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Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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bugleyman wrote:

I disagree. Take, for example, the demographics. Either they ignore magic, making them highly unlikely for a medieval agrarian society, or they purport to encompass it -- in which case the rules completely fail to address the astounding cultural changes that would result.

While we all have our own limits for what strains credulity, I would argue that any careful review by an informed reader will lead inexorably to the conclusion that the world as presented by 3.5/Pathfinder makes no sense at all.

I agree that any analysis of the economy and demographics of a 3.5/PF will find areas wanting in consistency. I do consider myself a simulationist, and this doesn't bother me. What bothers me is when there are very "in-your-face" issues of internal consistency - I pick up a magic shield and I get a better AC; when a 4e goblin picks up that shield, he gets nothing, as his AC is not calculated from his equipment at all, but instead by a metric of what he "should" have. I want a basic level of internal consistency, for example, that all people, PC or NPC, at least interact with the objects of the world in the same way.


ryric wrote:
I agree that any analysis of the economy and demographics of a 3.5/PF will find areas wanting in consistency. I do consider myself a simulationist, and this doesn't bother me. What bothers me is when there are very "in-your-face" issues of internal consistency - I pick up a magic shield and I get a better AC; when a 4e goblin picks up that shield, he gets nothing, as his AC is not calculated from his equipment at all, but instead by a metric of what he "should" have. I want a basic level of internal consistency, for example, that all people, PC or NPC, at least interact with the objects of the world in the same way.

Fair enough. I wasn't actually aware of that particular example, and that strains even my suspension of disbelief.

Here's hoping we both get a D&D 5E that works for us.


bugleyman wrote:

I disagree. Take, for example, the demographics. Either they ignore magic, making them highly unlikely for a medieval agrarian society, or they purport to encompass it -- in which case the rules completely fail to address the astounding cultural changes that would result.

While we all have our own limits for what strains credulity, I would argue that any careful review by an informed reader will lead inexorably to the conclusion that the world as presented by 3.5/Pathfinder makes no sense at all.

The internal consistency of the rules was done well, but the crafting and the other economic based rules are definitely the weak link. However, the economy and demographics are not entirely part of the physics of the rules themselves, as much of that has to be made up by the DM even in 3.5. I will agree that comprehending demographics or economics in a D&D world using any kind of real world model is an exercise in futility, but it can be made to work if you start with what the rules give you, not what you think should happen based on the real world. Most of the campaign settings I've seen do a fairly good job, Forgotten Realms is the notable exception in my experience. Homebrew worlds will do better, as they can be made to fit the individual's DMs personal views and preferences.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Feel free to ignore everything below this line and just presume that what ryric said is what I said. It makes things much easier. :)

Welp, Ninja'd again, but considering how I write, I could probably be ninja'd by a hybrid turtle-slug made of molasses on a cold day:

bugleyman wrote:

But here is what I keep tripping over -- implicit in your statements is the assumption that a rule-system that handles NPCs and PCs in a consistent manner translates in to a more consistent world, which would then appeal more to simulationists.

That assumption is exactly what I am disputing.

Yes, you are. But you don't value those things, because you don't value the world that they simulate. For you, its immersion-breaking. For those who value those things, just the opposite of that is true.

To take an example: what does a lawful person value? What about a chaotic person? Are either of them wrong? No - they value opposite things, but that does not weigh on their good or evil, neither one is more "right" or "wrong". Each, in its own way, is correct, and incorrect (depending on the situation).

If your disputation is that people shouldn't feel that (what we're calling) "simulationist" should equal (what we're calling) "simulationist", then what you are arguing is the definition of the word "simulationist", which is semantics and, while semantics does have its place, unless you give us a reasonable non-prejorative word to use in place of simulationist, we have no other choice but to continue using said word. The limits of the language and our knowledge and all that.

If your disputation is that we're wrong and thus not simunationists... see the above.

If your disputation is that we're wrong because it doesn't simulate anything... to the contrary, you're incorrect, because it does simulate something: itself, as an internally-consistent world. And that - to us (which is the important part) - is something valuable and important.

Now, if you claim that it doesn't work, because NPCs don't use PC ability score generation, or use different classes, or have racial hit dice, that's not really accurate. There is nothing, by rules, that would prevent a PC from taking an NPC class or "monster" race, and many NPCs use PC classes. For stats, take a flip through 3.0 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, as that is chock full of NPCs who definitely don't use NPC norms in their creation. If your assertion is that they are handled differently because the rules somehow change between them... that isn't true at all. The fundamentals of how they're developed are the same. The fundamentals behind how they work is also the same. The specifics vary, yes, but that's part of the value: the diversity with consistency in the basic rules.

Fundamentals v. Specifics in 3.X and 4E:
In a game like 4E, the exact opposite is true. In combat, everything (except NPCs) functions pretty much the same way with minor tweaks to the specifics, but the underlying elements are vastly different, such that the little tweaks are never able to be imitated by one group or the other. You'll never have two actual fighters of relatively equal power duking it (outside of player verses player) out to see who wins, because a "monster" fighter will either have a weird fighter-class template that just doesn't work the same way, or have completely different powers with different names. And outside of combat, there's no way to tell what monsters can do outside of pure fiat:
"Is that one a ritual caster?" Maybe. I don't know. It's not listed. Sure, why not?
"What happens when it levels up?" It's ability scores, and thus damage output relative to the PCs increase.
"What, you mean it doesn't get new abilities? When PCs level they get new abilities." Oh well.
"Right, so let's fight"Cool. It's what they're for anyway.

That's obviously an exaggeration, and a bit of a silly one (on purpose), but it carries the point: that the underlying assumptions are vastly different, but in combat, for those 1-5 rounds that it lasts, they function similarly... but that's where the similarities end. It completely ignores any possibility of interchange.

Another example, from 3.X: a player could (with GM permission) pick out any monster in the monster manual and it would play exactly the way they'd expect it to, and they'd level up (albeit slowly) exactly the way they understand. In 4E, that's completely impossible unless the monster has been translated for you by the company.

Basically what I want from a game, whether it be D&D, Pathfinder, or any iteration of those, is for a game to be able to handle the world consistently enough within its own rules.


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bugleyman wrote:
While we all have our own limits for what strains credulity, I would argue that any careful review by an informed reader will lead inexorably to the conclusion that the world as presented by 3.5/Pathfinder makes no sense at all.

See, that's another matter entirely.

What I'm talking about is consistency in how two characters interact. That's at a micro level.

How that extrapolates out to the macro level of how the world is represented is another matter entirely. Most of the published settings are still based on the worlds created for 1st edition. In Gygax's vision, 99% of the world's (humanoid) inhabitants do not even have class levels. Town guards are represented as "Men-at-arms", not even the skill of a first level fighter. PCs are rare, and exert a strong force on the world.

But Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk and I would even put Golarion as being derived (or inspired) from them, all are written with that sort of assumption. Even if they put in more higher level NPCs than the original game intended.

