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Diffan's page

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GM DarkLightHitomi~

I'm gonna try to be brief so that this debate doesn't get into huge paragraphs...

1 & 2 . The price of magical items and other costs is indicative of whatever the DM determines. Take, for example, a scroll for 10 gp. A DM can look at that and say: "In my campaign world, rituals are hard to come by and magic is rare. Therefor it means peasants and commoners make only a few coppers a day, up to a silver or 3 a week. This means that merchants and artisans might make more and delve into mostly silver and a few gold pieces a week. Wealthy merchants, nobles, and PCs (ie. Adventurers) are the ones who can dabble in more rare items and magics. What rituals are available, who they can be purchased from and where are ENTIRELY based on the DMs purview. The game makes most of the prices set mostly on the balanced game mechanics. It's the DMs job to figure out how and why these are placed into his campaign, if at all. Some people like that, others don't. It's not objectively a "good" or "bad" thing.

Also, Nobles use Rituals for all sorts of things. It's a roleplaying game, I'm sure a noble on the road is going to want to use Create Campsite or Dark Bridge or Tenser's Floating Disk (to carry their more luxurious luggage). OFten times a wealthy or noble's need to such rituals are no greater than that of a PC's.

3. I'm not entirely sure if a level 8 encounter is even feasible for Level 3's to take on unless the whole party rolled pretty high. A level 3 Fighter (Weaponmaster) with a starting Strength of 20 and a +3 proficiency weapon has at most +11 if we include magical item +1 and some sort of attack-boosting feat (Master at Arms, for example). Now compare this to level 8 standard soldiers and we're looking at requiring a roll of 12 minimum to hit their AC. Now often times that's not a problem and a level 8 encounter of minions might not be difficult. Further tactics DO play a part in combats and when DMs don't use the guidelines FOR such encounters, they often are easier for PCs to tackle. Conversely, I had a group of PCs nearly all die from Kobolds at first level because I stuck to their suggestion on how to run the encounter. Some lucky swings on the Kobolds part and it was nearly a TPK. But, for the most part, Encounter Building works on-par for the majority of the time I've played the game.

4. Tools are already there. You want to impress a crowed, roll a Charisma check (Mod + 1/2 level) and beat X DC. A crowed in a seedy bar is going to be tougher than a laid-back tavern in a good part of town. If your backstory (ya'know, those things people create when building their character) has that you play some sort of instrument or are a decent singer, I'll give you a minimal bonus for the effort. But, in all honestly, to me it's far more about the story your trying to tell than showing off how well someone can play with the system mechanics.

5. When I run d20 modern, I don't involve encounters or problems that can be overcome by trivial things like technology or cars. I ran a Resident Evil d20 Modern game and cars were everywhere. Gas, however, wasn't. You want to use a car for a fast get-away from some 'Lickers', go ahead but don't rely too much on it because rust, being out in the elements, gas, and other mechanical problems can occur. Same thing with magic, it's usable but I'd venture to say that the game creates more suspense and fun when it's not a 100% automatic thing.

6 & 7 (or 8 if you will). Inconsistency is something that is subjective. For you, 10gp a Ritual use is too small for wealthy people BUT too expensive for common people. You find this inconsistent. I, however, don't. I think 10gp is about right for a quasi-medieval setting where commoners can earn a few silvers a week, merchants and nobles can earn gold and it's these people and PCs that continue to keep the magical item economy in business going. I also don't subscribe to the idea or notion that 90% of the populace are commoners or non-wealthy individuals. Aside from the economy of the game, other effects that function from combat are pretty reasonable too. The assumptions on wealth greatly depend on each edition because magical prices change from each edition. For example, a +1 Magical Longsword in 3rd Edition / Pathfinder is 2,315 gp. A 4E +1 common Magical Longsword is 360 gp. You can't make the assumption that wealth of people from 3E should be the same from 4E when the prices are so extreme.

9. The cost for things shouldn't change, but the way in which these economics impact your specific campaign should. 50 gp for plate armor is a easy indicator to vary how much common / merchants / nobles - PCs make.


Page 42 isn't needed for the DM to realize that Scorching Burst can melt a frozen door or Ray of Frost freezes a bucket of water solid, or that a Fighter can use Cleave to chop through a support pillar and into the second. I mean, these "at-will" features are AT-WILL, meaning whenever the heck I want within a standard environment (cleave might not work underwater or ray of frost wont freeze a bucket of alcohol). Its as if common sense left people because the rules didn't specifically state "hey, when in doubt use common sense"


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Diffan

1, In case you forgot, DnD treats anything under a few thousand gold as commonplace and easy to find, and yet as you point out, most of the people in the world deal with copper and silver. So just how exactly can these multi-thousand gold piece items be rather easy to find? How can there be a sufficient market for these items to be floating around as commonplace items? That is contradictory, the idea that these items are too expensive for common folks, yet they are common enough that players can readily buy them from ye old magic shop.

Though, I should point out that the majority of soldiers are the nobles. archers when they became common in warfare were the common class folks who became yeomen when they got shares in the spoils of war, becoming wealthy compared to other commoners but still without the titles or blood or land, thus becoming the first middle class peoples. Soldiers were to pay for their own gear from the tithes of their holdings and the different armors were not generally all available to pick based on cost/ac/penalty, but were rather the result of constantly searching for better armor.

I'm not really sure where you got the idea that D&D has some hard rule that treats things under X-GP commonplace or easy to find. As for sufficient magical item markets, the game makes no decision on whether or not PCs find such markets. That's pretty much up to the DM to decide. Since there are mechanics in place that allow you to play with zero magical items as well as placing an indication as to which items are "common", "Uncommon", and "rare"...I'm not really sure what your driving at? Further, ye olde magic shops aren't common place in what I'd deem anything less than a city or metropolis, and they certainly don't hawk their wares openly in the public or on display. That's just silly. In most of my 4E games, you can [u]maybe[/u] find common magical items in the city or metropolis and, depending on who you know, who you can bribe, get uncommon items. Rare items are reserved to extremely high ranking nobles, dragon's lairs, monster hordes, expensive tombs, etc and there's usually only 1 such item in the world. So no multiple Holy Avengers and such.

Also, lets look at what commoners make...1 silver a day is roughly 30 sp a month, which translates to 3 gp a month, which is roughly 36 gp. a year. To me, the market values for mundane armor, weapons, and items is about on par with the 'notion' of what commoners, merchants, nobles, etc. make. Nobles and wealthy merchants are going to be the ones driving the force for common magical items, rituals, and the like. How much of each "population" is entirely dependent upon the DM and nothing more.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


2,this was me responding to Scott Betts saying that simulationist notions were just mental exercise, which implies that I had to think about this as though I am supposed to just glaze over and not think about it. But I can't do that because it is just obvious. Besides, the difference between a good work of art and great art is the small details that don't get consciously noticed.

Really though, the problem isn't unique to 4e, nor was trying to imply that. I just tend to ramble and this was one of the things that came up when discussing ritual costs. Rituals cost too much to be common enough to be as cheap and common items. Having common serfs and nobles/merchants will results in single use items being either cheap and common or rare and expensive. Rituals seemed to fall in the middle, too expensive to be common, to common to be expensive.

But your basing this idea on the notion that 90% of the world are commoners. I don't know where you get this notion from? Further, prices can (and probably should) be altered to adjust for campaign specific things. If you've put enough thought into the economy of your world and considered how valuable / common magic is, then you should adjust the price for such things accordingly (no book can tell you properly, it's an individual setting thing). For me, 10 Gp per ritual use isn't that hard to come by for wealthy merchants, Nobles, scoundrels, and Heroes. So in this paradigm, Rituals are too expensive for commoners, used somewhat by merchants / nobles, and often by Adventurers and Scoundrels.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


3,The stupid thing, is claiming that no rules is somehow easier then having rules that could be ignored. I said most GMs that claim 4e to be easier, obviously you are not most. Additionally, encounter building based purely on mechanical numbers is kinda crazy. I can see how it might work with the right group and am glad you have a good group for that but I haven't found group for which that would work and I doubt that the majority of players have good groups, which means I don't see any point in designing a game around having a good group, instead I believe in designing the game around a mediocre group that would benefit from those uncommon good groups.

Yeah a GM can change what they want, but two things here, first, it is less work to adjust existing rules then to create a batch of rules to fill a vacancy (which not only must work but must fit with the existing rule structure) second, apparently many GMs liked 4e because the feel free to make houserules when filling vacancies rather then when changing existing rules. This makes no sense to me but whatever, I will promote having easy to adjust rules over having no rules.

4,Environmental rules, grappling rules (though these were bad I agree), several skill rules, these rule blocks are each "tools" (as in, tools to support running a game). Many of the secondary and non-combat rule blocks were thrown out in 4e, or replaced with overly simplified rules-lite things that had no flavor. Getting rid of these tools doesn't make the game easier to play, it simply makes some GMs feel more free to fiat things because for some reason they felt that they had to stick somewhat close to the original rules due to "player expectations." This is not actually an ease of use issue, but rather a GM mindset issue.

Ok, so encounter building has always been based purely on mechanical numbers in both v3.5, Pathfinder, and 4E (I have no experience DM'ing pre-3E). The CR system in 3E, to my sensibilities, didn't work very well. The XP system for both Pathfinder and 4E (and now 5E) work well to a degree. So I'm not really sure what your problems with them were.

Ah, so you mean having specific rules for roleplaying. Can I ask you honestly, when has "Profession" come up in your games? And if it's often, do you follow the rules of profession to the letter? Do the PCs who have professions spend lots of time honing them? And if so, then why are they in an adventure or really, why are you spending time playing said characters if most of the time is "I do X, I get Y silver / gold pieces"? If that's the case, then why do they even have or need class levels and stats? I ask because in my 14 years of playing 3E, v3.5, and later Pathfinder skills like Profession, Perform (except the bard), Use Rope, and quite a few other skills (of the 30+ that are listed) honestly never got used or where used so infrequently that hard-coded rules for them weren't necessarily needed. Personally, I don't have use of these hard-coded rules because these often just become roleplaying things players act out. They don't need to perform lots of "Skill Rolls" just to get a few coppers for singing at the local watering hole. They don't need to spend 4 weeks at the smithy just to earn a few gps doing manual labor stuff. These sorts of elements, I feel, were far better adjudicated by the DM and not coming from some book. Though that's just my opinion on the matter.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


5, Does technology make our modern lives easy and nullify our need for perceptive ability? Actually we need more perceptive ability in real life then ever before, particularly while driving. Yes magic needs a good baseline but the idea that allowing magic to be common or used daily will make adventuring easy is laughable. If we need a few logs and a fire, whether it happens from a spell or good old hard work doesn't change the fact that it generally doesn't drive encounters, it is usually background rp.

I am not married to rules and fiat or houserule lots of things (even making my own complete system), but the entire concept of making rules better is to minimize needing to houserule things, and to make it easier when one does houserule something.

So then why did the cost of Create Campire upset you if it's just usually done via background RP? It's not the idea that magic can't be helpful in many situations, just the idea of magic being so readily available each night that I have a problem with. Which is why I liked that rituals initial cost was high, but continual castings weren't.

