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30 bonus feats...?????
From the free Basic rules I see the Fighter getting 7 Feat opportunities (which override the option of taking an Ability Score bump).
What are Save Feats? You mean like Lightning Reflexes, Great Fortitude, Iron Will that were in v3.5 and Pathfinder? I don't have the PHB yet so I haven't seen how good the Feats are yet.
Spring Attack was a ridiculously moronic thing to throw in as a feat in v3.5 and PF, as was Shot on the Run. And everyone gets like one bonus action.
As for Monks being "benders" I say FINALLY!! Do you know how difficult it was to make a "Bender" style character in v3.5? I had to create it's OWN separate class because a Multi-class Monk/Magic-User was a useless attempt that ended in frustration. The only thing close was a Fire-Bender with the Swordsage using Desert Wind maneuvers. Earth Benders were "sorta" done with the Swordsage and Stone Dragon / Iron Heart / and Setting Sun maneuvers.
Even 4E was rather "meh" on the whole concept. It took someone building their OWN whole Avatar: The Airbender system to do that.
So I'm not really sure I understand the problem here. You get a total of +6 to your attacks and saves over 20 levels compared to +10/+15/+20 attacks and +12/+6 saves of v3.5 and Pathfinder OR +15 in 4E.
Then you look at feats, of which Pathfinder nets 10 per 20 levels and 4E's 18 over 30 levels. Feats in Next are based on class, of which only the Fighter has the highest with 7 over 20 levels.
I have to assume this is a joke.
Yes, some feats were bad (Toughness, for example). Some feats were meh and some where auto-picked. Yet there were a LOT that were chosen for flavor and fun. As for more options, in 5e its largely allowed due to DM fiat. For example your only cleaving if the DM says so. Your only bull rushing and attacking if the DM allows it.
I can sympathize. On one hand, I don't think it's a terrible game. I don't think it's design is flawed or overly un-balanced. I think they strove for the BEST game they could while adhering to people with TOTALLY different approaches to the game. So you have decisions like keeping magical items super-rare and rather....."meh" overall, something older fans like because they hate the "magic shoppe of 3E - 4E games." But then you have things like Hit Die healing and Second Wind which give nods to inspiration / non-magical healing, something that modern-gamers tend to like that older players don't.
So from my perspective, it's the sort of game you see that's compromised of a committee. It's like they sat down with the leaders of various editions and got ALL their ideas, kept the ones the majority of them liked (A class-based, medieval fantasy RPG that uses the d20 for a resolution mechanic) and then fought for EVERYTHING else. In some places, compromises were made and in others one side got the better deal. Since it's release there have been people who didn't like 4E say there's too much of it in D&D:Next and there have been 4E fans who say nothing relevant from 4E made it into D&D:Next. Then there are some who find that it's the BEST system they've played yet.
For me, it basically comes down to this: What does D&D-Next do that other systems don't? I've struggled with that question since 2012 when they announced they were in the process of creating a new edition. And through ALL the playtests I've run and the games we've played, I still cannot answer it well enough.
For one thing, it doesn't do high-action, cinematic fantasy as 4E does. It's not combat-focused enough that gives any significance to my in-combat decisions. I'm not weighing the options I have of using an Encounter power vs. an At-Will or Daily NOR does it have the tactical depth in ally support 4E does.
For another thing, it doesn't scratch the character-creation mini game that is v3.5 and Pathfinder. I think it tries, but it fails to accomplish it. With v3.5 and Pathfinder you simply build the character you want and the mechanics fuel that to a literal degree. The amount of customization that both v3.5 and PF have blows 5E out of the water. And especially when you look at PF's archtypes or v3.5's alternate class features, it's difficult NOT to be able to build ANY character you can imagine (it's getting it to work well that seems to be the biggest problem).
So what's left? I think it comes down to speed and ease of play. While I still love v3.5 and PF and 4E they're all pretty robust and cumbersome when it comes to the rules (4E, less so than v3.5). The easy resolution system of 5E makes adjudication simple and quick. Advantage/Disadvantage is FAR easier to implement than the 20+ different modifiers that PF and 3.5 have AND it's easier to track than the mind-numbing amount of "End of your Next turn" powers of 4E. And of course the numbers have been paired down significantly. No more +33 to hit, 144 damage per round. No more ACs reaching the 50's. No more DC saves of 28. No more 2,550 HP for monsters. No more "It grapples you and.....you lose" situations. Not to mention combat is quicker, meaning you get more in over the course of an adventure.
Is this enough material to scratch an itch that neither v3.5/PF or 4E can? It's hard to say. I've come to really enjoy E6 as a mini-system. For those who aren't aware of what E6 is, it's basically v3.5 that stops leveling at 6th level and everything else afterwards is just additional feats. PF has a version called E7 but you could use any level to stop at and just use feats afterwards. I'm not sure if D&D:Next can fill this role of E6, especially when SO much out there is geared towards this tier of play for v3.5 and PF but who knows?
I really don't have a problem with it. When I play 3e or PF it's obscene the amount of thi.gs that stack and can stay on for a LONG time, spanning multiple encounters even. It was to the point that you really didnt need a Fighter if there was a cleric in the group and wizards / druids were worse.
Besides, buff spells are still good and contribute to the party but don't necessarily make encounters trivial. And they have things like Cantrips to rely on and Clerics can still wade in with mace in hand.
Let me ask, you find a product you like. Do you instantly trust them to continue to make the exact same product forever? I don't think it's about trust, something I generally associate with actual people, I think it's about expectations and disappointment. For some, the direction the game took was a disappointment to them. I severely doubt "trust" was broken. Perhaps people might be more cautious about purchasing products from them OR take a longer in-depth look to what their products do before purchase but that's a stance every consumer should be taking.
