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Krauser_Levyl's page

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CourtFool wrote:
Krauser_Levyl wrote:
After all, many 3E concepts such as combat maneuvers, monster advancement, spontaneous spellcasting, and class customization were born on Player's Option.
Or other systems.

Yes, of course, when I said "born" I was actually meaning "first applied on D&D".

But I guess you all understood that. =)


seekerofshadowlight wrote:

well D8 is not bad, it's mid ground and the BAB is not bad at all, sure it's not full but it's damned fine for a full caster. Pare that with good armor and weapons and yeah your alot better off in melee then a white mage. Put him toe to toe spell less with a wizard in a melee fight and tell me who's the weak one.

To me when I hear white mage I think white mage. No armor, few weapons D6 and Poor BAB. That's a white mage.

Well, the point is that on PF all melee classes have been boosted considerably (besides, clerics lost heavy armor prof). So, simply having d8 HD, medium armor and simple weapon proficiency doesn't make you comparable with Fighters, Barbarians and Paladins. Perhaps that was true on 3.5E, but on PF, thankfully, that's not the case.

A PF cleric that doesn't focus his ability scores/domains/spells on becoming a battle priest is still somewhat stronger than a wizard on melee combat, but is a wimp compared to a Fighter.

So, in practice, I think it's true that a Channel Energy/Healing focused cleric becomes sort of a White Mage. If the DM challenges the party with monsters capable of going toe to toe with Fighters, Barbarians and Paladins, then the Channel/Healing cleric should better stay in the back. Not only because he is much weaker than the melee class combatants, but also because if he is dropped fast the party will have its main source of healing cut.


Loja Windcutter wrote:
Wasn't Skills and Powers the big pointy stick that 2nd Ed. got jabbed in the eye to death by?

It's Skill Powers not Skills & Powers. =)

Being off-topic, I believe the 2E Player's Option series was really a mess in terms of rules, but a necessary step that led to evolution of the system and development of 3E. After all, many 3E concepts such as combat maneuvers, monster advancement, spontaneous spellcasting, and class customization were born on Player's Option.


Well, I was a frequent user of monster advancement rules on 3.5E, and I can say that they simply didn't work. "Physical"-type monsters easily got overpowered (compared to their CRs) when you applied these rules, and "magical"-type monster easily got underpowered. A rule that forces the DM to make ad-hoc adjustments 80% of the time is simply not a useful rule, no matter how complex or elegant it is. The new rules from the PF Bestiary seems, at first glance, to be both simple and functional.

Neodymium wrote:

Hi, 4th edition, glad to meet you. I was unaware you didn't already exist and suck.

If there is no way built into the system for PCs to use(at the GM's discretion) the same templates as monsters, i am immediately very upset. A larger gap between the mechanics of a PC and a monster is a bad thing to me. It seems like a symptom of a weak game.
It really annoys me that in 4th Ed. if you fight a "monster" of your same race, especially as a monster race, they are very likely to have abilities that you could never possibly gain.

Err, I don't see your point. Many 3.5E templates weren't open to PCs either. Also, PCs couldn't advance by Hit Dice or gain size increases on 3.5E, so there were always things that monsters could do that PCs couldn't. The PF Bestiary monster advancement rules only allow DMs to make the things they already did - but more easily and efficiently. I doubt players will note any difference.


Matthew Koelbl wrote:
I'm not entirely disagreeing with you on this point, honestly - I think there is room for them to share a bit more in this vein, as long as it is clear it is not intended to override the normal method, but just supplement it for DMs who want to spend the time to go that extra step.

That's exactly my point. If you are going to adjust the monster level for -5 to +5 levels, and you intent to use it for a single combat, you can use the "normal" method, but if you are going for a higher level adjustment, or if the details (such as Skill bonuses) are important, you could use a more time-consuming, but more robust, method. You would still have to reselect powers, but only if the monster changes Tier, and that's the only decision you will have to make. Still easier that statting a new monster from scratch.

Matthew Koelbl wrote:

I think the issue there is more than the non-class templates don't tend to give out perhaps as much as they should.

I think it is definitely appropriate for them to give a slightly higher level of power to an enemy that they know will be Elite, compared to one that will be Standard. I agree that it might be reasonable to include a statement that, if you upgrade your NPC Warlock to an Elite, they get more the same Class Features as someone with the NPC Class Template... but I also think that is getting into a tricky level of complexity and exceptions, solely to address such a relatively small issue.

If they were able to come up with a simple way to address it, sure, that would be nice. But I think the default logic is perfectly sound, and the issue that arises from it relatively minor.

I don't think it's a "minor" issue depending on how much you use these rules. I am a huge fan of both Class Templates and Functional Templates; most of the important NPCs from my campaign are either monsters with class templates or NPCs with funcional templates. Perhaps because I'm somewhat lazy to do certain things by myself (such as creating monsters and balancing encounters), but well, the fact is that for me it's important to see these rules clarified as most as possible.

Matthew Koelbl wrote:

Step 2 of the NPC design process includes "Choose Race". Are you saying there is an issue because it does not then explicitly say: "The NPC thus gains the abilities of that race." ?

Or have you found a specific entry that says they don't gain racial abilities?

I mean, the intent is undeniably that they should, since the NPC Races provided in the MM - designed for the specific use of creating NPCs - include Racial Traits. So I don't see any possible argument that you aren't supposed to use those traits, and the explicit direction to choose a race would seems to cover gaining those abilities...

Well, you would be surprised to see how many people on WoTC boards currently believe that NPCs don't get racial traits. That's because the DMG explictly states that you get class features, but not racial traits. To help on mispreading confusion, many example NPCs also don't possess racial traits, and many other possess them.


