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Diffan's page

716 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
• Magic is powerful, supreme, and rare. usable by only the smartest people in the world/game.
• Fighters and other non-magical classes should be simple and easy in their mechanics. They're the beginners class.
• dozes of pages of rules for things outside of combat such as staring and maintaining your own keep or city.
• Restrictive player options that are expressed in the minimal release material available to players so when DM's allow other options, they're considered a "cool" or "edgy" DM.
• Tolkien-esque understandings of races such as Elves and Dwarves are paramount within the history and flavor of D&D races.
• non-standard options are always A) require specific roleplay requirements and B) are much harder on the system to use and thus, discouraging to players.
• Magic items are rare and players should be happy with whever the DM doles out, regardles if it's completely outside anyone's actual specialty or use.
• Mechanics MUST replicate the intended purpose dictated by flavor.
• Character options must have downsides, catches, and/or stipulations. If not, it's broken/not-balanced.
• Death of characters should be whimsical and without warning becuase it's that way in real life.
• An understanding that in the world of D&D, your character is not special, unique, or different and any attempt to become so means that your either A) a powergamer, B) a munchkin, or C) want the game to be about you.

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."

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bugleyman wrote:

At this point I'm not convinced D&D Next will actually see the light of day at all. The amount of publishing dead time is unprecedented.

Even if it does, Hasbro needs to allow WoTC to release Next under the OGL. Since I don't see them doing that, I don't think Next has much of a chance of regaining the #1 spot, at least not in the long term.

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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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Brian E. Harris wrote:

A large subset of those folks DID like a previous version of which Monte Cook was involved with, and his involvement with 5E/Next gave them an amount of optimism.

They then hear the news that he's gone, and they're displeased/upset about that.

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.

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My bet is that Monte wanted a older-style OGL and Wizards didn't want to re-open that can of worms. Monte seems to me like he's very much pro 3PP and Wizards seems like they don't like the idea of their hard-earned product used against them as competition. Just a guess, mind you.

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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.

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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:

Two-Weapon Fighting
Prerequisite: Dex 13
Benefit: Gain the benefits normally associated with the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (see normal beneits for Two-Weapon Fighting feat, Player's Handbook p. 201).
In addition, replace your Melee-basic attack's hit line with the following:
Hit: 1[W] + Strength modifier damage. If you are wielding two weapons, you may make a secondary attack against the same target. This attack uses the same modifier as your melee-basic attack and deals 1[W] damage.

The balance points are:

  • The attack uses a Melee-Basic Attack, something a lot of non-Essential classes tend to avoid in lieu of their more potent class At-Will powers.

  • The attack uses the same ability modifier as you Melee-Basic Attack. If a non-Strength based class such as the Avenger, Rogue, or Druid wants to use this point, they'll most likley have to take Melee Training feat for this to even be a viable option.

  • The effect is linked with the Hit line, meaning that if you miss with your melee basic attack, you forego the additional attack this feat creates. Simply put, the first attack allows you a line-up shot for the second. Fail the first one and you cannot perform the second.

  • This is much lesser in potency when compared to the Ranger's Twin Strike (two attack rolls vs. one or two creatures), the Fighte's Dual Strike (one attack vs. two creatures only), and the Barbarians's Whirling Rend (one attack, automatically deals off-hand weapon damage).
  • Ok, so what do you think for a rough draft?

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    Obakararuir wrote:
    Diffan wrote:
    Gotta love those obtuse analogies with little to no reason for them. It's like buzz-words or phrases, people use them all the time without even knowing why. But I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and hope that you provide us with some reasons as to why it feels like an MMO? What sets 4E apart from other D&D editions that plays into an MMO effect?
    Personally, I've played MMOs for the past 12 years. When the level advancement came into the picture and they were three tiers, first thing I thought of was EQ2. That is exactly how EQ2s level advancement was in the beginning. That was my initial impression.

    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.

    Obakararuir wrote:

    Secondly, the way they handled the frequency of power usage felt much like refresh timers. Gaining abilities every level also gave it an MMO vibe.

    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?

    Obakararuir wrote:

    The different classifications of monsters could be akin to solo, group, epic class Mobs.

    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.

    Obakararuir wrote:

    Every player experiences RPGs differently. If you'd never played an MMO you would obviously not draw these conclusions but if you have then you should be able to have some level of objectivity when looking at the comparision.

    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.

    Obakararuir wrote:
    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.

    Obakararuir wrote:
    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.

    Maccabee wrote:

    I'm sorry, I have to call BS on this. If Pathfinder plays like a video game at all, its because most RPG's and MMOs base a lot of their tropes on established "D&D-ism's". Pathfinder is emblematic of much of what makes D&D special. I understand you have a knee jerk reaction to people here talking smack about 4th, but seriously, that dog will not hunt.

    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.

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    DungeonmasterCal wrote:
    Power Word Unzip wrote:
    FTFY? What does that mean?

    Fixed. That. For. Ya.

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    I looked at his review and I got a big ol bowl of "meh". One, I doubt any of this will actually even reach playtesters who've signed up. Second, I doubt any of this will get past playtesters and into actual print. There are some.....OK ideas here, but I'm not a fan of class 'rarity' being factored into either their history, fluff, or mechanics.

    I understand the modular part, and I like the options of going more Tactical/War-game if I choose to do so and there should be stuff in there for people who enjoy that. There should also be a more skeletal aspect to character design/creation for people who aren't impressed with Martial Maneuvers, Battle-Stances, Tactical Feats, Wizard Spell-Feats, etc... and just want to roll up a 1st level Fighter with a sword/board and Roleplay the rest. But D&D SHOULD (actually, they must) be able to provide both in meaningful ways or they'll fail...hard.

    But as I go through his list of rants and other musings......I'm just not sure at this time that I'm ready for even touch 5E playtest. But we'll see.