Further, 4E had LOADS of changes to try the product before buying it. And the same is true with NEXT. You can easily see the game's direction their taking and either that A) suits your needs or B) it doesn't. It has absolutely zip to do with gaining trust back.
Diffan: While your point is not entirely wrong, it is also quite true that those decisions I paraphrased were a large part of the reason for the edition war. I mean, there would have been an outcry whatever they did, but it wouldn't have become impossible to discuss on any major RPG board for years and years without their ample help.
And yet the "decisions" you paraphrased are basically your negative opinions of the edition and less to do with actual reasons for those changes.
Second, how does ANY of that constitute a trust violation? From my perspective the only thing WotC is at fault for is the taking away of PDFs people bought (though why they weren't saved and stored on a device is beyond me) and falling through with their promises on a VTT and on-line tools. Everything else, no it wasn't a breach of trust. They didnt go in a direction people like and they got mad and complained.
And the edition war continues......
I'd agree with you if it was something every wizard could do or any spellcaster could pick up with a feat. But since is a limited option from one school of magic, I don't see the harm. Every wizard who isn't an Evoker is still limited to picking carefully where to place their AoE spells.
Josh M. wrote:
Haha, not at all. Hell I've been saying that since I opened up the 4E PHB in 08'. It also shows just how important 1st impressions are and how something as simple as layout and colors can skew people's opinions.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
No problem, they're just things that I've noticed that appear to work in similar fashion to 4E when we were playtesting. But I guess your right in that if somethings are ingrained with the system and if it's harder to remove / rewrite then it's easier to just play something else. Perhaps 5E's mechanics are simpler to remove than previous editions?
• HD healing = Healing Surges.....sorta
• Overnight full healing = 4E style
• Short Rest abilities = Encounter Powers.....again sorta
• At-will spellcasting (Cantrips / Orisons) = At-Will spells
• No Alignment mechanics / restrictions
• No racial ability score penalties
• Shortened Skill list akin to 4E's instead of the vast 3.5 list
• Rogue's Sneak Attack happens without any "sneak" required.
• Paladin smites work against anything (from the playtest anyways).
• Ritual spells = pretty much what 4E did.
In short, many of the 4E-isms have remained but received a "old school" paint job and don't call out game-ist elements like "squares" or "Push, Pull, Slide". Additionally they went back to the older wording for things like adventuring day instead of Encounters.
Most of this I find pretty funny because if someone had just done with with 4E at the onset such as formatted the powers to look like 3.5 spells / Maneuvers ala Tome of Battle instead of the color-coded boxes, removed Squares with Feet, used more traditional / fluid terminology instead of gamer jargon, and made it more clear that powers were subject to DM adjudication then I think 4E would probably still be supported by the fanbase to this day.
It's quite funny to see many 4E-naysayers gush over how great WotC is for bringing D&D back when so many 4E elements have remained on the fundamental level.
Scott Henry wrote:
Has anyone tried it yet? Is it any good vs Pathfinder? I really don't see the point in handing over yet MORE money to Hasbro who is treating D&D like a Wargame and churning out a new edition every few years. I'm sort of sickened by the same people who were so angry about 3.5 and 4th ed so close together who went to Pathfinder who are now turning around and giving money back to this new D&D. Unless its insanely good I don't see why you'd quit Pathfinder and go back to D&D.
Im going to answer your question honestly: because it's different, it scratches an itch neither Pathfinder (and by that extention 3.5) nor 4E can do. It's lighter, less complex, less bloated (numbers wise), less arbitrary, and more open to free-form. Further, I think it has the possibility of being easily portable to other supplements without a lot of work as well as being modular.
Additionally, 4e is no longer supported and I won't spend money on Pathfinder so what's left?
P.H. Dungeon wrote:
I think this is a good analysis. It hits on a lot the thoughts I was having about the new system. The lack of reliance on magic items is a huge plus for me with this system. As a GM I hate feeling like I need to give out stuff like cloaks of resistance, rings of protection, belts of strength etc.. just to allow the characters to supposably keep up with the math of the game.
YES! Magic items should be awe-inspiring. I think with the assumption of magical items being required in the game, even ones with just a +1 attached to them will carry significantly more weight within the world. Also, I think it's important for the DM to build up how important magical items are. The DMG should have a nice segment of including them and the consequences of doing so (in both releative power shift as well as making the PCs bigger targets for people who are now going to crave those magical items).
P.H. Dungeon wrote:
At first I hated it because I felt that I'd always choose a feat and I'd be left out with the ability score bumps but with feat design being "super sized" I feel they're not as necessary. Want to be a good Two-Weapon Fighter? Just take 1 feat and there you are. No more plethora of feat-chains that take 1/4 of your character's progression to achieve just to start playing the sort of character you want.
P.H. Dungeon wrote:
As someone who routinely creates "builds" and then creates a role-play around that, I agree. Another thing is that I already have systems to do the tinkering with, so 5E doesn't really need at address this aspect for me. If I want to get down into the nitty-gritty of Character Optimization then I have v3.5, Pathfinder, and 4E to scratch that itch.
Also, what I'm going to start doing is have every player write down what their character's short term and long term goals are. A Fighter, for example, might have a short term goal of being accepted into the order of Purple Dragons of Cormyr and his longtime goal is to own an estate or castle and land to become a stronger leader within the country. A Rogue's short term goal might be to get into a local thieves guild and his long term goal might be to create multiple safe houses in the city to which he can store all sorts of his weapons, poisons, etc (the latter example reminds me of Brent Week's Night Angel Trilogy ). Basically thinking less about what sort of feats, powers, spells I'm getting next level and more about "I really need X-amount of gold to buy a small apartment so I can run operations from there to blanket this area"
P.H. Dungeon wrote:
While I don't mind the XP progression chart in the basic rules I do remember seeing the DMG as a sort of "Hackers Guide" with lots of alternate tools provided to adjust your campaign accordingly. As for modules and XP, it's been a while since we ran PF but I was under the impression that you gain XP for doing things in the adventure that progress the story (like saving the townsfolk in area B4 will get everyone in the group 400 XP).