Matthew Koelbl wrote:
Going by the NPC stat rules for calculating attack roles for monsters with class powers: 1/2 level (7) + Str Mod (6) + NPC Bonus (5) + Proficiency (3) = +21 to attack vs AC.

As per the DMG, you don't use the NPC bonus for monsters with class templates, only for NPCs (althugh it would make sense to apply the NPC bonus).

Matthew Koelbl wrote:
Monsters with class templates are elite, as compared to NPCs that are (by default) standard enemies. You could certainly build a monster as an NPC to avoid making it elite, with a little bit of innovation for their base stats.

Well, but monsters with class templates are elites because they have the class abilities besides their monster abilities, which can be quite powerful by themselves. Conversely, a NPC with a funcional template is also an elite because it has monster abilities besides his class abilities. I don't see reason for a, say, mind-flayer sorcerer to have more sorcerer abilities than a human sorcerer devastator (who is also an elite).

Matthew Koelbl wrote:
If a DM wants to really overhaul a monster to a completely new tier, their best bet is simply reworking it from the ground up as a completely new monster (using the monster design rules), and adding in the key elements of the old monster as appropriate.

Well, if you analyze the math involved on statting a fresh new monster, you can see that it's possible to create rules for adjusting a monster to any level and have stats consistent with this math (with exception of power selection, obviously). That's why I don't think it's "hard" to make an arbitrary adjust on monster's level without restatting him completely. In fact, Monster Builder does that, but inconsistently with the DMG1 guidelines, which is weird.

Matthew Koelbl wrote:
NPCs get Racial traits, by the standard rules in the DMG. I'm not seeing any confusion here.

They don't.

Matthew Koelbl wrote:
I don't think it would be an efficient use of space for them to draw up a template for every single one, certainly. It is easy enough to already work these abilities into NPCs anyway - just snag some Paragon Path powers instead of your Class powers, and figure out the most distinct paragon path feature for the NPC to have, etc. But seeing some common sense guidelines discussing just that would be easy enough for them to do, and I'd have no objection to it.

Truly, it would be totally unnecesary to have a template for every paragon path, but a more-or-less systematic way of turning paragon paths into templates would be nice.


As we know, the DMG2 will likely to present reviewed rules for monster/NPC customization/creation. The rules from DMG1 are nice, but it's clear that they have problems. This is my list of things that I would like to see reviewed:

- Class template powers. Class templates are a great idea. But, the truth is, they don't work. Simple assignment of class powers to monsters most of the time makes these powers with very low hit rate and damage compared to monster powers and NPC powers. My house rule for this is:

Class powers attack: 4 + monster's level + weapon prof bonus (if applicable)
Class powers damage bonus : +4 + 1/2 monster's level

- Class template class features. Why monsters with class templates have more class features than NPCs of same level? This doesn't make much sense.

- Monster leveling up and down. It would be nice to have rules for unlimited level up or level down. I know that Monster Builder does that, but it doesn't seem to work well: monster damage scales very slowly (much slower than by the DMG1 rules), and monster skill bonuses never change with level, which is plain weird because ability scores change. It isn't much logic for a monster to increase his Strenght by 10 points and still have the same Athletics bonus. Besides, on Monster Builder all ability scores change when the monster changes level, while as per the DMG1 only the highest ability score of each pair should change.

- Minions/Elite/Solos. Well, how to properly make these guys? Beyond that, paragon/epic Minions and Solos from MM2 seems very different from MM1 (minions do more damage, solos have less hp but do more damage), which indicates that there were changes on monster creation guidelines. How to modify MM1 monsters for these new guidelines?

- NPCs. I really hope that DMG2 will clarify if we should add racial features or not to NPCs, and what racial features should be applied. The assignment of class powers to NPC should also be clarified, since no single example NPC has powers as written by the rules. Finally, I hope for guidelines on how to apply Paragon Paths/Epic Destinies on NPCs, perhaps requiring them to level up or making them Elite.


Rockheimr wrote:

I honestly don't agree with the belief (oft quoted by 4e fans) that roleplaying cannot be encouraged by rules systems.

That's just crazy imo. If you put detailed rules aimed at covering non-combat activities in a game, in my experience in play that reflects with an increase in roleplaying. I also think a very heavy insistence on very regular long mini-tabletop combats per session makes for less roleplaying in real terms.

I found when I played 4e roleplaying during combat was tricky as a lot of combat stuff is all about the game rather than about what a person might be able to do in real life. By this I mean it's about how many and which squares you can move too, which person gets arbitrarily 'marked', which power you chose to use, etc etc. Rather than an immersive roleplayed combat (without minis or board) where you tell the GM what you want to do (and he advises what happens or if you can physically do that thing).

Sure you can roleplay with 4e. Naturally. Sure you can roleplay without having rules aimed at encouraging roleplaying and not just tabletop combats. However, realistically, with so much time per session being combat played out on the tabletop board ... I really do not agree 4e is encouraging roleplaying in real terms. Despite the lip service paragraphs in the DMG.

Just my opinion naturally.

EDIT - And this is not even touching upon the blatantly anti-fluff (if I can coin that term) culture apparent at wotc. The blanding up of detailed settings into more generic points of light feeling backgrounds. Of modules into strings of combat encounters - yes some modules were always thus, but more thoughtful modules seem an improbable if not impossible prospect now. Or there's the stripping of monsters down into solely being combat adverseries. The list goes on and on.

I would add some of this rot started in 3e (notably the regularity of combats and the focus upon that aspect of the game).

I will use a simple example to show that the D&D 4E ruleset improves role-playing, compared to 3.5E.

First, it's common sense that RPG groups that had a habit of strong role-playing before 4E will still role-play on 4E, and RPG groups that ignored role-playing before 4E will stil ignore it after 4E. The point is, how 4E or 3.5E fare on inspiring role-playing for a newbie group?