In fact, Eberron was created specifically to be a world with higher magics and more of the stuff that has been added to the game over the years.

But the truth is, at least 50% of all games are homebrew. They may steal ideas from published settings, but a lot of GMs still roll their own. And I would guess that the strong simulationists tend to more often be in the homebrew group. Or at the very least they heavily modify the worlds they use when they find aspects that break their simulation view.

There is a great set of books called the Magical Medieval Society that does take a look at the effects of magic on society would be. It really is anybodies guess. Although I suspect common magic would make the world more modern. High speed communication and high speed travel are really the main differences between modern times and five centuries ago. That and higher powered weapons. But flying wizards with meteor swarm are similar enough to bombers.

But while the rules may imply certain aspects to a setting, those are separate from them. I definitely agree that most published settings gloss over the impacts of magic on society.


bugleyman wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
There is a difference between 3.5 and 4E though. When I play 3.5/PF, I know what the physics of the world are, and can reasonably expect it to be applied in 99% of the situations I find myself in. Even when the DM has house ruled the core rules into oblivion, I can still expect the same level of consistency. When I play 4E, there is no such baseline of what I can reasonably expect; everything is entirely up to the DM, who may not have thought about anything beyond the firt adventure. I'm not saying this to say that one is better than the other, simply pointing out that there is an objective difference between the two systems.

Then I respectfully submit that you know very little about physics. ;)

Seriously, that's not an insult -- I'm no physicist myself. But you're still confusing your perception of consistency for a objective difference.

Are there many objective differences? Absolutely -- but the presentation of an internally consist world isn't one of them. 3.5 just pays it more lip service.

Bugley there was nothing in that above post to show the individual knew nothing of or knew something of physics. Simulation in RPG's has nothing to do with how physics works. It has to do with being a consistent system... maybe LIKE physics is always consistent even with Waves vs. point.

Essentials might have changed things up, but I can find consistency among aspects of 4e, but there is no unifying consistency amongst all of its parts.

That is part of the problem with epic level Pathfinder as written, that internal consistency tends not to work as well once the BAB and Saves start moving close to 20.


Tacticslion wrote:
Every thing that bugs me (the quoter) about retconning, poorly thought plot, and inconsistencies in media like WOLVERINE:ORIGINS

Your posts are very entertaining, and I agree with them. Very eloquent handling of the snark. For some reason people think it proper form to condescend on the internet. Good job, and good points!


sunshadow21 wrote:
The internal consistency of the rules was done well, but the crafting and the other economic based rules are definitely the weak link. However, the economy and demographics are not entirely part of the physics of the rules themselves, as much of that has to be made up by the DM even in 3.5. I will agree that comprehending demographics or economics in a D&D world using any kind of real world model is an exercise in futility, but it can be made to work if you start with what the rules give you, not what you think should happen based on the real world. Most of the campaign settings I've seen do a fairly good job, Forgotten Realms is the notable exception in my experience. Homebrew worlds will do better, as they can be made to fit the individual's DMs personal views and preferences.

To give you some insight as to my preferences, I really appreciate ease-of-use. For example, Savage Worlds is probably my favorite system, and it explicitly treats "main" characters differently than everyone else.

I guess what I'm objecting to is the idea that I don't care about physics or internal consistency. I do -- it's that I've never seen a game get it right, and I'd rather it just get skipped rather than screwed up. Even if a game did get it right, it would have to do so without sacrificing playability, which I'm not sure is even possible.


Mournblade94 wrote:

Bugley there was nothing in that above post to show the individual knew nothing of or knew something of physics. Simulation in RPG's has nothing to do with how physics works. It has to do with being a consistent system... maybe LIKE physics is always consistent even with Waves vs. point.

Again, I am not a physicist, I'm not going to pretend to be competent to debate wave/particle duality. :)

I mentioned physics because the poster to whom I was responding did ("the physics of the world"). It has since been made clear that this was not meant the way I understood it.


bugleyman wrote:


I disagree. Take, for example, the demographics. Either they ignore magic, making them highly unlikely for a medieval agrarian society, or they purport to encompass it -- in which case the rules completely fail to address the astounding cultural changes that would result.

While we all have our own limits for what strains credulity, I would argue that any careful review by an informed reader will lead inexorably to the conclusion that the world as presented by 3.5/Pathfinder makes no sense at all.

I love demographics. That argument is too difficult to tackle without setting up presumptions in the beginnings. I see what you mean, but magic is rarer than technology. Not everyone is capable of tapping into it. It strikes me as very likely, the Rich and Adventurers would have access to great magic, while the commoners are forced to live mostly a medieval tech level life style. Nobody invests in technology because magic is more efficient.

the rich are the investors, and they can pay a mage too... raise their castle, blast an army, irrigate crops. Too bad the poor peasant must slug on with his ox and plow.

The rich are very healthy, no real worry for the plague since they can afford priests. Too bad the poor peasant has to suffer with his pox because he can't afford healing. And too bad there are not enough Priestesses of Desna and Cayden to go around making sure all of them are healed. There are not enough priests to compensate, especially when the rich give them money.

I think the Pathfinder world or the Forgotten Realms works well wiht the rules. There is in fact an internal consistency.


Actually I would like to add, I find it great how Golarion makes a point to have ACTUAL universities where the tech level can be improved. Simply because magic is not available to everyone.

I do not view the Golarion world as Magic replacing tech for EVERYONE. I like that healing medicine is actually studied because the Peasants and commoners may not have access to the temples.


bugleyman wrote:
Mournblade94 wrote:

Bugley there was nothing in that above post to show the individual knew nothing of or knew something of physics. Simulation in RPG's has nothing to do with how physics works. It has to do with being a consistent system... maybe LIKE physics is always consistent even with Waves vs. point.

Again, I am not a physicist, I'm not going to pretend to be competent to debate wave/particle duality. :)

I mentioned physics because the poster to whom I was responding did ("the physics of the world"). It has since been made clear that this was not meant the way I understood it.

No worries!

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

bugleyman wrote:
To give you some insight as to my preferences, I really appreciate ease-of-use. For example, Savage Worlds is probably my favorite system, and it explicitly treats "main" characters differently than everyone else.

I like Savage Worlds too. The fact that NPCs aren't built exactly like PCs only bothers me a little, because if you try to make a reasonable NPC story-wise, it's likely to be very close to something a PC could do anyway. Rarely will a GM create a human with d10s in all stats and no edges, for example. (For those unfamilar, Savage Worlds is at its heart a point based character system, with some restrictions on how PCs spend points. NPCs are built by the strict policy of "give them the stuff they need to have.")

Game systems with "main characters are special" do not bother me. That is not one of my peeves with 4e, although I do like "farmboy to hero" style stories and it's tougher to have the farmboy stage in 4e.


bugleyman wrote:
I guess what I'm objecting to is the idea that I don't care about physics or internal consistency. I do -- it's that I've never seen a game get it right, and I'd rather it just get skipped rather than screwed up. Even if a game did get it right, it would have to do so without sacrificing playability, which I'm not sure is even possible.

