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Something 4th Ed D&D did that I liked...


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

51 to 100 of 175 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge

Wiggz wrote:
I didn't really intend this to be an across the board comparison between the two games

You can't mention 4E around here without getting the whole argument.


I hate the implementation of minions. There shouldn't be some arbitrary deliniation of minion, standard, rare, elite, etc... like some stupid mmo.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Or a miniatures war game.


TriOmegaZero wrote:


So drop the grid and measure everything in 1 inch increments.

As I said, I don't particularly care one way or another how this is done in-game - if I run 4E, I'll run it with diagonals always counting as one, if I run Star Wars Saga Edition, I'll run it with diagonals always counting as two, and if I run 3.5 or Pathfinder, every other diagonal square will count double. I'm just saying, making the argument that diagonals should always be 1 square and anything else "makes NO sense. NONE" is completely ridiculous, so long as actual mathematics support the way 3.5/Pathfinder does it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
TOZ wrote:

I tried using minions in my 3.5 game. I probably used too many.

But it was an exercise in tedium having the fighters wade through them one hit at a time.

In our group it's definitely overuse that makes them tedious. They're a good occasional concept - it's a pretty iconic scene to have heroes wading through hordes of enemies who (even though individually they're not much of a challenge) can't be ignored. Nonetheless, it works best as an occasional feature of an encounter, rather than as a 'typical' encounter.

.
They make no sense if you view hit points as a physical property, rather than as an abstract measure of 'ease of killableness', so I doubt they'd fit the game of those who approach RPGs as simulations.

Silver Crusade

Machaeus wrote:

Honestly, I liked that they tried to dumb down the mechanics. Before you throw things, hear me out.

Honestly, you just pointed out one of the things about 4E that I hated most. I do not like "dumb and dumber" systems (like 4E). Systems should make sense-- but I like to think, so I don't mind complexity and detail, so long as it serves a purpose beyond simply being gratuitous complexity.

(I'm trying to refrain from commenting too much on this thread, because I didn't like much of anything about 4E, and the few things I might have found at least tolerable, were done better by other games before 4E was designed/developed/released)

Silver Crusade

Goblins Eighty-Five wrote:

~GETTING RID OF THAT STUPID DIAGONAL MOVEMENT RULE. NO! Do NOT defend this rule. It makes NO sense. NONE. Someone tried, I made them walk outside, and *GASP* you get to places QUICKER when you move diagonally, not the same rate. It's STUPID. And of all the rules I moved into Pathfinder from 4ed, this is the one that shall forever move with me. I've NEVER seen it abused in practice.

You mean the rule that confirms that in 4E circles are really square, there are no rounded edges, and your characters live in a world where Euclidean geometry does not work? Yeah, that rule... Goes right along with the one that shows fireballs bursting in perfect large cubes, rather than spherical explosions...

I will defend Pathfinder's (and 3.5's) diagonal movement rule, because it's the approximation that makes the most sense (mathematically) and comes closest to representing actual distances while keeping things snapped to grid squares for ease of mapping and tactical display. The ONLY defense for 4E's diagonal movement is that it makes things simpler for people who cannot understand basic math and elementary geometry (or, to be fair, may understand them, but can't be bothered to actually apply such basic principles in their play).

The way you explain 'Endurance' in your post, really disgusts me. I'm sorry, but if you can do all those remarkable things? A 10 mile hike should be really easy...

Really, still can't think of any mechanics that I thought 4E did better.

One thing I gotta give you though: The Raven Queen was pretty cool. Some of the fluff was interesting, amusing, and might have been worth keeping around. But I've still seen Goddesses of Death in similar style, done before 4E was on the scene, and done better (Pharasma comes to mind immediately...).

Silver Crusade

Wiggz wrote:

I didn't really intend this to be an across the board comparison between the two games, but I'll throw this in as well:

I really liked 'at-will' powers, especially for casters. We're working on doing something similar for our current campaign.

You know, I think they already have 'at will' powers for spell-casters in Pathfinder... *lemme check the rules here*

Yep, they're called 'Cantrips' and 'Orisons'. They even include a few at-will attacks for the wizard and sorcerer types (acid splash, ray of frost, et al.). All other classes (and wizards and sorcerers too) have always had some at-will powers: use of skills (non-combat) and attacking with whatever weapons you're carrying (or even bare-handed).

Shadow Lodge

Finn K wrote:
You mean the rule that confirms that in 4E circles are really square, there are no rounded edges, and your characters live in a world where Euclidean geometry does not work? Yeah, that rule... Goes right along with the one that shows fireballs bursting in perfect large cubes, rather than spherical explosions...