The fact that a group uses a ritual in a tight spot is much more cinematic and fun for me than using it every night and then find ways around that magic for "special combats" involving stronger opponents. To me, these stronger opponents aren't out for a jolly walk in the park, they're probably after the PCs for some reasons and have gain wind of their magical tricks and thus, find ways to compensate for them where as any old brigand on the road isn't going to find them with the Ritual in use. It means that random encounters are more viable in many circumstances because the PCs can't keep spamming the ritual over and over again and actually have to have some sense of reason to their surroundings.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


7, 4e doesn't really differ from other editions except by the specifics and severity. Additionally, the knowledge experience and insight of the players will affect how much consistency issues get noticed. Some like myself, notice lots of things while others can just glaze over the small things and never consciously notice. However, the small details that don't get noticed consciously can generally still have an effect on someone's thoughts or enjoyment of something and usually the difference between something that is good and something that is great.

I think this has far more to do with one's own personal beliefs about how it should be rather than how it is shown. For example, the idea about how economy of the game world is shown by either the system or DM differs than how you perceive it, it's going to be inconsistent to you but maybe not to the DM or other players because they perceive it as it's presented. That doesn't make it a universal truth, it just means you don't care for the way it's handled (which is fine, just not an objective belief).

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


8, commoners earn a silver a day. Craftsmen don't earn much more though they usually earn larger amounts but less often. Merchants have more wealth but generally in form of product rather then money. Then there is a huge pay gap between them and Nobles, who have large amounts of wealth, again generally in the form of goods. Nobles are the soldiers. This setup shifts a bit once archers become common and start collecting spoils of war, and law changes make companies and corporations available where multiple merchants collect together and essentially become nobles-without-title by making money off the work of others. The underclass group is just based on what rather then anything else is generally as poor as the group they are otherwise nominally a part of.

I'm not really sure where your getting these figures from, but there's nothing in the 4E DMG that states what people of stations get in terms of wealth on any basis. This is probably why you feel the coinage and economy is out of whack. This is entirely up to the DM to decide, for the most part, on how accessible coinage is as well as art, objects of trade, gems, and magical items are in the world. But, for the most part, I think you want a stronger world-building system that micro-manages this stuff into a sort of "Sim" game. I can't express strongly how much I detest "Sims" games, so perhaps we'll just agree to disagree on this matter.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


No matter the case, the only folks dealing with large amounts of gold are the highest of nobles, as in kings or those that generally know their king personally, and theoretically adventurers. So how can weapons that only kings and adventurers can afford be available readily in most towns? I general the categories should mark the type of items available and the max cost of those items depending on how often they are used. I.E. a consumable item used at least weekly by commoners will cost less then 1-3 silver. A consumable item used once a month by commoners may cost up to a gold. An item more expensive than 5 gold will be obtainable only from the nobility or the one who made it (which will be equally if not more rare). An item worth more then 1000gp will be obtainable only from legendary craftsmen and kings (or equivalent). To change this requires a rehaul of the entire system. You can't just pluck down an item and expect it to fit the world (though apparently plenty of people can ignore the fact that it doesn't fit).

Items like create campsite that are nice for general use rather then specific use are either cheap enough for common use or are never used, after all, if you have to do it the hard way 99% of the time then why spend the money for 1% of the time when that money can make some other aspect of life easier all the time?

Again, how readily available magical items are in any specific game world is totally up to the DM. Nothing is forcing them to GIVE the players magical items or put places in every town or village a "magic shop", so the economy of the world rests solely on the shoulders of the DM in this regard (and for good reason). But basically you have decided to maintain your assumptions of the game-world and those assumptions don't match up with how the economy actually works. Perhaps the DMG could've been more clear on the matter, in some ways expressing in the minute details how much Gold, Silver, Copper, Electurm any given village, small town, large town, city, or metropolis has but I don't think the game is better served by it honestly.


LazarX wrote:
Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:
I wasn't really referring exclusively to forums, just my experience with people I gamed with. My view is skewed by this so it's not fair to say 4e wasn't popular or liked, just seemed to be the general consensus from various sources.

The biggest argument for 4E's lack of popularity is two fold.

1. The amazing emergence of Pathfinder as not only the gaming contender, but the defacto leader in the gaming industry even while other stalwarts like Storyteller were passing into bankruptcy.

2. That and that the only thing comparable to the acceptance level of 4th Edition is that of Windows 8. And this is despite the efforts WOTC made to tweak and repackage it.

What I find even more hilarious is that it's still something like #3 in the business, even after being on hiatus for 2 years. Further, one really can't ignore it's mark on the N.Y. Times best seller list either. Of course there's a LOT of speculation that once the Essentials "idea" was released and the fact that they said they wouldn't be releasing few aspects of pre-essential material, drive for demand dropped sharply.

I'd also point out that DDI, for as many reasons why I love it, ultimately killed the book purchasing aspect of 4E as well as being able to access the DDI compendium from multiple accounts as well. I didn't need ANY books to create my 21st level version of Link from Zelda, because I had everything ever published from that edition at my finger tips with the Character Builder. I didn't need to look though one single book to prepare the adventure for my 4E Forgotten Realms game. I didn't need to have anyone in my group borrow or use books to create there characters for our Ravnica 4E game because I either let them use my account OR one other person in our 5 person group (6 if you count my wife) could use it.

So when you take out the need for any books. Take out the need to run adventures through their system (Dungeon has loads of adventures plus the Scale of War adventure path). Take out any reason to crack books to create characters or write you own adventures, you're probably going to see a drop in book sales at places like Comic Shops and other places that register with ICv2. Plus there's all the pirated software out there (something WotC was silly enough to think they could reasonably stop) so I wouldn't need to buy the H2: Thunderspire Labyrinth module when I can run it from the lap-top (not that I would do illegal things, just throwing it out there that it wouldn't be hard).


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:

Don't mean this in any disrespectful way but why clone 4e?

Seems to be the general feeling that it wasn't very popular. I don't think we would all be in the pathfinder forums if it had been (I might be wrong on this thinking).

The Paizo forums are a pretty insular community, and if you're in a PF-heavy area, I'm not surprised if it seems like nobody plays 4e. But 4e is basically all I've played since 2008, and I haven't had much trouble finding other 4e players. Mostly the problem is finding reliable gamers, which has been a perennial problem for me. *sigh*

One of the reasons I favor more diverse forums over the Paizo forums these days is because of this pervasive idea that "Nobody here likes 4e so nobody will call me out for edition-sniping." Or sometimes outright lying about 4e. It seems every time I do visit these forums, I end up correcting a PF fan's "mistaken" assertions about 4e. Just look at much of this thread, for example!

Anywho, if you want a more realistic idea of 4e's popularity, try visiting RPGnet. RPGnet has the additional advantage of having a large non-D&D and 'system-nomad' population, which lends a certain perspective to the relative similarity of D&D's various editions and clones.

Heck, there's at least one dedicated 4e community, where we occasionally chime in just to say how thankful we are that we have 4e!

yea, I get the same thing occasionally. RPGnet is a nice place, especially since they're pretty strict with moderation (and that usually entails ALL editions, not just angst against a particular one). But things really aren't that bad here.


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
First, simulationism, I am perhaps unusual (very likely) but I don't have to think about it to notice when things don't jive between mechanics and the game world. For me saying that something costs x much because thats just the way the world is, is not good enough. It breaks immersion for me because I can innately see that it doesn't match with other aspects of the world.

Such as? The way I reason it is to look at how much other things cost and then make a comparison. In 4E, gold is pretty darn hard to come by for most of the common and mundane people. They deal mostly in copper and silver for every day things. Look at most of the 'monster' stats for humans. They're often equipped with leather armor, daggers, clubs, and other simple weapons. Occasionally you find one with Scale armor or a Sword but they're not level 1 mooks. Even someone within a group such as your Iron Circle Brigand, he's equipped with Scale, Mace, and crossbow. No one at 1st level is toting plate armor for example. This, to me, indicated that Gold is more of a rare commodity. But the PCs aren't just commoners or everyday people. They've decided to go out and adventure. That comes with a significant price = death. So in certain circumstances, coming across gold (a rare commodity) is rewarding.

So when you factor in the idea that gold (so far as the world or setting is concerned) is rare, it makes adventuring for it that much more interesting. Take in expensive things like Plate Armor (50 gp), Rituals (market price = 50 gp), Greatswords (30 gp) you start to realize that these things are used by most people in the world.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


It isn't a case of "well if you think about it..." for me it is as obvious as the color of the sky. Things need to be plausable and consistant even when following an alternate set of natural laws. DnD has some things that are not consistant, and such issues arise from focusing too tightly on mechanics and balance.

I'm not really understanding what your talking about? I've yet to see something really inconsistent within the framework of only 4E. Would you like to show some examples?

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Second, ease of GMing. Most of those who said 4e was easy to GM claimed that it was the lack of any rules that made it so. Frankly this is just stupid, as any system is (or at least should be) a toolbox and nothing more. If ta GM wants to ignore certain tools, then that is precisely what they should do, but for some reason, some GM feel compelled to use the tools simply because they are there. I feel sorry for those GMs.

So you don't like it when people focus too much on the rule because they show how inconsistent D&D can be, but then complain that when 4E don't facilitate a lot of rules, it is stupid...? I said DM'ing 4E was easy because the way in which encounter were based around. I knew, for the most part, how difficult a particular combat was going to be and mostly what resources they would drain to complete it. Further, there are some things that were more easy to adjudicate, such as the removal of ridiculous and complex rules like Grappling. I'm not really sure which rules your honestly referring to that 4E abandoned. But I feel sorry for those DMs that can't make the system do what they want. It's not a forced system, and the DM can throw out or change whatever they like. I've played 4E with DMs who halved everyone's Healing Surges per day. I've played in games where it was PHB only, no elves or dwarves, no magic, etc. and the game worked just fine.

I'm not really understanding how your complaints relate to 4E.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Truly, lacking a bunch of tools doesn't actually make 4e easier, it just makes certain GMs feel better and more free.

Which tools are you talking about?

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Third, magic problem solving. I don't think the system should be telling me whether magic should be solving problems or not. Personally I prefer magic to be an analogy to technology, only used with different methods.

Besides, if the system keeps everything plausible and consistant, then it is easier to manipulate to fit what you have in mind. For example, if it is common for travellers to use a ritual, then bandits, or at least mercs and assassins, probably have a way to nullify that ritual. Ta-da, sensical world and the GM still gets the surprise night raid.

I think the system needs a baseline for how and what magic can achieve. It makes it pointless to set up a watch and for people to put investment into things like Perception if traveling is going to be easy-peasy with rituals like Create Campsite every single time. If you want magic to fix all your problems, then why not take the simple initiative of dropping the cost of casting Rituals to say 5 silver or 1 gold? Remember that whole think you just said about DMs ignoring the rules and not being married to them. Why not try that?