The reason for the quick advancement is because the first three levels are largely meant as a tutorial for playing the game. The designers actually went on to say that after playing the game for a while advanced players will most likely start their characters at 3rd level (the point where many classes get their sub-path).
I'm not really sure this post really makes sense with a post you just said in which casters are supposed to be more powerful than martials. If teamwork is required, something I actually agree with, then wouldn't it stand to reason that the characters have some parity and that the strengths of one are more than likely a weakness of another?
And if that's the case then why don't you think 4E achieved this? If you've played 4E then you'd be accustomed to seeing the stark differences in the capabilities of the classes, defined by specific roles they assume. Fighters, for an example, have pretty good crowed control but their damage is rather "meh" when compared to a class like the Rogue or Ranger. A Cleric can't match the Fighter OR Rogue/Ranger for power or damage BUT they desperately need him when monsters of darkness approach or when one of them is gravely injured. The wizard follows as someone who has excellent stopping power of powerful targets AND he can control the areas where battle is joined by area effects. Further, he's great at dealing damage to a group of foes at once. However he's extremely squishy and even a few hits can lay him low, so he needs the Fighter to keep people off his back.
Obviously this is my experience with the game and, for the most part, systems like v3.5 and Pathfinder hold to this model as well for a time. However beginning around 7th level and progressing into the mid- and late-tiered games both v3.5 and Pathfinder put HUGE emphasis on the need for magical aid and assistance at those levels. A party without the use of magic is nearly doomed to fail. However the revers isn't necessarily the truth for earlier levels of the game. A party consisting of a Beguiler (or even an Illusionist mage), Cleric, Druid, and Wizard will easily excel at 1st level and I'd dare say pretty much ROFLstomp most challenges of equal level far into the latter stages of the game.
A group consisting of a Fighter, Rogue, Monk, and Barbarian will have an easy time in the first few levels, probably excelling in combat where our spellcaster party will have to take time and recoup their spells more often. But as the monsters they face gain a significant increase in power (to adjust for the assumption of magic) these characters face a fare greater likely hood of all dying due to a lack of aid.
Case in point, the idea of Teamwork is one that is collectively shared, however is has little bearing of the parity of characters that compose a team or party. Each characters should have some strengths to lend the group and sometimes those strengths are what might carry the whole group through an ordeal. However from my experiences it often falls to the caster to fulfill this roll more often than not at the mid- to later-stages of both v3.5 and Pathfinder.
I'll post here what I posted in the Free PDF thread:
Initial reaction for me was "similar to the playtest with some changes." And for the most part I enjoyed the playtest. I think the true merits of the system is that it doesn't require TONS of rules to make fun and interesting characters. Coming from a mostly 3.5 and 4e perspective I can say I'm glad bloated numbers with dozens of effects all stacked together are mostly gone. Further I think monsters of lower levels will remain somewhat relevant for longer periods and magic isn't an assumed progression a character MUST have to stay relevant. Further, feats are actually worth their salt instead of what they were in 3.5 and 4e.
Some things about the system:
· Ability scores max out at 20. So that fighter character isn't pushing his Strength into the strata sphere. He'll probably start rounding out his lesser stats, which makes ability checks better.
· Ability score bumps can be swapped for feats. This makes obtaining them more significant.
· No bonus spells means that spell slots remain a very potent resource that will most likely be held onto longer for the proverbial "right time". This, I feel, puts more emphasis on dealing with encounters with a level of thoughtfulness instead of just tossing in Fireball at every opportunity.
· less is more approach. With 3.5 (and to a lesser extent 4e) it was an exclusion-based system. Meaning that TONS of mechanical obstacles were fabricated to make attempting them severely difficult except if you had a feat, skills, power, etc. If so, its often a moderate or even easy attempt. In D&D next, it appears that things function about the same and proficiency or a feat give you a minimal boost, but not so much that not having it implies any such attempt is near futile.
All in all, it scratches an itch that neither my 3.5/PF or 4E games appear to do.
Who's "we"? Do you claim to speak for more than just yourself? Further, if people really did have a preference and truly wanted that expressed in the rules where were they during the playtest process? To my knowledge (limited as it is) I never saw outcries for a Star Wars Saga D&D ruleset.
Further, what would that have really done? I have a feeling that no matter what WotC produced there would be huge detractors just for the sake of it being WotC and not a revamped 3.5 (which would equally be met with WotC being seen as a greedy cash cow for producing nearly the same stuff and charging 50.00 for it).
Ultimately I find those whos opinion as "meh" not really interested in buying a new system to begin with. There's nothing wrong with that its just an observation I've made.
I laugh because I find the opinions ironic. A portion of the fan base left WotC because 4e departure from so many sacred cows proved to be too much and, to them, made the game very un-D&D like. WotC goes BACK to their roots and attempts to rekindle the old D&D feelings and beliefs but the same people claim that its nothing new or lacks a WOW factor. In a sense, WotC cannot win, regardless of what they do.
I, personally, could care less if people like or hate or find it "meh". It scratches an itch that neither 3.5/PF or 4E really scratch. Since Pathfinder is essentially free online and 4e products are done, it provdes me an opportunity to purchase this product where I haven't purchased any in a while other than DDI to keep the 4e tools going.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Agreed. I've come across those DMs who don't allow stuff they don't own (and of course say they would allow it if I bought them the book) and what I do is just photo copy the relevant information for them to look through. For myself, I'm not so easily terrified from unknkwn rules. In my 3.5 experience the majority of glaring balance problems comes directly from the PHB and supplements that empower spellcasters. Tome of Battle, at-will Warlocks, psionics, Frenzied Berserkers ALL pale in comparison to the Druid, Cleric, or Wizard in the PHB.