You may wanna look to Pathfinder before making too much fun of 4E here. As I put it in another thread, a fireball is...

"Strictly using Pathfinder rules, it's an ugly lego-block looking chunk of fire that looks like it was built in Minecraft."


Ashiel wrote:
Dropping enemies to 1 HP and calling them minions, but otherwise leaving them unchanged, causes horrible problems in game balance. For one, they should slaughter parties pretty regularly, because honestly the sheer number difference would be enough to kill everyone.

That really depends on the CR of the creatures you're minion-izing, doesn't it? A group of 1st level PCs against 15 goblins, even if they're all just minions by this definition... sure, they're going to have a hard time of it with the action economy, but also because of the ratio of CR to APL. There's not enough of a gap. But 15 minion'd goblins versus a party of 3rd level PCs is going to be more on target.

Silver Crusade

Kthulhu wrote:
Finn K wrote:
You mean the rule that confirms that in 4E circles are really square, there are no rounded edges, and your characters live in a world where Euclidean geometry does not work? Yeah, that rule... Goes right along with the one that shows fireballs bursting in perfect large cubes, rather than spherical explosions...

You may wanna look to Pathfinder before making too much fun of 4E here. As I put it in another thread, a fireball is...

"Strictly using Pathfinder rules, it's an ugly lego-block looking chunk of fire that looks like it was built in Minecraft."

You may want to look at what I (and others) have said about the Pathfinder (and 3.5) diagonal movement rule being a good approximation for keeping the mapping/tactical display on a grid-squared map, and think about how that applies to spell and effect templates. In the fluff (and as far as your characters in game perceive it), it's spherical-- in game, that chunky lego-looking block is the best approximation available while fitting it to a tactical map divided up by 5x5x5 cubes (which is better than just making it a large cube, 4E style).

I accept the limitations of using a grid for ease of display while playing as a matter of common rules, game play, and reducing the equipment necessary to enjoy the game. Otherwise, my preference would be for ignoring the grid-squares (except as an aid for the GM in drawing out maps) and just measuring distance for movement, range, etc with a tape measure, while using proper geometric templates for area effects. I also like using facing in games, though for ease of play and common usage, I accept that facing doesn't apply in the PF games I play in.


getting back to minions for a moment: what they really do well is lower the book keeping. set damage per hit, no hp to track, they're ideal for when you want to throw a mob at the pcs.

OTOH you're the DM. bookkeeping is kind of your purpose for the game. minions are a nice addition in the right circumstances, but they encourage laziness if used too often.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm a big fan of minions, both as a player and when I GM. Used properly they can add a lot of fun to a combat and the shape of the battle moves quite quickly as minions are taken out of the picture. I like the presence of monsters on the field which deal out enough hurt to care about, but which can also be taken out of the battle pretty easily.


While minions aren't a perfect approximation of the concept, I like them - and I like them much better than ignorable 1-hd monsters for this purpose - as sort of the action-movie equivalent of mooks that the characters can't ignore, but which go down easy. If you watch a kung fu movie where the hero (or another character who is about to look cool) gets surrounded by mooks, he kicks and punches and chair hits them and they all go down in one hit (or one combo). That's badass. He doesn't walk around them and proceed to fight the real threat. That's not to say that 1-hd monsters are worthless in a high level fight, but I like the "offensively and defensively nearly equivalent, but don't stay around forever" nature of 4e minions.

Game experience made me eventually switch over to the one-square-is-one-square model of movement for movement. (Though not for spell effects. Call it inconsistent if you like.) I still like the idea that walking diagonally doesn't magically make your character go faster by a factor of the square root of two or whatever, but it's just faster and cleaner and more fun, especially when you like to use complex battle areas, like I do, with difficult terrain and things to jump over or whatever. There are times where it's okay to have to sit there and work something out, but too many instances of a player counting out a bunch of different paths to see if he could get where he wanted convinced me that it was a complexity not worth holding on to. I'm not saying that there aren't groups that it isn't right for (smaller groups probably don't mind waiting out combat for boring stuff sometimes, and some DMs set every combat on the Demielemental Plane of Flat White Paper), but I don't really miss it.

Silver Crusade

Joyd wrote:


Game experience made me eventually switch over to the one-square-is-one-square model of movement for movement. (Though not for spell effects. Call it inconsistent if you like.) I still like the idea that walking diagonally doesn't magically make your character go faster by a factor of the square root of two or whatever, but it's just faster and cleaner and more fun, especially when you like to use complex battle areas, like I do, with difficult terrain and things to jump over or whatever. There are times where it's okay to have to sit there and work something out, but too many instances of a player counting out a bunch of different paths to see if he could get where he wanted convinced me that it was a complexity not worth holding on to. I'm not saying that there aren't groups that it isn't right for (smaller groups probably don't mind waiting out combat for boring stuff sometimes, and some DMs set every combat on the Demielemental Plane of Flat White Paper), but I don't really miss it.

