated to incorporate those elements. The point of this is to create basic characters from 1-20th level from the PDF to use in the Starter Set if you don't like Pre-Generated characters. The Starter Set, if I'm not mistaken, only goes to 5th level. SO if your group completes the adventure and wants to continue past 5th level, they'll need the PDF to continue their characters.

Of course you can completely by-pass the Starer Set, pick up one of the various Adventures already published (Murder in Baldur's Gate, Death in Thay) and use the free PDF to create characters that complete these.


Honestly, I don't think it's that big of a deal. Those "rules" pretty much sum up how magic items are divided up among our groups. Someone has 4 magical items and another has 2 or 3, that guy gets it. If it's really something the former player wants or benefits his character, perhaps a trade can be made?

It's important for the DM to remain in control when dividing up magical gear and parcel that out along with gold. So the player in the above scenario doesn't get that 5th magical item but instead he gets more gold or a few consumable potions or a mixture of the two. Everyone wins.


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So what I really don't understand is why people wouldn't at least try the free rules? I mean I completely understand not putting money into another system that might be invalidated or preceded by another edition a few years down the road but from the looks of the way things are going, Basic is all free with options to play characters to 20th level with monsters and ways for people to make up their own adventures.

So there is not cost investment with the Basic rules, no subscription, or signing of forms, or any of that stuff. It's free and usable and a "complete" game from all portrayals. That way NONE of it interferes or supersedes someone's financial desires to continue to support Paizo. And, really, who can't decide to switch the game just once to give it a go from their normal Pathfinder campaigns? Even for a beer/soda and pretzels kind of game?


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captain yesterday wrote:
Diffan wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Diffan wrote:
thejeff wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
the realms have always had guns, go to any church of gond they'll hook you up, also the isle in the ocean with tinkler gnomes. gun rules have always been a part of dnd since the start:)
And there were character classes built around guns? They appeared semi-regularly in modules? Anything like the prominence they have in PF?

I'm not sure about prominence but if you went by the character generation tools from the Player's Guide to Faerûn (v3.5) and chose the Sword Coast as your background you could get a pistol and a bag with 10 shots and powder as starting equipment. I'm sure a Rogue, Scout, Ranger, Ninja, etc. could put that to good use.

Further there have been several elements of "gunns" talked about in the Forgotten Realms, dating back prior TSR-era things.

Oh, but they didn't make a whole CLASS built around it. So it's more important now. ;-)
haha, so does that mean cave exploring isn't important or under utilized because we don't have a spelunking class?
isn't that the Rogue?

No way! He has some skills, sure, so he could pass for an amateur but no one is faster than a Spelunker down a cave wall! No one can navigate the treacherous descent into darkness or gets +5 to their Climb check as a class feature! No, the Spelunker is the ultimate class when it comes to cave diving and exploring. But don't expect him to fight or have any useful skills outside of caves, he's terrible at that. :-P


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houstonderek wrote:
Diffan wrote:
thejeff wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
the realms have always had guns, go to any church of gond they'll hook you up, also the isle in the ocean with tinkler gnomes. gun rules have always been a part of dnd since the start:)
And there were character classes built around guns? They appeared semi-regularly in modules? Anything like the prominence they have in PF?

I'm not sure about prominence but if you went by the character generation tools from the Player's Guide to Faerûn (v3.5) and chose the Sword Coast as your background you could get a pistol and a bag with 10 shots and powder as starting equipment. I'm sure a Rogue, Scout, Ranger, Ninja, etc. could put that to good use.

Further there have been several elements of "gunns" talked about in the Forgotten Realms, dating back prior TSR-era things.

Oh, but they didn't make a whole CLASS built around it. So it's more important now. ;-)

haha, so does that mean cave exploring isn't important or under utilized because we don't have a spelunking class?


thejeff wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
the realms have always had guns, go to any church of gond they'll hook you up, also the isle in the ocean with tinkler gnomes. gun rules have always been a part of dnd since the start:)
And there were character classes built around guns? They appeared semi-regularly in modules? Anything like the prominence they have in PF?