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    I can understand character death being a bummer, something that you've worked hard on just *poof* gone isn't a fun feeling. Hence why I hate one roll life-or-death effects. I can understand if it took 2 or 3 rolls (like Death Saving Throw in 4E) or Effects that build over a few rounds (like the Medusa in 4E). But not instantly and/or without provocation. When a DM sets this precident, I instantly go to "Broken-Combo, Char_Op munchkinism" and it's becomes a game of 'How bad can I screw this guy's encounters over while remaining within Rules as Written?' mentality.

    HP caps are an "OPTION" I'd like to have rules for, but have it 1.) Not be Default and 2.) Not be horrendious if I choose to use it. The gaming system can and should be able to adapt enough to allow both styles of play for a campaign (not individually). It shouldn't force someone to go to another system. Nor force people to stick to a certain level (like E6, which I think is fantastic BTW). If I want to play a 20th level Fighter, I should be able to making one that's like an armored Tank (literally, with firey explosions) or a supreme warrior that, while strong and powerful, isn't above the rules and laws of nature like surviving a swim in lava (hell, even Anakin couldn't do that).

    As for the speed of gaining levels, it's not about instant gratification as I'm fairly certain no one's gained 20th level in a month or two with regular 1-week gaming times averaging a few hours with XP values what they are. But honestly, why does the game have 1 set speed for this? What if I'm running a weekend end game 1-month at a time and I wish my players to advance pretty quickly? Or a 1-shot adventure where they start out exploring a farm as 4th level characters and end up at the end of the game as 20th level heroes that take on Demons? I'm not saying this should be the way all the time, or even within Core rules, but something added on or (da-ta-da-DA! Modular!) be used in conjunction with the ruleset? Seems perfectly viable option to me.

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    SAGA was a pretty good middle-ground between 3E mechanics and 4E mechanics. Force powers derived off your Force skill and the higher the ranks, the better effects your force powers had. And of course, force powers had limits and the like. But it also had a lot of 3E stuff in there like BAB, Hit Die, level-by-level advancement, and so on.

    And I do hope that with D&D:Next, magic item creation isn't as hard as they say, or at least keeping some resemblance of the Common, Uncommon, Rare uniqueness of Magical Gear. Of course, those tags come off "game-y" like some coughed up version of Magic: The Gathering but it's usage was a lot more simpler and I could look at a town or village and say "ok, they probably sell just Common items and a few common magical items here. Possibly 1 unique itmes (roll on random % table) and volià. In 3E, there was this huge economy section in the DMG about how much money a specific size city would have, and based on this, it would have X amount of items of Y amount of gold, and Z amount of magical item and it.....well just seemed far more complicated than it needed to be.

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    Elton wrote:
    Diffan wrote:
    I had hoped we moved away from the MMO/WoW analogies but...alas.


    My cousin plays 4e and he says it's like World of Warcraft. So, just suck it up and go on. Accept everyone says 4e plays like an MMO as a fact of life. You aren't going to convince everyone that 4e doesn't play like an MMO when it clearly does. So stop with the lamentations already.

    Holy sh!t your cousin said so?! Well, had I known that I would've changed my opinion right then and there. Obviously your cousin is the end-all and be-all of everyone's idea as to how 4E plays. I mean, he's your cousin so why dispute it? I guess I missed the memo at our weekly "Super Pro-4E Awesomesauce" meeting. I'll be sure to re-read the minutes next time.

    Elton wrote:

    4e is over and done with. What they are doing with 5th edition will be what is going to go for a long time. Just accept it's a tabletop concept copy of how WoW and ST:TOR plays. After all, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is in insane.

    First, no one is disputing you about the time-table of 4E. We all know it'll finish up sometime this year or the next. Why you feel to keep bringing it up is beyond me except for perhaps to infuriate 4E supporters (which is pretty funny if it weren't so pathetic).

    Second, and this is also pretty funny, it's hard for me to accept a fallacy. Espically as one so close-minded and shallow as some peoples OPINION'S about how they feel 4th Edition plays. Perhaps for them, it does play like WoW? And I'd argue that it's as much as they're play style and DM'ing as it was the rules. Clearly not everyone feels the same as you (God, what a world THAT would be *rolls-eyes*) but they're probably as tired of arguing with ignorance as I am. And really, you didn't find the "stanadard attack. Full-Attack. Full-Attack. Move and Attack" sequence that's so prevalient in v3.5/PF repetitious? Man, how much did those rose-colored glasses cost you?

    Whatever though, play what makes you happy.

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    Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
    I'm basing that on things both of them have written in the "Legends and Lore" column. Mearls especially has stated flatly that the rules need to be second to the DM, and Cook has said things that suggest he agrees, though he hasn't actually come out with it.

    And this is the stuff that pisses me off about D&D:Next. These very same outlooks aren't indicative to D&D:Next. I've been doing this in my D&D games for years, over 3 different editions. The DM has always been the rules arbiter, the storyteller, the NPC voice, the facilitator of the story/game/quest, and the person you resepect most at the table. It's nothing new, it's nothing innovative, and it (the idea itself) isn't worth paying for because it's in print. Theses comments by Mearls and Monte aren't going to be factors for me purchasing this version because I already do this.

    But perhaps it's becasue I game with close friends and don't do a heavy amount of Conventions or seek out a lot of Living campaigns. But it's always been what the DM says...goes. If it's a rules problem, the DM makes a decision and you deal with it until you break or get some cheetoes from the store or talk about it after the fact. THEN the DM might say "yea, we'll do it that way from now on." or he'll say "no, I like my way better." and as a player you deal with it or leave. Where people get off thinking the rules are first and foremost and override ANY and EVERY thing the DM says is a bit preposterous. But that doesn't mean that the DM shouldn't be at least a little understanding and think things through. For an example, were I DM'ing in Dark Sun I wouldn't let someone make a Warforged. For one, metal is rare and any such creature would be ripped apart for scraps. For another, it's just not in tune with the setting's feel. BUT I would compromise if he wanted to change the flavor, description, and feel of the creature to something like a Boneforged, a sentient life given to a golem of bones made by a Sorcerer-King pact Warlock......then I'd probably say "Yea! Cool!". This compromise allows him to play a warfoged while allowing me to keep my feel for the setting.