On 3.5E, a social interaction with NPCs is resolved by a single Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate checks. Suppose a 10th-level party has a Fighter with CHA 10 and a Bard with CHA 24 (due to magic items). The Fighter will have a +0 Diplomacy check, while the bard will have a +20 check (the fighter has -100% chance of passing the skill check compared to the bard). So, there is absolutely NO SENSE on letting the fighter have any participation on the social interaction. The players would better ask the Fighter to go buy pizza and Coke and return when the next fight happens. A group experienced with role-playing would probably find a means for everyone to participate on the social interaction, but since we are talking about a newbie group, it's pretty evident that the rules don't provide any encouragement for that.

On 4E, a social interaction with NPCs may be resolved a Skill Challenge, which means, it's resolved by multiple checks and not a single check. A 10th-level CHA 10 fighter with no proficiency on Diplomacy will have a +5 check, while a CHA 20 bard will have +15 (on 4E there are no stat-boosting magic items). Still large difference, but unlike 3.5E, the 4E rules explicitly mention that the player may gain a bonus on the skill checks if he/she presents a particularly good spoken argument. Yeah, this is perhaps implicit on 3.5E, but being explicit makes a large difference for newbies. So the fighter with a reasonably efforted player can easily get an additional +2 bonus, for a total +7. This is still -40% chance compared to the bard, but now comes the fact that Skill Challenges are resolved by multiple checks, and not a single check. So the fighter making the Diplomacy check may contribute to the resolution of te social interaction, even if the bard already did his test. On top of that, there are plenty of abilities that increase chance of passing skill checks, and these abilities are better used on the Fighter, not the Bard, since the bard is probably going to be successful on his test anyway. So, a 4E newbie group is much more likely to ask the Fighter player's mom or wife to go buy pizza and coke, not the Fighter player himself.

Obviously, I've heard arguments like "Yeah, but 3.5E is better exactly because not everyone is good at everything, there should be classes that shine at combat but suck at role-playing, and classes that suck at combat and shine at role-playing". Well, it's perhaps my personal interpretation, but from my experience the campaign is much more involving when everyone contribute on every scene, instead of letting half of the group excited and half of the group at every moment. But again, this is a personal opinion.


xorial wrote:
I will be the first to say that I was always a new edition nerd. When Unearthed Arcana for 1e came out, I was all over it. I always tried to incorporate stuff from Dragon Magazine (anyone else remember the Elven Cavalier?). I bought 2e & loved it. Again, all over the Rules & Options books that came out for 2e. When WotC bought out TSR, I actually sent e-mails to TSR stating I thought it was a mistake. I actually got an answer, cant remember who from, but they did a good job explaining the situation. They didnt have to, but I really appreciated it. At that time, I pretty much gave up on D&D for a few years. Interestingly enough, I decided to look up what was happening with the game the summer of 2000. I was stunned that 3e was coming out soon, around my birthday in August. I started reading all I could on Eric Noah's site. Bought the Player's Handbook as soon as it got on the shelves & fell in love with the game all over again. OGL blew me away. Was a little disappointed when 3.5e ame out, though. Played using the SRD & 3e books for a few years. That was about the time that WotC started changing thier reall support for the OGL. I was getting worried when Paizo was formed to publish the Mags, but it seemed to be a sound move. A little voice in my head kept nagging me that something was not right, but I ignored it. Kept on buying books & being blind. Then 4e was announced on the heels of a couple of major purchases of 3.5e books, mainly Eberron stuff. I bought into the initial excitement for 4e. Even was excited when that video showing D&D throught he editions & that said that 4e was still the same game. THEN I got to sit down with a copy of the rules. THEN i got to follow the fiasco over the GSL. THEN I FINALLY understood what that little voice was saying. That WotC had become the Microsoft of the RPG industry. It seems to me, WotC just put out their new Operating system, Vista (4e D&D) & assumes they have all the fans by the shorthairs. Too bad allot of us have stood by XP (3.5e).

Microsoft didn't create the GPL. WotC created the OGL, and thus allowed products like Pathfinder RPG (and also Pathfinder, for that matter) to even exist.

Microsoft made most of its products (including Windows) "based" on existing products from other companies and used agressive tactics to expel the competing products from the market. WotC designed 3E and 4E by itself. In fact, it was the decision of other companies to make their products based on D&D.

Microsoft monopolistic strategy is based on the fact that many people and companies need, or feel they need Microsoft products for they everyday tasks. So they will have or feel they have to use these products (and other products that require these products to work) regardless of liking them or not.

In the other hand, I don't think anyone "needs" D&D 4E to live, much less they "feel they need" D&D 4E to live regardless of its entertainment value. You may find unbelievable, but I can assure you that most of people who play D&D 4E and buy D&D 4E products actually do that because they enjoy it, and not because they are being forced, or feel they are being forced to do so. Yeah, perhaps all of them are eight-grade mentality World of Warcraft/Anime teenager fans with IQ below Brazil's president Lula, but monopolistic action on part of WotC on this? Absolutely none.

Sorry, but to me, the repeated-to-death WotC vs. Microsoft comparison does not make ANY sense.

P.S. ok, if someone likes Brazil's president Lula, please consider it as a humorous joke only, right? =)


Blazej wrote:
Krauser_Levyl wrote:
- Third-Person Teasers: Wow, this is really a paradigm shift, allowing, for the first time in D&D history, players temporarily play another character which don't share a viewpoint with them.
I think that allowing is much too strong of a word to describe this. Although I like that they described it in the book (Because it is a useful tool that I don't really see a lot), there was nothing barring it's use before and I recall descriptions of several games that did this thing before.

Well, correcting myself, the point is not exactly "you were not allowed to do this before" but more like "you could do it before, but perhaps you didn't thought about it, or you haven't done that because you felt it was wrong". But if the rules actually encourage you to do that, it's another story.


