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D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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I actually liked Essentials. I bought the starter pack and am seroiusly considering buying at least the rules compendium at some point. From what I've heard about the other books in the series, they are pretty good as well. Like most things with 4E though, WOTC seems to spread out. The dropping of the miniatures may actually be a good thing in the long run, letting them refocus resources on one thing. I guess to me, the biggest thing since the late 3.5 era is that WOTC seems to be banking on the brand name without being overly concerned with the quality of the material they are putting out to support it. That part at least has changed from what I've picked up in this thread. The new computer game should be interesting to see. Also, if you're getting frustrated, don't respond. It's easier than it sounds. I've managed to do it myself a few times in this thread, but being bored at work means that any conversation that might glean nuggets of knowledge from is one I'm going to have. If it isn't worth it to you, simply stop talking. One sided conversations die very quickly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
sunshadow21 wrote:
It wouldn't make a very good single player CRPG, I will grant you that, but MMOs, where things are more fluid, and players have a bit more control over the world (ideally), the rules would port over pretty directly.

No... not really. They just did this - D&D Daggerdale. It's a Gauntlet style multiplayer dungeon crawl. It uses elements from 4E and D&D in general, sure. But is not remotely a direct port of the system, because 4E is very firmly entrenched as a turn-based game. Immediate interrupts, forced movement decisions, etc - these would all run into difficulties in a fluid MMO environment.

Sure, there are ways they could make it work, similar to how NWN handled AoOs. But, just like previous CRPGs have been adaptations of the current rule set rather than direct ports, the same would be true here. As a CRPG, it would work just fine. You'd run into the same sort of issues over how to handle more vague magical effects - Rituals and other thematic spells like Speak with Dead, Instant Friends, would probably not be 100% available. In short, this system would adapt to a CRPG the same way the previous editions have.

And, honestly, it would be even harder as an MMO. I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that it would make for a direct port. They could make it work, just like has been done for 3.5 in DDO, but I think it would be more difficult than that, if anything.

I respect you may have this perception from outside the game. It is true they made an effort to standardize and formalize mechanics and elements of attacks, spells, etc. But those were for the goal of making the game itself easier to play, more balanced overall, and a bit more open to allow the DM to play around with things, homebrew material, etc. It had nothing to do with making the rules perfectly portable to an MMO.

Making that claim, without actual knowledge of the system itself, is simply inaccurate.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Neverwinter Nights was alright, but the official game isn't what most people are talking about when they talk about Neverwinter Nights; rather the modularity of it is the key to that game's success. ToEE I never played all the way through because I can't get it to run on the modern OSs, but what little I played demonstrated why 3.x rules don't translate to a computer game well.

NWN, ToEE, all seem pretty faithful to the rules - as much so as you can get in a computer game, at least. Even DDO, to an extent. What about the 3.x rules did you feel was hard to translate? And why would you feel those same elements in 4E would not be an issue?

sunshadow21 wrote:
4E rules, on the other hand, would do just fine in an MMO setting. It has enough interrupt powers that the turn based aspect is already largely ignored, even in the table top version.

Again, this doesn't make any sense. Interrupt powers are firmly rooted in the turn-based mechanic. Same goes for the action economy of move/minor/standard, the action point system, effect based decisions for targets, forced movement, etc. These would all be problematic in an MMO. The fundamental tactical nature of the game would need to be completely redesigned to work in a non-turn-based environment, and I'm not sure where you are getting the idea otherwise.

sunshadow21 wrote:
And one last comment to Malaclypse, the subscription to Paizo and the subscription to DDI are completely different animals; they can't be compared to each other. Paizo's is mostly so they can more reliably print the right number of books. Most industries have companies with similar pre order arrangements to simplify their finances. DDI's subscription is to grant basic access to current information and special tools. You aren't buying a product that after you pay, you have more or less permanent access to, you are buying temporary access to services that WOTC is providing you that they can change, cut off, and manipulate whenever they want. One is not better than the other, they are just too different to compare.
sunshadow21 wrote:
Many people have only DDI, and don't bother with the books, so for them, 4E is very much a "pay-to-play" system like any other MMO.

Not... not so much, no.