    I just feel frustration because people's perception (mainly the Devs) are so far from how I actually play 4E that it doesn't make sense to me. I think they take too much from organized play and the fights that insue from them.

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    You know, I think it could be done as they say because they're distilling the game to its roots. What I take from this is that they are keeping the 4 core elements of the game and exanding from there. These core elements are: d20 engine, 6 stat ability scores, the simple action economy (standard, minor, move), and a class-based system. Each and every edition of D&D has had these elements w/ extreamly small changes. So it stands to reason they will remain the core concept of the game and add-on later aspects. No need for OA's unless u want them. No need for quickened spell unless you want them, no need for tactical movement (push, pull, slde) unless you want them.

    There are probably going to be options for things you take or don't such as static bonuses feats if you opt-out of skill ranks, class features if you don't want feats, etc. Its plausable.

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    mousey wrote:

    Many many it. Doesn't mean it isn't fun. Doesn't mean it isn't balanced. Doesn't mean that there aren't people who like it. But it is not D&D.

    Well it is, because it has the name and everything. The problem is many people think D&D is about the rules, the sacred cows, the number of classes in the PHB or the Races or auto-hit Magic Missile or some perverse notion that wizards need to be able to bend time and space and Fighters should sit in their castle and retire after 11th level or blah-blah-blah. It's not, it's about roleplaying a character with your friends. It's about rolling dice and imagining your fighting a huge dragon. It's about falling down a spike pit trap because you failed your Perception check even though the corridor looked fine. THAT's what D&D is. It transcends rules. It transcends editions. 4E did everything other editons of D&D were capable of doing. People just didn't like the way it was done. Just because I despite the very existance of AD&D/2E and think it's a pile of garbage mechanics doesn't mean I don't think it's D&D, because it is.

    It didn't sell for a multitude of reasons, which I feel a fraction of it was due to it's rules. I wish they had put more thought into the Marketing aspect, understanding that many people are WAAAY too passionate about this than they were and could not accept critical options of the, then, current system. Fuel that fire with the sweeping changes to the Forgotten Realms and it's not looking pretty right from the get-go.

    But what's done is done. They're a company that makes stuff I like and there's nothing really to say after that. They'll either produce things that I like or they won't. Heck, I doubt I've given Pathfinder more than a few bucks because everything is free online, so why would I? Pathfinder practically fueled my desire to give WotC money because I HAD to pay for that, and Pathfinder doesn't. It's been a pretty sweet world, IMO.

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    Mournblade94 wrote:

    I understand the sentiment loud and clear. This is the place where 3.5 fans found themselves when 4e was released. Before there was Paizo, the refrain that 3rd edition fans heard was "nobody is stealing your books," "or you can still play 3rd edition forever." things along that line. Before Paizo came along and recreated 3rd edition, 3rd edition fans looked like they were going to be in the dust. There were alot of 4vengers very happy with that.

    All those things Mearls said in the article are things I said out of the starting gate after playing it for a few months. What bothers me about it, is if he thought there were all these design flaws why did they go ahead with the project? WOTC quite literally left fans in the dust. They might do that with their old 4e fans as well.

    Yet there really aren't that many design flaws, such as gaping holes in the math (I'm looking at you BAB) or horribly underpowered classes (the monk, the rogue, the sorcerer of v3.5) or instant-character death (7th level and up wizard spells, diseases, negative levels, ability score drain/damage, paralyzing poisons) that are rampant in older edtions and in PF. These are Flaws of the game. What 4E did was create options that disagreed with people. They didn't like the AEDU mechanic, they didn't like Fighters and Rogues and Monks having nice things, they didn't like Wizards not pwning encounters by 11th level, they didn't like a more focused account of combat and less mechanics to hold your hand for non-combative applications. These aren't flaws in the mechanical sense, just different tastes that don't suit people.

    Mournblade94 wrote:

    I have said before there is nothing in 4e that I thought improved the game other than the DDI, which is system independent. Yet I feel no excitement about WOTC giving older fans what they want. I have Pathfinder now, I don't need then to release the 3rd edition mechanics again. I wouldn't bother playing it.

    I would be interested in revisiting the AD&D style. I could trade off playing Pathfinder with AD&D. With that said I think WOTC should cater to the people that support them. They made a terrible mistake with 4e and lost a good share of the market. Still the people that 4e fits will want that game and WOTC should support it. Reverting back will fix nothing.

    The only thing Wotc has over Paizo is MAgic the Gathering and rights to a D&D brand. These days the D&D brand isn't all its cracked up to be.

    I'm perfectly fine with them supportind other editions, always have been. It might bite them on the butt as I believe they just can't support multiple editions of their own game with new and updated support. But re-releasing older material in PDFs is a great way to boost sales.

    As for improvements on the game, that's all based on opinion. But I don't know too many players that are happy with failing a Fort save and falling victim to a paralyzing poison and then being Coup de Grace for instant-death or doing nothing but sit there while eveyone else plays 'cuz your character can't make additional Fort saves to get up. I don't know too many players that are happy to see their character turned to Stone, Baleful Poloymorphed, or Disintegrated. Or have to spend $10,000 on a diamond just to be brought back to life with an automatic level drop. Or have to consistantly change their character sheets to reflect Enlarge Person/Shink Person, Ray of Enfeeblement, Enervation, etc. Those are just a few aspects that I shy away from at the table based on ease of the game for myself as a DM or player and everyone else. Also, summoning. PF did a nice thing by allowing you to print the sheets of summon monsters but before, the player had to do all the adjustments and changes and what a crap-shoot that was. None of those things appeal to a good portion of players and I find their removal nothing short of wonderful.

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    cibet44 wrote:

    Sure, everyone has opinions on what kind of game they like and don't. That's fine. What I don't get is why Mearls seems determined to find a problem in the game market, or game players, or now (bizarrely) in the game designers and how they have too much information about the game market today. He seems to look everywhere but directly in front of him (where Paizo is leading the way) and in the mirror (where 4E is staring at him). That's my point. It really shouldn't be that big of a mystery to him, yet it seems to be.

