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5e and PF - actually fantastic to have both existing (an end to edition wars?)


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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The more I read of 5e, the more I'm starting to think that Pathfinder will need to go through an edition change of its own. While Pathfinder does address many of the issues of 3.5, it is a compromise between a new edition and backwards compatibility. As a result, some of the solutions are more stop-gap than ideal. Take 4e skills vs Pathfinder skills. I'm making a guess that the designers probably wanted to do at least as much consolidation as 4e (or some similarly sizable change to skills), but had to settle with less in order to maintain backwards compatibility. If 5e does end the edition wars, my guess is it won't be to Pathfinder's benefit. To be honest though, Pathfinder has a strong narrative, and I want to see it continue to succeed. It's a very strong IP, and could stand on its own even if a new edition of Pathfinder came out. I actually don't use any of my old 3.5 products anymore and only use Pathfinder.


Stefan Hill wrote:
Diffan wrote:
They now set ALL the DCs, mitigate any and all attemps of Improv. Becomes the ultimate Rules-Lawyer. And of course judge how/when/IF a player can do something. And you can be sure that such judgements will be used against said DM in further game play.
Funny you should see that as a downside. Coming from DMing 1e AD&D that was the job description of the DM and I found at the codfied nature of 3e/3.5e made DMing nothing more than being a human computer to the 'rules'. 4e did reverse this slightly but then they put the albatross of the rules around you neck or battle-mat or nothing. Oh we tried 4e without a mat, but it sort of failed due to the need to know how many 'squares' you were away all of the time. I think had 4e taken the tact 5e has of battle-mat if like or no battle-mat if like then I would have been very happy with 4e for the reason you give - and some of the DM shackles that 3/3.5e forced on us.

do you seriously need the rules to print out "It's Up To The DM To Set The DC Of A Check?" (or to tweak it a bit if the printed number seems off?)

Stefan Hill wrote:
Coming from 1e, D&D is NOT a board game where players and DM's have to play by the same exact rules - rules yes, but they don't have to be universally true for both sides of the screen for the game to be fun.

as someone who started with 3.5 I must disagree:

Having the rules set out and laid out for EVERYONE on the gaming table is what maked P&P RPG attractive for me.

I wouldn't want to play a game where it's all up to the DM,
where, to put it bluntly, I - as the player - don't know the rules
and the DM making the DCs up as he goes along is me not knowing the rules.
For that I have either real life, can play a computer game or go and read a book.

The Exchange

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Well, one of the immediate implications of things being more up to DM fiat is that it discourages players from gaming the system, which I see as one of the immediate consequences of a rule set with hard and fast rules.

I've personally come to realize, having started with 3e and having mostly played 3.5, that a system that sets things in stone in the system causes players to start playing the system above the game. Players will rarely come up with novel solutions to situations when the system comes with prepackaged implications and rulings for pretty much every situation under the sun. Such a system also reduces the DM's role to an arbitrator of rules, the guy who makes sure that all the rules are being followed.

In running Labyrinth Lord I've come to realize that a system that has fewer rules set in stone players will often come up with solutions to overcome challenges outside of what the rules have to offer. While this could be seen as a bug (i.e. there aren't enough rules to cover all the things players might want to try out, so they'll try them out to see how the DM deals with them), I see it as a feature: a system that has room for improvization inspires out-of-the-box thinking and creative problem-solving, both of which I find that more modern, hard-coded systems don't really encourage.

Basically, it comes down to the old-school "rulings" vs. new-school "rules" philosophy. I find that both styles can be supported by the same set of rules, but it's much easier to build hard and fast rules on top of a loose set of guidelines (through, say, rules modules) than it is to strip a hard and fast set of rules into a system that supports more improvization. Because of this I find that in any system it would be better to provide a loose set of guidelines before giving a number of (optional) absolute rules. That way people who enjoy a more DM-reliant game can have their game without all the extra work required to strip the game to its basics.

EDIT: Also, I don't really understand why you take up computer games in your post. If anything, computer games are representative of a genre where there is absolutely no room for improvization or working outside of a hard and fast set of rules. I understand what you're saying about not knowing the rules in a computer game, but at least mostly there is some transparency in computer games that you at least know what the implications of whatever you may attempt in the game are within the system built by the programmers.