Also, wouldn't also make sense that if it's common for travelers to NOT use things like Rituals, then bandits or Mercs and Assassins who penetrate their defenses and find them must be above your average blokes. Which to me sounds about the same.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Oh and just because we spent three weeks travelling doesn't mean it was encounters the whole way, but we did consider our resources, we made survival checks for food and water, depleted our trail rations, bunkered down for major storms, etc. We didn't magically appear at our next objective having spent nothing as though the intervening weeks didn't happen.

Cool, sounds like a fun game.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Fourth, consistency and immersion are affected by both the rules and the players, somewhere near evenly. The rules make assumptions about what is common or uncommon, what can or can't be done and these assumptions can be the same or different from the assumptions of the players, additionally certain assumptions can have secondary effects that conflict with other assumptions.

It isn't that all such things need to be explicit, but minimizing these conflicts of effects, usually derived from balance issues, should be minimized.

Ok, so how does 4E differ in this regard compared to other editions? In my 4E games, things are pretty consistent with the world.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


People of the game world can be sorted into five groups, commoners, merchants/craftsmen, soldiers/nobles, underclass, and heroes.

Cross that with commonality of use and you can easily develop a cost system that isn't even dependent on the items themselves and lets the GM basically pick a cost based on their idea of how common or rare an item is. But instead the designers insist on telling us the cost of items based on their idea of mechanical balance instead of sensical universe.

Commoners = dabble mostly in copper, a silver every once in a while. A gold is LOTS of money to these people. (no level - level 1)

Merchants/craftsman = mostly deal in copper and silver, gold occurs but mostly put back into keeping their establishments going. (no level - level 2)

Solders/nobles = Nobles dabble mostly in silver and gold, spending gold on lavish splendors and what is left over is spend keeping their soldiers in the most basic of armor and weapons (scale, maces, chain mail, light shields, etc.) (no level - level 4)

Underclass = deal mostly in silver and gold and illegal merchandise (drugs, poisons, potions of ill repute). Most of their dealings is on par with Nobles and merchants and occasionally commoners. (no level - level 6)

Heroes = Deal mostly in gold after their first few adventures. Buy and trade with the uppity ups or underclass when selling or buying magical gear.

Again, nothing special here that 4E did different.


Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:

Im guessing also if you decided to not take the maneuver you just add the d8 roll as extra damage? Or maybe add it as extra hp? Unless they changed this form the interim rules that came with Scourge of the Sword Coast adventure. The fighter I saw this on it was a d6 though.

Does this seem like an option that can be removed if you didn't want the complexity and it wouldn't break the game?

Well one thing I hope for is that you can't use the d8 for extra damage. That was one of the earlier Fighter's big problems because no one wasted to use it for doing cool stuff and instead just dealing extra damage because, tactically, that's the "best" option.

Perhaps they'll keep the idea that if you try to use it for things like Disarm, if you roll too low you deal extra damage but I hope not as most people still want to roll low vs. disarming a foe. Extra damage should probably only come from things like Extra Attacks and magic and action-granting allies in D&D:Next.

Also, I think the Battlemaster is going to replace the Packet's Weaponmaster class. In the article, Mike Mearls discussed changing the Combat Superiority die to d8s instead of d6. So the adventures with the classes inside will eventually be wrong once the actual game is released.

As for additional options, there's the Path of the Warrior, who's benefits are mostly passive. You get greater critical threat ranges, survive longer, and are more durable than a Battle Master. It's sort of bland for my tastes but it should serve the purpose of being "simple" for the majority of players who like that sort of thing.


Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:
I didn't really care for 4e but I do agree with you that it was easy to DM in. Creating encounters was also very simple and I hope this carries over to 5e.

Currently the last packet has Monster budgets through XP, so that's sort of a carry over from 4E. They're also putting in a lot more basic history of these monsters that tie into each other. For example a Night Hag has a specific backstory and that might tie into her using say...Trolls for her pets or allies or Goblins being used as fodder for bigger Goblinoinds like Bugbears.

And of course all of this is mutable so that the DM is free to include whatever mix/mash up of monsters they like.


Well the latest Legends and Lore article discusses the new Battlemaster Fighter sub-class. It's essentially a 4E Fighter/Warlord all rolled into one with maneuvers to choose from.

From the article:

Maneuvers allow you to expend a superiority die(which is now d8) to take a special action, granting benefits like the following:

• Grant a bonus attack to an ally in place of one of your own attacks
• Disarm an enemy
• Grant an ally advantage on an attack roll against a target
• Make a counterattack as a reaction
• Sweep your weapon through an area, damaging several foes with one
attack
• Parry an attack
• Force an enemy to move
• Allow an ally to move

With these maneuvers, I'm going to make the assumption that you roll a d8 and add that number to which ever maneuver your attempting. For example, to disarm an opponent you will probably have to roll higher than their modifier or add the number from the d8 to your ally's next attack roll. Stuff like that.

Hopefully there's something in there that allows a Battlemaster to mitigate damage from allies OR allows them to grant HP to allies so a fully-realized 4E Warlord is possible. One can dream right? If not, I guess homebrew maneuvers can be created.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Diffan wrote:
I'm starting to get the feeling your 4E DMs did you and your group a horrible disservice with the system.
The DMs didn't help, but the system itself was no help initially either.

I really don't know what more the system can do besides spell out every single thing someone can do within the rules. That, frankly, doesn't seem like the best way to go about it. I mean, did the rules need to clearly say "Hey, you can do this outside of combat?" for any basic DM to think that's possible? Perhaps it's because most of my experience with 4E as a player came with DMs coming from older editions and they assumed that any given spell or effect can be used whenever or at whoever the player felt needed it. I dunno, just seems like the most rational, common sense thing to do.

sunshadow21 wrote:


A mediocre to average DM with a mediocre at best ruleset doesn't get very far, and 4E at launch was mediocre at best in a lot of spots.

I disagree completely. But I think at this point is a "agree to disagree" thing.

sunshadow21 wrote:


It improved, but not until just before Essentials, when WotC finally settled on a focus and a path to follow, by which time, most people had simply tuned out. It could very well be that 4E has developed enough that a mediocre DM could still run a decent game; the one chance I had at playing a 4E game post Essentials, the game died fairly quickly, so I genuinely don't know. If it has, than creating a clone would be much less of a headache; if it hasn't, creating a clone would be a lot more work.

I think creating a clone has all to do with being legal about it and not necessarily "Fixing" the system. I agree that Skill Challenges could have been improved upon AND implemented better. Clearly it had issues when first debuted. A mediocre or average DM would probably follow the instructions to the letter, which initially was bad. A good DM would probably change some stuff around to the point where "better" Skill Challenge rules wasn't really needed. However, I still disagree with the Rituals. My group has had a LOT of fun with them, especially since anyone can grab them with the Ritual Caster feat. Something one of our Fighter (Slayer) did with a bonus feat {campaign reasons) was take that and become a sort of nerdy-warrior, always searching for tomes while fighting off enemies with his quarterstaff. He was our "Ritual" guy and did a decent job of acquiring ritual scrolls. We even created a home-brew version of special ingredients he could find / buy that would make rituals better (such as using white rose-pedals from a rare plant to increase is Nature check when casting the Speak with Nature ritual). Stuff like that really helped make Rituals more fun and gave a player more investment into using them.


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GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

First, I agree with sunshadow21 about 4e.

Besides, any decent GM can make a good experience out of any system, but a good system shouldn't rely on having a good GM as they are not exactly common.

Funny enough on of 4E's qualities from a LOT of people was how easy it was to DM compared to other editions. Tell me how many DMs get the CR-ratings correct with v3.5 just staring out. When I first started DM'ing v3.5 I though 8 Goblins would've been a pretty easy encounter for 1st level PCs. And boy was that horribly wrong. Your first TPK always seems to stand out.

Second, there's absolutely zero reason why a DM wouldn't look at any specific spell or ability and rationally think "ya know, it would make sense if this could be done OUTSIDE combat." The system will never turn bad DMs into good ones.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Second, rituals are expensive. Perhaps your characters never had to spend three weeks trekking from one place to the next, but some of those rituals are ones you want to cast every night to make camp in the wild or otherwise use commonly in "everyday" life of the character. So if its three weeks between one pot of gold and the next, even just 10gp each night is expensive and don't forget everything else one wants to buy.

Why on Earth would you think it's OK to spend every night under the protection of Create Campsite? Here's a hint, Adventuring is dangerous and there are some people who actually think magic shouldn't be a instant answer to every problematic scenario. I think a ritual like Create Campsite should be used in more strenuous situations, like when the party desperately needs uninterrupted sleep because they're completely out of Daily powers and surges. Not every day is going to be filled with 3-6 encounters that drain you of all of your resources.

But i'll admit that your right, we never did three whole weeks of travel in game time. The idea of that is, to me anyways, utterly ridiculous. The DM often said "You make it X amount of days without any significant problems." And when a problem or 3 would show up, we'd deal with it either through combat, the usage of a Ritual, through a Skill Challenge, or something in-between. It was never: Rest for 6 hours, 5 combats. Rest for 6 hours, 3 combats. Rest for 6 hours, 5 combats. Ok 3 days are over. 2 1/2 more weeks to go... It was more like "You travel for 4 days. Ranger / Druid / Wooded Hunter guy, make a Nature check to see how well you feed yourselves and find shelter in those days. Ok you rolled a 1. So the trip thus far has been pretty harsh. You've only found meager amounts of food and your trail rations are starting to look pretty low and none of you have slept well. Your all going to lose 2 Healing Surges. Another few nights of this, and you'll need to find safe place to rest OR you can use the Create Campfire ritual."

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Also, consistancy and immersion is important to some people like me. That means that the world has to feel like the npcs actually live there and that the world isn't just there for me to kick over. How many of those npcs can use those rituals to make their lives easier and how many can afford them. Additionally, how and why are these rituals easy to find and learn if people who can afford them and use them are extremely rare superheroic legends who would probably be just given them in gratitude for their heroic deeds or out of fear of their might? That is as important as any other aspect of the rules.

Consistancy and Immersion have really nothing to do with the rules. That's pretty much all on the Player and DM. ANY ruleset and have a immersion-breaking mechanic or otherwise inconsistent nature depending on how you roleplay it and how the DM acts. I don't see how Ritual costs changes this at all? As for how many NPCs use them, it would depend on which NPCs have which skills. I would think that most NPCs are commoners, artisans, or public figures. Commoners, which is probably the majority of people in any given specific world wouldn't have the necessary skills to have Rituals for the most part. Perhaps a more experienced Artisan (like a well-known Blacksmith) might have a ritual or two known to increase their work and trade. Political figure might have a ritual or two to help them in their personal pursuits but I'd imagine that it would be small in number, depending on the locale.

Also, to discuss the rationale of the frequency and cost of Rituals: It's not just PCs that find and use rituals. Your experienced Farmer might know about the ritual "Bloom" which creates all outdoor crops and fruit-bearing plants within a 20 squares (100 ft.) to yield food. It produces enough food to feed 5 people for a week. It's a really good ritual to have in a pinch, but what about the after-effects of said ritual? Do you think the sudden change of nature is going to be good for these in the long haul? Wouldn't it make sense to a degree that if this ritual was done at a time which these wouldn't produce fruit have some sort of side-effect later? I could see a field becoming fallow much quicker after the use of this ritual. Or even dormant for a season or two. The instantaneous effects of "bloom" are great, but the long-term effects can be costly.