I always find it funny when I read opinions on the "brokeness" of later splats but things like Natural Spell or Gate or the crazy uses people come up with with simple spells to defeat encounters that shouldve taken the whole group to overcome.
Initial reaction for me was "similar to the playtest with some changes." And for the most part I enjoyed the playtest. I think the true merits of the system is that it doesn't require TONS of rules to make fun and interesting characters. Coming from a mostly 3.5 and 4e perspective I can say Im glad bloated numbers with dozens of effects all stacked together are mostly gone. Further I think monsters of lower levels will remain somewhat relevant for longer periods and magic isnt an assumed progression a character MUST have to stay relevant. Further, feats are actually worth their salt instead of what they were in 3.5 and 4e.
Some things that should probably be cleared up about the system:
· Ability scores max out at 20. So that fighter character isnt pushing his Strength into the strata sphere. He'll probably start rounding out his lesser stats, which makes ability checks better.
· Ability score bumps can be swapped for feats. This makes obtaining them more significant.
· No bonus spells means that spell slots remain a very potent resource that will most likely be held onto longer for the proverbial "right time". This, I feel, puts more emphasis on dealing with encounters with a level of thoughtfulness instead of just tossing in Fireball at every opportunity.
· less is more approach. With 3.5 (and to a lesser extent 4e) it was an exclusion-based system. Meaning that TONS of mechanical obstacles were fabricated to make attempting them severly difficult except if you had a feat, skills, power, etc. If so, its often a moderate or even easy attempt. In D&D next, it appears that things function about the same and proficiency or a feat give you a minimal boost, but not so much that not having it implies any such attempt is near futile.
To comment in Scotts observation about the differences in places reactions, I feel it's likely due to these forums being nearly all PF supported where as ENworld has a larger and more vocal diversity of accepting systems. I don't say this to imply people here aren't diverse, but its my observation that the prominent majority here treats PF as their main system where as over at ENworld, they don't have a prescribed "main" system rather PF is 1 system out of many they use in a rotation. Further, I really feel Pathfinder fans (the ones who mostly run PF exclusively) aren't in the market for a new system. I feel that WotC will probably never "wow" these people because they're honestly not looking to be wow-ed.
To the comments about Next being "meh" or "no wow", I really have to laugh. On one hand, people fled WotC due to 4E's rules being too far from what people have accepted to be D&D. NOW that they have gone back to the basics, so to speak, its not enough or its vanilla or it doesn't compare to what PF already does. I just think its sorta funny and its why I have the perspective listed above.
So what I really don't understand is why people wouldn't at least try the free rules? I mean I completely understand not putting money into another system that might be invalidated or preceded by another edition a few years down the road but from the looks of the way things are going, Basic is all free with options to play characters to 20th level with monsters and ways for people to make up their own adventures.
So there is not cost investment with the Basic rules, no subscription, or signing of forms, or any of that stuff. It's free and usable and a "complete" game from all portrayals. That way NONE of it interferes or supersedes someone's financial desires to continue to support Paizo. And, really, who can't decide to switch the game just once to give it a go from their normal Pathfinder campaigns? Even for a beer/soda and pretzels kind of game?
captain yesterday wrote:
No way! He has some skills, sure, so he could pass for an amateur but no one is faster than a Spelunker down a cave wall! No one can navigate the treacherous descent into darkness or gets +5 to their Climb check as a class feature! No, the Spelunker is the ultimate class when it comes to cave diving and exploring. But don't expect him to fight or have any useful skills outside of caves, he's terrible at that. :-P
haha, so does that mean cave exploring isn't important or under utilized because we don't have a spelunking class?
Diffan you do realize you are in the home of the best so to speak? The nice safe bubble the mods at the WoTC board like to project around 4E do not exist here.
And I couldn't care any less.
People will directly tell you what they do not like about 4E and you will not have a chorus of the usual suspects making up every excuse under the sun when here it is a fundamental dislike of the 4E rules system that drove us away form 4E in the 1st place. My PFRPG PDF still has the 2009 watermark on it.
Um, ok? I don't really see the point due to this being the 4E and Beyond place of the boards but if people complain about anything, expect to be called out on it. This doesn't even have to be 4E, it could be a host of other things. Further, there was a lot of stuff people didn't like about WotC before 4E even launched. So I think it's a fair statement to say that it's a culmination of a lot of factors, not just the mechanics of 4E alone.
Honestly, what message? I don't know how much more open WotC can truly be? The playtest was a 2-year long thing that ANYONE could get into. Literally NO strings attached. If the new game doesn't appeal to the fans, they really only have themselves to blame. And if the majority of fans really wanted OSR-style mechanics, I feel they should have got on the ball to make that happen with the new system.
The fact is, if they DIDN'T and it was a large majority of modern gamers who took the time to do the surveys and actually playtest the material ALL the way then it's not going to be shocking to see that the design went in that direction. If WotC tanks, I really hope it's for a solid 50 years. That way MOST of the people who have been clinging to the tropes and sacred cows will finally move on and when the game reemerges people might have a bit of an open mind when it comes to this particular IP.
:roll eyes: and of course I don't really take anyone seriously with claims like that. It's as fallow and lame as when people complained that the 3.5 Warlock was "SO BROKEN!!" because it had at-will magic. At those points, you just gotta shake your head and laugh.
So what your saying is that people would rather have what....10 monsters? You get Orcs, Dragons, Undead (*gasp* a Vampire spin-off..oh noes!!), Demons, Humanoids, Elves (*gasp* DROW? Not another spin-off!!), Goblins, and Giants.
And if you want Goblins to have crossbows....well do all the math and mechanics and make it up yourself. If you want a Zombie-lord....too bad, you can't unless you re-write the system. Oh, you wanted an Orc Warchief.....go ahead and tack on 5 levels of Fighter. I'm sure the group would LOVE to wait 46 minutes to put the Bare-Bones monster together.