You strive for a different level of consistency than I do, and put a different emphasis on it than I do. 4E and 3.5 are the same in that regard. I'm not saying that 4E doesn't want it anymore than you don't want it, just that 4E doesn't really go out of its way to establish it whereas 3.5, and I, do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I object to simulationist because there are people here are using it in the wrong context. You're meaning symmetrical (it's not quite right, but it's closer).

When the rules for creating NPCs and PCs are the same, you have a symmetrical ruleset - at least for that part of it. It isn't necessarily simulationist. 4E actually simulates parts of the fantasy genre better than 3E, such as with minions, but minions don't simulate all fantasy genres. (And other parts 4e simulates worse.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ryric wrote:
I like how PF has three different "epochs" of play, low, mid, and high levels, and how play at those three levels is fundamentally different. 4e's tiers are more codified but less different. I'd want 5e to bring that difference back.

4E tiers are a lot more different than you might assume by just reading the rules. There are some really, really significant difference between heroic and paragon tier, which ties into how they play. The difference between Paragon and Epic isn't quite so pronounced, but it is there.

I've run a campaign from 1st to 28th level (and continuing) in 4E. While the epic characters might be hitting on similiar percentages to the low level characters, they don't play the same.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MerricB wrote:
I object to simulationist because there are people here are using it in the wrong context. You're meaning symmetrical (it's not quite right, but it's closer).

Actually, the word you are looking for is universal.

But we aren't using it in the wrong context. Simulationist is a word made up by one guy. We are using his definition. You don't like his definition, but it lacks one without him. Do you have an alternative word to describe the type of player we are talking about?


Mournblade94 wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
There is a difference between 3.5 and 4E though. When I play 3.5/PF, I know what the physics of the world are, and can reasonably expect it to be applied in 99% of the situations I find myself in. Even when the DM has house ruled the core rules into oblivion, I can still expect the same level of consistency. When I play 4E, there is no such baseline of what I can reasonably expect; everything is entirely up to the DM, who may not have thought about anything beyond the firt adventure. I'm not saying this to say that one is better than the other, simply pointing out that there is an objective difference between the two systems.

Then I respectfully submit that you know very little about physics. ;)

Seriously, that's not an insult -- I'm no physicist myself. But you're still confusing your perception of consistency for a objective difference.

Are there many objective differences? Absolutely -- but the presentation of an internally consist world isn't one of them. 3.5 just pays it more lip service.

Bugley there was nothing in that above post to show the individual knew nothing of or knew something of physics. Simulation in RPG's has nothing to do with how physics works. It has to do with being a consistent system... maybe LIKE physics is always consistent even with Waves vs. point.

Essentials might have changed things up, but I can find consistency among aspects of 4e, but there is no unifying consistency amongst all of its parts.

That is part of the problem with epic level Pathfinder as written, that internal consistency tends not to work as well once the BAB and Saves start moving close to 20.

Meh I'm a physicist and I don't really care for a "simulationist" game. I prefer a game that's fun and easy to use.

I don't really understand what you're referring to with regards to consistency anyways. Do you mean that the rules of the game don't lead to contradictions?


Wow this consistency thing is awesome, I mean as a conversation about its relevance to the game of Dungeons and Dragons, for me anyway.

I guess for me it’s like the original Blue Book rules for the spell Magic Missile. The wizard rolls to hit the monster as if he is firing a crossbow with a +2 to hit modifier.

So let’s look at that. It is a spell. We are supposed to imagine something magical is happening, and the mechanic for the game says, “Resolve the outcome as if it were something else you already know how works”. Now you can argue that there is a sort of consistency at work here (missiles that are intended to do damage, behave in a consistent, albeit often modified, way). And at the same time this makes no sense (my favorite useless statement for anything related to playing Dungeons and Dragons). It makes no sense because it isn’t a crossbow at all, it is a magic missile – see.

Now let’s look at something from 4e that gets me every time. A fighter, using a power, moves one of his allies a total of up to ten feet as a function of the powers resolution (I don’t recall exactly what this one is called). Okay, that’s cool, but how? How does the fighter move the other character? Is it magic? Great I don’t care, so fighter’s can work magic now, okay, still my favorite game, no real problem. But is it magic? Or is he, maybe, shouting something about his friends safety and that results in the move, or does he, in the blink of an eye dart across the space, take hold of his friend, drag him to the new position, and rush back to where he started from? Again, I don’t care how it is supposed to be explained to me how this works, but I do care that if it works in way “A” then way “A” should be something that works every time. But often in 4e (and this is, again, something about 5e that will have to satisfy me in order for me to become a player – I still stand by my statement that I will buy a 5e, play it is another thing), often in 4e, I say again, the thing that works like “A” in one place works like “A” in another, but is explained as if it works like “POPCORN” (I mean seriously the way things are resolved, mechanically remains consistent (slides, push, pull, save to end effect, etc.) but the explanation of why and how it works in one place has no consistency, no relationship, to an explanation of how it works in another).

It is probably easy to just throw up your hands and say, “It’s all magic, of one kind or another,” but that just seems like the easy way out of a situation that did not need to arise in the first place


Terquem wrote:
Now let’s look at something from 4e that gets me every time. A fighter, using a power, moves one of his allies a total of up to ten feet as a function of the powers resolution (I don’t recall exactly what this one is called). Okay, that’s cool, but how?

You tell me. Hopefully over-codified rules have not atrophied your creativity too much.


Terquem wrote:
Now let’s look at something from 4e that gets me every time. A fighter, using a power, moves one of his allies a total of up to ten feet as a function of the powers resolution (I don’t recall exactly what this one is called). Okay, that’s cool, but how? How does the fighter move the other character? Is it magic? Great I don’t care, so fighter’s can work magic now, okay, still my favorite game, no real problem. But is it magic? Or is he, maybe, shouting something about his friends safety and that results in the move, or does he, in the blink of an eye dart across the space, take hold of his friend, drag him to the new position, and rush back to where he started from? Again, I don’t care how it is supposed to be explained to me how this works, but I do care that if it works in way “A” then way “A” should be something that works every time. But often in 4e (and this is, again, something about 5e that will have to satisfy me in order for me to become a player – I still stand by my statement that I will buy a 5e, play it is another thing), often in 4e, I say again, the thing that works like “A” in one place works like “A” in...

The nice thing is, that you can imagine how the ability works in any way you like. Flavour text is convenient for inspiration, but it should by no means restrict your descriptions of how your character performs a certain action.

D&D is a game of imagination after all.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Terquem wrote:
Now let’s look at something from 4e that gets me every time. A fighter, using a power, moves one of his allies a total of up to ten feet as a function of the powers resolution (I don’t recall exactly what this one is called). Okay, that’s cool, but how?
You tell me. Hopefully over-codified rules have not atrophied your creativity too much.

Who does not begin with in physical or even abstracted combat reach.

Does that help make the discontinuity a bit clearer?