But why all of this needs to be codified rules is beyond me. The rules only help facilitate the world your creating, that's it. It's not the completely defined whole of the thing. Rules are designed to help tell stories and to mitigate problems, not be the complete physics of the universe. Common sense is often expected of the players and DMs to create a fun game. If your not having fun I'd first turn to how we're handling any edition and see where we, as players and DMs, can change vs. arguing that it's the system's fault.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Diffan wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Matthew Koelbl wrote:

They might have put most of that stuff in the Ritual category at launch, but that definitely didn't remain the case for long. I know I played an illusionist who had the spells to do pretty much all of those tricks without a problem, completely within the system.

They may well have adjusted that over the course of the edition, but early on, that was definitely not the case. I remember being completely turned off by the wizard initially precisely because there was no real option for anything but combat attacks. Rituals were way to expensive and took way too long to cast to be of much use for anything.

*sigh* Did you read any of the ways in which simple at-will spells can do more than just attack stuff? Also:

Invisibility
Disguise Self
Levitate
Wall of Fire
Arcane Gate
Blur
Mirror Image

+ 49 Rituals

Tell that to the DMs I had that didn't allow for any flexibility, aided and abetted by WotC's painting the powers as defined combat skills with defined uses and quite literally everything else entirely up to the DM. It's not WotC's fault that many DMs took the wording literally and ignored the powers outside of combat, but they didn't do anything to help the situation much either.

Oh, I'd tell them they didn't read the DMG because it says so right in there on PG. 33, How to Play D&D. Under Character Sheet, it says Powers: Attacks and other special effects you can do in and out of combat. Sure, it's entirely up the DM to decide if a power works in any given situations, but isn't that what empowered-DMs do? If the DM wasn't creating a fun game or being open with your ideas on things like spell-effects in out of combat scenarios, why did that person remain DM?

Further, how is it WotC job to make your DMs more flexible? An at-will Scorching Burst spell functions whether or not there are creatures in the area. There's no rule that says it doesn't. So by that reasoning, you can use Scorching Burst in a manner to suit your needs. I had a Goliath Fighter use his Cleave power to chop through wooden beams of a balcony holding enemy archers. It took an Action Point to succeed with, but the pesky archers fell into our midst and we were able to finish them off. The game really is organic OR as rigid as one decides to play it.

sunshadow21 wrote:


And don't get me started on rituals; they were an absolute joke to actually try to use; way too expensive, had the same narrowness of the powers in definition, and took too long to cast to be of any use in the vast majority of situations. That may have changed since the intial release, but that's how it was initially; a great idea with horrid execution.

Well for starters they weren't designed to be used in combat. That was the point. That a Teleportation Circle shouldn't be used willy-nilly or crafting a bridge of shadow should take longer than 6 seconds. As for the cost....really? Animal Messenger = 10 gp. Comprehend Languages = 10 gp. Detect Secret Doors = 25 gp. I mean, I don't know how stingy your DMs were with GP but from my experience with 4E these past 5 years, GP has never really been a huge problem with these amounts at these levels. I mean, just looking at the silly treasure parcels at 1st level, PCs were supposed to received 720 gp. in coinage plus a 5th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd level item. Even if all the players received equal shares of the GP, thats 144 gp each. That's enough to cast any 1st level Ritual 14 times! And for someone who gets the Ritual Caster feat for free, you get a few to start off with so you don't even need to purchase them separately.

I'm starting to get the feeling your 4E DMs did you and your group a horrible disservice with the system.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Matthew Koelbl wrote:

They might have put most of that stuff in the Ritual category at launch, but that definitely didn't remain the case for long. I know I played an illusionist who had the spells to do pretty much all of those tricks without a problem, completely within the system.

They may well have adjusted that over the course of the edition, but early on, that was definitely not the case. I remember being completely turned off by the wizard initially precisely because there was no real option for anything but combat attacks. Rituals were way to expensive and took way too long to cast to be of much use for anything.

*sigh* Did you read any of the ways in which simple at-will spells can do more than just attack stuff? Also:

Invisibility
Disguise Self
Levitate
Wall of Fire
Arcane Gate
Blur
Mirror Image

+ 49 Rituals


Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:

Yeah but what if I really really want to play said adventure or run it and it doesn't fit my play style?

I think Wizards was really hitting on something with the edition neutral adventures. No it didn't include the pretty battle maps the 4e guys get excited over but chessex makes a flip mat. If that doesn't sit well you can always buy dungeon tiles. Or wizrds can offer it in the download content.

I totally agree here. I'm not hung up on maps because I just use my dry-erase markers on plexiglass over a white grid and draw the maps on, but the idea that adventures can be done in multiple editions with PDFs to make up for the monster stat=blocks and other edition mechanics is a great idea. For example I could by the newer D&D:Next Adventures, download the 4E-version PDFs (for free) and just play it like a 4E game. Or a v3.5 game.

To me, that's a great innovation because it can still serve people who use Pathfinder (with a little bit adjustment). So long as the adventures are of quality make, I'd be happy with that.

Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


You don't mean remove multiclassing but just classes? Are these core classes? Would you suggest putting a limit or making a table showing which classes can take on other classes? I wouldn't go as far to say DnD is defined by the ability to multiclass but its rather a perk if it suits your taste.

I think it depends on how deep one wants the multiclass system to go. Interesting character concepts can be born out of a decent multiclass system, but often times it comes with such a large price that, mechanically speaking, isn't worth it. D&D will never be a "class-less" game but the v3.5 / PF / D&D:Next model helps it become close to one. Which is something I'm not overly fond of. Call it bias but I actually enjoyed 4E's multiclass theory (of just dabbling in another for some nifty effects). The implementation could use some improving, no doubt, but the fact that multiclassing doesn't overly negatively impact your base-class effectiveness is important to me.

Further, multiclassing shouldn't be something that automatically "make sense" because you'd be silly not to grab it. For example Mages in D&D: Next do not suffer penalties for wearing armor. So a Mage takes 1 level of Fighter or Paladin or Ranger and instantly they can use any stage of armor they like. This is at very little cost to the Mage, who now doesn't need to worry about spells like Shield or Mage Armor.

And while the prerequisites are there in the form of Stats (you need a 15 in Strength to multiclass into Fighter) to reduce the min/maxing, they're not overly hard to achieve after a few levels. Personally, I'll probably enforce my v3.5 rule of no more than 1 other class can be used to multiclass with.


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GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Seriously? You are gooiing to compare that to bigger more capable spells?

Silent image allows me to "seal" a doorway, create concealment for the entire party, summon decoys, etc. Prestidigittation can't come close to the sizes required. Then hit the shadow spells and higher illusion spells for even greater effects.

Silent Image (v3.5 / PF)

"This spell creates the visual illusion of an object, creature, or force, as visualized by you. The illusion does not create sound, smell, texture, or temperature. You can move the image within the limits of the size of the effect."

Virtually everything this spell does can be done by 4E's Prestidigitation under this tag:

• Create a harmless sensory effect, such as a shower of sparks, a puff of wind, faint music, or a strong odor.

Why can't you create a "seal" of a door? Is that not a sensory effect? Why can't you create an concealment effect by a wall of illusion (such as a wall of brick)? Or create a shadow like being (visual sensory) AND make it sound like faint whispers AND make it move? You can do 3 at one time.

With prestidigitation you can make a shadow move down a hallway, making ghostly whispers AND snuff out torches as it passes them at the same time! Yea, again I'm not seeing the problem.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Then, in one game, we houseruled a feat that allowed major/minor creation to be castable in combat. Becaame my primary spells, used to blind, trip, find invisibility, crush, seal passages, make safe encampments, etc.

Thanks for illustrating how deviation from RAW can easily break the game!

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Had a cleric use a bennie/boon/special effect to expend remaining spells to hurt a lich 10 lvls higher then me in one touch attack. Dropped it to 3hp.

Ok, so another example of broken mechanics. Why are you using these as examples?

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


This is creativity.

If by "creativity" you mean "shattering the campaign because of magic" Then I can happily agree that 4E doesn't do that, much to my delight. See, if a Lich 10 levels higher is facing a group, it's a good indication that the group should run. When a group finds a loophole in the mechanics that easily drops said lich down to 3 HP, there's a significant problem with the system. But hey, if you enjoy that sort of thing, more power to you. I can only hope that D&D:Next doesn't allow munchkin brokeness to ruin the game like it did v3.5.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


4e is so rigid that it is hard to do or justify anything like these even when houseruling.

So, your complaint is that 4E spells don't let you think outside the box and completely obliterate challenges 10x your level? How, exactly, is that a bad thing? Further, there are quite a few Rituals, Utility, and regular Spells that let you do really fun stuff if you actually bring that mindset to the table. Instead of looking at Scorching Burst (at-will area burst fire spell) and say "Oh man, it's a combat spell. Boring" you could say "Oh, look a fire-based spell! I can use it to melt frozen ponds, light bonfires, shatter ice, catch things on fire, use it to help create smoke signals, or as signal flare or to light up a large area." But do people who hate on 4E say or think these things? No they look at the spell, see it's combat use and succumb to their preconceived notion of "I can't do anything but attack."

OR how about 4E's Ray of Frost? Ever think to use it to freeze a small body of water to walk across? OR to freeze shut a door to jam it? Or to make the ground slippery? Or put out a small fire?

OR how about 4E's Freezing Cloud? If I cast that spell, I (as a DM) would allow Lightning based attacks to be more prominent when cast in the area because super-cold air helps conduct electricity better. So a Wizard casts Freezing Cloud on a group of targets, the Storm-cleric Then shoots a bolt of lighting into the cloud, maybe the spell deals some additional damage or maybe they're slowed (as their muscles jerk and spasm from an extremely high voltage from the electricity).

I mean, the spells effects don't change just because the description doesn't fully go into details about every single possible usage or outcome that can occur. Fire spells set things on fire. COld spells freeze things and make things cold. Common sense would tell you that with these things, other effects are possible outside the idea of using them for attack.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:


Doing special things shouldn't require a major departure from the rules, should instead be versatile enough for anything to be done with minimum alterations.

They are, but you've blindly turned your eyes away from it for some reason. I've shown you above, with 4 simple spells in the PHB, how they can be used to greater effect and not just for combat. I truly feel that 4E's power-design somehow turned off some sort of imaginary impulse in some people's head. They look at the power-block, the color usage, and description of the spell or they see Attack: Int + Reflex and instantly all common sense leaves them. It's as if there is some misled notion that these powers can and should only be used for combat and nothing else.

It's truly baffling.


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

First, I admit my info is old and I'm not an expert, but I couldn't find any spells that I actually wanted except direct combat spells. Rituals don't count because they can't be used in combat, or any time they might actually be worth the cost.

Second, every ability I've seen is so well defined that it is practically immpossible to use them in any fashion other then the predefined and expected use.