EDIT #2: Related to your point about not knowing the rules; one of my best role-playing experiences was a game of Call of Cthulhu that I played in where our GM kept our sanity scores out of our sights, so we couldn't game our characters' loss of sanity. He instead narrated our characters' loss of sanity as hallucinations, forcing us to make perception rolls even when there was nothing to see there, and so on. The effect was positively disconcerting and the game was one of the most horrific experiences of my life in a good way. None of that would've been achieved if we, as players, would've been able to see all of the moving parts of the game. The point is that in a game about dangerous adventures like D&D, you don't really get an immediate sense of danger and risk if you already know the odds of succeeding at everything from the get-go.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DropBearHunter wrote:


I wouldn't want to play a game where it's all up to the DM,
where, to put it bluntly, I - as the player - don't know the rules
and the DM making the DCs up as he goes along is me not knowing the rules.
For that I have either real life, can play a computer game or go and read a book.

It wasn't so much the everything was all up the DM, there were rules - rolling to hit, all the same etc etc. Monster were not put together like PC's because PC's were the heroes so they were the ones that needed the detail. Really bad creatures were NPC's who were made like PC's. Hard to explain, but it worked and was generally faster with less rules-issues than I have as DM of 3.5e D&D.

I would be happy to see PF continue to develop the 3.5e D&D type model and WotC go back to something similar to a hybrid of 1e AD&D and the D&D Rules Cyclopedia.

My personal experience as a gamer since 14 is you start wanting just to play and the rules you want to be simple as you basically don't care - it is the playing and killing dragons that counts, then you get into your late teens/twenties and you want, well 3.5e + splat books + combos of death to show how smart you are, then in the gaming twilight years I have regressed back to a stage I call "can't be bothered with all the b~%&@*!s" - and yearn for the old-school games.

S.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Stefan Hill wrote:
I would be happy to see PF continue to develop the 3.5e D&D type model and WotC go back to something similar to a hybrid of 1e AD&D and the D&D Rules Cyclopedia.

Yeah, me too. I'm hoping they dont get sucked into cranking out 'modular expansions' which just amount to extra complexity. With luck, they've peered over Paizo's fence and seen the value of a well-supported setting with quality flavor material.

Quote:
My personal experience as a gamer since 14 is you start wanting just to play and the rules you want to be simple as you basically don't care - it is the playing and killing dragons that counts, then you get into your late teens/twenties and you want, well 3.5e + splat books + combos of death to show how smart you are, then in the gaming twilight years I have regressed back to a stage I call "can't be bothered with all the b#+#%&&s" - and yearn for the old-school games.

This is exactly our experience, as well (except we werent playing D&D in our 'complexity=better' phase). Largely because we just dont have the time anymore. We play 3-4 hours per week if we're lucky and practically nobody does any kind of preparation outside of that.


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Stefan Hill wrote:
then you get into your late teens/twenties and you want, well 3.5e + splat books + combos of death to show how smart you are,

That's an interesting experience.

Mine is that people move to the 3.5 stage because they realized they hated playing Mother-May-I.

Dark Archive

Jabborwacky wrote:
Take 4e skills vs Pathfinder skills. I'm making a guess that the designers probably wanted to do at least as much consolidation as 4e (or some similarly sizable change to skills), but had to settle with less in order to maintain backwards compatibility.

No need to guess. The alpha playtest had just that sort of consolidation. The outcry from the playtesters made Paizo backpedal in the beta. The majority wanted some consolidation, but felt 4E had gone too far to the point of minimizing the skill system's value. It was less to do with compatibility and more what the playtesters wanted.

Shadow Lodge

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Arnwyn wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
then you get into your late teens/twenties and you want, well 3.5e + splat books + combos of death to show how smart you are,

That's an interesting experience.

Mine is that people move to the 3.5 stage because they realized they hated playing Mother-May-I.

d20/3.X/PFRPG is still playing Mother-May-I. Only Mother is a huge stack of books instead of a person.


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It's not the mother-may-I that's the problem with d20/3.X/PFRPG. It's the gaming-by-comittee attitude that having a rule for everything promotes. When players who know nothing about a GM's world-view or game intentions start trying to dictate the rules, then you have major, game-killing issues.