I'm not sure about prominence but if you went by the character generation tools from the Player's Guide to Faerûn (v3.5) and chose the Sword Coast as your background you could get a pistol and a bag with 10 shots and powder as starting equipment. I'm sure a Rogue, Scout, Ranger, Ninja, etc. could put that to good use.

Further there have been several elements of "gunns" talked about in the Forgotten Realms, dating back prior TSR-era things.


Asgetrion wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
No, I won't be switching; I might take a look at the free online rules, but I'm pretty happy with Pathfinder. Besides, it looks like Next is neither as modular as promised nor "complex" enough for my group (and I hate "tinkering" with systems). The core system may be simple and fast to DM, and therefore more beginner-friendly than PF, but that's not what I'm looking for in RPGs.

Considering the newest sets of info coming from Origins, it's likely that D&D:Next will have a LOT of modularity coming down the line. From conversion guides, THAC0 adjustments / uses, different healing levels and how rest is probably treated, to a wide approach to sub-classes and customization (because multiclass is level-by-level like in 3e) it's likely to be just as modular as 3.5 and probably a lot more than 4E.

As for complexity, I just don't think it's honestly fair to compare Next's unreleased rules yet with the VAST amount of info and material that any edition of D&D (Pathfinder included) has produced. From what I've read, we're getting 12 classes into the PHB (Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Mage, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, & Warlock) along with multiple build options for each. Further, I believe they said the usual races will make it (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling) plus others like the Half-orc, Gnome, Tiefling, and Dragonborn. Then there will be Feats and other sub-systems that help differentiate your characters from one another.

Will all of this equal to Pathfinder's system? No, probably not. But give it time and, knowing WotC, we'll see many supplements over the next two years that probably rival PF in the amount of customization allowed.

Ugh, I hated THAC0 back in the day... why would anyone want to use that mechanic, except perhaps for the sake of nostalgia?

Beats me? I hated THAC0 too but I'm not going to begrudge people who did like it. It probably IS in there for nostalgia's sake and for easier reference on converting older material. Different strokes and all that..

Asgetrion wrote:
And this is exactly the kind of tinkering I hate; not really modules but disparate variant mechanics that don't even necessarily mesh together well. If "modularity" in Next is equivalent to picking your favorite houserules from a bunch of rulebooks, it's not worth my time or money. Consider how "modularity" works in PF -- for example, variant channeling, archetypes or even the Mythic rules. I could play a core fighter alongside a black blade magus or a warpriest that uses subdomains and has Mythic Ranks. Now, they might be a bit asymmetrical in how powerful they are, but most of the time you couldn't even tell they're using different modules/subsystems.

Well yeah, that's exactly what D&D:Next is trying to accomplish. Take the starter set's pre-generate Fighter character. You could play him right alongside someone who created their character right from the Player's Handbook with feats and Maneuvers. No problems at all. AND you'll probably have a closer balance than what's available in Pathfinder. The system is designed for that sort of customization. One character uses feats where one doesn't, no problem. Another character uses the multiclass rules and the others don't, no big deal.

Asgetrion wrote:
However, Next apparently has d100 wild surge tables for core classes and whatnot; and if one of the PCs uses THAC0 and the rest don't, you'll notice that immediately. YMMV, of course.

Wild Surge table is for one specific sub-path of the Sorcerer and they'll probably have a Dragon-blood Sorcerer too. Not seeing the big deal with this? However I believe your mistaken with players using different Armor systems. Either the group/DM decides that everyone is using THAC0 or no one is. Same thing with the different healing rates they talked about.

Asgetrion wrote:

Now, as far as "complexity" goes, I don't mean just customization/options; I'm talking about how the core/basic math in the game works (i.e. "bounded accuracy" and all that it entails). I also don't like the return to 'Your Strength is now 19, except if it's already higher'-type of magic items we had in AD&D (and apparently now in Next, too). Honestly, there are very few things I like in what I've seen of Next so far, and I don't see any point in buying the books.