The only things that come to mind are:

• Throw something at them to send them flying
• Hit the ground hard enough to make a shockwave fling the
• Other "shockwaveish" style things including shouting so loud it blows them, swing a weapon so fast it wafts them, etc.

Do any of those match the fluff of the ability in question or is just a random bit add on to make the ability useful?


Dorje Sylas wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
Terquem wrote:
Now let’s look at something from 4e that gets me every time. A fighter, using a power, moves one of his allies a total of up to ten feet as a function of the powers resolution (I don’t recall exactly what this one is called). Okay, that’s cool, but how?
You tell me. Hopefully over-codified rules have not atrophied your creativity too much.

Who does not begin with in physical or even abstracted combat reach.

Does that help make the discontinuity a bit clearer?

The only things that come to mind are:

• Throw something at them to send them flying
• Hit the ground hard enough to make a shockwave fling the
• Other "shockwaveish" style things including shouting so loud it blows them, swing a weapon so fast it wafts them, etc.

Do any of those match the fluff of the ability in question or is just a random bit add on to make the ability useful?

I've never heard or seen anyone describe a sliding/pushing ability in any of those ways, but whatever floats your boat.

Usually it's implied that you tell your ally "move out of the way!" or something like that.

However, you are always free to think up whatever sort of explanation you want.


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Terquem wrote:
Now let’s look at something from 4e that gets me every time. A fighter, using a power, moves one of his allies a total of up to ten feet as a function of the powers resolution (I don’t recall exactly what this one is called). Okay, that’s cool, but how? How does the fighter move the other character? Is it magic? Great I don’t care, so fighter’s can work magic now, okay, still my favorite game, no real problem. But is it magic? Or is he, maybe, shouting something about his friends safety and that results in the move, or does he, in the blink of an eye dart across the space, take hold of his friend, drag him to the new position, and rush back to where he started from? Again, I don’t care how it is supposed to be explained to me how this works, but I do care that if it works in way “A” then way “A” should be something that works every time. But often in 4e (and this is, again, something about 5e that will have to satisfy me in order for me to become a player – I still stand by my statement that I will buy a 5e, play it is another thing), often in 4e, I say again, the thing that works like “A” in one place works like “A” in...

We struggled with this as well initially. The revelation for us came when we realised that 4E (despite it's implicit use of the gaming mat) is not modelling what happens - even at the level of where people are on the battlefield.

There is an implied fluidity of movement - all the combatants are charging around each other, exchanging many blows which are parried and/or negated in some way. The gaming mat is an abstraction, used to standardise such a complex, constantly shifting state of affairs. One power which makes this very clear, for example, is one available to some doppelgangers. If they are engaged in combat with one PC and you attack them, they exchange places with the PC they're fighting and you attack your ally instead. Now clearly, a doppelganger isnt really moving people around on the battlefield (even though the mechanical way of representing their power is to move people around). He looks like your buddy and you got confused in the melee and attacked your friend by mistake.

It's similar with the various slide/push/pull powers - what's happening on the gaming mat is an abstraction from what's happening in the game world. It's not a reenactment. As a ready example - fireballs are fireballs, not cubes - yet the 4E rules designate a square as area of effect. The assumption is not that the flames fill exactly that square, it's just an abstract way of determining which creatures are targetted by the spell. Same with the much derided diagonal movement. Pythagoras's theorem holds in Eberron, yet not on the abstract representation of combat in Eberron provided by a 4E battlemat.

This view of the rules as abstract and 'behind the scenes of the story' is also a useful way of understanding the existence of encounter/daily martial powers - another common lament of PF players trying out 4E, in my experience. In the confused, furious state of affairs which is a battle, the combatants are all making various forms of attack and counterattack. Some of them work, some of them not so much - the at-will/encounter/daily is a mechanical way of distinguishing between those which hit very often from those which are more difficult and those few once-in-a-blue-moon flukes which hardly ever come off. The assumption is not that a ranger can only make one attack on the run per day. It's that he's regularly charging around the combat field, firing arrows willy-nilly and very occasionally manages to pull off a particularly devastating attack whilst simultaneously moving into a better position. The power structure is a way to hand narrative control to the player (they can influence when that extremely rare event occurs allowing him to save the day at a particularly important moment within the story being told).

I play both games (4E more than PF due to prep time constraints) - our group found that the key to enjoying them is to not try and play one with the rules of the other. If you play pathfinder trying to 'translate' what's going on into 4E-speak, it's weird. Similarly, if you play 4E expecting the various powers utilised in a battle to be isomorphic to the actions being performed by the combatants (the way they are in PF) it will jar. I like the simulationist/gamist distinction when examining RPGs - though I dont think either approach negates the other. It's just about focus, in my view - ultimately the goal is to tell a story, there are two ways to achieve that and the tools of a simulationist game will not do well at providing the ease and clarity that a gamist ruleset will. Nor will a gamist system sit well on those looking for a simulationist approach.


Steve Geddes wrote:
I play both games (4E more than PF due to prep time constraints) - our group found that the key to enjoying them is to not try and play one with the rules of the other. If you play pathfinder trying to 'translate' what's going on into 4E-speak, it's weird. Similarly, if you play 4E expecting the various powers utilised in a battle to be isomorphic to the actions being performed by the combatants (the way they are in PF) it will jar.

Great post!

Also, I like that you use isomorphism in your explanation. :)


Dorje Sylas wrote:

Who does not begin with in physical or even abstracted combat reach.

Does that help make the discontinuity a bit clearer?

Nope.

Quote:

The only things that come to mind are:

• Throw something at them to send them flying
• Hit the ground hard enough to make a shockwave fling the
• Other "shockwaveish" style things including shouting so loud it blows them, swing a weapon so fast it wafts them, etc.

Do any of those match the fluff of the ability in question or is just a random bit add on to make the ability useful?

Cool, you could use any of those if you want. You could also describe it as barking out and your allies responding. Or just making an opening for them to fill.


Tacticslion wrote:

The (two-fold) point: give me something to actually work with and, more importantly, don't make products worse than you used to.

I'm actually batting 2 for 3 with 3.5E books that I consider worst than the worst 4E book. 3.5E books are so off the wall with the philosophy of more is better to the point where I was actually trying to figure out who came up with the idea the demigod of needless complexity. Then you have really weird scenarios where you have page devoted to describing describing a good lich which should be common sense. Sure having a detailed world is fine but I sure as hell don't need to know every single machination that occurred which someone seems to be systemic to 3.5E material.

ryric wrote:


As I said, my experience with 4e is somewhat limited, I've only tried stuff with the original three books. What I'm describing is a core design philosophy for 4e though-everyone gets better at everything at an equal rate. So, after 10 levels, everyone has gotten a +5 to everything - attacks, defences, etc. - so no one is any better at doing anything than anyone else, other than differences from ability scores and feats.

And powers. And classes. And class abilities. As 4th edition stands now you can essentially have an entire parties of certain classes and remain mechanically distinct between them.