    Because were he to do as you say and place the blame soley on 4E, it would mean that a co-designer of 4E claims it's a failure (which I frankly don't believe). And not only is that insulting to everyone who currently plays the edition and supports it, but alienates everyone else into buying said edition. It would also further impede future sales, because "who wants to play a game even the designer said is a failure??"

    Also, it's much more than that I believe. It seems to me that pro-Paizo people like to forget that prior to the 4E shift, 3E was the only version of D&D supported in any way, shape, or form. No one was really making new 2E/AD&D products. No one was advancing BASIC D&D/OSR D&D and the 3PP were super small niché markets. Then out comes 4E, a major design/mechanical shift that leaves half the fan-base saying "What?!! Ew!!" and the other "Ohhh, Ahhh!". Then what you have is another company pandering to those who've 1). don't like the ruleset, 2). not like their campaign changes (ex. Forgotten Realms), 3). disliked they way 4E was released in timing (we were told in Apirl no new edition was coming!!) or in presentation (3E had SOO many problems, play 4E because it's better!), or 4). All of the above.

    IT's quite clear that I'd say a good portion of the fanbase was already fractured even before June of 08' and 4E debut. The FR fans already received their book of Grand History of the Realms and the info about Mystra's death, the Spellplague, and 100 year time jump. That right there killed it for most people.

    So really, one can't completly base these fractures on 4E mechanics and design philosophies alone. Paizo took a golden opportuinity to take a P.O'd fanbase and make something of it. It's pretty simple.

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    cibet44 wrote:
    Diffan wrote:

    Wow, what a crap-tastic article. One sided much?


    Yeah. I like the way he bemoans the problems with "D&D" and "D&D players" yet completely ignores the fantastic success Paizo is having with "D&D" by basically doing everything 4E did not do.

    Someone should just hand him the Pathfinder Core Rulebook and say: "I think the answers you are so earnestly looking for are in here Mike. Take a look." Mearls: "What? What's this? Pathfinder? Never heard of it. This can't be working in a world with a fractured player base, RPG decadence, player power, the DM is just the rules guy, no way anyone is buying this. I must figure out how to make a successful fantasy RPG!! How can it be done? What is the answer??"

    Come on dude, stop with the naval gazing and hand-wringing. Mistakes were made with 4E. Acknowledge those mistakes, learn from them, and move on. When Coca-Cola put out New Coke they didn't blame its problems on the "cola market being fractured" or "cola designers being hyper-sensitive to the sales of cola". They just pulled it and went back to the drawing board. Coca-Cola is still number 1 today.

    I accept that mistakes were made with their marketing and the way in which they handled 4E's debut. I accept that denying the possibility of a new edtion (4e at the time) a few months prior to announcing the edition was bad judgement. I also accept that with more options that are currently supported, people are going to segregate to those that support them more.

    From a game mechanical stand point, I feel 95% of 4E's design changes were indeed positive and influencial. Even as a player of Pathfinder and v3.5 (still!) I see the mistakes therein and will always perfer 4E ove them both. BAB, Magic over Muscle, Bat-man Wizards and Instant-Win buttons, Rogue still sucking, Monks.....still heavily underpowered (to say the least), nothing stopping double moves against "Tanks", heavily debated RAW vs. RAI that I find 3-times as much in 3E/PF than I do in 4E, and CR/EL swaying too far out of wack are all problems I've seen IN play and want no part of.

    I'm actually GLAD there is such a difference between the two because it can appease BOTH styles that people want. Ever try making a wholly non-magical party with PF/3E and NOT have to amend the rules to go easier on them? Ever try playing a "balanced drow" who isn't totally shafted by Level Adjustments (or a Minotaur or a Githyanki)? How about an Evil Paladin with no rule-adjustments? All of these are, for my knowledge of the systems, not feesable without house ruling in some way. That isn't fun to me. A game where only one or two characters are useful at specific times is un-fun to me. A game where I have to look up 3 pages of rules just for grappling is un-fun to me. These are all aspects I've found in PF/v3.5 and I find it dreadful that D&D might go back to this.

    Others may find these rules perfectly fine, and that's great. I cope with them because I like RPGs and I just hide my contemp as best I can when I come across it. But if this is how it's going to be, with having to go through 150 loops just so I can play a were-bear berserker that mechanically stinks because the rules don't play into that concept is NOT a D&D I want to play. It's just another side of the coin.

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    2 things eh?

    • Get rid of this sacred cow.....Enhancement bonuses to items. Thats right, no more +1, +2, +3 crap at the beginning or end of magical properties. It creates magic item dependency. Also, I think it put unneeded strain on the Math of the game. You can get by just as fine if your sword if Flaming instead of +2 Flaming or +5 Flaming Throwin Returning. Along these lins is thes synergy of weapons. In 4E, you have heavy blades and that's the category used for focusing and specializing via feats. So a Fighter that loves longswords and takes Weapon Focus (heavy blades) doesn't get screwed when he comes across a finely crafted Flaming Throwing Returning greatsword.

    • The removal of spellcasters resorting to mundane weapons. Why why why why is this still prevailent in modern RPGs? No one playing a wizard or sorcerer is EVER happy pulling out that crossbow (something I'm sure they suck with) because they've fun out of spells or don't want to waste spells. So why not make those cantrips a BIT more enticing. Seriously though, d3?! d3. What the hell am I going to do with that?? How about make Cantrips deal X damage, period. No damge rolls. So that nice Acid Splash will deal 3 + 1 acid damage every 3 levels (after 1st). So at 4th level, that Acid Splash is dealing a whooping 4 damage per casting.

    Couple of other things...


  • The removal of save-or-die spells. I know, another sacred cow but it must be said. There rarely something more irratating to a DM than spellcasters that have loads of 1 spell ending encounters. Case in point: Flesh to Stone, Slay Living, Glasstrike to name a few pretty much end encounters right then and there.