The 3.5/Pathfinder rule (every other diagonal to a square counts 2 instead of 1) doesn't seem complicated at all to me in practice; and is mathematically just about as close as you can get anyway, if you insist that each character must end up fully occupying a square on the grid (instead of halfway between squares-- unless you're making really long moves or calculating drastically long ranges; even then it's close enough for a game IMO).


Foghammer wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Dropping enemies to 1 HP and calling them minions, but otherwise leaving them unchanged, causes horrible problems in game balance. For one, they should slaughter parties pretty regularly, because honestly the sheer number difference would be enough to kill everyone.
That really depends on the CR of the creatures you're minion-izing, doesn't it? A group of 1st level PCs against 15 goblins, even if they're all just minions by this definition... sure, they're going to have a hard time of it with the action economy, but also because of the ratio of CR to APL. There's not enough of a gap. But 15 minion'd goblins versus a party of 3rd level PCs is going to be more on target.

If the GM is running the goblins like they want to win/survive/achieve victory, the goblins will kill the PCs under this condition. 15 goblins w/gear vs 4 3rd level PCs will more than likely be a slaughter, unless the PCs have significant tactical advantages that the goblins simply don't.

The entire point of minions is to have monsters that are A) dangerous, B) mooks. In 4E they kind of work because of the way stuff scales in 4E, and how limited your options are in 4E against enemies who are a higher level than yourself.

In 3.x/PF, lower CR enemies in groups are already significantly dangerous. This was both why I liked minions in 4E, but then became disenchanted with them. I realized I already had minions in my 3.x games, and appealed to my sense of verisimilitude more effectively than 4E minions did.

On a side note, minions in 4E will slaughter parties if run by a GM who uses them to their potential. This is less so with the minions listed with minor static damages in the MM, but if you follow the general rules for minions you do not change anything (including damage) except for their HP, which led to PC death more often than most anything else, merely because they all came built with what amounted to Improved Evasion, so anything beyond a direct hit just wouldn't cut it.

Soldier (type) minions with ranged attacks tended to be the scariest, as they tended to have high +hit, good damage, solid focus-firing ability, and were typically statistically difficult to land damage against. Since minions aren't required to be stupid, most can easily spread out to avoid being mass-mopped by the piddly 4E AoE magics of their pretend-wizards (in comparison to pre-4E where wizard magic was something beyond weaksauce blasting).


Gorbacz wrote:
My borders of verisimilitude are rather stretchy, but the notion of a goblin in blue trousers going down to a poke from a pointy stick while a goblin in red trousers next to him takes 10 rounds of hacking with a chainsaw to take out does quite stretch said borders.

You sure like to exaggerate don't you? Regardless I do see the appeal for wanting the minion mechanic within the game, however I think that it's just not balanced for the game considering touch attacks.

As for the labels for monsters for 4E I think they're a good idea. It helps the dm scrolling through monsters to find things that fit what they want. Like perhaps nuker, damage dealer, etc. (I'm aware these are terms not used by the bestiaries for 4e.)

I think that pathfinder could improve some by implementing some features found in 4e. Of course I still prefer pathfinder anyday. ;)


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Foghammer wrote:

Borrowing and assimilating ideas to improve on something that exists separately is not a bad way to go.

Unless those ideas come up against and conflict with the fundamental mechanic of your core. Which many do. As a creator of my own little game systems and a GM of some 30 years now, I have had plenty of time to try to shove square pegs into round holes. There's a reason that phrase exists, and it's because sometimes the peanut butter doesn't go well with the chocolate.

I think a more rational and sane statement would be that it's always good to try new things. That does not mean that trying to integrate those things into every facet of your life (or game system) is always a "good way to go."

Foghammer wrote:

Your analogy is flawed, too. It's more like we're walking into a fast food chain and saying "you guys could do this too, and I would give you my money." Also, seems like most fast food chains have at least attempted to create a taco meal for their menu.

The other poster's analogy is out of my hands, but let me throw one out at you. I do not go to a jazz festival hoping for some heavy metal. Yes, they could attempt it, but would they be any good at it? Or to use your corrected analogy, Jack-In-The-Box long ago realized that if they made tacos, people would eat them. Their tacos still suck.

Using that analogy, one could say that in principle minions might be a clever idea. But principles stand on their own. They change when you put them into context. Minions in D&D or Pathfinder might suck. Like a taco at Jack-In-The-Box. I have no personal opinion, since I have not used that mechanic (though I have my own houserules for dealing with mob fights).