I think the word simulationism tends to throw people off the track. Since this term is now in wide use (and in wide misuse), though, it is probably too late to change the appellation for the style of game we prefer. This is somewhat unfortunate, as it will continue to lead to misunderstandings, but there is little that can be done about it.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
ryric wrote:
As I said, my experience with 4e is somewhat limited, I've only tried stuff with the original three books. What I'm describing is a core design philosophy for 4e though-everyone gets better at everything at an equal rate. So, after 10 levels, everyone has gotten a +5 to everything - attacks, defences, etc. - so no one is any better at doing anything than anyone else, other than differences from ability scores and feats.

"other than differences from ability scores and feats" - those are pretty big things to omit from your calculation, and you also omitted initial skill training as well.

The Half Level bonus is teh base level of competency everyone gets as they level, however what distinguishes one character from another is Abilities, Skill Training and Feats.

E.g. Level 1 Human Ranger with Wisdom of 14 (+2), Skill Training in Perception and the Skill Focus (Perception) and Alertness feats has a +12 modifier for Perception.

Compare with the Level 20 Human Fighter with a Wisdom of 12 (+1) and no skill training in Perception or Feats that help has a +11 modifier.

A level 1 character can have a better Perception than a level 20 character! And when that level 1 character gets to level 20 he may have (with an increased Widsom) +24 bonus!

Its an extreme example but I think it illustrates that saying "no one is any better at doing anything than anyone else" is not necessarily true.

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
And powers. And classes. And class abilities. As 4th edition stands now you can essentially have an entire parties of certain classes and remain mechanically distinct between them.

I'm glad to hear that there is more diversity in 4e now. But, I'm unwilling to go buy a back catalogue of over a dozen books to get at that diversity. It should have been included from the start, like with every other edition and with PF. 5e will need it right away if it wants me to actually play it.

I know I could sign up for the online service and have access to all the character building stuff, but that creates another dilemma. An electronic subscription model where all the info is stored online creates the problem where the company really can take your old books away. It seems like when 5e comes out, a lot of 4e players are going to lose access to their material if they've been relying on the online tools. I won't support that kind of model.

DigitalMage wrote:

"other than differences from ability scores and feats" - those are pretty big things to omit from your calculation, and you also omitted initial skill training as well.

The Half Level bonus is teh base level of competency everyone gets as they level, however what distinguishes one character from another is Abilities, Skill Training and Feats.

Its an extreme example but I think it illustrates that saying "no one is any better at doing anything than anyone else" is not necessarily true.

I'll concede the point on skills. (I still prefer skill points though, they let you have a much finer gradiation between skills). I was thinking much more of attacks vs. defenses. I guess based on some comments that feats have gotten a lot better since 4e PHB 1. "+1 to damage sometimes" is not very exciting or distinctive. Also, do classes actually get class abilities past 1st level now?

From 5e I'll be looking for at least as much diversity as the 2e PHB( a low point before 4e)-6 races, 9 classes(counting druids and specialty priests as one class, and counting all specialist wizards as one). It had better also include all the staples- gnomes, druids, illusionists, etc. right from the get go. (Note: these are just important things to me. That should go without saying, but sometimes it bears repeating. IMO, any game that calls itself D&D and doesn't have some of these common elements is a pretender).


Going back to the Internal Consistancy, I think it really depends on one's own view of consistancy and if that applies to a specific game. 4E has a LOT of consistancy when you look at it, like rules for terrain, obsticles, hazards, and the like. I don't care what level you are, Lava is going to be very very bad for you. When you reach a specific level, it should still be dangerous. Instead, because you have enough HP you can walk over it willy-nilly with little problems. No, that's not consistant at all. This scenario, in 4E, would scale with the adventurers making it still as dangerous and destructive hazard no matter what level the PCs are. THAT is consistancy to me.

Another hazard would be a rapid, running river. The PCs at 3rd level could go through it and using various skills (Athletics, Arcobatics, Nature) to navigate the river on foot with a moderate level of success. But just because the Adventurers gained 5 levels in the mean while (making them level 8) they should STILL have a hard time getting across that same river (barring magical aid) because it's realisitc. Should it be a bit easier? Maybe, but not an instant success with low rolls of 2-3-4. It got to a certain point in 3E that skills could become auto-success regardless of whatever you rolled. Skills didn't follow the same rules as a Nat. 20 = Success and a Nat. 1 = Automatic failure. So a wizard knew that he needed to get to Concentration 23 (12th level at earliest) to never have to worry about provoking an attack of opportuinity because of Combat Casting and the DC only EVER reaching a DC 24.

ryric wrote:


I'm glad to hear that there is more diversity in 4e now. But, I'm unwilling to go buy a back catalogue of over a dozen books to get at that diversity. It should have been included from the start, like with every other edition and with PF. 5e will need it right away if it wants me to actually play it.

This is definitly a YMMV type of quote. I never liked Gnomes, never played one, nor thought they were good races for adventuring. So when I ddin't see their inclusion into the 4E PHB, I was over-joyed. It comes down to taste. I was saddened not to see the Barbarian or Druid but I understand why, as they needed more development time. The starting 8 classes were enought for me to have a lot of fun adventuring while waiting for some additional products to hit the shelves. I like that anticipation of what's to come. I remember being very excited with how they were going to do the Blackguard from Hereos of Shadow, the Hexblade from Hereos of the Forgotten Kingdoms, or even the Druid from the PH2. I also feel the whole "I want it now, in one product" mentality the main cause for a quickend rule-bloat scheme. Patience is a virtue, if I'm remembering what that stripper said correctly.


Terquem wrote:


Now let’s look at something from 4e that gets me every time. A fighter, using a power, moves one of his allies a total of up to ten feet as a function of the powers resolution (I don’t recall exactly what this one is called). Okay, that’s cool, but how? How does the fighter move the other character? Is it magic? Great I don’t care, so fighter’s can work magic now, okay, still my favorite game, no real problem. But is it magic? Or is he, maybe, shouting something about his friends safety and that results in the move, or does he, in the blink of an eye dart across the space, take hold of his friend, drag him to the new position, and rush back to where he started from? Again, I don’t care how it is supposed to be explained to me how this works, but I do care that if it works in way “A” then way “A” should be something that works every time. But often in 4e (and this is, again, something about 5e that will have to satisfy me in order for me to become a player – I still stand by my statement that I will buy a 5e, play it is another thing), often in 4e, I say again, the thing that works like “A” in one place works like “A” in...

This is definitely one of the biggest turn offs of 4e for me. I always describe combat pretty vividly. Many powers were just bad like the one above. Basically I can find no reason a fighter should even have a power like that. So maybe the fighter just gets angry and transforms into the hulk and slams the ground.

Or he yells to another character, which SOMEHOW gives the character a free action to move, always assuming the other character would be paying attention to him. Yeah, the powers and their sometimes lame descriptions (sometimes practically taking you to the bullet cam) was the first turn off.