If you stop subscribing to DDI, you keep all the magazines you downloaded while a subscriber (which can include all former online issues, at the moment). You also keep access to all characters you've created using the Character Builder, assuming you've printed those out as well or saved them as PDFs. Same thing for any custom monsters, to the extent the current program allows you to customize monsters.

You lose your access to creating new characters, customizing new monsters, and freely browsing the compendium of all 4E material.

Comparing it to an MMO service is silly. Maybe you could make a case when the VTT is out and we see how that works. Maybe.

But right now, it isn't "pay to play". If you stop paying, you can still bring your magazine articles to games and read them. You can still bring characters created with the CB and play them. You can still take characters and adventure designed with the rules in the Compendium and use them!

What it is most like is a magazine subscription - which it is, at least in part. I'm not sure how you can claim it is a completely different animal from Paizo's subscription packages.

Both provide you new rules content and material (new books vs Dragon magazine), both provide new adventures and campaign information (APs vs Dungeon magazine). They aren't identical, not by any means! And you can make whatever comments desired about the relative quantity, quality, etc.

But they are operating on the same fundamental approach, and neither resembles an MMO where you can only play as long as you remain a subscriber.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
If you know of an MMO which is distributed in book form, I suggest you post it. Otherwise, I believe we can dismiss this point.
Not really, given that WOTC has cancelled most of the books they had been set to publish in the upcoming year. Also, I know both Everquest and WOW have a rule book out for table top gaming, so the line is a lot blurrier than you think.

I'm... not sure what the comment about cancelled books has to do with this. In any case, two books have been cancelled. A third was cancelled but the content is being freely released on their website. A fourth was cancelled and then restored to the schedule. And a few other remaining books remain on the schedule as normal.

Anyway, as for RPG MMO books... I think those WoW and Everquest rulebooks are not MMOs in tabletop form. They are RPGs based in the same setting as the respective MMOs. Just like the Dragon Age RPG, for example.

The closest comparison to MMOs in an RPG environment is not in any given system. It is in the campaign structure - a world where many characters exist, and can switch groups, go on different adventures, divvy up treasure, deal with official schedules, patches, rules, etc.

In short, stuff like the RPGA, LFR, D&D Encounters, Pathfinder Society, etc. There are your MMOs, in the communal campaign aspect of the game. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

As for MMO influence on a rule system... meh.

sunshadow21 wrote:
The issue isn't that balance is attempted, the issue is how that balance is achieved. Traditionally, at least in D&D, the assumed party was balanced; the individual classes were not. This worked fine because it was played in a cooperative environment with mostly stable groups. MMOs have to balance classes differently, since people typically alternate between different groups and playing solo. Individual characters have to be more self sufficient just because of the nature of how MMOs are played. 4E reflects this attitude carried over from MMOs very clearly, with the healing surges, and every class originally being perfectly balanced against each other. GURPS and other similar systems may have picked it up from MMOs or they might have predated MMOs; either way, that particular balancing approach is different than what D&D has tradtionally used.

The idea of making the party less reliant on the cleric is not something taken from MMOs. It is something players wanted, and the 4E designers found a way to implement.

Honestly, that 'group balance philosophy' you talk about? That is much more fundamental to MMOs. Try going on certain quests/encounters/raids without having the right party configuration - and you discover it doesn't usually work. Much like earlier editions had a much stronger focus on a set party configuration.

4E stepped away from that philosopher. Yes, it importanted MMO-esque terminology for Defenders/Strikers/etc. Concepts in MMOs that were, themselves, taken from D&D!

sunshadow21 wrote:
I find it interesting that you find it insulting to have 4E compared to an MMO. To me at least, it was simply a point of fact. The way it is distributed, marketed, updated, and the balancing of the individual classes instead of the more traditional balanced team approach is much more in line with MMOs than earlier editions of D&D. This is neither good, bad, or indifferent; it is simply is.

Part of it is that the term often gets tossed around with negative connotations, which tends to be insulting both to 4E players and MMO players alike. It tends to be seen as an off-shoot of the (inaccurate) claim that 4E moves away from roleplaying.

It is also frustrating, though, to see it continually harped upon when there is no real truth to it.