But I thought that, while we were slinging bows and arrows of reason about, you might like to have your own tortured logic pointed out to you. (No need to thank me.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Foghammer wrote:
Kagehiro wrote:
...which leaves you with a Big Mac in a tortilla.

I fail to see how continuing that analogy furthers your argument except to troll the thread. Nice waste of space.

Man, someone's grumpy. Don't assume everything I'm saying is laced with venom. I was trying to make a point with humor, but I guess that failed.

The point I apparently failed to make is that when companies try to replicate successes of other companies, it often ends up nothing like what they are imitating. WotC wanted to pull in a new crowd (not a terrible notion, even though the execution proved less fruitful than they'd hoped) and so changed the game mechanics around to accommodate that vision, borrowing some ideas that are currently prevalent in MMORPGs. Bioware performed a similar maneuver with their Dragon Age titles.

There's nothing wrong with evolving a game or system, so long as it is properly adapted and adopted to fit the game or system it's being added to. The danger seems to come when there is an underlying assumption that because X was successful for B, X must also be successful for A.

Dark Archive

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Joyd wrote:
but too many instances of a player counting out a bunch of different paths to see if he could get where he wanted convinced me that it was a complexity not worth holding on to.

Bam! There ya go. And bringing up examples about mathematics? Sounds complicated. Yep, I am that stupid, I don't know what you're talking about, I don't think I passed elementary geometry. Although my gaming table does include one engineer, it otherwise includes English majors, Theater Majors, and Homemakers. It's a pain to count out diagonal square movements at a 1:2 movement ratio. One square equals one square, no matter what. It is why I wish hex maps could be used with more ease; however, it's a pain to draw dungeons and maps without straight lines. But to each his own. If it helps you make sense of a world in which everyone moves at exactly the same pace, and creatures larger than a mack truck can achieve flight with their wings, then more power to ya!

@Finn K: What I meant to say is that you can do all those awesome things in Pathfinder/3.5, but NOT hike easily. Endurance made it so that you could jog around the earth twice without breaking a sweat. At higher levels of course.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Finn K wrote:
Wiggz wrote:

I didn't really intend this to be an across the board comparison between the two games, but I'll throw this in as well:

I really liked 'at-will' powers, especially for casters. We're working on doing something similar for our current campaign.

You know, I think they already have 'at will' powers for spell-casters in Pathfinder... *lemme check the rules here*

Yep, they're called 'Cantrips' and 'Orisons'. They even include a few at-will attacks for the wizard and sorcerer types (acid splash, ray of frost, et al.). All other classes (and wizards and sorcerers too) have always had some at-will powers: use of skills (non-combat) and attacking with whatever weapons you're carrying (or even bare-handed).

I'm talking about powers that remain useful beyond 2nd or 3rd level... what we're looking at is a list of spells from which the wizard gets to choose one to be an 'at-will' spell, usually for the cost of a couple of feats. One player has suggested that the ability replace the additional feats Wizards get at 1st and every 5 thereafter, which seemed like a fair enough trade-off.

The list we're considering is:
Burning Hands
Ki Arrow
Magic Missile
Chill Touch
Corrosive Touch
Shocking Grasp
Sleep
Ray of Sickening


The 3.5 Complete Mage had reserve feats which spellcasters could take. They gave the casters at-will supernatural powers they could use, whose strengths were based on the highest level spell they could cast that was connected to the feat in question.

For example, there was a feat that allowed you to use a short-range 5ft AoE fire effect that deal 1d6 damage per level of the highest level [fire] spell you could currently cast (either prepared for wizards or known with slots available for sorcerers). Thus if your highest level [fire] spell prepared was burning hands, it dealt 1d6 fire damage. If your highest level was fireball, 3d6. If meteor swarm or heightened 9th level fireball, then 9d6. There were other feats that let you do stuff like summon elementals, inflict status penalties, etc.

This is one of the reasons I like psionics. Psionics lets you pace yourself and none of your stuff becomes useless. A psionic character can spread themselves out marathon style by just choosing to spend less points on their powers. Sure you get weaker powers, but you can keep it up for far longer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The bloodlines/hexes/domains/specialist school abilities are a nice step in the right direction in regards to [At Will] spells. In my experience, the inadequacies of spellcasters (Wizards in particular) have always been a purely low-level phenomenon. Mid-High level, they already have enough going for them that an inexhaustible supply of magic missiles and sleeps might be overdoing it. That's not to say I don't see the appeal, and as is the truth in almost every case it is ultimately going to boil down to what kind of game you're interested in playing/running. I've always loved the Vancian magic system, though, and the specialist abilities more or less cured the one gripe I had about it (low level uselessness).