Third, creatively relient means the effect is not absolutely defined, instead relying on the players and gms imagination and creativity to determine the effect and usefulness.

In PF I have a character that uses silent image to run shows (like puppet shows, without puppets and much better looking) as well as useing the same spell for misdirection, intimidation, and manipulation in combat.

Haven't even seen such options in any form in 4e. The entire design structure follows the same assumtions as WoW clones, aka, fight enemies till death using effects that hurt, stun, or disable enemies in fights to the death.

Pretty much Prestidigitation for 4E

• Change the color of items in 1 cubic foot.
• Create a harmless sensory effect, such as a shower of sparks, a puff of wind, faint music, or a strong odor.
• Clean or soil items in 1 cubic foot.
• Instantly light (or snuff out) a candle, a torch, or a small campfire.
• Chill, warm, or flavor up to 1 pound of nonliving material for up to 1 hour.
• Make a small mark or symbol appear on a surface for up to 1 hour.
• Produce out of nothingness a small item or image that exists until the end of your next turn.
• Make a small, handheld item invisible until the end of your next turn.

And you can have 3 such effects occurring at once. And it's a cantrip. And it's usable at-will. I'm not seeing the problem here...


Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:
As far as magic items and weapons go, do you want to be able to purchase them when ever you feel the need for them or would rather be rewarded with them and find them? I'm torn with this. I feel that lower level items and weapons should be available but not saturate the shops.

Really depends. I think part of it is the place where you go to get the item. For example your not going to find too many magical items in a hamlet or small town. A place like Waterdeep, however, should have quite a large selection of magical items to either obtain from shops or have vendors who know someone. The good thing about 5E is that there is no item dependency build into the system math. A +1 weapon instantly makes you better, not just keep you on par with monsters of X level.

Also, I think it depends on the style of campaign you want to run. A campaign like Dark Sun should have even the most basic of magical items extremely rare where as a place like Eberron might have an abundance of magical items in many various places for purchase.

Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


I can't comment on multi classing because I have never really played around with it much after 2e. I agree with you, adventuring should be a team effort.

It's much like 3E/PF's version, except with stat-restrictions. Whether or not it'll be as borked as it is in 3e and PF? Who knows. From my experience that specific multiclass style was either a terrible trap or a min/max-er's dream.

Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


Can you further explain what these non combat abilities would be? You have my curiosity peaked.

Sure, for example a Fighter's exploit called Mighty Leap grants a considerable +5 bonus to their next Athletics to jump. Additionally, your considered running for the purposes of deciding how far you can jump. This would be something extremely useful in any scenario where the is an enemy that needs vaulted over, terrain to maneuver around, escaping an enemy or monster, or even leaping to someone's aid.

Steely Persuasion is another. You attempt to intimidate someone and use your proficiency with your weapon in a show to greater effect.

Now do these need codified powers? I'm not sure, though I think their frequency would instantly diminish the second time you'd attempt to do it within a short time (hence, being encounter-based). Yet both of these things allow Fighters to do cool or unique things that don't necessarily deal with combat and in many ways contribute to other pillars of play.

Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


I would like for tactical combat to be an option but for those who enjoy shouldn't have to wait 5 years, hell you shouldn't have to wait a year really, to get these options. I just favor gridless combat simply for the fact of budget and lack of minis. After playing Axis and Allies minis have a love hate relationship with random boosters. I'm not a great painter or have the time so if someone would make sets of minis where you know what you are getting i might not be opposed to it as much.

Minis, despite many people's objection, weren't required with 4E. They help a great deal at times, but not required. I think that the designers made the assumption that the greater body of D&D players used them and so tailored the game to suite that purpose. Currently D&D:Next has gone back to feet for measurements and the grid is more optional now than in perhaps 3E / PF / 4E. Further, I don't want to wait a year or more for a Tactics module but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.


Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:
So the things that worry you about 5e are a possible unbalanced class system and a lack of tactical combat rules?

In part, yes. I also worry about magical items and how easily they can be obtained as well, how the multiclass system works (a Ftr 1 / Wiz 19 vs. Ftr 19 / Wiz 1), additional sub-systems like how they're going to bring in Prestige Classes|Paragon Paths, and some other things too. Basically I want to maintain the feel that adventuring should be teamwork, each playing their part both in and out of combat. This is why keeping the pillar of play equal was a good idea but something the designers completely ignored.

What I mean is that I'd like some options for Fighters to be useful in non-combative scenarios, which can tie into skills such as bonuses OR have "exploits" that are 1-shot attempts that give a quick boost but cannot be spammed over and over again. And the same thing goes for the wizard, I want to feel like I'm playing a magical class that has interesting effects. In low-level 3E, I never really got that feeling. It was more "wait.....wait.....waaiit........Ok cast spell" up until the point where each spell was completely rendering our encounters easy mop-up.

Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


So you wouldn't mind if the "powers" are dropped for a set up more similar to PF and 3e?

I'm not married to the idea of "powers" but I would really really enjoy an option that allows me maneuvers and stances that are a bit more fantastic than "I swing my sword, I swing my sword, I swing my..." that the game has followed thus far. I don't see why we can't have both, honestly? If we have to use a 3E paradigm then the closet thing I can think of is a finely tuned Tome of Battle (v3.5). If they can use that in conjunction with the 5E rules to help create a more 4E-ish character and playstyle then I'd be really happy. I just don't want to have to wait 5 years for the book to come out.


Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


Diffan, guess I'm just really fond of FR for nostalgic reasons and over look some things you mentioned. I may have misread it somewhere but I thought I saw somewhere mentioned that FR would be the default setting. Speaking of the PF setting I saw somewhere that someone mentioned an area that had a crashed spaceship and would be featured in a new AP is this true?

Oh I love the Forgotten Realms, have been an avid reader of their books (Started with the Icewind Dale trilogy and have read dozens since) as well as being pretty supportive of the last two editions where the Realms are concerned. I just don't want to see the Realms get the same treatment that Oerth and Greyhawk received with their "core" approach. Completely devoid of all lore and reason just to fill page-space. I think when they say that FR is going to be default, it means that adventures are going to be placed there and that it will be the first setting fully aligned with the mechanics of 5E. That, to me, is far different than what WotC did to Greyhawk and including everything under the sun within that setting.

As for Pathfinder's new AP, I couldn't say. We're still trying to get through the first AP made (but it was fun when we were playing it!).

Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


I tried to like world of warcraft because my buddy begged me to play and thats what 4e kinda reminded me of, that and guild wars. I really wanted to like 4e i mean after all i spent money on it but i just coukdnt get into it and a lot of things turned me off about it. Another friend said 4e reminded him of the dnd minis game, I never played that game so I can't say one way or another. Not that that is a bad thing just more curious if there was a similarity.

I think the similarity is done with two things. The first is presentation. IN 4E, everything is color-coded and fits into these boxes like powers and spells with little to distinguish between each other besides text. This gives the impression that classes are similar in both how they play and how their effects function. The second is the terminology. Before 4E, D&D attempted to use natural language to convey game mechanics. What this resulted in was a CRAP ton of Rules Lawyering and fighting about sentence structure and definitions of certain phrases and all that garbage. 4E's attempt to make things more uniform helped in cull the bickering BUT created the problem of reading like stereo-instruction manual rather than a game product.

As for how the game play, I've played WoW and Guild Wars pretty heavily for about a year. In that time, I got bored and the game got dull. Every time I achieved something, there was ALWAYS something else that needed done. It felt like a boring treadmill. 4E, however, felt like a fresh game with different but fun mechanics that allowed to me explore character concepts from FAR earlier on in the playing process. It's not perfect by ANY means, but I feel the designers attempt to patch problems where I had serious concerns about the game. Sadly, now those concerns are coming back.


Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:

That was another thing that i didn't jive well with 4e was the balance of classes. I understand people like this but i didn't like the fact that a fighter could do as much as a wizard. To me that's what makes playing different classes unique. Fighters are tough and get in on the front lines while wizards are week and hang back. That way playing different classes presented a different feel and strategy.

To me, balance is very important. I believe is has far more to deal with contributing at any given level rather than what they can "do". 4E Fighters, for example, fight well. They're 'role' is to be the party's tank and to absorb a lot of attacks that would otherwise drop other party members. Other editions gave Fighters this role too, but not the tools to accomplish it. Further, after a certain level the Fighters of pre-4E often became more of a hindrance instead of a contributing factor. And that's only if the DM is being nice and actually following the WBL the game put in so that non-spellcasters can contribute at high levels.

Mostly that's what I want. I don't want my 14th level Fighter (or Paladin or Ranger or Monk) to feel like he 1) MUST rely on magical items to keep up and 2) not feel like their presence is unnecessary because a spellcaster has a scroll or spell that can accomplish the same task.

I want Wizards to be fun and enjoyable, but not the harbingers of campaign doom that I felt they became at mid- to high-levels in 3E.

Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


I also didn't like healing surges, just made it feel like the need for dedicated healer wasn't necessary.

I'm not really sure how Surges fit into this scenario though? Healers instantly made combats more manageable because you could rely on your leader to give you a heal or two per fight. Without them, you had to rely on potions and Second Wind. In pre-4E, someone had to play a healing spellcaster of some sort because adventuring without one instantly turned the game into "Nightmare Mode" difficulty. Further, I'd like the option to play a non-spellcasting healer. Yea, I want a 5E Warlord that uses inspiration to keep them fighting. I have every doubt in the world that they'll either not do it right or not do it at all. Which saddens me greatly.

Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


I don't know I guess I'm old school and I never got into the mmorpg games and that's what 4e felt like to me. To be fair PF has some things I don't really care for as well (gunslinger just to name one example).

If you didn't get into MMORPG then how do you know 4E felt like one? I see this complaint a lot and even after 5 years I still don't get it. Perhaps it's our groups style or perhaps I just have a bias or whatever. Suffice to say that I detest MMORPGS after playing them for about a year and a half because they lacked soul and were too streamlined but I greatly enjoy 4E.

Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:


I am glad that Forgotten Realms is the default setting now. I never liked the vale or what ever it was called. To be fair again I don't like Golarian (spelling?) It just seems all over the place. I hope Pazio develops more settings that will be less kitchen sink

I don't think FR is going to be "default" like we saw in 3rd Edition with Greyhawk (at least I hope not) but I do recall hearing that the setting will be first featured as far as products go. But I find it funny that you say Paizo is treating Golarion with having everything including the kitchen sink but that's exactly some of the complains the Forgotten Realms gets. Pretty much ANYTHING can be found in some way or shape within that setting. Space ships? You got it! Animated GOlems (ala Warforged)? You got it! Asian-themed cultures and styles? Yep, they're there. Egyptian-Themed pharohs and deities? Oh sure! Over the top plots by a nation of Undead, Shadow-like beings, Dragons, and Drow? Yes, yes, oh heck yes, and more yes! Jungle-like atmosphere with serpent gods and reptillian-like beings? Sure thing!

I mean, there hasn't been one genre that I can think of that can't be fitted into the Forgotten Realms at some point in the setting's timeline or continent. And there's only one continent that's detailed! Guns? Yes! Spirit magic based off the land? Yep! Dozens upon Dozens of deities? They've got MORE! Pirates? Hellz ya, on multiple water ways to boot. How about elves? FR has 5 sub-species!