I opened this thread so we can comment on the recent DMG2 Excerpts.

Here are my impressions until now:

- Third-Person Teasers: Wow, this is really a paradigm shift, allowing, for the first time in D&D history, players temporarily play another character which don't share a viewpoint with them. I actually have used something similar in my adventures, by with the proper justification that players were under some magical effect that let them see what happened with some NPCs, in the viewpoint of these NPCs.

- Companion characters: From my (perhaps mistaken) understanding, companion characters are more "PC-like" versions of monsters, i.e. with less hit points but more healing surges. Which makes sense, because although a "regular" monster can go toe to toe with a PC, it probably can't handle series of encounters because of their limited number of healing surges.

Your opinions?


Dissinger wrote:
Paizo, has taken a stance of trying to make everything open and fair game. Hell one of the guys in charge of the product just said they plan on the Advanced Player's guide being largely OGL.

Well, I think we are a bit out of topic now, right? I have no intention of starting another discussion of the merits (or un-merits) of each product. We should just, as JollyRogers said, play the game we like. Like I said before, there are MANY reasons for someone who played AD&D/OD&D and never played 3E/3.5E/Pathfinder/etc. to not like 4E. I just don't believe "excessive simplicity" would be on the top of the list. Much less "not being open game" would be a reason, since previous iterations of D&D before 3E weren't open either, in fact, they were much less "open" than 4E.


Nero24200 wrote:

A single down-fall doesn't mean the class is balanced. It could very well just be a result of bad luck. Part of my beef with the new paladin is this assumption that evil creatures are supposedly uncommon, so tossing about "your level to damage and cha to attack and defense" is therfore more balanced. I've played in quite a few games where wer've fought good or neutral creatures, but I don't think theres ever been a single game I've played in which evil foes were not present.

Besides, theres not much point in relaying your actual gamming experience here, if folk don't agree with it they'll just flat out ignore it or call it "whining".

I believe the problem with the paladin Smite ability is that it's "balancing factor" is the fact that it's, as so-called, "Situational". While you can say that, yes, "strictly" is balanced, I personally don't see it as a good design.

Using an absurd example to illustrate my point, imagin that we have an ability that for instance, instanly kills any creature of the Plant subtype, without save or SR. Would be a overpowered ability? Hell, no, how often do you face creatures of the plant subtype? But, would you consider it a well-designed ability?

I have no problem with situational abilities. But I strongly believe that the most powerful, defining ability of class should not be situational, or at least not so all-or-nothing situational. Isn't that the point of allowing rogues now to sneak attack undead and constructs? And to allow clerics to heal allies when they use turn undead?

Even if the ability is not overpowered on most situations, its mere existance may have annoying consequences. For instance, the GM may feel strongly disencouraged to use undead/evil dragon/evil outsider BBEGs for his campaign, simply because he doesn't want to see his greatest villains smashed in seconds by a party of 11th-level of higher boosted by the paladin's aura.


Wolfthulhu wrote:

Go back and read your old Player's Handbook or Dungeon Master's Guide. Those books were written to a much more... literate audience. Each edition since has been written just a bit more simplified in terms of vocabulary and comprehension levels required to fully understand them. I'm not saying this is good or bad, though I personally miss the more verbose writings of Gygax when compared to what we have today, even in the PFRPG Core book.

You and I, and likely most people who started playing at a young age were not typical of our peers. If you were at all like me your face was always buried in a book. The Lord of the Rings had been devoured by my young brain multiple times before I ever heard of Dungeons & Dragons. The standardized tests we were taking already rated me at college levels in reading and comprehension when I was still in grade school.

I find the 4e books to be very simplified in terms of language and writing style. Again, not saying that's a bad thing, but I do like to break out my old PHB/DMG and read Gary's forewords from time to time. Yay nostalgia! :)

That would be true if the author was basing his opinion on reading the current 4E books, but according to his words, it was based on the demonstration game that he played. I found weird because D&D 4E at gameplay doesn't seem "simple" at all for someone who only knows AD&D/OD&D, with all those opportunity attacks/marks/five different types of action/threatened areas/bloodied status/healing surges/multiple attack and defense values/combat advantage/conditions/end-of-round saving throws/delay and ready action, etc. In fact, DMing 4th edition was the first time I needed help from my players to manage combat because I couldn't track all those crazy conditions alone.

Obviously, there are probably dozens of reasons for an old time AD&D/OD&D player that never known D&D 3.XE to dislike D&D 4E (including all these complication I mentioned). I just found the so emphasized "excessive simplicity" reason cited by the author to be inapropriate, seeming, like JollyRoger said, a pretext to start an edition war.

But, of course, I could (and I hope to) be mistaken.


(wait five seconds, turning on anti-flaming armor)

1...

2...

3...

4...

5...

To be honest, I find weird that he complains that D&D 4E "are rules written for people with a comprehension level below the eight grade". I myself was 10 years old and on 5th grade when I started playing AD&D, and I suspect that many self-called "old-school gamers" were also about this age when they started.

I also find pretty strange for someone who claims to not know what is D&D for the last 10 years to say that the rules were "simplified" by Pathfinder RPG, since 1E, 2E and OD&D were far easier to learn than 3.5E, Pathfinder RPG, and probably even 4E, for that matter. Well, unless he is counting the 2E Player's Options series, of course.


Frostflame wrote:

I went back to my old school second edition books and read the orc entry. Orcs in second edition were about the height of a human standing between 5 1/2 to 6 feet tall and were about as strong as a typical human. There is no mention anywhere for the orc about exceptional strength nor stupidity. They were about as strong and smart as your average human. The only difference was the orcish society was based on ferocity and strength. The half-orc entry mentioned neither bonus nor penalty.