  • Removal of Wish. Yep, I throw that and Miracle right out the window, fast. Pretty much because I don't feel like attempting to be witty every single time it's cast just to make my players word their Wish in a way that could be used to turn against them. It instantly creates a DM vs. Player mentality that I just don't enjoy at the table. Instead, Wish could be made a ritual involving a Sh!t ton of gold and other epic things to be once.

  • Using different ability scores for attacks. In v3.5 we had Weapon Finesse (using Dex for Melee attacks) and Zen Archery (Wisdom for ranged attacks) and that's about it. What this does is create M.A.D (or Multiple Attribute Dependancy) and it sucks. That paladin has to focus on 4 different stats (3 in pathfinder) to be any real good. He needs Strength for attacks/damage, Con for HP and Fort, Wis for Spells/DCs, and Cha to fuel ever other aspect of their character. Sorry, but from a players perspective it's much easier working around 1 or 2 stats than 4. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if ALL classes were MAD, but lets look at the wizard (or Sorcerer) for comparison. They need a good Intelligence (or Charisma) and........maybe Dex for ranged touch attacks, AC, and Initiative and Con for HP and Fort saves. But AC is easily supplanted with spells, Initiative is easily supplanted with spells, and you can go your entire wizard career without casting one ranged (or melee) touch spell and be perfectly fine.

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    I'm going to be starting a new campaign soon for which I'll be creating a 3rd level wizard for. I'm going to specialize in Conjuration and summoning (don't like the Summoner class) but I'm not seeing many items that specifically help the Conjurer. I'm pretty sure we'll be allowed to obtain items from the Magic Item Compendium and possibly other sources per DM approval. So is there anything really useful or interesting for this speciality or Wizards in general (aside from the normal +2 Headband of Int, Rings of prot., amulet of nat. prot.) since I've never actually played a wizard-class before?

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    So wait.....

    The general consensus is that Rogues are often un-optimal choices in many areas but that's OK because as a player, you should know that going in. But suggestions that improve the class, even minimally, are rejected because thats not within the spirit of the game or class? I think that's a load of crap personally. I don't know where the idea came from that Rogues aren't supposed to be big leaders in the damage area but I figured that was a given since most adaptations from multiple genres says differently. In all honestly, I wish they had some sort of Assassin-like "Death Attack" where they don't worry about wearing a target out over the course of 5 to 6 rounds and instead deal one terrifying, lethal shot that just ends the target.

    But since we'll never seee that outside the culturally and mechanically restricting Assassin PrC, I think a BAB-like bonus when the Rogue performs Sneak Attacks could be a nice parting gift. What has to be put in place is that this doesn't constitute more attacks or the ability to select feats any earlier since they really don't have that BAB, just a feature that temporarly give them a bonus while this action is being performed.

    SO an 11th level rogue normally has a +8 BAB, granting him two attacks in a full-round action. This feature would give him an additional +3 bonus to attack rolls when making a Sneak Attack, but not increase the amount of attacks he gets nor does it allow him the ability to obtain feats with BAB prerequisites of this new and improved BAB.

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    Tacticslion wrote:

    To clarify - I'm interested in seeing how and why it's over-powered. I'm not arguing it's not overpowered... as I said, I wrote it twice in a row way-too-late at night on-the-fly, and I expected it would be a bit wonky.

    I'll see what I can do. I try to post as much as I can from work, but sometimes they do make me work there so if I haven't gotten to a part of your homebrew stuff, it's because I haven't had the time to respond yet. Like now, I have to be brief. When I get my books, I'll do some comparisons on numbers, damage, effect, and targets to give you a down-low on balance issues.

    Tacticslion wrote:

    As far as spell-schools go, I don't see anything in the PH1-3 about spell schools, so I created those off-the-cuff. For the Red Wizard powers, I placed all the keywords in them, but that's why those are there. I'm completely fine with, instead of being triggered, it being a standard action or whatever. I was really just kind of trying to write it up rapidly. I can easily see how broken the diviner and enchanter could be and how "swingy" the illusionist could be a problem. As for transmutation - again, I've never seen spell schools in 4E, I literally just made them up on my own last night. I've never seen anything about spell schools in 4E. I'm guessing it's a post-Essentials thing?

    Well they did some Errata on the Arcanist (PHB 1 Wizard class) with all the spells from the PHB gaining school keywords found HERE. It's a free download with pretty much the whole Wizard class from the PHB. They did not put in powers from Arcane Power, just so your aware.

    Tacticslion wrote:

    That's why I'm very surprised about your response to the 12th level power - since I lacked any knowledge of the existence of 4E schools, I just related the schools to the keywords I mentioned above, and that's the basis off of which the power works: those key words. I'd be curious to know what WotC has for the various schools of magic.

    I'm totally fine with re-building the benefit/penalty thing!

    I'll help when I get some free time. For the time being, I feel a +1, +2, +3 benefit is a bit more balanced than +2, +3, +5 (and to saves too). Also, schools came about with the Heroes of the Fallen Lands book (something I'd highly recommend as it's really cool and a bit different from Arcanists (PHB wizards).

    Tacticslion wrote:

    As far as the crafting goes, that's fine - I actually put that in there with a now-defunct idea for letting Red Wizards enchant magic items at a discount (I was thinking something like 5% total). Since that's different now, sure, it can totally go. I'd probably put a prerequisite of something like having mastered the Enchant Item ritual, however.

    I'm totally fine with the action point being terribly situational, but that's just me. I also like your proposition, but I'm not entirely sold... still, I probably could be.

    Keep in mind that Action Points were designed to be situation changers, gaining an extra action at a vital time. Most Paragon Paths have some sort or re-charge mechanic, swap out spell for something else mechanic, or temporary buff mechanic. I like to keep things simple, but that's me.

    Tacticslion wrote:

    I'm sorry, but I actually don't understand this sentence. ... actually, after rereading it several times and looking at the powers, now I think I do. You are surprised because this is a minor action? Got it. Easy fix - change the action. Over all, though, yes, I do think that it should basically be a suped-up version of the lower one. But if you have a great suggestion, I'm open to it!