Again, YMMV and all that. ;)

At first I agree with you that I hated the "set Strength to 19" aspect of the Gauntlets but then I started thinking about it and it made more sense. Take the Wizard with Strength of 10, put the gauntlets on him. In PF/v3.5 he now has a Strength 12.....so he doesn't have Ogre Strength, he has slightly less wimpy Strength. It definitely created a disconnect with me when viewed in that light.

As for bounded accuracy, I think it's about time someone put a cap on the ridiculousness that were the bonuses and modifiers we saw in the last two editions. Even as a staunch 4E fan I felt the numbers bloat in 4E and in 3E/PF were just completely unnecessary. There's NO need for +29 to hit, 148 damage per turn. No need what-so-ever. Not to mention the crazy AC values one could reach. My 13th level character (v3.5) has an AC of 29. I'm nearly untouchable (95% chance miss) by a good portion of the monsters in the Monster Manual. I don't think that's a good thing. I want monsters to be a possible threat and have greater versatility than what we've seen. Bounded Accuracy is supposed to address that.


Pan wrote:
Diffan wrote:
I'm really not a fan of the word "Switch". It implies that a system or game is being abandoned for something else. I've switched from AD&D 2E to 3E and then to v3.5 / Pathfinder and then to 4E and then to D&D:Next. I still play v3.5/PF and 4E because they do things that the other doesn't. Further we still have characters and adventures that are on-going in those editions that needs wrapping up:
I think the casual gamer may only have time for one game and one system. So when they commit to something thats it. They invest in that system and thats what they play.

Yeesh, I couldn't do that. There are times I just get bruned out playing the same system over and over (including 4e). I don't know if our style of rotating DMs is common or not, but it allows for freshness and for multiple charaters.


I'm really not a fan of the word "Switch". It implies that a system or game is being abandoned for something else. I've switched from AD&D 2E to 3E and then to v3.5 / Pathfinder and then to 4E and then to D&D:Next. I still play v3.5/PF and 4E because they do things that the other doesn't. Further we still have characters and adventures that are on-going in those editions that needs wrapping up:

Adventures for Pathfinder such as
• "The Hook Mountain Massacre" (where my lvl 10 Rogue is just all sorts of fun to play)

Revised 3rd Edition:
• Forgotten Realms high-level campaign "Anauroch: The Empire of Shade" that just got started. Seriously we just killed (well, my character killed) Scyulla Darkhope in a vicious aerial battle between her and my Pegasus Knight of Cormyr at the end of Shadowdale: Scouring of the Land. How awesome is that?! Now we have to take it to the Shades and mess up their plans (which, even though I know still bring about the SPellplague, but who cares?!)

• Forgotten Realms: Heroes of the Moonsea (whoop, racked up two PC deaths in that one!) where we run ALL published adventures from 1st through 20th level. The Burning Plague was first, followed by some random encounters and kicking Zhentarim butt and going into the Sons of Gruumsh adventure. From there it's off to help stave off the Pool of Raidance in the terrifying forest dungeon of Myth Drannor and then we finish up with busting drow heads in City of the Spiderqueen. Piece of cake!

4th Edition
• Dark Sun campaign where things are really crazy. In our last fight in the pre-made adventure my boor Garrick met a grizzly fate and was stomped on by a really big and angry female Goliath. She literally made me eat the curb. Hopefully I'll be avenged by my new Dray Warlord!!

• Player-avatar "Us in the Realms" game that has been going on since 2005 where we play ourselves in the Forgotten Realms. Seriously, this is probably our biggest game and longest one too. Currently we're all 15th level!!

• Thunderspire Labyrinth game that redone for the Forgotten Realms. Our party composition is a TON of fun with air genasi and shadar-kai running around in Corymr. We don't make a lot of friends, lol.

• Epic Campaign of Epicness where we all play different heroic characters from 90's cartoons. Seriously, it's awesome to see Snake Eyes leap off of She-Ra's pegasus into a cluster of Footclan robots while Link from Legends of Zelda cuts down evil Cobra enemies with the Master Sword.