Well, not quite true. The 2E Complete Book of Humanoids lists the orc racial modifiers as +1 to Str, and -1 to Int and Cha. Half-orcs get +1 Str, +1 Con, -1 Int and -1 Cha, if my memory doesn't fail. It's interesting to see that on 2E, half-orcs were better than orcs in every sense, that's why they were described as having "the best of both parents".

Frostflame wrote:
Pathfinder's orcs in general seem a throw back to what the orc was in previous editions. A slightly tough race that values strength for survival, but not a race that is stupid either.

I would bet, however, that the Pathfinder Bestiary will list orcs as +2 Str and -2 Int.

Frostflame wrote:
Humans not as big as an orc would water the orc genes down allowing a half orc more versatility. The +2 bonus to any ability represents the humaan blood more. Now I imagine a half-orc being raised amongst the orcs would place it in strength. Considering in orc society only the strongest survive. But a half-orc raised in more civilized lands could utilize it in any sort of way.

Well I don't want to get deep into this discussion, but it seems that their purpose was simply to make half-orcs symmetric to the "other" half-human race. Which conceptually is a good idea, I think.


*BUMP*

Heck, some opinions, please?


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I'm a little concerned with the idea of splitting the books up myself. For one I actually need metallics for my campaign so I'd like them ASAP. Since we already have chromatics after a fashion I'd rather the metallics came first. My other concern is that, while Good Dragons play important roles in my campaign, I'm unsure if I need a whole book devoted to them. If they do a really good job or have a really interesting angle I'll be happy to cough up the cash but it is an area of concern.

From the excerpt on the 4E MM, it's likely that metallic dragons will be unaligned or have "any" alignment, rather than being good. They will be very different critters with different powers.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
I'm a big fan of Eberron. I certainly didn't look at the book and think, "Aha, Eberron!" In fact, it creates problems for Eberron, particularly with the Dragonborn and how this major race fits in to the existing scene, given how important dragons are to the setting and history, but somehow never got mentioned before (sure, no one knows what is on Argonessen, but even so). It has action points, but they first appeared in the UA and were only taken up by Eberron. 4e strikes me as utterly setting-neutral. It has quite a different feel to 3e, but that impact Eberron as much as any other setting.

Interestingly, Keith mentioned that Eberron's dragonborn PCs won't come, by default, from Argonessen, to keep the "mysterious feel" of the continent.


Panda-s1 wrote:
Zaister wrote:
The GSL is not an Act of Congress that applies to anyone (in the US that is). It is a commercial contract, and it only applies to you if you decide to enter into a contractual relationship with Wizards that follows the terms laid down in the GSL. If you don't, the GSL has no relevance to anything you do. It's just you and the (copyright) law than.
Y'know, that brings up another question for me: Does current copyright law let you reference books by page without an agreement?

I'm not a lawyer, but the copyright law says:

Copyright Law wrote:

Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

So, I believe there's no problem on refering to page numbers.


Chris Mortika wrote:

I think that some of what you're feeling is an artist issue, rather than a deliberate art issue.

If Wizards had commissioned art from Jeff Easley and Larry Elmore, I bet you'd have noticed a decided "2nd Edition" feel to the game. In this case, the artists working on 4th Edition have also been the lead artists on the Eberron line.

Good point, Chris. I'm personally not a big fan of Wayne Reynolds style (sorry, Pathfinder fans), and also think that Jeff Easley would fit better for a "Points of Lights" feel.

Michael Komarck is great, however. I don't care about his style; his pictures are astonishingly good.


catman123456 wrote:
Krauser_Levyl thanks for replying to my post.i posted this on three bordsand your the only one who replyed.

Oh, don't mind. It's just rare someone talk about its own character on these boards.

What's so evil about these "stars"?


Uh... are the other twins also warlocks?


Hey Joela. You are a funkin' cool guy, and your reports about the 3PP world are more than useful. Don't let a few attitudes bother you.


santinj@ wrote:

Which brings me to ask (and I hope I'm not hijacking the thread in asking), how many here have played 4E for an actual session or three?

Impressions?

Check this thread.


Amelia wrote:
I don't see 35 lines of RP info in my 4E MM for orc. I see 16. The only way I can see 35 is if you count the tactics notes for each of the individual orc entries.

The "Lore" section is full of RP information.

Amelia wrote:
I do think there could be a lot less stat blocks and a lot more 'fluff', but, again, that could be my own biases. I'd rather have more baseline info and then tweak a baseline goblin, for instance, to how I want it, then have 'goblin x, goblin 7, goblin z', all with locked in powers that dictate what they do every time PCs fight them.

I guess this is a matter of personal DM style. I have very few time to prepare adventures, so not to have to spend hours to fully stat party of monsters like I did on 3.5E seems like a bless. However, I understand that some DMs really enjoy to stat with detail every monster and NPC, so it's not a problem for them.

Other cool aspect of multiple statblocks is that they are not just "classed monsters" that you could do yourself. On 3.5E, almost all differences between a 7th-level orc and a 7th-level hobgoblin were due to their classes, not to their races. But the 4E statblocks offer unique abilities for each humanoid race - such as the Hobgoblin's Phalanx Fighting and the Orc's Death Strike. When the PCs fight a level 7 hobgoblin, they feel they are fighting a level 7 hobgoblin - not a level just a 7 fighter or level 7 cleric which happens to have +2 to Con and Dex (not that anyone will note that).

Amelia wrote:
I like the layout of the 4E MM, but the monsters are much more shallow. Less options do make things more simple, and I can see the reasoning behind the design decision, but they also make monsters be much more one dimensional - once you fight monster X, it has no suprises, the next time you fight it, it will be the exact same experience.