Awesome design! But it's cool because it doesn't *feel* like a video game.
WotC wanted to rub off the MMO demographic by making a game which would instantly connect with video gamers thanks to using certain tropes, slang and presentation concepts familiar to them. Heck, it was even stated openly by then-brand management that the future of PnP RPGs is to ride the video game bandwagon, hence the way 4E was presented and all the (ultimately, abortive) digital initiatives such as Gleemax and VTT. The goal was to try and capture the video game demographic by making video gamers move over to PnP gaming.
And that's not a bad thing, especially since VIDEO games were the ones who took the slang and jargon and crap to begin with. Meatshield, Skill-Monkey, Heal-Bot, Uber-charger are ALL tropes and terms I learned and heard from D&D. Heck, I don't even play MMOs.
The ironic thing was that an average D&D gamer, the core demographic as far as WotC is concerned, is a nostalgic guy who considers video games, and MMOs in particular, to be what 'killed' or 'eclipsed' his hobby, or at very least considers himself to be the one who engages in the 'superior' hobby, which is more refined and sophisticated than mashing buttons on a keyboard.
Agreed, WotC didn't count on Grognard elitists to be as vocal and cantankery as they were.
And that's why 4E backfired so horribly - the core demographic rejected the presentation.
Meh, it was a LOT more than that. I'm sure that played a part but people were boycotting WotC even before people saw the rules. The h4te was full-swing months before 4E even launched. It's even documented here on Paizo's forums.
Despite the h4te early on, 4E reached #1 and remained there until 2010, around the time the designers decided to launch Essentials. I think the drop off of people after the initial buy (in 09') and the departure from the fan-base due to essentials helped throw 4E into the backseat as it were. And, like you said, marketing sucked as well as their consistency with internal IP like the Forgotten Realems (which would've been WAY better if they actually took the time to build it up after the Spellplague instead of dropping the bomb and walking away).
Anyways, to get back to monsters, I don't feel D&D:Next will go 4E's route of making LOTS of different named monsters to extend the IP. I think the game is modular enough AND simple enough that people don't HAVE to tinker with every single thing to get a monster's schtick to work (such as my Orc Javelin example).
Why? Because it is an adaptation to the IP system. You can't own the word manticore because it is clearly in the public domain. But you CAN own "Manticore spike hurler". So, instead of new monsters with some thought behind them, 4th gave us an entire menagerie of stupid monster names that evoke nothing and were only made to differentiate the monster from other similar monsters of a lower level.
And the bolded part is where we differ. The name change implies a different use that interacts with the PCs. It also speaks to any particular monster's proficiency. Were it not the case, monster stat blocks would be pages long OR the monster's effect would be cut dramatically. For example, I'd like to throw CR 3 Orcs at my party, but the orcs use Javelins. Now I look into the Bestiary and look for Orcs......I see the Common Orcs and Blood Orcs that use Javelins. So now I have to go and create a CR 3 Orc that use javelins, which in PF/v3.5 is just like making another character with all the hassle of Skill points, feats, class levels and save adjustments and all that crap. Yea, I have better things to do with my time. Instead I'll just play 4E where I see the Orc Scout entry and change out Shortbow damage for Javelin damage and be done with it.
Essentials wasnt a revision, despite nay-sayers best efforts. The only thing it did was meagerly attempt to draw in a crowed that had largely left long before in a vain attempt get a bigger profit. Now I like the essential line and my group uses pre- and post-essentials material together with absolutely zero problems. It was actually designed for that to be frank.
As for D&D next, who knows? I don't particularly see a revision like we saw with 3rd or a reversal in design ideas like we saw with 4e. I think the intent is to keep the game simple and just tack on modular rules.
I converted most of the Prestige Classss from Forgotten Realms 3.5 supplements to Paragon Paths and a few Epic Destinies. I also converted a good portion of magical items found in the Player's Guide to Faerûn 3.5 supplement to 4e items.
Further, I was able to convert some of the NPCs in my games to characters using 4e rules (it was actually easier) and most of my PCs without too much trouble.
I think some people just didnt want to go through the hoops of doing all the stuff for a game they probably didnt initially like.
"Staying with" implies that I actually bought anything of Paizo's to begin with, so then I guess not? I'll continue to support Dungeons and Dragons as I have for the past 14 years. Pathfinder is nice and all, but its basically a 3.5 homebrew with good production quality. Thanks to the PFSRD I can continue to play Pathfinder for free with no problems AND play a new version of D&D. Its why there was no question when I decided to "stay" with 4e, when the other is practically free to begin with it makes room to pay for the stuff that isn't. Sort of like the best of both worlds.
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
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:
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:
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.
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
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:
Thanks for illustrating how deviation from RAW can easily break the game!
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Ok, so another example of broken mechanics. Why are you using these as examples?
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well, a similar topic was brought up some place else and I figured I might as well repost here what I said there,
"To be honest, in my opinion 4E "failed" (if only by the merit that it didn't last longer than the previous edition) because:
The system was just too great to be called Dungeons and Dragons. Based on my readings of people who've hated on 4E since '08 I can only summarize that when people imagine D&D, a LOT of iconic elements come into play that older players expect. It's not just the class, level, and 6 stats that are paramount, but the ton of expectations that have been formed since D&D's earliest existance. Some of these expectations are:
• low-level = gritty and always near death.
This list scratches the surface on what a LOT of people (many old-school players I talk to, anyways) find appealing about playing D&D (well, pre-3E). Yet most of them, if not all, have been scrapped or molded or broken with 4E's mechanics. It gave players non-standard options that broke Tolkien-esque molds. It gave them fantastic character abilities. It gave them a chance to survive past the first 2 rounds of combat and actually contribute to the encounter. It gave them a window to create new and interesting roleplaying elements without any problems regarding balance. It allowed them to excell in more than just one pillar of the game. It broke alignment molds that have held certain classes hostage to one narrow roleplaying aspect.