I mean, NONE of these are done and some on the verge of being finished and I don't see 5E's coming as a reason for me to stop attempting to complete them. I also don't see them as a reason to NOT try and/or play D&D:Next.


Dennis Harry wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
There are actually quite a few areas where 4e and PF took similar steps. Consolidated skill lists are one thing; racial modifiers that make every race good at a variety of classes is another; both games made a go at somewhat codified rules for non-combat. (4e skill challenges and PF chase guidelines.) I'm sure there are more, but I don't regularly play PF so it's hard to remember.
Simplifying non-standard attack actions, giving magic-wielding classes the the ability to do low-power magic things all day, simplifying cross-class skills, and so on.
I use Tome of Battle in my 3.5 game (both for my PC's and NPC's) and like the supplement. It seems that was the direction that 4ed went in with their Fighter classes.

I use it constantly when I play/run v3.5 and I think it's one of the more solid supplements mechanically speaking. It still doesn't match full-spellcasters at higher levels but it was a start in the right direction. 4E definitely took cues from the book, even incorporating certain names like White Raven into some of the 4E Exploits.

For D&D:Next, it appears we're getting a sub-path of the Fighter called the Battle Master who uses things like Maneuvers and can do stuff like grant HP and bonus actions (ala Warlord). While I still might think it's a poor substitution for a full Warlord class, I'm glad we're getting at least that much.


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Zardnaar wrote:
Diffan you do realize you are in the home of the best so to speak? The nice safe bubble the mods at the WoTC board like to project around 4E do not exist here.

And I couldn't care any less.

Zardnaar wrote:
People will directly tell you what they do not like about 4E and you will not have a chorus of the usual suspects making up every excuse under the sun when here it is a fundamental dislike of the 4E rules system that drove us away form 4E in the 1st place. My PFRPG PDF still has the 2009 watermark on it.

Um, ok? I don't really see the point due to this being the 4E and Beyond place of the boards but if people complain about anything, expect to be called out on it. This doesn't even have to be 4E, it could be a host of other things. Further, there was a lot of stuff people didn't like about WotC before 4E even launched. So I think it's a fair statement to say that it's a culmination of a lot of factors, not just the mechanics of 4E alone.

Zardnaar wrote:

I kind of prefer OSR games these days but Paizo kept the bed warm so to speak and Golarion filled a hole after they blew up the Realms. I had fun porting Red Manrtis Assassin to Castles and Crusades anyway.

Another edition another boycott maybe if we sink 2 in a row WoTC will get the message. I'll buy the start box and see if my players want to try the adventure a lot of big ifs beyond that as I do not see heavy D&DN purchases unless they do a stellar jopb somehow. Modular= big whoop I have 2nd ed for that and I do not have to mod out martial healing to play it.

Honestly, what message? I don't know how much more open WotC can truly be? The playtest was a 2-year long thing that ANYONE could get into. Literally NO strings attached. If the new game doesn't appeal to the fans, they really only have themselves to blame. And if the majority of fans really wanted OSR-style mechanics, I feel they should have got on the ball to make that happen with the new system.

The fact is, if they DIDN'T and it was a large majority of modern gamers who took the time to do the surveys and actually playtest the material ALL the way then it's not going to be shocking to see that the design went in that direction. If WotC tanks, I really hope it's for a solid 50 years. That way MOST of the people who have been clinging to the tropes and sacred cows will finally move on and when the game reemerges people might have a bit of an open mind when it comes to this particular IP.


Gorbacz wrote:
Diffan wrote:
:roll eyes: and of course I don't really take anyone seriously with claims like that. It's as fallow and lame as when people complained that the 3.5 Warlock was "SO BROKEN!!" because it had at-will magic. At those points, you just gotta shake your head and laugh.

Well, that kind of makes any conversation with you aimless, but I'll just make one parting shot:

Ok? I find myself shaking my head at most people who emphasize their opinion as fact (in this case, the video game analogy to 4E or to the supposed OP Warlock of 3E or even the brokeness of the Tome of Battle) in regards to D&D. I find most claims to be extreme exaggerations often based on regurgitated material and with nearly zero amount of personal experience.