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Kthulhu wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
then you get into your late teens/twenties and you want, well 3.5e + splat books + combos of death to show how smart you are,

That's an interesting experience.

Mine is that people move to the 3.5 stage because they realized they hated playing Mother-May-I.

d20/3.X/PFRPG is still playing Mother-May-I. Only Mother is a huge stack of books instead of a person.

Even worse, it's a hidden game of Mother May I.

The GM still makes up the world and all the details from which you calculate the odds.
If he wants a chasm you can't jump, he just has to figure out how far you can jump and make it wider than that, rather than just say it's too far to jump. Does that really make a big difference?
If the GM wants to screw you over he can. He can do it without fudging die rolls or making up rules as he goes along. He controls everything in the game world.


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thejeff wrote:
If the GM wants to screw you over he can. He can do it without fudging die rolls or making up rules as he goes along. He controls everything in the game world.

Precisely. And that's what makes a tabletop RPG far superior to a computer game. The fact that there's a person in charge of the world.


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Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
If the GM wants to screw you over he can. He can do it without fudging die rolls or making up rules as he goes along. He controls everything in the game world.
Precisely. And that's what makes a tabletop RPG far superior to a computer game. The fact that there's a person in charge of the world.

Well, only if the GM doesn't want to screw you. If he does, I'll go play the computer game.

But yeah, if you can trust your GM, and you pretty much have to be able to for any RPG, then that's what makes the games work. That's the whole attraction of the hobby.


One point to keep in mind is that writing game rules is not the primary interest of the Paizo folks -- writing adventures is. They only came up with Pathfinder because they had to -- they could not work with 4E because the GSL was too restrictive, and they could not work with 3.5 because it was a "dead" game system unless they made it their own -- which is exactly what they did.

I think that the only unanswered question is which system(s) Paizo will be writing adventures for a couple of years down the road. I am pretty sure that they will still be supporting Pathfiner at that point, but I am not ready to guess what else they might be supporting.

Shadow Lodge

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The thing is, almost every argument I hear against "retro" D&D (and similar games) seems to be based in a deep-seated and inherent distrust of the GM. I mean, I've had a GM or two that I wasn't perfectly happy with, but damn....I get the feeling that some of you want the GM to be replaced with an AI, so that you won't have to bother with pesky "human interaction" thing.


David knott 242 wrote:

One point to keep in mind is that writing game rules is not the primary interest of the Paizo folks -- writing adventures is. They only came up with Pathfinder because they had to -- they could not work with 4E because the GSL was too restrictive, and they could not work with 3.5 because it was a "dead" game system unless they made it their own -- which is exactly what they did.

I think that the only unanswered question is which system(s) Paizo will be writing adventures for a couple of years down the road. I am pretty sure that they will still be supporting Pathfiner at that point, but I am not ready to guess what else they might be supporting.

Honestly, I'm more curious about what companies like Open Design will be able to do. With 4E they had to choose between PF/D20 or 4E for each adventure/supplement. But I'm hoping with D&D Next they'll be able to create one supplement for both systems.

Nothing against Paizo, but they've made their money on the D20 system and that's what I expect them to stick with. The only way I could see them considering switching systems was if D&D Next organized play out distanced PFS, and PFS players are loyal.


thejeff wrote:
Does that really make a big difference?

Turns out... yes. (For a number of people.)

But this idea of making a "chasm you can't jump" on purpose is a little alien to me. As a DM, I just 'make a chasm'. I'm not concerned about making things that a character can or can't do on purpose. Things just are. If the character can jump it... great. If not, then not. Whatever. All that and the player can determine it all on their own without Mother-Maying-I me. And, best of all - it's always consistent (a major flaw on the human DM side, regardless of certain people's protests... because if it is consistent, then you've suddenly got a rule. Done and done).

I can understand why some people don't like the above... but that's not where my interest lies. Consistency, reliability, and predictability are near the top in my book.


Arnwyn wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Does that really make a big difference?

Turns out... yes. (For a number of people.)

But this idea of making a "chasm you can't jump" on purpose is a little alien to me. As a DM, I just 'make a chasm'. I'm not concerned about making things that a character can or can't do on purpose. Things just are. If the character can jump it... great. If not, then not. Whatever. All that and the player can determine it all on their own without Mother-Maying-I me. And, best of all - it's always consistent (a major flaw on the human DM side, regardless of certain people's protests... because if it is consistent, then you've suddenly got a rule. Done and done).