Let's not forget that there are options in the game that allow casters to greatly supplement their existing spell repertoires. If your daily spell slots aren't proving to be enough to get the job done, you can spend some downtime to scribe a few scrolls, create a wand to free up slots that might have otherwise went to magic missiles/fireballs/lightning bolts, etc.

Shadow Lodge

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I've never used the 1:2 diagonal movement rule in 3.5. Too much work for not enough gain.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I like the idea of minions, and depending on the type of fantasy you are trying to recreate in PF or 4e, they absolutely can have a place in the game.

Personally in PF I would tend to just create appropriately leveled foes and just say they have minimum hitpoints (as if they rolled 1s for each hit dice) - that would leave you with mooks who have no more than around 10 hit points, enough for a solid enough hit to take down in one go.

As for diagonal movement, I am good with maths, I understand the logic behind it, but I find that its not always easy to remember whether that diagonal I just moved my mini was his second or his third, and therefore whether it shoudl cost 5 feet or 10 feet of movement. TBH I have found few players ever move full out in a diagonal manner, and therefore the difference in the two methods rarely comes out to be 1 or 2 squares, something I can live with.

As for area of effects in 4e, I don't think my fireball is square, more that the blast reaches into those squares to a greater or lesser degree meaning foes in those squares take damage (or not).

Neither PF or 4e are particularly accurate when it comes to modelling areas of effect powers, apart from splash weapons most AoE powers have a uniform power throughout the area, rather than it being worse getting caught at ground zero, rather than on the periphery. Neither do the rules account for the force of a blast hitting a solid wall and rebounding effectively creating a worse effect. Although I was used to Shadowrun having such rules I don't begrudge PF or 4e for taking a less realistic and easier approach.

Silver Crusade

Ashiel wrote:

The 3.5 Complete Mage had reserve feats which spellcasters could take. They gave the casters at-will supernatural powers they could use, whose strengths were based on the highest level spell they could cast that was connected to the feat in question.

I liked the reserve feats in 3.5 quite a bit. They were usable by divine casters too, so they gave some measure of fixing for all casters. I would prefer something like the 'Reserve' feats to the method Wiggz suggests.

Kagehiro wrote:

The bloodlines/hexes/domains/specialist school abilities are a nice step in the right direction in regards to [At Will] spells. In my experience, the inadequacies of spellcasters (Wizards in particular) have always been a purely low-level phenomenon. Mid-High level, they already have enough going for them that an inexhaustible supply of magic missiles and sleeps might be overdoing it. That's not to say I don't see the appeal, and as is the truth in almost every case it is ultimately going to boil down to what kind of game you're interested in playing/running. I've always loved the Vancian magic system, though, and the specialist abilities more or less cured the one gripe I had about it (low level uselessness).

Let's not forget that there are options in the game that allow casters to greatly supplement their existing spell repertoires. If your daily spell slots aren't proving to be enough to get the job done, you can spend some downtime to scribe a few scrolls, create a wand to free up slots that might have otherwise went to magic missiles/fireballs/lightning bolts, etc.

I find the Vancian magic system to be a really interesting concept. In practice, I really prefer playing spontaneous-casting classes, but that is a personal preference, not an objection to Vancian magic still being part of the game.

Your comments about caster inadequacies being a 'purely low-level phenomenon' rings true in my experience; and the compensations of a good selection of magic items being an excellent compensator for the problem of running out of spells. I have played in 3.5 campaigns where we did not do the '15 minute work-day' though, where even high-level casters were running out of spells before we were able to rest and recover-- in those games, the 'reserve feats' mentioned above were also excellent and just what we needed for covering that problem of running out of juice.

Silver Crusade

TOZ wrote:
I've never used the 1:2 diagonal movement rule in 3.5. Too much work for not enough gain.

*shrugs*

Military maps have square grids too-- but if you try 4E distance measuring for land navigation, you're going to be very very lost (not to mention dropping your shells way short if you're calling in mortars or artillery).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Finn K wrote:


I find the Vancian magic system to be a really interesting concept. In practice, I really prefer playing spontaneous-casting classes, but that is a personal preference, not an objection to Vancian magic still being part of the game.

I think it does the best job of capturing that image of the studious wizard, poring over tomes and research notes every spare minute. The versatility in spell lists is also extremely appealing. I've not encountered another system that comes close to matching the scope of D&D's spell lists. The four spell compendiums for 2nd edition AD&D were my bread and butter.