Gorbacz wrote:
Diffan wrote:
h4te killed 4E

I can give you links to dozens of posts here, at EnWorld and elsewhere which ridiculed Pathfinder ca. its launch and expressed their sincere hope that it's going to die in flames days after release. There were even people who hoped that Paizo will go bankrupt and whatever remains of it will be picked up by an actually serious company such as Necromancer Games and used to produce outstanding 4E stuff.(Which is delightfully ironic given what ultimately happened when Necro dabbled in 4E).

Sorry. I know that 4E fans like to think that it's haters and trolls that killed that outstanding gem of modern game design and marketing, but haters plague every game (just ask the WoD and WFRP people about what happens when new editions of their games come out), and they never bring it down by themselves.

Fair enough, I probably should have stated that h4te helped kill 4E. I admit it wasn't the sole reason. I admit that there were things they did wrong. I admit that the system was a vast departure from what came before and that had an impact on the outlook for a lot of people. 4E certainly isn't without it's faults, glaring sometimes. No system is perfect. However I think it's disingenuous to say that the hate 4E received is on par or equal to any other system. I feel it was significantly more so than nearly any single edition received.


Sissyl wrote:
Ummm... javelins? You do realize that an interesting monster SHOULD be able to do more than one single shtick? Take your lvl 3 orc javelin thrower (not to be confused with the lvl 6 orc javelin hurler, the lvl 9 orc javelin flinger, the lvl 12 orc javelin deadeye or the lvl 15 orc javelin sharpshooter). It has some stats, a regular attack, and one or two special attacks that it can use whenever they happen to recharge. Put it in a situation where it's following the heroes into the dungeon, and trying to get them to walk into a trap it knows about (the lvl 14 devious orc trap triggerer was busy). What will it do? Why, THROW JAVELINS, of course (as long as it has properly recharged)! The 5th level orc chieftain you were talking about earlier, though, will have the data necessary to handle those situations.

Or it could do a number of standard actions that anyone can do like Bull Rush. Though none of this really illustrates your point of having a dozen different named monsters or why that's an actual problem. As for the different names, the reason for that is quite simple and you listed it already, different levels of difficulty and to remove confusions for the DM. Further, it is just meta-game knowledge as I said before, no one screamss "Watch out for the Orc Javelin Flinger!!" THey say "watch out for the Orc with the Javelin". The level and name only have mechanical bearing on the mechanics side just for the DM to differentiate uses and proficiency. I still fail to see why that's bad, mechanically speaking?

Sissyl wrote:
I also seriously question the idea that "I need to throw entire encounters at the PCs without prep time" should be a major measurement of quality. Certainly, if you have a CR and a theme in PF/3.5, you should be able to find a monster or two that could work if you really needed to. If you knew you would need this, you could simply plan up the randomish encounter beforehand for the more fancy stuff. But the 4th concept of "we need more random fights here" is, again, a concession to video game style of adventuring.

Really? So you've never used Random Encounter tables ever in your D&D experiences? I mean, they're pretty prevalent in nearly every single edition of the game. It also speaks FAR more to the Sand-box style of gaming than it does to the video game genre you like to casually refer to. And, further, it's a lot hard to level up/down a monster when I play v3.5 or Pathfinder and thus I have to re-write or change a significant aspect of the monster to keep it relevant to the PCs. Using the Orcs, If I wanted to throw my PCs into an Orc-based adventure would it be easier to 1) write up orcs that fit the flavor that I want OR 2) have a variety of orcs of intermingling levels and features already done so I can devote more time to other aspects of the adventure?

This is actually where my use of reflavoring started, in 3E when monsters started to lose their value due to level and instead of re-writing new ones or taking the painstaking task of leveling them up, I'd start to use other monsters of comparable level and just say "here's an Orc with a LARGE weapon and raging" instead of Flesh Golem stats. It worked in a pinch, however it wasn't nearly perfect.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Diffan wrote:


Though, I have to ask: Why is this a big deal?
Because it makes you *feel* like if you're playing World of Warcraft.