I mean, c'mon.


Slivan "Sli" Simmeran wrote:
I for one hope 5e is nothing like 4e. From what i have seen 5e gives me an old school feel which has me very excited. I really hope it supports gridless combat really well. As for "playstyles" what exactly do you mean by this?

I hope I can at least grab options to give me a more 4e playstyle. Right now I see some, but I don't think they're enough. We have at-will cantrips but they're rather boring in implementation. We have HD healing, but it doesnt do enough. We have maneuvers, but they're so bland in effect and concept. We have marking, but can't he accessed until 4th level. We have interesting monster, but their math is real bad.

Basiclly I want modules and dials that a group or DM can tweak to change the playstyle. From sub-classes, to magic marts, to powers and effects there should be a way to obtain a 1e feel and a 4e feel.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Warlord was the original poster child of 4E, and for good reason. It was the symbol of what 4E was all about (in my mind at least).

Well it was based somewhat from the 3E's Marhsal character but it dealt a LOT more with action granting than anything else. Many of the Warlord exploits allowed them to attack a foe and grant someone else the ability to attack again. This made tactics and group synergy a long stronger concept than in the past.


MMCJawa wrote:
Diffan wrote:


But I get what your saying. Honestly I think they would best be served by stopping all edition creation altogether and just create content for 1e, 2e, 3e, and 4e. Have a supplement, create rules for it that can be used in a multi-edition platform for which everyone will by as it's based on their preferred style. A Races of Giants book, for example, would have rules and stats to use Giants in EVERY edition they have out. Then there can be multi-platform rules that are useful regardless of edition.

I could see that not working so well, since:

for any given book, only about 1/4 of the stat material would be relevant for most gamers. I suppose for flavor material that might not be a huge issue, but would probably factor into how people make purchases.

Basically this would be just Adventures and maybe the occasional splat book here and there or Setting specific books where the rules come into play. Also, there are supplements that can be edition neutral yet provide setting (generic at this point) features that can be used across editions. This might be world building ideas or certain rules on providing for large scale wars or engagments or supplying an army, etc. These can be separate from actual edition specific rules.

MMCJawa wrote:


You would also need 4 different authors for each book, since I would imagine that it would be really difficult for one person to write for four systems all at once, without some rules confusion and inaccuracy setting in. Or you would have a much higher level of editing required. Either way, not sure how cost effective it would be.

Currently you can purchase the Sundering adventures that are utilizing the D&D: Next ruleset. They also have PDFs that you can download for free that covert the monsters into v3.5 and 4E right now As seen here. So they're already doing it, which I think wouldn't be too hard. And if it's put into v3.5 then a conversion to Pathfinder is pretty easy-peasy.


P.H. Dungeon wrote:
Except that since you probably rolled a 1 or a 2 that extra damage won't amount to much, but I guess extra damage is extra damage. I forgot to mention that you get to do the maneuver if you hit with attack, so you do damage and perform the move.

Right, rolling low means that your turn and it's usage wasn't wasted.

P.H. Dungeon wrote:
I like kind of like the pathfinder mechanic of CMB vs CMD (better than the idea of rolling a d6 and comparing it to the attribute modifier, as this seems to deviate away from the d20 core mechanic). However, I find that martial characters don't attempt combat moves that often in my pathfinder campaign unless they are specifically built around a move (like tripping or sundering). There usually isn't a lot of incentive to overrun or bull rush when you have to forfeit the chance to hit and do damage (unless you've invested in several feats towards that move). There also isn't much incentive to try moves that you don't have feats for since you provoke AoO. This is something that I wish they had done differently with pathfinder. Make the combat moves open to anyone to try without a risk of a AoO and then allow characters with feats to stack a combat move on top of an attack, so that you aren't forfeiting the chance to do damage. As it stands they are in many cases highly situational, and thus I don't see them used at the table as much as I would like. I could probably re-work the system with some house rules, but I don't usually bother to tinker with systems too much (except for dragon age).

CMD was a pretty great and innovative thing that really helped unify 3.5 special attack portion of the rules. But your right, it's usually better to just attack than to Bull Rush or Disarm or Trip because it eats your attack. Were I to design it, I would allow anyone the possibility of using a Special Action but it eats up your action and those who specialize in the special attack (Imp. Trip, Imp. Disarm, etc.) can do both, attack and trip and the like.

If that occurs, then I would see people doing it far more often.


P.H. Dungeon wrote:
In the latest playtest it's the gladiator path that gets a dice to perform maneuvers. You basically have a few maneuvers you can do at the start and you roll a d6 if its higher than your opponents strength or dexterity modifier (depending on the move) you succeed. As you level up you get access to some new moves. I haven't playtested this mechanic yet, but it could be serviceable.

They renamed it to the "Weaponmaster" but that's just nitpicking. The other thing about these Combat Superiority die is that if you roll lower than the ability mod (thus not completing the action) you just add that as extra damage onto the attack.


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Hm, well the latest fighters don't have Expertise die anymore. The sub-class (Weaponmaster) does but you can opt to take the Warrior, which is basically a guy who gets better at getting critical hits.

Clerics have Turn Undead in which the Undead have to make a Saving throw or run away. If they take damage, they stop being turned. It's a limited use, however, to their Channel Divinity which improves as they level.

But I get what your saying. Honestly I think they would best be served by stopping all edition creation altogether and just create content for 1e, 2e, 3e, and 4e. Have a supplement, create rules for it that can be used in a multi-edition platform for which everyone will by as it's based on their preferred style. A Races of Giants book, for example, would have rules and stats to use Giants in EVERY edition they have out. Then there can be multi-platform rules that are useful regardless of edition.


Auxmaulous wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Actually, as of the 10/14/13 playtest, Gauntlets of Ogre Power state: When you don these gauntlets, your Strength score becomes 19. If your strength score is 19 or above, these gauntlets have no effect. Belts of Giant Strength are based on the Giant it's supposed to emulate, from Hill Giants Strength of 21 to Storm Giants Strength of 29. Also, currently there are no spells that boost your abilities. No Bull Strength or Eagle's Splendor.

This is the way to go and how I am going about it for my re-write of AD&D 3rd ed.

Some small combat or save boosters and that's it, eliminate any meta game data manipulation (ex: raise Int and all DCs and skills, etc).

Sounds good. I too like the idea that the Fighter isn't always the one benefiting from the Strength-boosting items and spells.

Auxmaulous wrote:


There are too many things I dislike in the current core rules for me to pick this up, but I think they are going in the right direction.

Such as?


Sebastrd wrote:
Diffan wrote:
True, and it's not so much the disparity that I have a problem with. It's the disparity in conjunction with how often the Dis/Advantage comes up. Were is less likely to gain Advantage with an attack, the disparity is great. If someone can obtain Advantage with every single attack, the disparity becomes a problem, IMO. If my rogue can get Advantage on each attack they make, the plate-armored opponent is a lot less of a threat then when advantage shows up every once in a while, making the attack or action or scene more dramatic.
I kind of like the idea of combatants constantly jockeying for Advantage, but I think I'd have to experience it in play before I really make up my mind about. It's definitely realistic, though.

Right, I think "trying" for advantage can be a lot of fun. Pushing your enemy into difficult terrain or jumping onto a table or using one of your attacks to knock them prone for the remaining attacks to have advantage is a lot of fun and cinematic. Flaking the enemy with your ally...meh been there and done that. Sorta boring.

Sebastrd wrote:
Diffan wrote:
True, the focus on scores is still a driving point behind character growth. But now at least your confronted with making your main stat higher, or taking a feat. And with feats being bigger in terms of what they grant AND the fact that you don't get many of them, they're hard to dismiss right from the get-go. Further, due to bounded accuracy, having a 14 isn't as bad over the course of your character's career as it was in 3.5/PF or 4E. You can still get away with having a Str 14 or 15 as a Fighter and not be terrible. You won't be as potent as a Fighter with a Str of 18 or 20, but that +2 or +3 difference isn't as significant when the ACs aren't scaling ridiculously high. Plus magic items can boost your stats past 20.
I'd like to see them go even further, and eliminate magical "bonuses" altogether. For example, instead of Gauntlets of Ogre Power giving a +4 Str bonus, they'd simply give you and ogre's average strength score (say, 24). A Bull's Strength spell might simply give one a strength score of 18 instead of a bonus. I, too, am perfectly happy to keep the numbers low.

Actually, as of the 10/14/13 playtest, Gauntlets of Ogre Power state: When you don these gauntlets, your Strength score becomes 19. If your strength score is 19 or above, these gauntlets have no effect. Belts of Giant Strength are based on the Giant it's supposed to emulate, from Hill Giants Strength of 21 to Storm Giants Strength of 29. Also, currently there are no spells that boost your abilities. No Bull Strength or Eagle's Splendor.


P.H. Dungeon wrote:

I've played D&D Next (GMed) a couple of times, but not a enough to form a really informed opinion on it. However, I did enjoy the sessions I ran. I felt like they have done a good job of combining the best elements of a number of past editions.

Liked
• advantage/disadvantage mechanic (elegant, easy to use, fun since you have two chances to crit on an attack roll, which bonuses wouldn't give you)
• for the most part how the classes function (including magic). For instance I like that a wizard can prepare different spells in all his slots and then decide what combination to use. For example, you could prepare charm, sleep and magic missile and then use all three slots on magic missile spells. By the way, magic missile is actually useful at 1st level since you get to fire three.
• A lot of the spell still retain their traditional flavour, but have been balanced so they aren't quite so game breaking. For instance, haste is still really good, but it only affects a single target, which is IMO much more reasonable than the pathfinder version of the spell.
• Spellcasters get cantrips, and they seem a bit better than pathfinder cantrips (i.e, there are a couple that you can use in combat that are better than say Pathfinder's ray of frost or ray of acid)
• When characters get a second attack they can move in between making the second attack if they want (they don't have to just stand there and attack).
• Magic items aren't considered necessary and are actual bonus instead of something that the game sets players up to feel entitled to.
• Flattened math (I like the idea of this, though I'm still not sure how well it is actually implemented. I think the AC on some of the more powerful monsters should be jacked up a few points).

Yea, I agree with just about everything. Especially the flattened math. While I still enjoy Pathfinder, 3.5, and 4E.....the Armor Class getting into the 30s and 40s, and the attacks hitting the 20s and 30s seem ridiculous, plus the amount of damage that can be had in 1 attack or 1 turn is just unnecessary. When I have a 4E monster with 358 HP and the Ranger deals 72 + 3 + 9 from quarry plus immediate reaction from the Fighter for another 12 and then ongoing 5 damage......what the hells am I? DM or Mathematician? Higher numbers =/= more fun for me. I don't mind progression, but the fast rate in which is escalates is rather problematic.

P.H. Dungeon wrote:


Not so sure about:
• Skill system. I think the expertise dice idea for certain classes is kind of interesting, but I'm not sure if I like how they decided to deal with skills. I'd have to play more to form an opinion on this.