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Diffan wrote:

Another hazard would be a rapid, running river. The PCs at 3rd level could go through it and using various skills (Athletics, Arcobatics, Nature) to navigate the river on foot with a moderate level of success. But just because the Adventurers gained 5 levels in the mean while (making them level 8) they should STILL have a hard time getting across that same river (barring magical aid) because it's realisitc. Should it be a bit easier? Maybe, but not an instant success with low rolls of 2-3-4. It got to a certain point in 3E that skills could become auto-success regardless of whatever you rolled. Skills didn't follow the same rules as a Nat. 20 = Success and a Nat. 1 = Automatic failure. So a wizard knew that he needed to get to Concentration 23 (12th level at earliest) to never have to worry about provoking an attack of opportuinity because of Combat Casting and the DC only EVER reaching a DC 24.

See, in some ways that's exactly my point though - you're saying that the characters never get better at crossing that river, because the DC scales with their level. (Note: I've also been told by 4e fans that the DC of the same river should not increase - basically higher level guys should ford tougher rivers in that interpretation.) Your interpretation makes all the improvements to their skills with level meaningless - so why have it at all?

(Btw, I also subscribe to the school of thought that a 6th level 3.5/PF character is already better than nearly anyone who has ever actually lived historically - so a 12th level guy should be able to easily swim across a storm filled sea, if he wants to.)

One of my big "simulationist" leanings is that things should have set DCs - if the lock is DC 25 to pick, it's always DC 25, whether the picker is 1st, 20th, or 300th level. Same thing with climbing a wall, swimming a river, or searching a room. The DC is innate to the lock, wall, room, whatever.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Terquem wrote:
stuff

Steve Geddes wrote:

better stuff

This really opened eyes. And it is a good comment, from another, that it is possible I was not letting my creativity "out" as I should.

Thank you both

But Steve , seriously you nailed it because I remember having discussions about first edition, way back a long time ago, about how a player's "to hit" roll was not an actual representation of trying to hit something, but instead a roll that represented how over the span of a minute (the old length of a combat round) as the character exchanged several blows with the monster this roll was the odds that one of those blows did some damage. Now that I think about it, 4e just took this concept and made it better, more interesting, and more imaginative.

I really see where I have been wrong for a long time.
Thank you again Steve


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Cool, you could use any of those if you want. You could also describe it as barking out and your allies responding. Or just making an opening for them to fill.

Sarcastic: Oh that's right, I totally forgot that 4e was the ultimate reskinning edition where the fluff doesnt matter at all.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
ryric wrote:
I'll concede the point on skills. (I still prefer skill points though, they let you have a much finer gradiation between skills). I was thinking much more of attacks vs. defenses. I guess based on some comments that feats have gotten a lot better since 4e PHB 1. "+1 to damage sometimes" is not very exciting or distinctive.

That is probably more a valid criticism, but even then there were a few feats that could up your attack bonus significantly, they were just much more situational:

- Weapon Proficiency: Allows you to add the proficiency bonus of the weapon to your attack roll.

- Blade Opportunist: +2 to opportunity attacks with heavy blade or light blade

- Nimble Blade: +1 to attacks with light blade and combat advantage

And of course you have your powers which are very potent indeed!

So for example a 4th level Warlock with Strength 12 (+1) who picks up a Short sword (+3 proficiency bonus, Light Blade and also a One-Handed Military Melee Weapon) would have a +3 attack bonus with it (having to rely on a Basic Melee attack)

Whereas a 4th level Fighter with Strength 16 (+3) with the same sword would have a +8 bonus (and if using his Sure Strike power, admittedly at the expense of his strength bonus on damage, that bonus could be +10).

Now if the warlock and fighter were flanking a foe who moved away provoking an Opportunity Attack the warlock would have a +5 attack (including Combat Advantage) whereas the Fighter if he had both Blade Opportunist and Nimble Blade feats, would have a +13 bonus (including Combat Advanatage & feat bonuses)!

But yes I can see your pov.


Steve Geddes wrote:

[We struggled with this as well initially. The revelation for us came when we realised that 4E (despite it's implicit use of the gaming mat) is not modelling what happens - even at the level of where people are on the battlefield.

There is an implied fluidity of movement - all the combatants are charging around each other, exchanging many blows which are parried and/or negated in some way. The gaming mat is an abstraction, used to standardise such a complex, constantly shifting state of affairs. One power which makes this very clear, for example, is one available to some doppelgangers. If they are engaged in combat with one PC and you attack them, they exchange places with the PC they're fighting and you attack your ally instead. Now clearly, a doppelganger isnt really moving people around on the battlefield (even though the mechanical way of representing their power is to move people around). He looks like your buddy and you got confused in the melee and attacked your friend by mistake.

So it's Warhammer 40K style then? Where they tell scale to take a hike and let you measure from the tip of model even if it's hanging a good inch over the models base. Where close combat is so abstract and swirly that you can't shoot into and yet totally regulated by which models that are in "base to base" physical contact.

Really Sarcastic: I just love the way Games Workshop manages 40k!

There are games out there that do abstracted combat off a grid just fine. The reason to use a grid (and get the minis revenue that Wizards abandond) is to at least try have some relation to the miniatures position and the character/monster's place in the game world. If its just a pop-out abstracted "story" positioning the they should go back to how 2e Player's Option: Combat and Tactics handled this.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dorje Sylas wrote:
So it's Warhammer 40K style then? Where they tell scale to take a hike and let you measure from the tip of model even if it's hanging a good inch over the models base.

Really? Back when I played all measurements were base to base. But then again, I stopped playing when my army list was no longer supported. (Harlequins!)


ryric wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
And powers. And classes. And class abilities. As 4th edition stands now you can essentially have an entire parties of certain classes and remain mechanically distinct between them.

I'm glad to hear that there is more diversity in 4e now. But, I'm unwilling to go buy a back catalogue of over a dozen books to get at that diversity. It should have been included from the start, like with every other edition and with PF. 5e will need it right away if it wants me to actually play it.

Eight classes from which they were all fairly viable and interesting choices on their own as opposed 11 classes from which the viability and class mechanics which wildly swung in many different directions. Yeah.... Forth edition still wins.


Diffan wrote:

Going back to the Internal Consistancy, I think it really depends on one's own view of consistancy and if that applies to a specific game. 4E has a LOT of consistancy when you look at it, like rules for terrain, obsticles, hazards, and the like. I don't care what level you are, Lava is going to be very very bad for you. When you reach a specific level, it should still be dangerous. Instead, because you have enough HP you can walk over it willy-nilly with little problems. No, that's not consistant at all. This scenario, in 4E, would scale with the adventurers making it still as dangerous and destructive hazard no matter what level the PCs are. THAT is consistancy to me.

Another hazard would be a rapid, running river. The PCs at 3rd level could go through it and using various skills (Athletics, Arcobatics, Nature) to navigate the river on foot with a moderate level of success. But just because the Adventurers gained 5 levels in the mean while (making them level 8) they should STILL have a hard time getting across that same river (barring magical aid) because it's realisitc. Should it be a bit easier? Maybe, but not an instant success with low rolls of 2-3-4. It got to a certain point in 3E that skills could become auto-success regardless of whatever you rolled. Skills didn't follow the same rules as a Nat. 20 = Success and a Nat. 1 = Automatic failure. So a wizard knew that he needed to get to Concentration 23 (12th level at earliest) to never have to worry about provoking an attack of opportuinity because of Combat Casting and the DC only EVER reaching a DC 24.