As my personal experience with 4E dictates, it's exactly the contrary. In fact, the 4E DMG encourages you to change abilities of monsters to surprise your PCs. Monsters are extremly easy to customize on 4E, and it's also very easy to create monsters from scratch using the DMG guidelines. I created a brand new solo monster for the last session (a variant of mine of the foulspawn seer), and it took me less time than making a classed version of an existing monster on 3.5E. And more importantly, the result - when I put the monster against the PCs on the table - was simply perfect. The monster almost TPKed the party, but he was 2 levels higher (a difficult challenge), and the PCs had spent too many resources on the past encounters.

I really don't believe that giving classes is what make monsters special (although you can still do that on 4E). Classes just make monsters more like PCs - if you give 20 sorcerer levels to a minotaur, it will feel like a sorcerer, not a minotaur. What makes monsters special is the DM's creativity - and I can say the 4E DMG greatly encouraged me to use mine, as I rarely felt confident enough to create a new monster on 3.5E.


Hammith wrote:

A lot of the ambivalence I feel towards 4th Edition comes from the near complete lack of any sort of non-rules substance in the core books. The rules have never really been that much of a sticking point for me in any of the RPGs I've played. Normally I'm inspired by the setting, by the overall 'flavor' of the game. 3rd and 3.5 were already light enough to barely interest me, except for in the Monster Manual. The 3.0 Monster Manual was half the reason I started playing 3.0, and frankly, the 4th ed version has about as much description in it as two pages of the 3rd ed version (hyperbole, but not by too much).

Uh... are you really talking about the 3.0/3.5 MM? The 3.5 MM doesn't seem to have more non-combat information than the 4E MM. For instance, the 3.5E MM has 36 lines of role-playing information for orcs; 4E MM has 35. The 3.5E MM has 2 lines of role-playing information for succubus; 4E MM has 8. In fact, many 4E monsters have disproportionally more role-playing information thant the 3.5E counterparts, such as minotaurs, mind-flayers and githyankis. The opposite also holds true for other cases (such as beholders), but both MMs seem pretty comparable.

Neither the 1E MM has any significant amount of role-playing information for monsters (on fact, it has less than both the 3.5E and the 4E MM).

The only MM rich with "non-rules substance" is the 2E Monstrous Manual.

Anyway, saying that "the 4th ed version has about as much description in it as two pages of the 3rd ed version" is a very gross hyperbole.

Perhaps you can argue that the 4E has more space spent with statblocks (usually more than 1 per monstes), but to me who is DMing, they are great... at least they already saved me many hours of encounter preparation.


see wrote:

The D20STL is not analogous.

...

I agree with you that the D20STL is far easier to handle than the GSL. However, what I'm trying to point is that there is absolutely no sense on Wizards spending so much on lawyers to write a new license, and revoking it soon thereafter. If they don't want 3rd party publishers to make modules for them, then why they bothered making a GSL? They obviously don't want 3PPs to make competition, but as we know, adventures aren't competition for WotC, they support the main product instead.

I also consider very risky for a publisher to make only GSL products. However, believe it or not, D&D 4E may become tremendously sucessful, so a publisher may earn considerable profit by having at least one 4E product line, and it may be less "risky" than not having any 4E product at all.


Russ Taylor wrote:
Krauser_Levyl wrote:
It's a possibility, but the d20 STL was also revokable, lasted 8 years, and WotC gave publishers a fair amount of time (6 months) to sell their stock. Perhaps WotC is really evil as some people say, but I don't think the launch of 4th edition made them suddenly ten times more evil than before.
I don't consider 6 months very long to sell-off books that may well have only been in the pipe for a year or so. In fact, I think it's pretty close to the bare minimum WotC thought they could get away with.

Consider that 6 months is the only the time to sell the products in stock to revenuers - after they are already in the shops, they don't need to be recalled even if the time expires.


GentleGiant wrote:
But that's the point, if you want to make a Campaign Setting which diverges from PHB lore then you have to invent entire new races to populate your world with. If you don't want to do that you have to go the PHB way and all the races across all the Campaign Settings become the same.

From the GSL:

GSL wrote:
Licensee will not define, redefine, or alter the definition of any 4E Reference in a Licensed Product. Without limiting the foregoing, Licensee may create original material that adds to the applicability of a 4E Reference, so long as this original material complies with the preceding sentence.

From my understanding, you can't alter the definition of "elves" (make them greeny small guys with black wings, and print new stats for them, won't be OK, for instance). But to add a new subculture to elves (making them more like Eberron elves or Dark Sun elves, for instance) as long as is obvious that they are the same elves from the PHB, would be perfectly fine.


DMcCoy1693 wrote:
Krauser_Levyl wrote:
Well, but an adventure path will last, what, 1 year? I don't think WotC got so much trouble to make a GSL only to dismiss it within one year.
Not necessarily talking today, but next year, three years from now, and longer. If I were a publisher, anything after 3 years, I'd start getting very skiddish about publishing anything for 4E.

Hmm, I would say that the GSL would stick for at least 4 years. That gives time for a publisher to sell a couple of adventure paths. There is some risk involved, but it's possibly smaller than attempting to publish for 4E without the GSL.


DMcCoy1693 wrote:
David Marks wrote:
I'd say you weigh the risk of GSL dismissal higher than I personally would,
I don't consider the GSL dismissal a possibility; I consider it a certainty, like death and taxes. The only questions are when that will be and will 5E (whenever it maybe) allow someone to use 4E material in 5E, assuming 5E will have a free license.

Well, but an adventure path will last, what, 1 year? I don't think WotC got so much trouble to make a GSL only to dismiss it within one year. If it dismisses it, it will probably give some time for publishers to sell their printed stocks and remove the compatibility logo, just like they did with the d20 STL.

It's a possibility, but the d20 STL was also revokable, lasted 8 years, and WotC gave publishers a fair amount of time (6 months) to sell their stock. Perhaps WotC is really evil as some people say, but I don't think the launch of 4th edition made them suddenly ten times more evil than before.