The way 4E is distributed? As books, like most RPGs? Via DDI, a subscription service more akin to magazine subscriptions than an online game?

The way it was marketed? I'm sure there is some influence there, and that, yes, WotC would be glad to draw in more of a video game crowd. But I don't see any specific elements that resemble 'MMO marketing' to me, so I'm not sure precisely what you are referring to.

Updated? I suppose the way errata is handled could be seen similar to patches, yes. But I don't think that is remotely due to it being based on an MMO. I think it is simply a shared design philosophy towards creating a balanced game, a willingness to admit when abilities are unbalanced, and a desire to work to fix them when they are. Trying to pretend that game balance is somehow only intrinsic to MMOs is rather silly, in my mind.

And, again, the comments on individual balance being a core MMO aspect is, as mentioned above, inaccurate. Honestly, it might be for some MMOs - MMOs themselves are hardly one unique organism. Some are more designed for solo play, some for group play, some for PvP, some for a mix of all the above, some for intrigue and crafting and whatever.

But in my experience, the group balance you site as an element of earlier editions is just as prominent in the design of MMOs as balancing individuals. And, indeed, that balance of individuals takes place in a far different context in an MMO vs in 4E. In 4E, the goal is to have all players able to contribute in a variety of situations. In an MMO, the goal is for one character to operate independently. Are you suggesting that 4E is aimed at having PCs operate in solo play for 10 levels, and then join together and operate as a group?

Look, you have been civil and calm in the discussion here, and I respect that. But many of the claims you make - and they are indeed claims, put forward as "a point of fact" - seem rooted in misconceptions about MMOs as well as about 4E. And I think that is part of the reason many are responding so strongly. Even if it isn't intentional, making inaccurate claims about a game you don't play is, indeed, going to frustrate players of that game.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Alchemistmerlin wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
irregardless

What does this word mean? I know "Regardless" means "Without regard to", ir- as a prefix generally means the opposite or without. "Irreverent" is the opposite of reverent for example.

Does irregardless mean "without without regard to" thus meaning "with regard to"?

According to my Oxford English Dictionary it means the same thing as 'regardless' and is a non-standard word in a similar way as 'ain't' is nonstandard (because of the contractions). Usually changed to regardless if one is writing for academia or has a decent editor but it is a word in common usage. I understand the yanks are responsible for this sad state of affairs.

NO We Ain't!!


RedJack wrote:
Matthew Koelbl wrote:
It's true that there are some who offer comments largely based on misinformation or second-hand knowledge, but the same isn't true of everyone. Bugleyman played the game and his criticism is founded in that experience. I'm pretty sure Sunshadow currently plays as well.
Except that Bugleyman's assertions were almost entirely wrong, (the only one I actually considered to be vaguely grounded in truth would be the fact that WotC got scammed out of being able to provide promised tools in a timely manner) and given Sunshadow's obvious lack of understanding how many things about the game genuinely work, I'm also going to go out on a limb and say that I find it pretty unlikely that he does.

Yeah, once I read further in the thread, that became clear with Sunshadow's claims.

As far as Bugleyman... I disagree pretty strongly about his claims of Essentials being 4.5. But I kinda understand why he believes it. He got burned by the early behavior by WotC with PDFs, GSL, etc. Now, I don't think they did anything with malice, as some fans have taken it, but I can understand being disappointed by their decisions and the way they did handle it.

And I thin that initial impression tied into a growing dissatisfaction on Bugleyman's part regarding the regular updates and errata to the game - a frustration he tied into Essentials, despite it being a largely seperate situation entirely.

He wants a game without those updates and errata. I get that. It isn't what I prefer, but I think every D&D player will always want something a little different than the next one.

So even though I disagree with many of his assertations, I think there are genuine concerns that led to them, and that he is indeed telling the truth as he sees it, in the end.


Diffan wrote:
NO We Ain't!!

Proper usage would be "No I ain't," as it is a contraction of "am not."