Lava is lava is lava. If a character falls in lava chances are he's going to die. In pathfinder immersion of Lava is 65 points average. For 6 seconds. That is alot of damage. Not many characters are going to survive that. Higher level characters may just be able to get out of it in time. They will still probably have to save vs. massive damage. h

The hazard for rapids should remain the same regardless of their level. A good raftsman can probably successfully cross rapids with little chance of failure. I am OK with Hazards being static regardless of level. They should be. Hazards should not scale with the level of the party. There are also different grades of rapids. Perhaps the grade 5 is too much for your level 20 to take. Run down river find a better place, or the encounter ends. That grade 1 rapids, well the noob has trouble crossing. That level 20 though gets over it practically every time.

I house rule it though. Even if you have a skill you would normally autosucceed in you still have to roll. If you roll a 1 you have to roll a 6 or higher on another d20 to succeed. It kind of makes SOME risk in an auto success.

That wizard that needs the 23... well he is good enough to know he will always succeed at defensive casting. There is nothing wrong with that. he has become good enough.

I don't know how 4e works hazards any more past its first iteration. From what I remember though it was no better than 3rd edition, and I remember it scaling with level which bugged me.


One big difference between 3.5 and 4E in regards to difficulty is that 3.5 assumed that on any given adventure, the party would encounter a wide range of difficulties. Some could be beaten with ease, some all but required you to run away. 4E flattened that out, and made it so that while other challenge levels were assumed to exist, the only ones worth spending any amount of time were equal or higher to your level. Where 3.5 wore you down with lots of little challenges, 4E goes straight for the jugular. If you come across rapids that the party can cross with ease, you simply say you cross it, and otherwise ignore it. I personally prefer the 3.5 approach, as I find having that mixture of challenge levels really helps break up the monotany of long combats, and really helps setup the campaign ending big fight much better.


sunshadow21 wrote:
One big difference between 3.5 and 4E in regards to difficulty is that 3.5 assumed that on any given adventure, the party would encounter a wide range of difficulties. Some could be beaten with ease, some all but required you to run away. 4E flattened that out, and made it so that while other challenge levels were assumed to exist, the only ones worth spending any amount of time were equal or higher to your level. Where 3.5 wore you down with lots of little challenges, 4E goes straight for the jugular. If you come across rapids that the party can cross with ease, you simply say you cross it, and otherwise ignore it. I personally prefer the 3.5 approach, as I find having that mixture of challenge levels really helps break up the monotany of long combats, and really helps setup the campaign ending big fight much better.

Well said.


Mournblade94 wrote:
Lava is lava is lava. If a character falls in lava chances are he's going to die. In pathfinder immersion of Lava is 65 points average. For 6 seconds. That is alot of damage. Not many characters are going to survive that. Higher level characters may just be able to get out of it in time. They will still probably have to save vs. massive damage. h

Sorry but I don't see how it maintains consistancy for that lava pool to kill a 3rd level fighter in one round but doesn't kill an 18th level Fighter as he wades through the pool, waist high, for 3 rounds (18 seconds). That definitly breaks my Verisimilitude. Does gaining 15 more levels cause a morphic change in your physical chemestry, or body compositiion, or gain you special resistances to heat or lava? No, no, and most assuredly no (magic not withstanding). Maybe those sorts of hazards shouldn't be expressed in HP damage, but be more general like "If you spend one round in lava, you have a 50% chance of surviving Or maybe lose 1/2 your total HPs. Two rounds instantly drops you to 0 HP and your considered dying. 3 Rounds and your body is incinerated with no chance of resurrection.

Expressing this in HP only makes it more Game-y[/i\] and allows players to meta-game those hazards or encounters. A Fighter says: "Hmm, I've got 211 HP, so I can definilty make it to the other side of the lava, via swimming, because I can take the total damage before I die."

Mournblade94 wrote:


The hazard for rapids should remain the same regardless of their level. A good raftsman can probably successfully cross rapids with little chance of failure. I am OK with Hazards being static regardless of level. They should be. Hazards should not scale with the level of the party. There are also different grades of rapids. Perhaps the grade 5 is too much for your level 20 to take. Run down river find a better place, or the encounter ends. That grade 1 rapids, well the noob has trouble crossing. That level 20 though gets over it practically every time.

We're not talking about rafting down the river, but fording the river with your feet. Just because your 18th level doesn't mean that you magically know what right places to step, withstand the rushing friged water as it whips past your feet, or beat the under-tow of the current because somehow those levels express your great swimming skills. Sorry, but I feel level is indicative of how you approach combat, defeating monsters, and possible overcoming these sorts of obsticles with a [i]little better ease. Not an instant success as the DC drops far below a roll where you can't fail to make.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sunshadow21 wrote:
One big difference between 3.5 and 4E in regards to difficulty is that 3.5 assumed that on any given adventure, the party would encounter a wide range of difficulties. Some could be beaten with ease, some all but required you to run away. 4E flattened that out, and made it so that while other challenge levels were assumed to exist, the only ones worth spending any amount of time were equal or higher to your level. Where 3.5 wore you down with lots of little challenges, 4E goes straight for the jugular. If you come across rapids that the party can cross with ease, you simply say you cross it, and otherwise ignore it. I personally prefer the 3.5 approach, as I find having that mixture of challenge levels really helps break up the monotany of long combats, and really helps setup the campaign ending big fight much better.

I'm not certain there is actually that much difference in the assumptions of both games. I suspect this is more your personal bias showing through.

Certainly in my Pathfinder game I gloss over challenges I know my party will handle with ease. (There was a trap on the door. Chris disables it and picks the lock, moving on...)

4E is supposed to have a mix of challenge ratings in an adventure. In fact, I think the recommended chart of one +3 challenge, two +2 challenges, 2 -1 challenges, etc is nearly the same in both editions.

Edit: I take that back, the 3.5 DMG is full of lies and recommends a ton of cakewalk encounters. Other than the 1st level or so, I've found that to be rather boring. So in practice, my encounter mix follows the 4E mix.


deinol wrote:

I'm not certain there is actually that much difference in the assumptions of both games. I suspect this is more your personal bias showing through.

Certainly in my Pathfinder game I gloss over challenges I know my party will handle with ease. (There was a trap on the door. Chris disables it and picks the lock, moving on...)

4E is supposed to have a mix of challenge ratings in an adventure. In fact, I think the recommended chart of one +3 challenge, two +2 challenges, 2 -1 challenges, etc is nearly the same in both editions.

Edit: I take that back, the 3.5 DMG is full of lies and recommends a ton of cakewalk encounters. Other than the 1st level or so, I've found that to be rather boring. So in practice, my encounter mix follows the 4E mix.