Not surprisingly, the changes to spells are what immediately turned me off to 4th Edition. I took one look at the spell descriptions and started fighting down the bile. After trying to play an "Enchanter" for a couple of sessions, I quickly arrived to the conclusion that it wasn't for me. I should probably stop there, though, as I know how volatile a subject it is to get into around here. Suffice to say, in my book, Pathfinder is exactly what I'm looking for in a spell caster.

Silver Crusade

RE: comments on 'Vancian' magic:

Kagehiro wrote:


I think it does the best job of capturing that image of the studious wizard, poring over tomes and research notes every spare minute. The versatility in spell lists is also extremely appealing. I've not encountered another system that comes close to matching the scope of D&D's spell lists. The four spell compendiums for 2nd edition AD&D were my bread and butter.

I quite agree with you here. I suppose it's not a coincidence that most of my character concepts for mages in D&D (since 3.0 made it an option) have been people who "are magic" (better represented by sorcerers) rather than people who have to study magic to be able to use it. As a GM and player, I like having both types in the game world-- for my own characters though, my preference for what to play is clear. I have enjoyed watching my gaming compadres playing characters in the 'Vancian-casting' classes a lot, often in the same game as one of my 'non-Vancian' casters (currently, one of the games I'm in actually features a Cleric from one of the other players, alongside an Oracle that I'm playing).

(the changes to spells and etc were an early-warning sign to me regarding 4E, too. My opinion of that game is already on record in this thread, so I will leave it at that-- it's an argument where the sides are sufficiently entrenched that it's not worth discussing.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've never been known for playing sorcerers, but I've found that they are a remarkably handy resource when I am GMing. Simply put, it's quicker to formulate a coherent spell list for a sorcerer than a wizard given barely a moment's notice. I find that my train of thought when designing a sorcerer is always to have the spells reflect a theme, be it something as simple as fire/cold/lightning or otherwise, which is why I love the Bloodlines class feature they added.

A friend of mine is doing his first Pathfinder/3.x adventure with us currently, and he chose to do an Oracle. Gotta say that I like what I've seen thus far. Nice to see new takes on Divine casters; preachy zealots and devout worshipers are fun and all, but exceedingly commonplace.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Finn K wrote:

*shrugs*

Military maps have square grids too-- but if you try 4E distance measuring for land navigation, you're going to be very very lost (not to mention dropping your shells way short if you're calling in mortars or artillery).

I'd also be in trouble if I tried to jump normally while on the moon. ;)

There's also the fact that creatures do not occupy the full 5 foot square they are in. A creature making a 30 foot move on the grid could actually be only moving 20 feet, from the corner of the square he starts in to the closest corner of the square he ends in.

The game is abstracted, and trying to stick strictly to real world physics is not something I care to waste my game time with.

Dark Archive

I likes the skill challenge system of making 3 successes before 2 fails. If makes the challenge less random for a skilled person to fail at changing a tire.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Finn K wrote:

*shrugs*

Military maps have square grids too-- but if you try 4E distance measuring for land navigation, you're going to be very very lost (not to mention dropping your shells way short if you're calling in mortars or artillery).

I'd also be in trouble if I tried to jump normally while on the moon. ;)

There's also the fact that creatures do not occupy the full 5 foot square they are in. A creature making a 30 foot move on the grid could actually be only moving 20 feet, from the corner of the square he starts in to the closest corner of the square he ends in.

The game is abstracted, and trying to stick strictly to real world physics is not something I care to waste my game time with.

Pretty much this. :P

Dark Archive

A couple of the player options in 4th were pretty cool...
... a dual weapon characters able to double attack as a standard action (Doublestrike could be a feat accessable at a lower level)
... wands and staffs that can be accessed at lower level


A couple of things in this thread surprise me. Which might just reveal my own bias, but they surprise me just the same.

The first is the minion love. I really can't fathom that. The entire concept of minions is absurd to me, so absurd that it totally destroys verisimiitude to me. Minions create a "Barnaby Jones" reality to me. (For those who may not catch the reference, BJ was a senior citizen private detective played by Buddy Ebsen, aka "Jed Clampett".)

In the BJ series it was a weekly occurence for Barnaby to be attacked by snipers from rooftops, or lurkers in doorways or any other means to dispatch the redoubtable Mr. Jones. After the assailant would shoot at, stab at, or punch our stalwart septugenarian, Barnaby would instantly dispatch the evil-doer with one quick punch or snap shot with his pistol. It was friggin' hilarious, and all the more so because it was treated as if it were completely realistic. That describes Minions perfectly for me.

The second thing that surprises me is the acceptance and support for treating diagonal movement like right angle movement. I don't really mind this but I don't get it either. When I hear people say "it's easier, I don't have to do any math" my mind just goes into a sort of stunned silence.