If you think my claims are wrong, than simply don't respond. Don't ask for further examples and tell me when I provide them that they are also wrong and stupid. That does no one any good.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Like most things with 4E though, WOTC seems to spread out. The dropping of the miniatures may actually be a good thing in the long run, letting them refocus resources on one thing. I guess to me, the biggest thing since the late 3.5 era is that WOTC seems to be banking on the brand name without being overly concerned with the quality of the material they are putting out to support it.

Ok, had to comment on these two areas. The first because it is absolutely true, the second because it isn't remotely so.

You might not like 4E. You might disagree with choices made and design philosophy.

But the decisions made that led to it were made by designers who genuinely felt they were improving the game, and were putting out a product they believed in. Saying that they weren't concerned with the quality of their material is a direct insult to them, and indirectly so to the people that agreed with those decisions and like the game.

Poor form, sir, poor form.

As for the other... you are correct about the resource issues. Minis weren't really a part of it, though - and the cancellation of minis had two easy reasons. One, the economic situation and the increase in prices for creating the minis. And two... the fact that most players had all the minis they needed by now, and so were much less likely to buy new sets.

The resource issue right now, instead, ties into them splitting the design staff into two teams. Half of them working on D&D itself, and the other half working on the brand name. Just to be clear, focusing on the brand name has nothing to do with not worrying about quality. But this is the department that has worked on the board games and is working to expand the influence of the game.

Now, I think that is a good thing. The games themselves are fantastic. Anything that draws in new players and expands brand recognition is great for the hobby.

But at the same time, the lack of resources elsewhere can be felt. It is why we have the less aggressive publishing schedule, and it is why DDI developments are happening, but relatively slowly. And it is why we had several lackluster months with the magazines, though that is turning around.

Some of that I think is simply adjustment pains - getting the staff adjusted to the new/different workloads. We'll see if it improves. Many folks might say that a less aggressive publishing schedule is a good thing, and helps combat option bloat. We'll see how it goes. I am looking forward to the products still scheduled for release, and I agree that the board game division has produced some worthy content.

And in the end, even when experiments like this don't work, I have to give WotC credit for being willing to innovate and try new directions. And while management might occasionally cut corners, I don't think that anyone who works there is saying to themselves, "Hey, let's just coast on the brand name, and not bother with making a quality product."


Matthew Koelbl wrote:

Yeah, once I read further in the thread, that became clear with Sunshadow's claims.

As far as Bugleyman...

I can see wher he's coming from--it's certainly not a perspective I'm unfamiliar with, but it is one based on a number of inaccuracies.

I understand that errata is also a touch subject for a lot of people. It's something most gamers aren't accustomed to at this point, but I usually strongly urge people to understand "did not receive errata previously" is not the same as "was not in desperate need of it."

Still, I'd prefer a game that had none because it genuinely didn't need any--one that came right from the printers to my door in perfect condition with no need of revision or change--but that's not practically feasible. that means I have to deal with the two options of "needs errata, but doesn't get it" or "gets errata." I strongly prefer the second.

But even for those who are just morally opposed to the idea for whatever reason, I'll point out that for about a year and a half I played right from the books as published, and wasn't even really aware there was errata. We had a lot of fun, and I never saw one jackbooted WotC thug come knocking on my door to insist I update the rules that we were playing the game by. I really don't think they've changed corporate policy in that regard--which is to say that if you don't like it, you're free and welcome to play without it. Even in organized play, which officially is kept current, if you showed up with a character right out of a printed book with no changes, you're unlikely to have most people notice unless you're doing something that was specifically targeted for errata because of abuse.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Diffan wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:


Who I'd like to hear from are the people who are actually playing BOTH system and LIKE both systems and can respond and answer legitimate questions without snark.

I'm saying this a Pathfinder GM who tried 4E at the beginning and didnt really care for it. But I would never use my limited experience to tell a recent 4E player who has been ACTUALLY PLAYING or running the game what's what. The MMO argument is old and honestly I'm not even sure that it's an insult being that MMO's were strongly influenced by table top gaming so..FULL CIRCLE.

Again civil posters who play both and can discuss without being a dick would be AWESOME.