    You know, alternatively, let's take the encounter spell and drop it into the 20th level slot. Then let's rebuild a lesser version into the encounter variant. Sound good?

    What I mean by that is you retain your Encounter power at 11th level throughout your entire career in 4E. Meaning at 29th level, your lowest level encounter power is going to be your 11th level Paragon Path power. In addition to that, you also have your 20th level Paragon Path power, which is a beefed up version of your Encounter (giving you two uses of them per day). I like the encounter power, and I'll try to make up a Daily one for ya.

    Tacticslion wrote:

    RE: Hathrans (Which I noticed you didn't touch! Understandable!) I'm curious to your impression. It's not supposed to be perfectly balanced, but it's supposed to be relatively so. The fact that it relies on multiclassing already brings its power level relatively low, and the circle magic stuff with extra elements to help make it worthwhile. I get that it doesn't really work like most classes, however it seems similar enough to some of both the gnome and human paragon path features (fey beguiler and adroit explorer respectively) that I figured it would work.

    I haven't read the Hathran yet, work was actually pretty busy today and I can only be on the internet so long without getting into trouble. When I get more time, I'll give it a good read-through.

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    Ok, I read through the Circle Magic and Red Wizard prestige class you've typed up. Firstly, I'm glad to see more homebrewing stuff here. It shows creativity and I hope to help make your ideas better.

    Firstly, the Circle Magic feats are pretty interesting. Not mechanically powerful, so unless your doing to be doing Circle Magic a lot I don't know how often it'll come up. Still, I can see it as a boon if you go that route.

    Secondly, Tattoo Focus: It's interesting but a bit strange. Sometimes spells in 4E have the same school and it can be a bit confusing when you have to add then subtract the benefits and so forth. Instead of incorporating both benefits and penalities, why not just have a cancellation of effects? It's a bit more streamlined and won't cause as much confusion. Just a thought.

    Additionally, while I'm not opposed to a severe penality imposed of casting Prohibited Schools, maybe a -5 is a bit too much? Additionally, the penalty monsters make to Saves is pretty overpowered. Even Arcanists who use the Orb can only impede monster's saving throws for the 1st round (and that's powerful). Maybe go along with those line and impose the penality for the 1st Save?

    Lastly, the defense against spells with your chosen School will never come up because 95% of monsters don't have a "power source" in their abilities description. If you check the Monster Manual, you'll probably never find the Arcane keyword in their stat-block. You can houserule it, of course, but to be utilized by the general public, it's not going to come up in other people's games. Might I suggest a save againt a target hit by one of your spells with an associated school for 1 round? That's more in-line with effects and abilities currently out there.

    Ok, the Red Wizard:

    The prerequisites are ok, might be a bit much considering the shift from previous editions to a less restrictive entry. Still, it makes sense espically Tattoo Focus. Possibly remove Master Crafter?

    The 11th level feature: Pretty solid, and it plays of a major feat for the Paragon Path. The benefits are a bit powerful with 3 different abilities tied into it. First you get a free feat (which is situational, so it's ok). Then you get a major buff to your Arcane spells in the way of attacks, damage, save penalites, and defenses while lessening the Cons of using prohibited schools. Instead, leave the penalties of your prohibited school at a static -2. Thirdly, you gain a free Utiliy Power. I'd axe that last part right away.

    The 1th level Action-Point feature: Is too situational to be of any geneal use. The free feat, again is a given considering how greatly it'll come up. But the Action Point might come up only every few adventures (if the PC is lucky). Might I suggest a more versatile application: "When you spend an action point to make an attack, you can sacrifice the selected spell in place of another spell of it's level or lower from your class. You may ignore any penalties incurred if this is a prohibited school."

    the 16th level feature: I think the bonuses to your Tattoo Focus are a little too powerful. I'd think it could be lowered to a +1 (feat Tattoo Bonus), +2 (11th level feature), +3 (16th level feature) instead of +5. This is where I could see the extra Utiliy power coming into play.

    Now the Spells:

    (11th level encounter) Spell of the Marked: First, the action is an out-of-turn attack, which makes it powerful right off the bat. Second, the target should be one enemy in burst, not all enemies which makes it broken right there. The damage is ok, comparable to other powers but with the benefits of feats, enhancement bonuses, and your Tattoo Focus, I might put it around 1d8 or 2d4 instead of 3d4.
    -Abjuration: take out the Stance keyword, it's not needed. The zone is O.K. but a bit powerful for an 11th level attack. Take out the Reliable keyword and it's usable.

    -Conjuration: The teleportation isn't bad. The shadowy-copies should either attack or move to provide flanking, not both. I'd suggest that they stay where they're at and you can select ONE ghostly visage to make an Opportunity Attack per turn, not all of them.

    -Divination: whew, ok this one is pretty much encounter breaking in power. Not only does it only effect enemies, they take ongoing damage AND they have the sleep effect with a save penality. How about just the on-going damage and possibly penalty to attack (like -2)? keep the Healing Surge. Take out the reliable keyword.

    -Enchantment: Same as above, way to powerful. How about one effected creature makes a Melee Basic Attack or shifts it's speed, giving you the option of which creature you want to effect? The save mechanic is sorta weird, with a successful save still having a negative effect. I'd just have it end on the successful save. And no sleep effect, just slowed afterwards.

    -Evocation: Looks fine, but a bit bland. How about an effect that each creature in burst is pushed back squares equal to your Wisdom modifier due to the blast?

    -Illusion: looks a bit wonky with the saves and stuff. Plus, saves are very swingy, which can be for 1 round or the entire encounter. How about "until the end of your next turn" gaining you two definite rounds of the effect?

    -Necromancy: looks fine, pretty cool

    -Transmutation: I'd take it out completely. There's only 1 trasmutation spell in 4E and it's just not a school worth getting into at this time.

    (12th level Utility) The Pattern of My Magic: Well it doesn't function, at all. This is due to the fact that only Wizard spells use Schools. They haven't put schools to other Arcane powers of other classes, so you only have the Wizard class to look to. What about "Once per day, you can cast one of your prepared Utility Spells with your associated school as a Minor Action instead of a Standard Action." ?