They removed expertise dice for skills. Now skills are back to being filed under specific abilities. Athletics, for example, is a Strength-based skill. Each class gets the choices of one or more skills plus your Background grants a few others. So a Fighter with the Knight background could have up to 4 separate skills.

P.H. Dungeon wrote:


• I would still like to see more rules to help encourage the use of cinematic combat maneuvers to make martial combat more dynamic; these may come, but the playtest packet doesn't say much on the subject.

Yeah, I think so far the way in which they treat being knocked down is too easy on the defender. Spend 5' of your total movement to get up is sort of pointless for someone who just knocked you down. Disarm and Grapple aren't too bad, but remain very situational to be used on a consistent basis.

P.H. Dungeon wrote:


• I miss touch AC
• The new character sheet (not a fan)

Yea, having the Wizard hit an AC with a ray of frost is difficult, but at least your attacking with your magic stat instead of your Dexterity or Strength scores (which often are terrible for Wizards). And I've been using the older Character sheet or just scratch paper because I don't like the new one either.

P.H. Dungeon wrote:


• Focus on high attribute scores (since the game is based on using your attribute bonuses as the main modifier for pretty much every test, there is still a huge incentive to get really high attribute scores. They've capped them at 20 unless you can raise them above through magic, but I still think that having 18s and 20s in your key stats is going to be the standard. I'd like the game better if a 14 in a key attribute could be considered decent).

True, the focus on scores is still a driving point behind character growth. But now at least your confronted with making your main stat higher, or taking a feat. And with feats being bigger in terms of what they grant AND the fact that you don't get many of them, they're hard to dismiss right from the get-go. Further, due to bounded accuracy, having a 14 isn't as bad over the course of your character's career as it was in 3.5/PF or 4E. You can still get away with having a Str 14 or 15 as a Fighter and not be terrible. You won't be as potent as a Fighter with a Str of 18 or 20, but that +2 or +3 difference isn't as significant when the ACs aren't scaling ridiculously high. Plus magic items can boost your stats past 20.


Sebastrd wrote:
Diffan wrote:

Here are some reasons why I don't like Advantage/Disadvantage:

• It's a POWERFUL bonus/penalty, resulting in something like a +/- 4 or 5 on to your d20.
This is actually one of my favorite aspects of Advantage/Disadvantage: it is mathematically realistic. In cases where there is a large disparity between opponents' skill, Advantage/Disadvantage has very little effect on the outcome (+/-1, effectively). In cases where opponents are equally matched, Advantage/Disadvantage can make or break the competition (+/-5, effectively).

True, and it's not so much the disparity that I have a problem with. It's the disparity in conjunction with how often the Dis/Advantage comes up. Were is less likely to gain Advantage with an attack, the disparity is great. If someone can obtain Advantage with every single attack, the disparity becomes a problem, IMO. If my rogue can get Advantage on each attack they make, the plate-armored opponent is a lot less of a threat then when advantage shows up every once in a while, making the attack or action or scene more dramatic.


I believe multiple platforms involves using multiple media outlets and various forms of interaction such as RPGs, Novels, and video games.

As for "monster", they admitted that there should have been an "s" on the end.

Further, I'm sorta excited that the release is a bit closer than I had originally expected. Though I don't think that means their time-table for fixing bugs and the like is too long and I fear that the game will debut with multiple problems that will need errata (sad panda face).


That seems to be the most sensible option considering both choices are Races. The idea of a Dragonborn shaped Warforge is pretty interesting, I admit.


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mcintma wrote:
R_Chance wrote:


Weakening the Mage is a reaction to the Wizard being, in most peoples opinions, the most powerful class in the game in 3.x (and previous editions). As for simplicity for Fighters, DDN is simpler than 3.x. At this stage (playtest) it's hard to say what will be in the basic game and what will be optional as well.
I fully agree they're reacting to the LFQW thing (setting aside whether I agree with it or not), I just think they went too far is all.

Meh, I'm not seeing the part where wizards are under-powered. Sure, their starting DC is 8 + Intelligence modifier + proficiency but that's pretty decent. If, for example, the Wizard has an Intelligence 18 (+4) and uses a wand, his DC 13, which is rather difficult when most monsters at that level only have a Wisdom modifier of -1 to +2 and puts their chances for saving against the spell, at best, 45%. To me, that's pretty decent.

mcintma wrote:


You raise a good point that optional rules may be in this packet - I'll hope for that 'simple' (powerful, but simple to play) Ftr in basic with 'complex' Ftr subclass options.

I think the "Warrior" sub-class of Fighter is pretty straight forward. There's little complexity for that class besides the choice of Weapon Style. The Weaponmaster (something I feel is mis-named) does offer a bit more of a choice in complexity in the terms of round-to-round combat.


Sissyl wrote:

Ummmm, because Wizards already pulled that stunt one day when they were grumpy, removing all the pdf:s that people had bought and expected to be able to re-download from the website?

Really, them doing something similar this time around doesn't seem like an odds fluke to me.

Call me optimistic but I can only hope that with a new team and many years later they might have learned from their mistakes.


I read though most of the packet and while it's not 4E, I think it's an alright system. I like how they included things like Drow, Warforged, Dragonborn, and Tieflings. I like that they gave both the Paladin and Ranger specific spells (smite spells FTW!!). I like how the monster layouts are as well. I also like the flat proficiency bonus to things like skills, attacks, saving throws, etc. Very elegant.

I still don't like the TWF rules, forcing both weapons to be light and only increasing one of them to a one-handed weapon with a feat is bogus and certainly doesn't help in allowing someone to dual-attack with sword and shield. I'm also not a fan that the Fighter is severly lacking in both the Exploration and Interactive Pillars. They have really nothing to contribute outside of combat besides maybe intimidate. Sorta bland in those areas. Paladins also need to be able to apply their Smites to ranged attacks for those who go Elven Paladin (a common theme IMO).


I don't get where people think that just because they're not producing new content for D&D that the old content will, for some reason, go *poof* OR that I can't access my DDI tools like the Compendium, Monster Builder, or Character Builder. It says Dungeon and Dragon magazines, of which only compromise a portion of one's DDI account.


Ssalarn wrote:


Because my actual question had to do with what people thought about how the two compared side by side and what their feelings were about strengths/weaknesses between the two.

While I don't think you could technically consider what we've been doing a side-by-side, our expereinces from playing both 3E/PF, 4E, and playtesting Next might still paint you a decent picture.

FWIW I think Next is an okay system so far. It's still has a LONG way to go in terms of adjustments, monster math, and sub-class options to come close for my group to become interested in it for more than a session or two. There are things that D&D:Next promotes (such as Improv) that have such a gray area that it's hard to say how good the system really is. On it's face it doesn't allow for all that much when compared to 4E where a monk can do all sorts of cool stuff like attack a group of enemies and move out of the way. The game almosts insists that the DM take a lead role in allowing "coolness" to be had instead of the system. Some people enjoy that, others don't.

I saw my friend play a monk in our Minds of Madness game and he seemed to have fun punching and kicking skeletons (who have vulnerable to bludgeoning) but still, it was like kick-kick-punch....next. When I rolled up my Monk for Dark Sun 4E, I could do a LOT more than just those few basics on per-battle basis with At-Wills. I just don't know if D&D:NExt provides the tactical depth that we've been really enjoying with 4E.

Another example was the Paladin. At 1st level he's rather bland, boring, and almost completely indifferent from say....the Fighter. The Fighter get's second wind and the paladin can lay on hands 5 HP. Really, there's little mechanical difference until 3rd level when sub-classes start to show and even then....the differences aren't major.


Stefan Hill wrote:
Diffan wrote:

For martials without AEDU, I'd prefer a host of maneuvers that can be done over and over that have effects but the damage remains mostly in the weapon + ability modifier area. So a Knight might know 3 or 4 maneuvers he can use all the time but damage comes from his Sword + Strength. Sort of like how Essentials did with the Slayer and Knight classes, of which I'm a big fan of.

I guess this comes from learning to play in the older editions. For me personally lots of micro-management in the combat rules does nothing to improve an RPG. For me combat is nothing more than a high stakes series of skill resolution tests. I simple 'roll d20 to hit' can be described in many ways at the table without needing pages of rules detailing effects. Now I understand fully that some see the purpose of combat to test your personal tactical skills out in a chess-like competition against the DM. Just not my cup of tea (as they say).

I dunno, every edition had micro-management but it was always the spellcaster that had it and everyone else just did the same thing (albiet reflavored and described 1,000,000 different ways). One thing I hope for is different styles (the gladiator is coming along but too far behind the Warrior from the lastest packet to be a good choice) so that people who want complexity can have it and people who want simplicity can have that too. Same goes with spellcasters. I'd like a mage that was simple and easy (sub-clas Warlock) that just threw around a few magical bolts that augmented at certain levels and maybe some utility here and there. Not 30, 40, or 50 spells to pick from every level. If we're going to throw in complexity at the classs level then it needs to be inclusive.

Stefan Hill wrote:


1e AD&D was a game of 'mother may I', just look at what rules were where. The fun (for me) of being a DM was you were like a judge. Players indicated what they would like to do and then you parsed that with what you understood of the rules (sometimes thanks to Gygaxese not easy) and away play went. I believe I am an excellent 1/2e DM but I think I suck at 3e/PF as they DM very differently from 1/2e. 4e I enjoyed DMing again but because of my dislike of miniature based combats I couldn't really get into 4e. 5e for me currently has lots of promise and is perhaps where I would have seen the natural progression from 2e going - the anger people had going 3e --> 4e was me when I saw 2e --> 3e. I could tell that a board game company had purchased TSR and that they wanted to sell me plastic toys (ala Transformers etc). 5e plays like 2e with more consistent mechanics.

So summing up I think that:

- 1e/2e/4e/5e has a DM

- 3e/PF has an extra player that happens to have more than one character (called a monster - but really a character mechanically)

S.

I guess so but I've found myself adjudicating lots of things in v3.5 that the rules either didn't cover well or weren't very good for our group so we changed them. I'm not a fan of "Mother may I" because I really want a sense of continunity and you just don't get that with continual on-the-spot rulings most of the time unless your write down every single decision you made based on the situation at hand. For example, Player A wants to bull rush an Ogre. The first time it happens you made it an action and it was a Strength vs. Strength contest. The second time it happens (say, 2 months later) you make it a move + action and require a Strength vs. a static DC (Ogre's Modifier + 10). The third time it comes up (3 sessions later) you say "Um, I dont remember how we did it so lets go with you must move in a straight line, use your standard action and make an attack with your weapon. If you hit the creature takes damage and is pushed back 5ft." Well now what are the players going to think the next time it happens?

I know this is a simple and probably silly example but I have seen it when playing 2E and it was something I loathed. I'd like to know what typical things I can do and rely on a consistant basis for which the rules apply to make those decisions. Clear and concise rules don't necessarily need to be convoluted and lengthy require a minutia of rolling die and math, but there DOES need to be some base line understanding of typical actions that remain fairly consistant.