If 4E was supposed to include a mix of challenge levels, someone forgot to tell that to the writers of the original LFR modules. At least in the ones I played, each encounter tried to up the difficulty from the previous one, and that got as tedious as wading through a lot of blatantly obviously too weak encounters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sunshadow21 wrote:
If 4E was supposed to include a mix of challenge levels, someone forgot to tell that to the writers of the original LFR modules. At least in the ones I played, each encounter tried to up the difficulty from the previous one, and that got as tedious as wading through a lot of blatantly obviously too weak encounters.

I definitely think that 4E's biggest flaw is that at launch it had few (if any) quality adventures to showcase the strong parts of the system. I really don't know what the state of 4E modules are now, as I only run high quality modules from Open Design. :P


Diffan wrote:


Sorry but I don't see how it maintains consistancy for that lava pool to kill a 3rd level fighter in one round but doesn't kill an 18th level Fighter as he wades through the pool, waist high, for 3 rounds (18 seconds). That definitly breaks my Verisimilitude. Does gaining 15 more levels cause a morphic change in your physical chemestry, or body compositiion, or gain you special resistances to heat or lava? No, no, and most assuredly no (magic not withstanding). Maybe those sorts of hazards shouldn't be expressed in HP damage, but be more general like "If you spend one round in lava, you have a 50% chance of surviving Or maybe lose 1/2 your total HPs. Two rounds instantly drops you to 0 HP and your considered dying. 3 Rounds and your body is incinerated with no chance of resurrection.

I could agree with that, but HP is an abstraction. The higher level character might have survived better because there was a piece of granite protruding out he could hold on too. For what its worth, I don't use the Lava rules. I use Lava as instant kill.

Diffan wrote:


Expressing this in HP only makes it more Game-y[/i\] and allows players to meta-game those hazards or encounters. A Fighter says: "Hmm, I've got 211 HP, so I can definilty make it to the other side of the lava, via swimming, because I can take the total damage before I die."

No because the lava is too viscous to allow for that quick of a swim speed.

Diffan wrote:


Mournblade94 wrote:


The hazard for rapids should remain the same regardless of their level. A good raftsman can probably successfully cross rapids with little chance of failure. I am OK with Hazards being static regardless of level. They should be. Hazards should not scale with the level of the party. There are also different grades of rapids. Perhaps the grade 5 is too much for your level 20 to take. Run down river find a better place, or the encounter ends. That grade 1 rapids, well the noob has trouble crossing. That level 20 though gets over it practically every
...
We're not talking about rafting down the river, but fording the river with your feet. Just because your 18th level doesn't mean that you magically know what right places to step, withstand the rushing friged water as it whips past your feet, or beat the under-tow of the current because somehow those levels express your great swimming skills. Sorry, but I feel level is indicative of how you approach combat, defeating monsters, and possible overcoming these sorts of obsticles with a [i]little better ease. Not an instant success as the DC drops far below a roll where you can't fail to make.

Correct because your character is 18th LEVEL does not make him know where to step. However having 18 RANKS in SWIM OR SURVIVAL does.

That is an important distinction. Level has nothing to do with it. Skill ranks do.

Honestly I would make Rapids that are impossible to cross an OBSTRUCTION. I am only entertaining it because you brought it up. 4e however does not handle those obstacles any better than 3rd edition did.

Pathfinder only has rules for fast moving water anyway, nothing for rapids. More than likely rapids are an obstruction.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

MadScientistWorking, I think we've reached the point where we're not ever going to agree here, because to me, this:

MadScientistWorking wrote:
11 classes from which the viability and class mechanics which wildly swung in many different directions.

is one of the best parts about D&D. I want wildly swingy class mechanics, so that every time I play something new, the experience is very different. I want 5e to bring that back.


deinol wrote:
I definitely think that 4E's biggest flaw is that at launch it had few (if any) quality adventures to showcase the strong parts of the system...

I completely agree. Really, what were they thinking?

Taldor

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Terquem wrote:
We are supposed to imagine something magical is happening, and the mechanic for the game says, “Resolve the outcome as if it were something else you already know how works”. Now let’s look at something from 4e ... How does the fighter move the other character? ...I do care that if it works in way “A” then way “A” should be something that works every time.

I agree completely that this is exactly the heritage view that PAIZO has taken with Pathfinder RPG, and its consistent with the origins and history of Dungeons & Dragons. Its like a naturalism that is the source of the rules, and the rules are just useful ways of describing it.

Its nice to know that people dont wabble about, inexplicably moving 10 feet, or sliding, or second winding, or shifting in every day life. Instead, the priests have vespers at certain hours, and if you knock on the door late at night, most will be asleep. Magic Missiles fire as magical arrows from the caster's outstreched hand, and there are alwasys a percentage of miscreants and thieves in any large city. Most guardsmen are semi-skilled men at arms, but nothing special, and in combat the effects of shooting large meteors into tiny dungeon rooms causes the type of ill effects you can imagine for everyone involved.

The giants still have hunks of meat in their sacks, and the labrynths beneath the earth were built by someone or some culture known or lost to history.

The origin and traditions, and history of the game are steeped in this natural sense that the gamemaster already knows. Gygax and others like him often pointed out that gamers already know how to play, we've been doing it since we were children.

So 4e failed before it was even released-even the previews and leaks revealed its wonky leaps of reason and lack of natural common sense. What is obvious from reading over this thread is how our gaming culture has been so diverted by wotc marketing. They propose to say, "for purposes of making money over being stewards of the game, we will, every four years, as though this were some type of college, graduate the old and bring in the new." Honestly, I don't care for throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to good solid quality of the fantasy roleplaying genre created by Gygax. His world is still very much alive and well, so long as trusted industry leaders like PAIZO continue dedicating the game to him, and keeping this style of gaming alive and in print.

5e, 6e, 7e, are all illusions created by marketing to make you re-purchase something just because changes were made. It reminds of how many software items and gaming consoles these days are non-backward-compatible just because they can be. Some of the public has fallen for this trap. I'd rather stick with quality of the fantasy roleplay experience, and with a game I trust because it brings alive in the game the sensibilities we already know and understand. This prevents us from being so co-dependent on materials and the companies who sell them. It keeps our imaginations alive, and still stirs creativity within the GM and the players. It also answers logical questions of consistency, that help us more easily suspend our disbelief enough to stay immersed in the story of the game, not just the tactical widgets invented by the local wotci sophomores who either graduate to a so-called new edition or will be annually fired around Thanksgiving time anyhow.

Quality, consistency, tradition, history, gaming culture, continuity, imagination creativity within a stable ruleset/milieu are all ways we can trust it will be easy to sit down and play a game with strangers or new friends; these aspects help us avoid fragmenting as a gaming community. I am so grateful that we can speak the common language of Pathfinder RPG now, and what a familar language it is!

As it was said earlier, the only impact 5e, or 15e would have is on 4e players and their pocketbooks.

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