:roll eyes: and of course I don't really take anyone seriously with claims like that. It's as fallow and lame as when people complained that the 3.5 Warlock was "SO BROKEN!!" because it had at-will magic. At those points, you just gotta shake your head and laugh.

Gorbacz wrote:


Sure. You're not playing WoW. You're playing D&D. I get it! But it looks and feels like it were a MMO, with all those Ice Archon Frostshapers, disenchanting magic items into dust and having Shadow Bolt firing Warlocks right off the bat.

So what your saying is that people would rather have what....10 monsters? You get Orcs, Dragons, Undead (*gasp* a Vampire spin-off..oh noes!!), Demons, Humanoids, Elves (*gasp* DROW? Not another spin-off!!), Goblins, and Giants.

And if you want Goblins to have crossbows....well do all the math and mechanics and make it up yourself. If you want a Zombie-lord....too bad, you can't unless you re-write the system. Oh, you wanted an Orc Warchief.....go ahead and tack on 5 levels of Fighter. I'm sure the group would LOVE to wait 46 minutes to put the Bare-Bones monster together.

Awesome design! But it's cool because it doesn't *feel* like a video game.

Gorbacz wrote:
WotC wanted to rub off the MMO demographic by making a game which would instantly connect with video gamers thanks to using certain tropes, slang and presentation concepts familiar to them. Heck, it was even stated openly by then-brand management that the future of PnP RPGs is to ride the video game bandwagon, hence the way 4E was presented and all the (ultimately, abortive) digital initiatives such as Gleemax and VTT. The goal was to try and capture the video game demographic by making video gamers move over to PnP gaming.

And that's not a bad thing, especially since VIDEO games were the ones who took the slang and jargon and crap to begin with. Meatshield, Skill-Monkey, Heal-Bot, Uber-charger are ALL tropes and terms I learned and heard from D&D. Heck, I don't even play MMOs.

Gorbacz wrote:
The ironic thing was that an average D&D gamer, the core demographic as far as WotC is concerned, is a nostalgic guy who considers video games, and MMOs in particular, to be what 'killed' or 'eclipsed' his hobby, or at very least considers himself to be the one who engages in the 'superior' hobby, which is more refined and sophisticated than mashing buttons on a keyboard.

Agreed, WotC didn't count on Grognard elitists to be as vocal and cantankery as they were.

Gorbacz wrote:
And that's why 4E backfired so horribly - the core demographic rejected the presentation.

Meh, it was a LOT more than that. I'm sure that played a part but people were boycotting WotC even before people saw the rules. The h4te was full-swing months before 4E even launched. It's even documented here on Paizo's forums.

Gorbacz wrote:

You can - quite correctly - point out all the ways in which 4E was an actual RPG and had nothing to do with MMOs and video games but at the end of the day, it's the first impression that counts. Few people were willing to give 4E second looks, and the utterly abysmal handling of its' launch and marketing didn't help much.

Despite the h4te early on, 4E reached #1 and remained there until 2010, around the time the designers decided to launch Essentials. I think the drop off of people after the initial buy (in 09') and the departure from the fan-base due to essentials helped throw 4E into the backseat as it were. And, like you said, marketing sucked as well as their consistency with internal IP like the Forgotten Realems (which would've been WAY better if they actually took the time to build it up after the Spellplague instead of dropping the bomb and walking away).

Anyways, to get back to monsters, I don't feel D&D:Next will go 4E's route of making LOTS of different named monsters to extend the IP. I think the game is modular enough AND simple enough that people don't HAVE to tinker with every single thing to get a monster's schtick to work (such as my Orc Javelin example).


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Sissyl wrote:
Why? Because it is an adaptation to the IP system. You can't own the word manticore because it is clearly in the public domain. But you CAN own "Manticore spike hurler". So, instead of new monsters with some thought behind them, 4th gave us an entire menagerie of stupid monster names that evoke nothing and were only made to differentiate the monster from other similar monsters of a lower level.