I can understand why some people don't like the above... but that's not where my interest lies. Consistency, reliability, and predictability are near the top in my book.

You probably don't like water hazards on golf courses, am I right? :P

Seriously though, I think the way skills scale in 3E/3.5/PF is out of control, as in, by about 12th level any PC with ranks in jump/acrobatics can make it over any environmental feature they can see. (Okay, maybe not mountains, but anything on a lower order of magnitude than a hill better look out.) Thus I convinced my gaming group to play E8.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I doubt Paizo is going to abandon Pathfinder for 5th edition, or even make any move to support it (if an OGL is produced). They have a rule set for use with their adventures, modules, and setting that they have complete control over. And I don't think they have enough staff or funding to support parallel lines of role playing games without hurting pathfinder.

Frankly, it appears to me that Paizo and WOTC are both going after different groups of role-players. Paizo has the hardcore 3.0/3.5 crowd, and WOTC is hope to bring in 1E and 2nd E crowds and keep their 4E audience. My real question will be whether they will be successful in keeping both audiences to make DnD 5th a success.


thejeff wrote:
If he wants a chasm you can't jump, he just has to figure out how far you can jump and make it wider than that, rather than just say it's too far to jump. Does that really make a big difference?

the difference is in how much thought went into it:

the chasm is best acrobatics modifier + magical buff + 20 wide, you can hear water roaring at the bottom

is a different story than

there is a chasm (I haven't got a clue how far you can jump but) that is too wide to jump
even with that magical buff
and btw. it's deeper than your spiderclimb spell last too
(not that I know how long that is either)

so yes, it is a big difference.

Kthulhu wrote:
d20/3.X/PFRPG is still playing Mother-May-I. Only Mother is a huge stack of books instead of a person.

it's only MMI to people who didn't read the rules

everyone else could know what they can or cannot do.
MMI only comes up for stuff not in the book, like doing a flic flac to pick up dropped weapon as part of movement; to be able to attck in the same round.

huge stack of books?
The chapters Races to Feats is a little more than 100 pages
of that the players need only know their own race, class feats and skills they most commonly use. Is that too much to ask of the players?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

The thing is, a rule set can never exhaustively cover all possible actions a player may want their character to take - so a good ruleset gives the rules for the most common and likely actions and then guidelines on how to handle other actions.

I therefore don't see D&D Next as being a "Mother May I?" system, there seem to be quite concrete rules for many actions, along with guidance to allow the GM to adjudicate other actions not covered.

Monte Cook seems to be talking about just this thing in his blog article here: http://montecook.livejournal.com/254395.html

Here is a pertinent quite from under the section entitled "GM May I?":

Monte Cook's Blog wrote:
Speaking of which, it's also important that the rules present themselves in such a way that the GM isn't providing "permission," he's adjudicating. It's a fine difference, but an important one. When a player says, "Can my character jump across the pit?" she's not asking, "May my character jump across the pit?" She's asking, "Does it seem possible that my character could jump across the pit?" Players are in control of their characters. They don't need GM permission.

Shadow Lodge

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DigitalMage wrote:


The thing is, a rule set can never exhaustively cover all possible actions a player may want their character to take - so a good ruleset gives the rules for the most common and likely actions and then guidelines on how to handle other actions.

Agreed. And people vary on how much they consider "enough" for the rules to cover. I personally like a lot less. For me, 3.X/PFRPG already tries way too hard to be exhaustive, and suffers for the effort. For some others, they probably wish it covered more. Neither one of us is wrong..we just have different styles.

Spoiler:
Although my style is better than your style. :P

I like the basic concept of d20 system...roll a d20, apply a modifier, compare to a Dificulty Class...it's a great mechanic. Unfortunately, the "apply a modifier" step is where the system begins to fall to pieces. The system suffers the death of 1000 modifiers...most rolls in the game have way too many modifiers coming from way too many places. It's not just exhaustive, it's exhausting.

Shadow Lodge

Stefan Hill wrote:
The D&D Rule Cyclopedia for me IS the most awesome D&D ever made. Speak about setting the gold standard for one book ever needed. I'm still amazed that so many RPG these days pack so little content into so many pages...