To me, these are all great changes that give me, a player of over 15 years, a fresh breath of relief. Yet others believe that the listed things above are what make D&D...well D&D. They're features of the game people like, for reasons I cannot comprehend, and their removal angerd a lot of the fan-base. Espically because it [4E] was called Dungeons and Dragons. I really beleive that had your called 4th Edition Dungons and Dragons another name, say Mythic Heroes and Monsters or Ultimate Fantasy RPG then it would've been received far better by the majority of gamers out there."
Um, why do you believe this? While as a fan of RPGs I like getting and using free stuff.........from a company standpoint I can't see WotC going this direction again. I think the adage "Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice shame on you." could be applied. What works for Paizo isn't guaranteed to work for WotC. For example, I play Pathfinder every once in a while but I've never bought the books. I don't plan on buying the books either because they're all free to look at via the SRD. And the same thing goes for WotC as I'd rather just have a program to use (ie. Compendium, CB, Monster creator) than buy $250.00 worth of books. The difference is WotC still gets some money as my DDI subscription costs about $70 a year where as Paizo receives $0.
How good and popular D&D:Next will be depend greatly on their system design, production value, production usage, and scope of game. So far I feel System Design has been.......wishy-washy right now. They take a few good steps forward (wizard traditions, HD as healing, Expertise Die for the Fighter) then huge leaps backwards (emphasis on Vancian casting and limited spells, Alignment requirements, class-based attack progression, the Rogue). Production value remains to be seen, as it hasn't come out but I think the end of 4E's products were fairly well received for their value about book/page/writing/ink quality. The scope of the game has been.......well, not good. I for one don't like ANY of the advanced system elements they've discussed so far.
Ya know, I don't think I ever responded to the original post:
David Witanowski wrote:
It's been (literally) years since I checked on this thread- is there a 4th edition moratorium thread in existence? Is it safe to say that 4th edition did not capture the "younger audience" or "new players" or whatever you care to call them? Seriously, I've been out of the loop for awhile, is 4th edition D&D even still something that people play?
I think that it's safe to say that perhaps the "younger audience" might not have been enough to maintain a longer edition than WotC initially thought. I've played D&D for the last 15 or so years, spanning 3 and 1/2 editions and 1 spin-off and I can say that I enjoy 4E the most out of all of them. My group seemed to enjoy 4E a great deal as well (except my wife, though I think that's more of a 'hate learning new editions' than specific issues with 4E) and while we switch it up every now and then, we generally go back to 4E. I should also note that the few local areas that I know of also play 4E as well, but whether this is because it's "current" or because people prefer it over other editions I'm not sure.
What gets me frustrated the most is that we all know D&D:Next is a LONG way off (I'm thinking spring '14) and yet we see relatively little as far as publishing goes for 4E material. I remember the switch from 3E to 4E and that was when we got a LOT of really interesting products which were fun (if perhaps a bit "broken"). I'd like to see a lot of support for 4E in these twilight days, perhaps a sourcebook on Returned Abeir (since it'll be leaving us apparently :rollseyes: ) and some additional support for the lesser liked classes such as the Runepriest, Seeker, Original Assassin, Vampire to try and shore up some things that aren't designed well and need perhaps a facelift. They have to produce stuff to get people to buy it, not just DDI articles.
Well I'll be the one and say that I thought the article was pretty good. I still play v3.5 (and Pathfinder) pretty regularly and at high levels when Wizards, Sorcerers, Clerics, and Druids all have wands and staffs and rods and magical items X/day then they rarely rely on their actual spell slots (and no, that's not a Monty Haul type game either). The wizard might have a bit harder time of full filling most of the roles at once, but a smart player knows what feats to pick up and what spells to cast in order to create pretty strong combos that rarely need other party members.
Need someone to scout the corridor for traps? Don't use a Rogue, he might mess it up. Instead, i'll cast Unseen Servant and have him drag this 50 lb rock down the corridor to set off any pressure plates.
We don't need the Fighter to climb the rope to get to the top of this 40 ft. ledge. Here, let me use this scroll I prepared 10 days ago called Darkway. No problem.
Wait, there's a dragon about to eat us all? Well it's our lucky day because I rememberd my Explosive Rune-Bomb paper with 10 castings on it (dealing a minimal 60d6 force damage). That dragon won't know what him him.
Need to be sneaky? Sure, here's some invisibility I scrolled up the other day. Better let me do it, I have tenser's floating disk so I won't even need to touch the ground, just float right on top.
What do you mean our fighter got dropped? Here, I'll just summon 5 more "meat shields" as they're tougher (via feats) than the fighter is and we won't care when they die anyways.
No we don't need to set a watch. I'll just cast Rope Trick (or any other conveinent camp-site fixer upper) and we can sleep in peace. Sorry if you wasted your skill ranks, backgrounds, themes on being able to see at night and set up a camp.
The list goes on.....
I'd like to see the playtest before we start judging how good (or bad) a class is. I felt that the best possibly apsect of a Wizard isn't how much damage he deals (damage dealing spells usually were bad in 3E, v3.5, and Pathfinder anyways) but how equipped he was for the mission or adventure at hand. Scrolls as spells-in-waiting really add to a Wizard's repertoire without giving them the ability to cast spells ALL day long. Additionally, low-level spell slots we're still being used as Go-Tos for combat well into the mid-levels of adventuring. Can the fighter just blast 5d4+5 damage with no save, no attack, and from 50 ft. away?
I'm glad you enjoy multiple ediitons of the game and this has pretty much been my stance since 4E's launch. I hope with D&D:Next, we'll get something different and exciting yet keeping all the elements that I feel are aligned with D&D. I think that would be a big selling point with me, by NOT keeping things hugely similiar to 4E and definitly not similiar to 3E besides the d20 mechanic, level-based progression, iconic classes and races AND incorporate things that don't necessarily fit the tradition aspects of D&D (basically, things un-Tolkien like Warforged).