Really? No kidding? Counting "1, 2, 1, 2" etc... actually qualifies as MATH to some people? Weird.

That's what I appreciate about these forums. In some cases it really seems like a totally different world to mine.

Not worse, but definitely different.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You game with people that can't keep their Fighter's attack rolls straight, you tend not to force them to do any more math than necessary. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
You game with people that can't keep their Fighter's attack rolls straight, you tend not to force them to do any more math than necessary. :)

I gamed with a finger-counter. Apparently 1d8+3 damage was the most epic undertaking known to man. Every. Single. Time.


I liked:
Getting all hit points back after a night's rest.
2 ability score increases instead 1 at greater frequencies.
Encounter building was easier for GM's.
My party always had fun with the minions and a whole bunch of them has proven to be a viable threat, via concentrated fire/damage.
The skill system, though I wished it was easier to get more skills trained without costing a feat.

I became discouraged with:
Magic item system being too restrictive.
Early system "Solos" and "Elites" really needed more action economy in their stat block; well the newer ones might have gotten better but I haven't had a chance to check out.

Off-Topic:
I think the APG was what got me firmly pulled me towards Pathfinder from my 4e preference (I had invested in Pathfinder products since the Beta even while DM'ing 4e in order to keep up with alternate systems). A whole book with wonderful crunch that introduced mostly balanced classes with suitable mechanics to differentiate from the core classes, such as the witch and oracle being standouts in my opinion. Also archetypes instead of prestige classes or paragon paths? Much better!


I have to admit, I too liked the concept behind minions, just not the way it was implemented...then again, Lair Assault is about the only kind of game I enjoy in regard to 4E in general, but I digress. I implemented minions as follows, after much tweaking in gameplay:

They come in three power levels, none of which HP are tracked: Scrub, Grunt, and Bob.

Scrub's: Takes one hit before dropping...except an attack that is a 'threat' will kill it out right, Has improved initiative and evasion. These like to team up and become a squad (adapted from Star Wars Saga). A single melee attack is made against a single 5 foot square, however, the attack is resolved as an area attack, where the PC suffers half damage on a miss, normal damage on a hit, and max damage with a crit.

Grunt's: As scrub, with the added benefit that they get to make at least one attack before dying. They also get Back to Back, Feint Partner, Outflank.

Bob's: These are Elite Minions. They can take a number of hits equal to highest Constitution Modifier of the sturdiest PC in the group. As grunt, now has Improved Evasion. Add in the feats Precise Strike, Seize the Moment, Improved Feint Partner, Improved Back to Back. Bob's are typically put with lesser scrubs or used as defenders of the BBEG.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Souphin wrote:

A couple of the player options in 4th were pretty cool...

... a dual weapon characters able to double attack as a standard action (Doublestrike could be a feat accessable at a lower level)
... wands and staffs that can be accessed at lower level

You might want to check out the two super genius products Krazy Kragnars Magic Staff Emporium

and Rune Staves and Wyrd Wands

Both of these provide options for wands and staves at lower levels. And rune staves and wyrd wands specifically have them acting as implements designed to enhance and alter your casting as opposed to the standard spell in a can wands/staves that are in the core rules.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Te first is the minion love. I really can't fathom that. The entire concept of minions is absurd to me, so absurd that it totally destroys verisimiitude to me. Minions create a "Barnaby Jones" reality to me.

Minions can also create a Conan the Barbarian or Star Wars vibe as well, so to many people they allow those types of genres to be re-created - where the heroes can dispatch unimportant thugs with a single swing of a sword / shot of a blaster, and yet when they face the major villains and the henchmen it becomes a more protracted conflict with injuries being suffered on either side.

So while I can understand Minions not being genre appropriate in every type of fantasy game, I don;t find the concept absurd.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Really? No kidding? Counting "1, 2, 1, 2" etc... actually qualifies as MATH to some people? Weird.

As I mentioned up thread, for me its never an issue with the actual maths, more a case of remembering the number of diagonals crossed, especially if movement is interupted by Attacks of Opportunity.

Player: "Okay I move 1 forward, then 2 diagonal, then 3, 4 forward, then 6 diagonal.."
GM: "That diagonal is in difficult terrain so will count as 3 squares"
PLayer: "Okay so, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7... and then another two squares forward, 8, 9..."
GM: "That provokes an AoO from this guy here as he has reach, rolling and....hits AC 15"
Player: "yep that hits"
GM: "and, 4 points of damage"
PLayer: "ok, and carrying on, another diagonal, is that my second or third diagnonal"
Player 2: "Your third"
Player: "Ok" <retraces path of mini> "so 1, 2, 3, 4,..."
GM: "Remember that second diagonal costs 3 squares"
Player: "..7, 8, 9 and 10 for that third diagonal"
GM: "No that third diaginal costs 2 because your second diagonal was difficult terrain and so cost was doubled, so in effect that third diagonal was your fourth - if you see what I mean"
Player: OKay, in which case I go 11 on that last diagnonal, and then one square forward!"