    (20th level Daily) Spell of the Master: Wow, so not only do you have a Suped-up version of your Encounter power, but you have that and the regular power to cast. Honestly, I'd think of something else to put in this spot. The encounter spell is way to powerful (even with my revisions) but this one ends encounters, period. When I get a chance I'll see what I can cook up. I'm still at work, so I can't be of much help though.

    I hope you don't find this criticism bad or that I'm being harsh. I'm just trying to give you a balance point of where most powers of Paragon Paths lay and where this one comes in.

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    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    Drizzt is hilarious if you learn about his actual history and how/why RA Salvatore made him. He was created literally at the last minute by RA Salvatore babbling something random out in order to sell his first book.

    Haha, I remember reading that. RA said he wanted to make a nice side kick for Wulfgar, a drow named Drizzt Do'Urden from the house N'a'shezbaernon. She (being Mary Kirchoff) asked him if he could spell it, and he said "not a chance". Pretty funny if you ask me.

    As for Drizzt being carried through the spellplague, he's still a best seller. He's the IN for D&D and pop-culture. He sells, so WotC would be stupid not to keep him going post-spellplague. Sorry but Mirt, Arylin Moonblade, and the Seven Sisters don't do these things, plain and simple. Not that they're not great or fun to read, they just don't sell like Drizzt does.

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    Tacticslion wrote:

    I read through the other two current 4E FR thread, but it just didn't really fit with what I am looking for.

    I've got the Campaign Setting and the Player's Guide, but there are still so many questions. So, help me understand, refine, and improve 4E FR.

    I'll try to fill in the blanks for you as I too am a pretty big Realms fan. All though I enjoyed a lot of the changes made, I guees my biggest peev was the 100 year time jump. I understand why they did it and it makes sense, I just don't agree with such a huge leap. I'd have more preferred 10 to 25 years instead of 107 (current year is 1479 DR.)

    Also, for my 4E Realms game I freely use 3E supplements for character ideas. See HERE for my on-going conversion of Forgotten Realms Paragon Path/Epic Destinies. I hope some of these conversion will help mesh your characters with more Realms ideas and flavor. Also check out my 4E FR items conversion HERE

    Tacticslion wrote:

    The question, then, is "what's up with that?", as in what's really happening?

    * Drizzt's all alone because everyone he ever knew or loved is dead. Also, he's now more a ranger than barbarian or fighter, so that's a bonus.

    * Everyone else that's not a bad guy is dead. Which good guys are left?

    Drizzt's stats (or stat write-up in the Hero Battle: Drizzt article) does make him mostly Ranger with some barbarian-ish powers, which I think is much better IMO than his 3E stat-block in the FRCS, something that is ridiculously underpowerd and needs a revision to say the least.

    As for other good guys being left, can't say that there are many from a century past. Mirt could've stayed alive with life extending potions and such, which isn't out of his price range. Arylin Moonblade has probably passed away from old age or from battle and the same could be said of Danilo. Could you be more specific as to which Good Guys your referring to?

    Tacticslion wrote:

    * Most of the bad guys are dead. Which ones (aside from Red Wizard Szass Tam; and Orba- er, I mean Manshoo-, er, wait, no it's Orbah... er, hm, that guy in charge of the Black Network; and so on) are left alive, and what, roughly, are they?

    * What level are all these (good and bad and other) guys (roughly) at?

    Hmmm, well the Black Network has been decimated by the Shadovar, but now works more or less in the Hired Goons capacity. The elven supremicist group Eldreth Veluuthra (sp?) is still around and probably thriving. For an idea of level they're at, here's an Un-Official thread based on some conversions HERE

    Tacticslion wrote:

    Second, some of the broadly-themed things that aren't answered:
    * Are the Hathrans now all Primal classes? Do they have a paragon path?

    * Red Wizards, I take it, are now nothing more than NPCs and have no specific abilities anymore?

    * Harpers have nothing like a paragon path to take anymore?

    For the Hathrans, they could always use Divine and Arcane power, so I'm quite sure those two options are viable and Primal classes as well. Druids used to be Divine but now they're Primal, so I'm assuming those connected to nature and the spirits are just as included as sorcerers and wizards. As for their Paragon Path, check out the thread I linked above.

    Red Wizards, cut off from Thay, work more or less in a Magical Distribution nature. They create Estates where they craft, practice, and teach magic. That said they do not have an Official Prestige Class though there is a specific Theme for them from the Neverwinter Campaign Guide (debut this past August) which is pretty cool. Though I belive it's only designed for the (Mage), a wizard sub-class from the Essentials line.

    Harpers don't have a Paragon Path as far as I know. Though I'm very much willing to create a Un-Official one.

    Tacticslion wrote:

    * Critters like Phaerims and Sharns - what happened with that stuff?

    * The Sarukh?

    * Is Zara-Kur still there?

    * The Shadow Weave: does it have any player-utility any more, or is it strictly for necromancers now?

    Phaerims, as far as I know, aren't statted up in 4E. Shar, OTOH, are statted in the FRCG, so they're still there.

    Never heard of the Sarukh, what were they from? I don't know much (if any) of their history.

    The Shadow Weave evaporated with Mystra's Weave. Shadow Magic works just like regular Magic, requiring no new feats or anything of the sort. Necromancers still rely on Arcane magic to complete their spells where Shadow Magic is more aligned with the Shadowfell. Assassins, Blackguards, and Vampires draw on the Shadow source where Necromancers are just schooled Wizards in that art.

    Tacticslion wrote:

    * Spellfi- er, I mean the (current) Spellplague is interesting. Please tell me more about its current incarnation and how it got that way. (It's not a question, but it is a request!) Also Silver Fire.

    * Circle magic sucks, now; let's change it. (It's also not a question, but a request; seriously, though, it's completely unusable as-written, unless there's errata that I don't know about).