*raises hand tentatively* I've played and enjoyed Pathfinder ever since my buddy brought over the Rise of the Runelords AP; Chapter 1: Burnt Offerings. It was such a great time and fun characters and an interesting storyline. Back then, we were still using v3.5 rules but set in Golarion. As we moved from chapter to chapter (we're up to 3 now), we've converted our classes mostly to Pathfinder rules. And while our characters changed somewhat over the course, the game and fun have remained the same.

Switching back to 4E and related products, I've been the one to DM/GM it the most out of our group. It's been equally as fun and it is also a conversion of characters from v3.5 to 4E. Not a simple task, espically with only the limited books available at the time, but fun none the less. Also, we just started a new campaign where I don't DM and it's a pre-made adventure (H1: Keep on the Shadowfell). And.....it's still a lot of fun. After 3 sessions (6 encounters) we've still not gained that 2nd level and 1 character perished (poor Swordmage) but this goes to show that the game is rather on-par with other versions of D&D in power and character's are not invincible.

So I do like both, yet for different reasons. A large part of that is because 1). I don't take anything personally in regards to this hobby. Those who've taken personal insult at WotC...

RESPECT. Thank You Diffan.


Matthew Koelbl wrote:

Ok, had to comment on these two areas. The first because it is absolutely true, the second because it isn't remotely so.

You might not like 4E. You might disagree with choices made and design philosophy.

But the decisions made that led to it were made by designers who genuinely felt they were improving the game, and were putting out a product they believed in. Saying that they weren't concerned with the quality of their material is a direct insult to them, and indirectly so to the people that agreed with those decisions and like the game.

Poor form, sir, poor form.

I'm referring to the corporate level here rather than the developer level. I have no doubt that the developers are fully engaged in making the game as good as they can and have been since day 1.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This has become a thread of great value, packed full of unique and compelling insights. The MMO stuff is particularly great.

Please continue!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
sunshadow21 wrote:
If you think my claims are wrong, than simply don't respond. Don't ask for further examples and tell me when I provide them that they are also wrong and stupid. That does no one any good.

Uhm, no.

I don't recall anyone calling you wrong and stupid--although my reading comprehension isn't perfect, so I may have missed it. You've strongly insinuated those who disagreed with you and provided evidence to back up their conclusions were, however.

But ignoring something that is wrong is not a proper way to deal with it. It leads to the spread of misinformation which is bad for the hobby and community as a whole.

No one's asked you for "further" examples. To ask for further examples, you'd have to have provided at least one actual provably correct example in the first place. They've asked you to explain yourself further, to provide any sort of evidence for your statements, and basically anything other than "X is bad because I say it's bad." You don't get to pop in and be wrong and then say "if you don't agree with me, then shut up." That's not how a discussion works.


Redjack, most responses have actually been quite insightful, but several of the responses could have easily been shortened to "I disagree. The reasons why are elsewhere in this thread. Have a good day." Just because you don't agree with my examples doesn't mean they should be automatically torn apart and thrown into the wind, either. Some people like Jeremy, are capable of giving reasons, than moving on without being completely dismissive. Tearing them apart line by line simply comes across as unnecessary most of the time. And I know I'm not innocent of that, but I at least try to respond to whole paragraphs.


RedJack wrote:
Diffan wrote:
NO We Ain't!!
Proper usage would be "No I ain't," as it is a contraction of "am not."

I was attempting to be facetious.....

sunshadow21 wrote:


I would again like to point out that I refrain as much as possible from commenting on the system itself, resticting myself mostly to how and why WOTC chooses to do what they do. I can say with absolute certainty that when it came out, the game played like and felt like an MMO in all of its aspects, whether it does now, I don't know, but the comparison was certainly valid when it was released, and the business model aspect still is, irregardless of where they actually copied it from. It's not a perfect comparison, but more things match than don't.

I felt the same way when I opened up the Core Box-set and PHB and said "Where the &$*!@ are my charts? Where's the table for the classes? What the hell are these.....exploits doing with my Fighter class? Man, this seems like I'm picking powers straight from a talent tree in Diablo (or WoW or whatever)". And as I started to play the game, learning the terminology, the flow of combat, and not having to look at power cards as time goes on, it felt less and less like a video game. I could move up to an opponent and Cleave (wham damage to 2 bad guys in one strike) and not think of this like I'm at a computer screen. Or when the wizards lets off Fireball, I just see kobold minions die as fire immolates them instead of a small icon button with seconds ticking away, indicating the recharge.