It's one of the best. I don't think I've run across rules for mass battles in a fantasy setting that compare to the BECMI/RC rules yet.

However, I'd have to say that I prefer Swords & Wizardry: Complete on the whole. Luckily, all the pre-d20 versions of D&D are close enough that you can generally plug stuff from one system into another with minimal conversion.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
The D&D Rule Cyclopedia for me IS the most awesome D&D ever made. Speak about setting the gold standard for one book ever needed. I'm still amazed that so many RPG these days pack so little content into so many pages...

It's one of the best. I don't think I've run across rules for mass battles in a fantasy setting that compare to the BECMI/RC rules yet.

I still amazed by the completeness of the Rule Cyclopedia. Not many games include such mass battle rules for truly epic play, not to mention the rules on making a land to lord over - which are very fun to use on 9th+ level PCs. I would say that the system in Birthright (2e) was more complete regards to lands and lording etc but I don't know if it was better as such in terms of fun. Add in the weapon mastery rules from the Cyclopedia and the whole Wizard vs Fighter argument doesn't seem as bad as in 3/3.5e/PFRPG.

Real shame this book hasn't been reprinted.

S.

Shadow Lodge

Stefan - Have you heard of Dark Dungeons? It's a Rules Cyclopedia retro-clone. People who are really itching to have a copy of the out-of-print RC but unwilling to pay the often quite high price could do worse than to settle for Dark Dungeons.


-If a DM wants to kill the party, they die. If the DM is a jerk his players stop playing. No rule set will prevent a DM from being a jerk, nor will a ruleset force the players to stop playing. The fact that so many DM's are power hungry jerks has more to do with the fact RPG's appeal to power fantasies deeply held by 40 year old virgin types. Unlucky at cards and love, they see DM'ing as their chance to revenge themselves on a harsh cruel society. Sadly this is all to common.
-Original DM's were strongly, strongly, against the party. It was party VS DM but at some point the hobby was supposed to move on beyond that. Some people missed the memo.
-Honestly as DM, I can say, the pit it too big, or I can say maybe. Maybe means you have a chance. It might be 5% it might be 90%. But those rules are there.

Shadow Lodge

Stefan Hill wrote:


I still amazed by the completeness of the Rule Cyclopedia. Not many games include such mass battle rules for truly epic play, not to mention the rules on making a land to lord over - which are very fun to use on 9th+ level PCs. I would say that the system in Birthright (2e) was more complete regards to lands and lording etc but I don't know if it was better as such in terms of fun. Add in the weapon mastery rules from the Cyclopedia and the whole Wizard vs Fighter argument doesn't seem as bad as in 3/3.5e/PFRPG.

Yeah. It's funny to me that the "Basic" line includes some options like mass battle and weapon mastery that never made it over to the "Advanced" line. Hell, mass battle rules never even made it into the core rules of ANY edition...other than BECMI/RC.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As others have said, it all comes down to group dynamic.If the DM/GM/Referee/Story_Teller/etc is bad, then the game suffers. I a player is bad (be he/she a Rules Lawyer, Power Gamer, or whatever)then the game suffers. I have had the greatest times with a great group even when the system was (to put it kindly) "not so great" and I have had the worst times with great rule sets where one or two members of the group "drug everyone else down" (be they running the game or playing it).
Bottom Line: Game system doesn't matter to me as they all have their pros and cons.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:

Funny you should see that as a downside. Coming from DMing 1e AD&D that was the job description of the DM and I found at the codfied nature of 3e/3.5e made DMing nothing more than being a human computer to the 'rules'. 4e did reverse this slightly but then they put the albatross of the rules around you neck or battle-mat or nothing. Oh we tried 4e without a mat, but it sort of failed due to the need to know how many 'squares' you were away all of the time. I think had 4e taken the tact 5e has of battle-mat if like or no battle-mat if like then I would have been very happy with 4e for the reason you give - and some of the DM shackles that 3/3.5e forced on us. Coming from 1e, D&D is NOT a board game where players and DM's have to play by the same exact rules - rules yes, but they don't have to be universally true for both sides of the screen for the game to be fun.

S.