    The Spellplague, for the most part, has died down except in the most concentrated areas such as where Halruua was and the Vilhon Reach. There, the Spellplauge rampages the region like a wildfire, affecting creatures and landscape alike. Since it's eruption upon Faerûn, the last century has tempered the event some. Though spellplague victims happen for apparently no reason.

    I wasn't even really aware of Circle Magic in 4E, unless you mean Rituals. Could you point me in the direction of Circle Magic (i'm away from books currently) so I could help out here.

    Tacticslion wrote:

    That brings me into part the third, the gods:
    * How, exactly, did Tyr go out in a blaze of glory?

    * I'm guessing that means Tymorra is now a widower? How has that affected her?

    * Lathand-, oh, I'm sorry, Aumanator seems like a complete and utter jerk, still. Nice, that you just kind of hid, all cowardly-like since the fall of Netheril behind a mask while decieving your fellow deities and didn't bother granting spells to your worshipers for a few hundred years, until there were enough of them to actually matter again. Jerk. Oh, right, a question... um, does he still have his on-again-off-again fling going on with Chauntea?

    Tyr, feeling tremendious guild over killing his best friend Helm, decided that he was unfit to rule as the God of Justice. He gave the mantle of the Triad to Torm (along with Ilmaster and Bahamut) and decided on a suicide run into the Nine Hells.

    Tymora never married either Helm or Tyr, but I'm sure she feels saddend by both their deaths.

    I think Lathander/Amaunator was in a bit of a bind when Netheril fell. He might have lost so much power due to their demise that he had to come across to other nations as another deity (Lathander). As for why he didn't reveal himself, I probably wouldn't have either due to a fracture in the religion. I mean, I know they have had the problems with the Risen Sun heresy but I think that adds a bit of Realism to the setting. As for him and Chauntea, while nothing is definitive I'm sure they still have a pretty solid relationship.

    Tacticslion wrote:

    * I was slightly confused about which gods were blended/removed/etc. Sehanine = Selune, okay. Hanalil = Sune, okay. Angarradh = ??? (originally she was created from Sehanine, Hanalil, and Aer-whatever-her-name-is... the winged-elf goddess... speaking of, how's she doing? How are the winged elves doing?).

    * How are some of the other gods doing? (Yes, it's open ended, let me know what you think I need to know)!

    Ok, look at it like this: Gods are NOT big NPCs. Gods are much more grander than that and can take on multiple forms and identities (look at Lathande again). Angarradh was a combination of 3 different goddesses Essences. That doesn't mean their whole was suffused into one being Angarradh, just portions so to speak. The Avariel are still there (nothing says otherwise) so it would be a good assumption that their goddess is there as well.

    As for the other Gods, many many of them weren't listed in the FRCG because they're smaller or have a nichè portfolio (like Lurue). Basically the thinking is "If it hasn't been mentioned in a recent change, then it hasn't changed". As far as I know, the only Gods that suffered in the last Century are some Dwarf gods, most of the Duergar Gods, Elistraee (which dind't die in my setting), 2 other Drow deities, Azuth, Velsharoon, Denier, Helm, and Tyr. Not really sure but if they haven't been mentioned to die, then it's all good.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention that Gruumsh has been revered by humans and other creatures as the deity Talos, :)

    Tacticslion wrote:

    Finally (there's three "finally"s):
    * What are some of the more subtle changes? As in those (like Cormyr) that look, on the surface, like nothing's happened, but in reality it functions not-at-all like it used to?

    * What about Aebir (not the returned Aebir, the other one, with Maztica and stuff)? Do we know anything other than "sucks to be that world" (because of all the primordials)?

    * Do psionics work/matter in the setting? I mean, more than they used to?

    Hmmm, well Waterdeep has changed little. Baldur's Gate has incrased greatly in size but other than that, it's run of the mill. The North, Western Heartlands, Tethyr have changed very little. Obould's kingdom is doing fairly well, still an uneasy peace between the nations of the North though. Sembia is a puppet-state of Returned Netheril and the Shadovar. Damara/Vaasa is slowly being conquered by the Warlock Knights. Moonsea has seen some peace with the destruction of Zhentil Keep, so less raiders from the Black Network, though pirates still sail the Moonsea.

    What do you feel has drastically changed with Cormyr if I may ask?

    Psionics work just as usual, nothing changed there.

    And no information about the other side of Abier was discussed. Basically parts of Mulhorandi/Unther and Maztica now inhabit that world, being ruled by Primordials (which does sorta suck).
    To be completely honest, I don't like the direction they took FR in.

    Tacticslion wrote:

    That said, with the sweeping changes that were presumed, it looks like they did a lot of good. So I'd like to hear what people think, and get a better handle on what's happening in FR "right now". I'm curious about the various meta-plots, and those are some of the things that caught my attention on a read through of both books (and interesting tidbits I've seen in others' posts), that left large, gaping holes in what I thought I understood and how it seems to be. So help me get a handle on 4E FR!

    Basically I say use what you like and discard what you don't. I hate the fact that Elistraee was killed off in a novel. So, that didn't happen in my Realms. Helm, the deity, is slowly making a come-back as aspects of his faith is starting to remerge among different areas in Faerûn. I do like how Gods have pulled away their influence a bit from the world, I don't like them up in my setting's grille.

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    My thoughts are that if they announce 5E it won't be til at the very earliest next year and we won't see any product til the year following (which means 2014). I, however, feel that 5E is still another 3 years or so off. Couple of reasons:

    1st). WotC isn't done milking 4E for all it's goodies. We've got Dual-Classes coming back, more (and hopefully better) adventures lined up, and other Planes for our heroes to visit (or come from). This means possibly the *hush-hush* elusive Elemental Source classes and Races such as the Azer.

    2nd). They're not fully done with playtests for their board-games, an avenue that they're just NOW exploring with wanton ambition. I haven't bought any yet, but they do look like a lot of fun. If they're worrying and/or working on making these into great products, it leaves little room for something so expansive as a whole new Edition.

    3rd). I feel WotC is in a better position than they were this time last year. I feel they've got their priorities straight and are attempting to make better quality products over the quantity of products. And I think this translates into their reduction of the product schedule.

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