This is mainly due to our playstyle of detailing out what our character's doing and keeping the mechanical terminolgy to a minimum. For another example, last night my Ranger/Seeker pepperd an area with tons of arrows (a power called Steel Forest). I described it as me rapid-firing as many arrows as I could and just littering the battlefield with their sharp, arrow shafts that hinder enemies movement and doing so would result in them cutting themselvs or impaling themselves on the ends.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Redjack, most responses have actually been quite insightful, but several of the responses could have easily been shortened to "I disagree. The reasons why are elsewhere in this thread. Have a good day."

Sure, but I find that to be lazy. Additionally, there are occasionally nuances that are not found elsewhere that are worth mentioning or reiteration.

Quote:
Just because you don't agree with my examples doesn't mean they should be automatically torn apart and thrown into the wind, either.

You're quite right. If you'd like to start providing examples, I'll be sure not to do that to them.

Quote:
Tearing them apart line by line simply comes across as unnecessary most of the time.

Sometimes there's so many issues raised in a single paragraph that responding to it as a whole is not feasible. Additionally, there can be so much wrong within a single sentence that I find it necessary to provide rather lengthy discourses on how, why, where, and when it's incorrect.

Showing something to be incorrect by merit of evidence is not "tearing it apart and tossing it to the wind." It's called correction, or discussion. If you're not interested in discussion, then I'll point you to a post that you may find helpful and agreeable to your own point of view on what actions should be taken.

sunshadow21 wrote:
if you're getting frustrated, don't respond.
Diffan wrote:
RedJack wrote:
Diffan wrote:
NO We Ain't!!
Proper usage would be "No I ain't," as it is a contraction of "am not."
I was attempting to be facetious.....

I got it. I should have tacked on a smiley face. ~_^


If you think I'm getting frustrated, far from it. I'm learning a great deal. I don't agree with much of what has been posted, but I've learned a lot.


RedJack wrote:


Anyways, just for fun: What do you think Essentials was? Yeah, it serves as a sort of on-ramp for newer players, but it was designed with an eye towards RPG players who had moved away from WotC's D&D. They quite literally looked right at people like you and asked "what can we do to make these people happy?"

The main problem is that they didn't get the answer to that is genuinely "nothing in the world." You guys have a game you like, and you have way too much fun hating WotC for being "The Man" or "The Evil Empire" who "killed your game" to ever stop.

Hmm.

This seems like a rather ridiculous accusation.

I am a 3.x diehard, who currently runs 2 to 3 Pathfinder games a week and plays in one 4E game. I hate 4e. I play it because it's "the only game in town" available for me to be a player in, but I enjoy the PEOPLE I play with.

As such, I am entirely unfamiliar with Essentials. Could someone fill me in as to what Essentials added that was specifically aimed at those of us who decided maybe "The Mages Who Lives by the Sea" wasn't really targetting us anymore? I'm never going to go back to being a regular Wizards customer, I think, because I'm quite happy with Pathfinder, but from a design perspective I'm very interested.

I think it's silly to paint a group as "trying to stick it to the man", because that's silly. You're trying to make the other group look silly and strawmanning to do it. They are the largest company, they do have certain sway over the community, they did decide they were done with 3.5 and created a rather significant community rift (see: this thread), but I don't think they're "evil" just "Ever-present".


Alchemistmerlin wrote:

As such, I am entirely unfamiliar with Essentials. Could someone fill me in as to what Essentials added that was specifically aimed at those of us who decided maybe "The Mages Who Lives by the Sea" wasn't really targetting us anymore? I'm never going to go back to being a regular Wizards customer, I think, because I'm quite happy with Pathfinder, but from a design perspective I'm very interested.

Essentials, for one, brings back into line Martial classes through Immersion of the game. In regards to the Slayer and Knight (both sub-classes of the Fighter), they didn't give them tons upon tons of powers to choose from. They gave them something called "Stances" that provide a benefit with a simple swing of the sword (or Melee Basic Attack). This is much easier to grasp from a simulationist view as the character isn't pulling off fantastic stunts every 6 seconds with almost "magical" abilities (a fighter is, after all, just a guy who can swing a weapon really well).