Christopher DeGraffenreid wrote:

Allow me to vent this and then share your opinion if you wish.

I detest, I hate with the fiery fury of 1000 suns, 1/day non-magical powers because there is NO rationale whatsoever than can explain how a warrior, ranger or rogue wouldn't be able to use a certain ability more than one per day. I can see perhaps allowing for telling a player that a certain opening needed by his fighter would likely only happen once per encounter...and that is a bit of a stretch IMO depending upon the length of the encounter. But once per day is insane. So non-magical abilities have a recharge time. At least with magic I am able to create a reason why that makes sense within the mytaphysics of the setting or game system.

Well, I don't see much difference between "per encounter" and "per day". Both are restricted by opportunity and luck. But the second just requires a lot more "opportunity and luck" than the previous. It's not that "videogamish" - it happens on movies all the time.

If you want to make things feel more "realist", you may a try house rule such as this:

- As a standard action, the character may attempt to use an encounter or daily power without spending it. Roll a d6; in a roll of 4-6 (6 for a daily power), the character may use the power. Else, no effect happens other than wasting the standard action.

This makes characters able to try the extraordinary stuff whenever they want - but outside the right time and the right place, they aren't likely to be done.


Mactaka wrote:
vance wrote:
Karui Kage wrote:
As someone else posted, Brian R James is not an employee of Goodman, so we wonder if that's also speculation or if he actually has a source.

That's not really confirmation. In having talked to WotC, they explicitly said that they are absolutely not interested in making seperate GSL deals. Granted, they may have done this BEFORE hand, sure, but if Goodman and WotC actually had a deal going... wouldn't they publicize it a bit?

Exactly. They need good PR with the community right now, and advertising/announcing their willingness to make separate agreements would be a positive step, unless neither Goodman nor WotC cares.

Or, perhaps, WotC is only willing to negotiate separate licenses with the big guys, and want the smaller publishers to contend with the GSL? If that's case, it would make sense to not make such separe agreements public.


Kelvin273 wrote:
Really? I thought they balanced the monsters assuming that PCs would have certain magic items and had magic merchants to sell the items, just like 3.x.

It's a bit different. On 4E, PCs are supposed to get most magic items in the quest, rather then buying them, since they sell magic items at 20% market price and buy them at 110-140%.

Also, PCs only have three magic items that are useful on combat (a weapon, an armor, and a neck slot). Even without them items, they have better of chance of surviving than their 3.5E counterparts, since they have powers and better ability scores.


- 2: players feedback

Great, so far. Even the more skeptical players have largely enjoyed the game. Everyone liked the diversity of options, inside and outside combat, and the fact that every character is equally useful.

Nobody cared about the reduction on verossimiltude given by the 1-1-1-1 diagonal movement and the cubic spell areas - the comfort of never having to count squares, and never having to botter with creatures "partially" in the area of effect, more than compensates it.

- 3: Houserules if any (we kept critical and fumble decks, ad hoc for old school rules, )

Changed the Skill Challenge system. Reduced all DCs by -5. I hope to decrease the reduction to -4 on level 6, -3 on level 11, and so on. Also, I kept the number of failures constant at 4, regardless of the complexity.

- Most importantly would love to hear what other dm's use to keep track of conditions and marks while playing. Do not like the bad cards dm's guide gives.

I use paper marks for marked condition, and counters painted with red for bloodied ("marked" also include the ranger's Hunter Quarry and the warlock's Curse).

For other conditions, following a suggestion from the DMG, I let the player on my left keep track of all of them. And the player on my right keeps track of the initiative order. Heck, this made things faaaaaar easier!


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
...

So, good luck!


I'm DMing my converted Eberron campaign:

Orc Fighter
Human Cleric
Human Warlock
Human Wizard
Dragonborn Paladin


New article/mini-adventure is up on the Dragon website.

Well, goblin alchemists. Now this looks like Warcraft... heh.

Anyway, the article is good. Interesting that you can advance through the entire mini-adventure without a single combat (even the "final boss" may be dealt as a social encounter). Something for a change of pace, after all the hack'n'slash of Keep of the Shadowfell.


The question is if you are going to only make PDFs or also printed products.

If you are only making PDFs, then I would say to go for the GSL. You get that nifty compatibility logo and you can feel more confortable that WotC won't threaten to sue you. If anything happens - such as WotC deliberately changing the GSL, you just make the necessary adaptations, or, in the worst scenario, just remove the compatibility logo and have a non-GSL product again.

However, if you are going to make printed products, then I don't know if the GSL is a good idea, as for having to recall a product could be a big annoyance.

Of course, I'm no lawyer neither publisher, so I don't know if my suggestions are of any use. =)


tadkil wrote:
Immaculate Brutal Hammer wrote:
tadkil wrote:
What do you guys think?
As written, the XP is the same as that of an Elite monster. I don't know what happens when you apply a template to an already Elite monster, though. I'd doubt that would make it a Solo but I could be wrong.
It does. Just found that myself after being pointed there by someone upthread.

You're right, but I doubt that a monster with two templates would make a great solo monster. Too few actions per round to make a good challenge for a 5-member party. I would additionally allow the new solo to use an at-will power as a minor action, and recharge one of its encounter powers on 5-6.


tadkil wrote:

There's not a table anyplace that summarizes XP by role (skirmisher,etc.) but templates cause the critter to change role, and hence change XP type.

So, if I "leveled" a goblin warrior from first level to third level, he would go form paying out 100 xp to paying out 150 xp. If I made him feyborn or made him a rogue, he would become elite and be worth 300 xp. If I made him feybron and a rogue, he would be a solo critter and worth 750 xp. Folks feel free to check my math. Has anyone seen a table that captures these values?