And the bolded part is where we differ. The name change implies a different use that interacts with the PCs. It also speaks to any particular monster's proficiency. Were it not the case, monster stat blocks would be pages long OR the monster's effect would be cut dramatically. For example, I'd like to throw CR 3 Orcs at my party, but the orcs use Javelins. Now I look into the Bestiary and look for Orcs......I see the Common Orcs and Blood Orcs that use Javelins. So now I have to go and create a CR 3 Orc that use javelins, which in PF/v3.5 is just like making another character with all the hassle of Skill points, feats, class levels and save adjustments and all that crap. Yea, I have better things to do with my time. Instead I'll just play 4E where I see the Orc Scout entry and change out Shortbow damage for Javelin damage and be done with it.


EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Another factor that makes me getting it questionable is that most likely, the policy of monster names from 4th will continue. Yes, I understand that they want copyrightable stuff to build their brand, but I loathe the idea of fighting chokewinddeath elementals, fleshripwind elementals, freezechokestorm elementals and hurricaneslashmurder elementals. Not to mention bloodcurdler cultists, bloodfear cultists, bloodhate cultists and bloodmurder cultists.
I didn't buy nor play any 4th edition, are these real names they used for monsters or an exaggeration?

An extreme exaggeration. Just checked the Compendium for "Cultists" and we have two: Human Cultist (lvl 6) and Human Blood Cultist (lvl 10).

Now there are LOTS of different kinds of Orcs, but it speaks far more to their role and usage rather than a Different monster altogether. For example there are Orc scouts, berserkers, darkblades, archers, bolt throwers, etc. that all have different ways in which they engage PCs in combat.

Just did a search for Elemental too, and we have 35 of them. SOme are "lesser" versions, some are "Greater" versions. Some are connected to Genasi. There's some variation, such as a Fire Elemental Spark, but it's a minion (meaning a lesser creature which can be brought down with 1 shot) and thus the name speaks to the role the monster is used in. But there really aren't that many.

EDIT: Further, I don't know anyone who actually refers to them in their description other than saying their usual name. No one refers to them as Orc Bolt throwers, they're just orcs. No one says "OMG!! There's a Manticore Spike Hurler coming at us!!!" people just scream about a manticore.

Though, I have to ask: Why is this a big deal?


Hitdice wrote:
Diffan, if the paper trail weren't so obvious, I'd copyright the name Super Dragon 9 this instant. :P

Funny enough, I'd buy it

;)


Sissyl wrote:

Sounds good.

The problem comes when an adventure is built on stuff that comes from Super Dragon 9. Maybe an organization described there, maybe spells from the book, or the like. Now that adventure needs to decide if it REQUIRES Super Dragon 9 or not. If it does, then for the purposes of that adventure, SD9 can be said to be Core, and it is not modular design. If it doesn't, fewer people will buy SD9, because it's optional, but yes, it will be modular.

Which will they go for, do you think?

Hitdice wrote:
To be fair Sis, going by what we've seen of Next/5e published thus far (Ghosts of Dragonspear castle and the rest of the sundering adventures) I'd guess that anything from Super Dragon 9 that is absolutely required would be reprinted in the adventure, or free to download on the web.

This. Most assuredly that if an adventure is written with a ton of dragon-esque content and revolves around dragons, there probably will be tags or options or suggestions that involve Super Dragon Magic 9 supplement. Hopefully the most important stuff directly involving the adventure is re-written down for convenience. We already saw this with 3E published adventures (such as NPCs with specific feats being re-written, spells too). It'll also probably reference SDM9 supplement to help provide a stronger Dragon-themed adventure for players who want to explore or continue side-quests that are perhaps only mentioned in the direct adventure.

Of course this is all speculative and we won't know for certain HOW they're going to do anything. I have my reservations as well as hopes. I don't think what we're asking for is too much trouble and they appear to be doing just that with many of their products already. Only time will tell.

(P.S. Now I'm really hoping for a Dragon-based Supplement called Super Dragon Magic, haha. I might even have to just write one!)

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