Additionally, the Thief (a sub-class of the Rogue with classical 2E terminology) was given the same treatment of no Encounter or Daily "powers" and instead gets things called "Tricks". This is also easier for simulationists to comprehend as opposed to hiding in people's shadows or other semi-magical abilities from non-magical people. In addition to Tricks, they can pull off a "Backstab" as a special attack that is much like Sneak Attack. Again, it's terminology used so older generations who've played 2E/AD&D can relate to more easily.

The we get into the Mage, yet more terminology common amongst older players. The class itself revamps and revises some of the spells published in the 1st PHB, most notably Magic Missle's auto-hit and encounter spells having "Miss" effect lines now. They also introduced schools of magic as well. In Heroes of the Fallen Lands, the Mage comes with 3 schools to choose from: Enchantment, Illusion, and Evocation. Other supplements and DDI produced Necromancy, Nethermancy (shadow-magic), and Pyromancy. By choosing the Mage (wizard) over the Arcanits (PHB wizard), you gain different benefits such as School bonuses and bonuses to spells with your associated school. Evokers, for example, are allowed to re-roll 1's on their damage die while Illusionists gain a +1 to AC against people successfully attacked with Illusion spells. And, your not required to only choose spells from that source book, so spells from the PHB and other sources are perfectly acceptable.

This approach is an expression that thematic components of previous editions aren't dead and can be easily adapted to 4E. However, this methood wasn't solely for the purpose of bring back older gamers. It was also used as a Springboard for new players not yet comfortable with an Abstract thought process on combat and 4E as a whole as well as bringing certain unbalanced aspects back into the fold.

Alchemistmerlin wrote:


I think it's silly to paint a group as "trying to stick it to the man", because that's silly. You're trying to make the other group look silly and strawmanning to do it. They are the largest company, they do have certain sway over the community, they did decide they were done with 3.5 and created a rather significant community rift (see: this thread), but I don't think they're "evil" just "Ever-present".

Mainly because v3.5 was over-saturated and the market was losing interest (my own opinion). There's only so many Complete____ books you can produce, so many sub-systems (Tome of Battle, Magic Incarnium, Tome of Magic) before they all start to look the same or are either completly worthless as a supplement/class or so broken that it's outright banned from play. There needed to be a breaking point in which WotC did something new, something different, and something not 3E.

So you have a split. On one hand, WotC came out with a more abstract-thinking, less rule intensive, fun for the whole family game. Paizo, on the other hand, still saw some gleaming gems from v3.5 and grabbed a whole lot of duct tape an gause and attempted to patch a lot of the holes. Both are far superior products from v3.5 (again IMO) and I like both for those reasons, but the split was because a good majority of the community 1). doesn't like change; 2). was emeshed into the Immersion/simulationisms of v3.5; 3). took things WotC said too personally during the Transition period of v3.5 to 4E.


Diffan wrote:

So you have a split. On one hand, WotC came out with a more abstract-thinking, less rule intensive, fun for the whole family game.

You're using rather loaded language here. There's nothing inherently more "abstract thinking" about 4e from what I've played, nor is it somehow more "fun for the whole family", though I'd argue those are slightly contradictory.

Diffan wrote:

Paizo, on the other hand, still saw some gleaming gems from v3.5 and grabbed a whole lot of duct tape an gause and attempted to patch a lot of the holes. Both are far superior products from v3.5 (again IMO) and I like both for those reasons, but the split was because a good majority of the community 1). doesn't like change; 2). was emeshed into the Immersion/simulationisms of v3.5;

No argument here (though I disagree that 4e is superior to 3.x, I do understand and respect that you feel that way)

Diffan wrote:

3). took things WotC said too personally during the Transition period of v3.5 to 4E

You said something similar earlier and I have to wonder: Such as?

I have my own reasons for moving away from the Mage who lives by the Sea but I don't think it is directly related to anything they said. I'd love to know what offended people. I enjoy being offended as much as the next guy. :)

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

I think this thread has run its course and violated more than a few of our board rules.

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