For martials without AEDU, I'd prefer a host of maneuvers that can be done over and over that have effects but the damage remains mostly in the weapon + ability modifier area. So a Knight might know 3 or 4 maneuvers he can use all the time but damage comes from his Sword + Strength. Sort of like how Essentials did with the Slayer and Knight classes, of which I'm a big fan of.


ericthetolle wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
This is off-topic, but I vastly prefer Paizo's forum style. No embedded images or signatures gives it a very clean appearence.

I cut my teeth on Usenet, circa 1994, so I have to laugh at anyone who whines about the lack of pretty imbedded images.

As for 4E, D&D Next and all that, the main problem with Next that I see is that there is no "catch" the way there was with AD&D, 3E, and 4E. There's no consolidation of rules the way there was with AD&D, there's no skills and Magic the Gathering style rewards for mastery the way there was with 3E, and there isn't the balanced approach to tactical combat and role-playing the way there was with 4E. Frankly,I don't see any reason to compel me to play Next. There's no there, there.

I think the catch is in it's simplicity. The numbers are lower. The options fewer. The "builds" not as dramatic. The magic not as broken. The mundanes remaining mundane. The EPIC being....well not EPIC as far as the bonuses/numbers go. If someone wants to run a D&D:Next game then the rules are easier to learn, the play is quick, and roll-resolution simple, and the classes easy to identify with.

But all of this, to me, doesn't make for long lasting campaigns. It makes for a quick game on a night that a few people don't show up for the "real" campaign. It's something I could see people playing at lunch time or casually but not something that spans months or years.


I see some elements of this game that I enjoy and this could replace my desire of running 3E/E6 (the few often times I run it) but as it stands it's not going to replace my 4E games any time soon. There just isn't enough awesome-ness that I've grown accustomed to with playing 4E to warrent a complete reversal within our group.


Actually, the less I have to calculate and take account for the better. A Blind and Drunk character who's attacking a foe who that is paralyized still has to choose the correct area to attack, so I'd just say the advantage of a paralyized character is nullified by being blind and drunk so long as (s)he attacks the right space.

And this also applies to Monsters too. I just don't enjoy that level of micro-management to factor in bonuses, penalties, the number of times advantage applies - the number of times disadvantage applies.


Tacticslion wrote:

Heh. That's fine. I just would love feedback from someone!

I am, by the way, altering half-elves as follows:
** spoiler omitted **

I realized that three ability scores was exactly half of what humans got, and the special abilities I listed below was also exactly half of what elves got, so it seems to make sense and probably be more balanced to me.

Also, after thinking about it, it makes a lot of sense to just give Shades some basic minor spell-like abilities. Simplicity is best, after all. So!

** spoiler omitted **

I figure that while Shadow Walk doesn't exist yet in the playtest packet, it'll probably come in at some point. I'm not entirely pleased with the wording of the last, but it works for me. I'd still be interesting in someone helping me tweak it into 5E style a bit more. :)

The half-elf looks fine, I like that you can exchange things on your sub-race depending on how you've been raised (no Elven Weapon training if your raised by humans).

The Shade......pretty ridiculous power-wise. You've given him a LOT to do with realatively little drawbacks outside of being in specific lightning conditions. Advantage on attacks is an extreamly potent ability, probably prone to abuse by players. Advantage on Stealth checks isn't too bad though but then the Charisma and Constitution contests AND saves....wow. Throw in higher level spells for free, espically Dimension Door AND the ability to walk to the Shadowfell and I'd need a good reason NOT to play one.

For suggestions on toning it down a bit:
• drop darkvision's ability to pierce magical darkness or maybe, allow vision within such as spell only up to 5-ft.

• Drop the Adv. to Charisma and Constitution checks and saves ability.

• Drop Advantage to attacks while within less than bright light.

• Reword the spellcasting to say: "can use the following spells once per day: Darkness OR Dimension Door.

• Drop Plane Shift but add in Shadow Walk, however limit it to be useable once only after a short rest.

• allow them to add +1 to Dexterity and, based on if their transformatino was natural (+1 Charisma) or spell-infused (think Shades of Netheril) (+1 Intelligence).

As to your other question, I've added a few changes to the playtest so far. For starters, I gave starting 1st level characters more HP. They now start with Constitutin SCORE + rolled or fixed HD. A 1st level Fighter with a Con 15 can expect to start with 21 HP if he goes with fixed.

Second change I'm implementing is going to the Wound/Vitality system of v3.5 UA. To me, this better expresses the abstract nature that is HP plus it makes Critical hits FAR more dangerous and potent. I had to add in the Fatigued status effect, but that really wasn't hard and it works well with the system as it.

Third change was allowing the plethora of homebrew classes that people have come up with over on the Wiz-Bro boards such as a homebrew Warblade (which is pretty awesome), a Warmage (simple wizard that blasts stuff) and a re-worked Fighter. There was also a homebrew Warlord but it only goes to 5th level.


I'm with kmal2t in that D&D:Next needs to bring something to the table for me to even look at it in the stores. Being a pretty rehashed retro-clone is not going to pull in everyone under the tent as was their initial design statment.

I also "switched" to Pathfinder because it's free. Were I required to buy any of their books besides the Adventure Paths, no I'd be sticking with v3.5 but because of the OGL I can have my cake and eat it too.


Sebastrd wrote:
kmal2t wrote:
I don't recall seeing anyone state that adv/disadv was anything close to "fantastic"...but just as silly and unrealistic as anything else in DnD? probably.

Then let me help you out.

I think the adv/disadv system is fantastic. While it may be overrused at the moment, I think it's an elegant solution to a clunky problem.

D&D has always been silly and unrealistic, but I'll trade realistic for simple and easy to use any day of the week.

I too think the Advantage/Disadvantage system is pretty easy and elegant in it's simplicity. After 3.X/PF and 4E, tracking a minutia of small bonuses and penalties plus a dozen or more conditions and other effects that happen 1-turn, it's simple to just say "roll with Advantage" and volia.


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Sebastian wrote:

I wish I were feeling the love, but I'm not. Everything I read about this edition strikes me as the game you would play if you forgot your books and just decided to start rolling d20's. I suppose I will eventually play it, but I don't see myself seeking it out.

That said, if someone can change my feelings, I'm up for that. Anyone have an example of something they particularly like in the new edition (and why they like it)?

Hm, lets see:

• Combat is quick, but also dangerous. 4 Kobolds can be a challenge even for a 4 person party.

• The math doesn't run away with itself. You can expect to stay within the 'teens (numbers wise) when you hit high levels.

• The game really does emphasize teamwork and strategy, but not necessarily on what's written down on your character sheet. Althought I've never had a problem thinking outside the box or looking at the terrain or other ways to do interesteing stuff, it seems to be a staple-point in 4E-dislike that everyone looks to their sheets first to do stuff instead of critical thinking. Since there isn't much on your character sheet and things are done primarily with Ability Challenges, it sort of forces you to think about how you can manipulate the area around you.

• Ease of DM'ing is still sort of there since the monsters are broken down into XP pools and it gives advice on what's an easy, moderate, and difficult encounter. Also, there's not a whole lot of tracking that has to be doen (ie. Marking, End-of-next-turn effects, ongoing damage, poison tracks, minor bonuses/penalties, tons of conditions, etc).

• Portability. This game is pretty easy to convert or 'port over elements from v3.5 (and some 4E) like the Wound/Vitality healing system, Second Wind, and even whole classes. Currently, I'm in the middle of crafting the Tome of Battle classes to D&D:next to give it a more 4E-Feel. Also, when homebrewing it's far easier to spot brokeness in design (meaning it's WAY overpowered or not powerful enough) than we've seen in other editions.

• It's iconic enough to be still recognizable as "D&D", which is another complaint I've heard (yet still don't fully understand?) of 4E. Your back to Vancian-only wizards, healing via Spellcasting only, Attack progressions/Spell DC progressions, and thingsl like Martial Feats :rolleyes: .

• It's free to play and download

Other than that, I think the biggest problem facing D&D:Next is that they're not clear who their target audience is. It shouts and screams "MODULAR" but we still haven't seen it yet. They shout that if you like D&D in any incarnation then you'll like D&D:Next. THey say that they're making up rules for people who enjoy tactical combat akin to 4E (like facing rules.....hahahahahah seriously) but it also emphasizes Theater of the Mind style by reverting it back to feet and units of real time (yay for 5MWD problems).

I can't say that I'll buy this, but I'm at least giving them my 2-cents where I think they need to take the editions in terms of mechanics and gameplay.


LazarX wrote:
Diffan wrote:
- Weapon selection still has about ZERO impact on your character. Weapon have no narrative element and are just a means to an end for specific die.
Should be good news for all you reskinners out there.

Meh, not really. Reskinning was a way to take something interesting (mechanics wise) and apply it to a different flavor while maintaining the mechanics. With about zero difference between the weapons, reskinning is pointless. Sure, it's easier but the ease of reskinning was already present.

As for the changes, I'm looking to see how they fix the Monk and Rogue. The way amount of stuff the Monk lost completely makes the class moot and one could just as easily reflavor a Rogue or even Barbarian to do the same things with Feats. The rogue schemes need to be better and they need to rethink the whole Sneak Attack thing.


Stefan Hill wrote:

Listening to the Pod Casts from Dungeon & Dragons is well worth it. Getting the insider information on changes really helps to understand why they are being tried and why the old way needed changed. Found it by accident, but I'll be tuning in every time a new packet is released. By not having board game / miniature combats (yet?) they still very much have my interest.

S.

Their Pod Casts do shed some light on their reasonsings but I've found many of those reasonings....unfounded to say the least. And I'm pretty sure TotM style play is being promoted more than using a grid and miniatures due to pretty much all the wording and removal of fiddly-bits (Flanking being one of them). I dunno, I can't seem to enjoy D&D without miniatures but that's me.


Pan wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Pan wrote:
I hear alignment based Paladins are back...../ducks for cover

Ya know, even though I hate alignment restrictions this one really hasn't bothered me too much. I think it's the part where there's nothing in there about "Do such and such and your god revokes your character". Like others have stated on WotC boards, Roleplay decisions require Roleplay consequences.

Also, it's extreamly easy to remove alignment from this class (and the agme) and it works perfectly fine.

That's great to hear. I love alignment. I hate when it gets too intertwined with mechanics though. I know its been a sore spot for many gamers over the years. If its easy to opt-out of then no harm. That sounds like the approach the game is supposed to be taking.

Yea, it's pretty much a restriction without any teeth. A person could just grab the Paladin, take the Cavalier theme, then put CN on his Alignment spot. It might be wierd since he's given Protection from Evil spell, but that could be swapped out for something else entirely. I'm going to assume that we'll probably get different varients as more options present themselves.


Pan wrote:
I hear alignment based Paladins are back...../ducks for cover

Ya know, even though I hate alignment restrictions this one really hasn't bothered me too much. I think it's the part where there's nothing in there about "Do such and such and your god revokes your character". Like others have stated on WotC boards, Roleplay decisions require Roleplay consequences.

Also, it's extreamly easy to remove alignment from this class (and the agme) and it works perfectly fine.

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