@digitalmage,

The Conan vibe is perfectly doable with low level "minions" who can be dispatched with ease by powerful heroes. Creating one hit point minions adds nothing except the ability for low level characters to do the same thing as powerful characters. I guess I want my characters to earn the ability to mow down minions.

The example you give below is just as "confusing" for the 4e model as soon as you introduce difficult terrain, which effectively duplicates the whole "oh, that's right, that square counts as 2 squares" problem. If you can manage difficult terrain in 4e, you can manage diagonal movement in PF.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Quite simply, you cannot travel as far in one direction as another because you are stuck to a grid. No matter which method you use, you do not move as far on a diagonal as you do a parallel path.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
The Conan vibe is perfectly doable with low level "minions" who can be dispatched with ease by powerful heroes. Creating one hit point minions adds nothing except the ability for low level characters to do the same thing as powerful characters. I guess I want my characters to earn the ability to mow down minions.

Fair enough, although I personally would have more of an issue playing a 12th level character facing CR 2 or 3 characters as "Minions" as in most cases those "minions" would not be a credible threat and the PC could walk through them knowing his AC was high enough with enough of a buffer of HP that he can take any hit.

The 4e Minion rules allow for level appropriate threats that get taken down easily. And they do that regardless of the level of the PCs - so yes, if I want that Conan vibe at level 3 I can get it (my last 4e campaign I ran only lasted from level 3 to level 6).

This is why I actually liked Star Wars d20 RCR, the NPC classes only had Wounds equal to Con score, no matter their level. So you could have 12th Level Thugs who were still a credible threat but could still get taken out in one laser blast.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
The example you give below is just as "confusing" for the 4e model as soon as you introduce difficult terrain, which effectively duplicates the whole "oh, that's right, that square counts as 2 squares" problem. If you can manage difficult terrain in 4e, you can manage diagonal movement in PF.

Difficult terrain is just an extra complicating factor, its the problem of remembering how many diagonals I have moved, difficult terrain can just change the the rule of "every even number diagonal counts for two".

In 4e the example would go something like this
Player: "Okay I move 1 forward, then 2 diagonal, then 3, 4 forward, then 5 diagonal.."
GM: "That diagonal is in difficult terrain so will count as 2 squares"
PLayer: "Okay so, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6... and then another two squares forward, 7, 8..."
GM: "That provokes an AoO from this guy here as he has reach, rolling and....hits AC 15"
Player: "yep that hits"
GM: "and, 4 points of damage"
PLayer: "ok, and carrying on, another diagonal" <retraces path of mini> "so 1, 2, 3, 4,.."
GM: "Remember that second diagonal costs 2 squares"
Player: "..6, 7, 8 and 9 for that third diagonal, and then one square forward 10, done."

But yes, I can handle it (I run 3.5 and PF RAW) but I can find it ever so slightly more difficult, with no real gain in realism for me because at most it results in maybe only gaining one or two extra square or so (see my example above in PF that would be 12 squares but in 4e 10).

So, in summary its not a matter of being able to handle it or not, its the ease of play versus the benefit the rule provides (which can vary by player).

I am sure that you would be able to play Rolemaster but I am sure that you can agree that heavy chart referencing in combat may make things slightly more time consuming and / or difficult and that PF's HP system, while potentially less realistic is easier, no?

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, if we're going to have a thread about 4th Ed things that we like (for once!), I'm going to have to nominate the Warlord class - I'm a fan of the archetype of a warrior whose foremost ability isn't his own strength but the tactical insight to put his allies where they can maximize their effectiveness. Before the warlord was introduced, you had to sing(!) to do that. Later still came the APG's Cavalier class, which is a solid example of this role.

I also approve of the healing surges - the mechanics could be improved, but they do two things that always bugged me about 3rd edition: they limit how many times a day your body can go from "nearly dead" to "perfectly healthy" before you just can't take it anymore. Also, they make the amount of healing granted to you by magic a proportion of your hp. When you think about it, the names of all PF's healing spells are total misnomers. At first level, 'cure light wounds' is a spell that can restore over half the hp of most characters (how is that a 'light' wound?), and at 20th level, you're lucky if 'cure critical wounds' restores even one-sixth of your hp (so it's really more of a 'mildly alleviate critical wounds').

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