I think where I confused you was when I said, "NPC."

Pg. 120 of the DMG.


Hmm, I am under the impression that you are confusing things (or maybe I'm confused with what you are saying? heh)

Adding a class template on 4E doesn't work like adding class levels on 3.5E. It's more like a 3.5E template - it improve the monster's statistics, but doesn't change its level. So, you have a Rakshasa Warrior (Level 15), add the Wizard class template on him, and now he is an Elite Level 15 Controller. He becomes "Elite" because he gains extra hit points, defenses, abilites and powers when you add the template.

That's an interesting method because your modified Rakshasa Warrior would have the spellcasting ability of a 15th-level wizard, thus his new arsenal of abilities would be truly a threat for a party of 15th-level PCs.

Now, NPCs are another thing - they are characters with classes built from scratch, not based on existing monsters. They gain "regular" class levels, just like PCs, although the DMG present special guidelines to make NPCs quicker to stat than NPCs. They are worth the XP of a "standard" monster of the same level. Usually, only monsters with racial write-ups (those in the MM Appendix, like orcs and minotaurs) can gain class levels this way.


Christopher DeGraffenreid wrote:
I am not claiming to be superior in my opinions, just someone who is curious as to the motivation of 4e fans as to their choices in regards to abandoning 3.5e. If 3.5e was so bad, why didn't those who find 3.5e so broken check out True20, Runequest, Elric, Conan, etc. a year or two ago?

First, I appreciate that you are being educated. So many people who talk about their opinions about 4E are a lot more emotive and end up a bit agressive.

I can make a list with at least fifty reasons for me to like 4E. I said lots of them on the last months, and now that I'm actually playing 4E, I don't think it's necessary anymore.

4E is out. Pathfinder RPG will soon be out too. Why we don't stop complaining about other people's tastes - and just play the game we like?

Heck, I like 4E because I like it. You like True20 because you like it. Wouln't be very annoying if someone comes to you and ask "How can you like this @#$% True20 system? Is there something wrong with you?"

If you are genuinelly interested on knowing what the 4E fans find good about it, maybe to try it in the future, then we can talk about that. If that's not the case, then I'd rather not feed this kind of discussion.


Carl Cramér wrote:

A sketch for feats for Henchmen and Cohorts.

Cohort
Prerequisite: Henchman
Benefit: Your henchman will accompany you on adventures, acting as a full partner but under the same tactical limitations. A cohort expects twice as much monetary reward as a henchman.

What does "Acting as a full partner" means?


Christopher DeGraffenreid wrote:
Forgetting for a moment IP laws and whatnot. Does anyone really believed that if WoTC stuck with 3.5e that this new game, if created by any other company, would be anything more that another fantasy RPing game amongst the myriad high quality options that already exist? 4e fans, would you have dumped 3.5e wholesale after a couple sessions of this new game if it were created by Green Ronin and called something other than D&D?

I believe Sebastian pretty much gave the perfect answer to this question, so I will just reiterate. If you like the products of a company so far, you trust the ability of this company of making good products. It's rational, not emotional. Just like if 3E were called "Caverns & Minotaurs" and were made by another company, I wouldn't have played it, and perhaps I wouldn't even known that it existed.

Christopher DeGraffenreid wrote:
Would the dumping of magical schools, gnomes, high elves (now eladrin), half orcs be hailed as more D&D than D&D if Paizo did it first?

WotC won me with 3E and won me again with 4E. Not because 3E is "more D&D" than OSRIC or because 4E is "more D&D" than Pathfinder RPG. But because both 3E and 4E were innovative system that broke many paradigms of the older systems and were able to provide a new gaming experience. I'm not saying that Pathfinder RPG is bad because of this - it's a great system, but not innovative enough for me.

That's why I don't believe that, if we had the opposite situation, a game exactly like Pathfinder RPG being made by WotC and being called "D&D 4E", it would have been a game as sucessful as 3E. The basic complaint would be "It's too similar to be called a new edition". Many gamers need, sometimes, this "change for the sake of change", or, in a better view, "change to renew the interest on the hobby" that other gamers seem to despise so much.


I like the idea of using Paragon paths. It reminds of 2E cohorts/followers.


vance wrote:
Krauser_Levyl wrote:
"Make a ranged attack against the target, ignoring cover; additionally, make a ranged attack against every creature that would provide cover to the target."

That's actually not a bad idea, and sticks to the GSL, which suits my purposes. So that's one down. :)

I'm happy I could help on at least one subject. =)


vance wrote:
I'm not so sure that 'close burst' is any more or less mentally visual as 'cone' or , for heavens' sake, 'line'. Honestly, is it THAT hard to use a string or the edge of a piece of paper? :)

Not really, but it consumes time, can't be done if the cone is being cast from a higher ground/flying creature, neither works for sphere effects. And doesn't address the issue of targets being "partially" on the area of effect.

vance wrote:
Krauser_Levyl wrote:
There are spells which last for the entire encounter or 5 minutes. I like the ongoing effect system because it makes combat more unpredictable, rather than "Forget that guy, I stunned him for 7 rounds".

How is it unpredictable if it's always the same effect and will guaranteed last until the end of the encounter?

Sorry, I caused confusion by abprutly changing the subject. On this particular example, I was referring to effects that a save can end (not the 5-minute effects). I think that 3.5E had some effects that could be ended with a save, but they were clear exceptions.


vance wrote:
Krauser_Levyl wrote:
Use ranged attacks, or multiple ranged atacks.

A seperate ranged attack for every single square/target between 'caster' and 'end target'? There's got to be a better way to handle that...

I do appreciate the help. I'm just really trying to hash this out.

You are right. I have a better idea:

"Make a ranged attack against the target, ignoring cover; additionally, make a ranged attack against every creature that would provide cover to the target."

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