I guess because of this stance, it's been hard for me to understand why people got so mad at the Edition change, espically since the OGL/SRD will never go away and it's still being produced via Paizo. I like trying new things and new systems and new aspects of D&D (specifically) and if they end up supplanting what I'm currently playing, then more power to them. We're all going to have our favorite edition (mine has shifted multiple times in the last 4 years) and no one can really stop people from playing their favorite one except in organized play but no ones is going to take your books away (a common phrase throughout the Edition Wars).
So hopefully we can find some good times with the D&D:next system and add that to our repertoire of games that scratch a certain itch. I'm hoping this game can allow me a very quick immersion factor, speedy character generation, and fast play for those sessions that perhaps we only have an hour or two to kill in-between weeks where we're getting a new v3.5 or 4E campaign together. E6 was going to be my answer for this but I don't think my group is all too keen on the idea. I'm one for gritty realism in terms of Character Power and like the idea of monsters thought to be "common" (like trolls or manticores) to be serious threats at all levels (without the arbitrary motion of adding HD/Class levels), my group however......not soo much. Espically with the knowledge they have of the system and the expecation of "leveling" and gaining more powerful items to take on Gods and Titans. So perhaps this will be something we can both agree on?
Taken from Memorax's link:
Monte Cook wrote:
During the design of 3.0, one of the things that we realized was a huge strength of D&D is a concept we called "mastery." Mastery, in this context, is the idea that an avid fan of the game is going to really delve into the rules to understand how they work. We actually designed 3.0 with mastery in mind. For example, we created subsystems that worked like other systems, so that if you knew how one worked, you'd find the other one easier to understand. But I digress.
And there you have a very definitive reason why a LOT of people shrug their shoulders about his departure. From my own experience, system mastery, or more precisely the added gains of system mastery is a horrid step in the design process. Now he just stats that it's beneficial to people for the uses of going from one sub-sytem to another, yet it's much more than that as he stated in anothe article about feats that weren't very good (for example, Toughness). Frankly there are some people who, for whatever reason, can't put THAT much time into a system. And because of that, they get hosed because they don't know that X, Y, and Z combo does 1,000 damage on a Charge attack or that Such-and-Such spell can be used continuously throught a character's career, or that in combination with obscure item from BLah-Supplement makes a Dwarven Fighter immune to all acid damage and gives him DR 10/—.
Hopefully Monte realized how unpopular this method of design was since he did the "Ivory Tower" and "Looking at 3.5" articles and understands that D&D isn't just for people who live and breath it; it's for your average gamer, a gamer's spouse or partner, a gamer's friend who's never played before in their life, or even something to pass the time in Study Hall or Detention. Point being is that System Mastery, while great for those who spend countless hours pouring over the game, shouldn't "break" the game for those who don't know all the little nuiances or rule-lawyering. If anything, mechanics should be easy and simple yet immersive to a point so a player can pick a few options to get his ideal character in 10-20 minutes at character creation time.
And I really hope that's the way it is with the next iteration of Dungeons and Dragons.
Brian E. Harris wrote:
I highly doubt his leaving was, in any way, connected to the rules of the game. They're close to the Playtest aspect of D&D:Next, which tells me that they're fairly close to finalizing the CORE rules. Rules Monte has been helping develope over the last serveral months. So his leaving will probably have little impact on that part of the next iteration of D&D. Based on that, I think any displeasure due to Montes leaving should be on the people or on the company, but not necessarily the game.
And since we don't know the particulars of why he left, I think it's better to have an objectionable, yet optimistic, position on something we don't know or haven't seen. This is also based on the loads of Legens and Lore articles they've been producing, much of it I wasn't all that impressed with I might add. Yet I still have a hope that this game will be fun. It might not replace my 4E game and it might not scratch the 3E/PF itch I have every once in a while, but it might be a fun game in it's own right.
I'm very glad he's being classy about it, but I'm really not that sorry he's leaving. From his L&L articles, he wasn't saying things that I was happy to hear and if that means (in some way or aspect) that those design choices weren't with the companies vision, I can understand boths sids parting. Lets hope that, despite this (unfortunate?) turn of evens, D&D:Next will still be a great game.
So the topic of codifying rules and how they make things easier (or more difficult) for the game started me thinking on powers in general. And the one thing that has bothered me the most about 4E's mechanics is the lack of any viable Two-Weapon fighting style thats NOT in direct correlation to one of the 4 classes (or 2 races) that can instantly select that option. For those unaware of how it works, 4E's power structer is pretty narrow in it's focus, espically when it comes to weapon-based powers. In the case of two-weapon fighting, if you don't specifically have a power that allows you to attack with each weapon, you simply can't do it. Period. Now, this doens't prevent you for wielding two weapon, you can do that without penalty so long as your off-hand weapon has the Off-hand property. What you can't do, it use them both in 1 attack.
For barbarians, fighters, rangers, and scouts this isn't a problem becaus they have at-will abilities that allow them to obtain two-weapon attacks. The Half-Elf and Revenant (half-elf) can also obtain one of these classes powers to be used 1/encounter (and then later as a true at-will attack). But what about the elven Paladin who sacrifices his shield for a second blade OR the Rogue who likes to stab with a poisoned dagger whilst engaged in a duel or even the Bladesinger/Swordmage who uses that off-hand attack with a firey fist or blade-boot? These options are not viable at all, even with the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. All the TWF feat does is give you a nice little bonus to damage rolls while your wielding two-melee weapons and 1 must be a off-hand weapon or you start take penalties.
So how can we allow people who aren't specifically trained to fight with two weapons the ability to use them AND still maintain that 'special' aspect for the aformentioned classes? Is this even possible and remain in the vacinity of balance? I'd hope so and here's my first take:
The balance points are:
Ok, so what do you think for a rough draft?
I thought the Tier idea brought a great way for DMs to indicate the style of the campaign they wanted to run. It easily shows players the scope of the adventure and there-abouts what levels they'll probably be going through. It also helps separate feats that are good and powerful AND gives PCs an idea of the next 'level', something I felt Prestige Classes should've done but didn't with the varying levels of PrC entries.
As to MMO backgrounds, mine is mostly from Diablo, Diablo II, WoW, Guild Wars, and Neverwinter Nights. But perhaps the Tier effects is held only with EQ2, a game I've never played. What I don't understand is how the tier effect really adversly effects the mechanics of the game or how one might play the game? Basically it's just a background indicator of what a PC might expect in that broad level.
If your taking about "Encounter" powers, I might see where your going as they refresh after a battle, but I've never felt there was a mini-clock timer slowly recharging the power to be used again. Like in ANY game, there's going to be resource management but 4E felt that it's better to have some aspects that are held over througout the day instead of going all out and done in 1 battle. It's deliberatley done to counter the "15-Min. work day" effect 3E and other editons of the game greatly suffered from. As for the gaining of abilities at each level....looking at the SRD.....Druid, Monk, Barbarian, Dread Necromancer ALL gain some ability or effect at every level. Do they perpetuate an MMO feel?
I'd figure you mention this, as this is the one aspect I feel 4E directly stole from MMOs, and frankly, it was something that's been needed for quite some time. Lets take a look at the Challenge Rating or Encounter Rating system 3E and PF goes by: it doesn't quite do the job as intended. The CR is based off of things like Hit Die, Special Abilities, Spells, Class levels, and numerical values. But what it doesn't count for is the BIGGEST part of the game, Action Economy. It doesn't matter if the HUGE Barbarian 5/Fighter 4 Half-Orc is a CR 9, he'll still only get 1 turn to the parties 4 (assuming 4 players). He'll never really be a difficult challenge unless his attacks are so damaging, they're dropping PCs hit points by half per attack. And the PCs will always have the advantage against solo monsters due to focused-fire and because monsters are build exactly as PCs are.
I've played several over the past decade, and I've come to the conclusion that video games are in their own world when it comes to how they play and the interaction gained through them in a shared environment. The same will never be expressed as it is on Paper with D&D or any other table-top RPG. I see things in 4E that might be linked, via terminology, with MMOs but can never fill a role it does, nor does it try to. What they did was say "lets make most of the rules for combat, because that's something that effects everyone at the table. It's something that should be measured and balanced. And lets leave the rules pretty light for other aspects because people generally do better with free-form apsects instead of still putting in round blocks into cube holes." Apparently they miscalculated how much people love being led by the hand.
Maybe these things were in previous editions... I started on 2nd and didn't see them then, didn't see them in 3 or 3X, but in 4E they were very much prevalent to me and those in my gaming circles. I never played it after I returned from Iraq, so I have no idea what the game looks like now. When 4E came out the vibe I got was PNPMMO.
Of course they were. Every Extraordinary (EX) power in 3E/PF that has a day limitation is practically a 4E power in all but name. People don't bat an eye to that stuff, but because 4E is more colorful and more streamlined, it appears to be taken from an MMO. But you can't tell me Stunning Fist's daily application isn't exactly like a 4E daily non-magical power or the Samurai's Kiai Smite or the Cavalier's Deadly Charge feature or the barbarian's Rage ability? What, can the barbarian only get really mad once in an 8-hour period?
What 4E suffered from was visual synonymy with MMOs. The art looked similiar. The powe blocks and streamlined aspect as to how it was presented looked similiar. Classes and their features used similiar terminology to MMOs so obviously they're attempting to make an MMO. Well....not really.
Many people have claimed that a good portion of 4E is very similiar to 3E. Stats, classes, races, the d20 mechanic, ascending AC, 3 defenses and saving throws, familiar spells, a smattering of Vancian spellcasting (Wizard being required to prepare spells from their spell book and all), Rogues using Sneak Attack against ill-defened opponents. What changed was their application to the game, but not the flavor of those aspects. Well, to me at least.
Sorry, if I used too many "buzz-words" for you but for me the analogies aren't obtuse at all. Its personal preference based off of gaming experiences. So as far as reasoning goes... I played DND and I played MMOs. This version of DND felt like an MMO to me. I see MMOs as inferior to DND for the simple fact that no computer can replicate one's imagination. The MMOs I play are discendents of DND. Its like inbreeding on a grandparental level and that is reason enough for me.
Of course, YMMV pretty much applies whenever someone brings up these issues and I appreciate your time in detailing responses as to why. As someone who's been hearing it for 5 years with 90% of the people NOT giving reasons, just because it's the popular thing to say....well it gets a bit aggrivating.
Last time I checked, 3E and it's subsequent 1/2 edition created over 5 video games with the rules taking center stage as their focal points. Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor was pretty hard-core 3.0. Neverwinter Nights and it's 2 (or was it 3?) expansions were all 3.0. Icewind Dale 2 was exclusively 3.5 and went so far as to add Drow, Aasimar, and Tiefling options WITH their level adjustments. Then there was Neverwinter Nights 2 yet another v3.5 product. I mean, if 3E (and by it's extention, Pathfinder) didn't play like a video game as you say, quite a few game developers and players sure thought it would work well as a video game and did it pretty whole-hog for almost a decade.
Games for 4E........we've got a Facebook App called Hereos of Neverwinter, which is pretty poor and doesn't even explore how strong the 4E mechanics are. If 4E DID lend itself to great MMO heights, why was nothing doen for it? Why didn't we see great CRPGs for it because it's sooooo MMO like? Probably because it looks like an MMO in print but doesn't come close to actual play-style.