I have a similar view. The reason I preferred 4E to PF was basically the increased amount of DM fiat. It didnt seem a common position, but I found it closer to AD&D than 3.5 was. I'm encouraged by the focus of expanding this role for the DM in the latest iteration.

I see the big difference between 1-2E and 4E in this regard is that 4E is a guideline system. The DM makes most of the choices and in fact must choose but there are tons of tools that say 'for characters of X level here is the guideline for your choices'. The DM is always free to deviate but there are these guidelines so the DM can quickly get to the default choice.

Now all of this is on the DM side - the players side remains very structured. In effect the DM uses creativity with guidelines to build the scenes and adventures - which is usually where the DM most wants freedom of control while the players use structured character creation systems...which is usually where they most want a stable system that they can evaluate. Players don't usually like playing Mother May I with their characters they want things to be concrete...in 4E the Dm does not have a lot of power to change this element (without really going crazy with rule 0) while the players can't tell the DM how a necromancer works - necromancer is the DMs domain and it works however the f*** the DM wants it to work.

This is probably what I like most about 4E. The players get the part of the game most important to them to be structured which is usually what they are looking for the DM gets the scene creation and adventure design freedom which is usually the part most near and dear to the DMs heart. Each side does make a compromise in the part of the game where the other side is most invested.

We then kind of get into a slightly unusual case where combat once it starts is generally very structured while social scenes are not very structured at all (and what structure that one does see in the DMG should be ignored - its mainly done away with in later updates).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
If it can't bring back PPD, PP, RSW, BW, S saves, it's no good. =)

I thought it was PPD, RSW, PP, BW, S :P


WormysQueue wrote:


I remember that at a certain point I was totally confused by the way they kept telling me that the game would remain the same (with or without french accent) while at the same time changing it into something which didn't seem to have anything to do with the game I actually was playing.

I see these types of comments, but completely don't get it. I have been playing D&D since '79, and there was NOTHING in 4E that made it 'not D&D'. Did something happen that you stopped rolling dice and roleplaying? All the things that made up the D&D feel exist in every version. I very strongly dislike 3E. It was the only version of D&D that made me stop playing the game after 3.5 released. But that doesn't mean that it still didn't feel like D&D. They all do.

And before someone jumps in with "you need a grid", you can save that one. The grid has been a strong component of the game since 2nd Edition Players Options, and we have used minis since the beginning of D&D.


theroc wrote:
I see these types of comments, but completely don't get it. I have been playing D&D since '79, and there was NOTHING in 4E that made it 'not D&D'. Did something happen that you stopped rolling dice and roleplaying? All the things that made up the D&D feel exist in every version. I very strongly dislike 3E. It was the only version of D&D that made me stop playing the game after 3.5 released. But that doesn't mean that it still didn't feel like D&D. They all do.

Well, I didn't stop "rolling dice and roleplaying", but then I did that in Call of Cthulhu, Feng Shui, Gurps, Champions and many other systems and none of them felt like D&D to me. 4E didn't either, but it was close enough that I kept expecting it to. Thus the dissonance.

It took a long time for me to warm up to 3E when it came out, but it didn't feel as foreign as 4E.

Edit: Of course, we're discussing feelings, which are necessarily subjective.


thejeff wrote:

Well, I didn't stop "rolling dice and roleplaying", but then I did that in Call of Cthulhu, Feng Shui, Gurps, Champions and many other systems and none of them felt like D&D to me.

Jeff, you caught me. I jumped ahead in my response to directly hit those things Edition Warriors complain about when saying 4E didn't feel like D&D (grid, roleplaying, etc). Your point of those don't affect other games feel is valid, and the point I was trying to make is simply that I have not heard a valid reason for "it doesn't feel like D&D because..." Thanks for keeping me honest.

Most of this really depends on the DM, and maybe some DMs had trouble adapting to the new system. When watching Chris Perkins DMing, it shows what can be done with the system.

Please don't take my comment as a slam on Pathfinder players. I think we should all be friends in the hobby we love. I am in the same boat as 3E players were...WotC also prematurely killed the version I enjoy (4E). So I will likely play 4E (and 1st and 2nd Edition) when D&D Next releases...unless it blows me away. Never know...I delayed looking at 4E for a while until I finally checked it out and was pleasantly surprised. And as great as Paizo has taken care and understood their customers, I wish my favorite version was in their hands, not WotC.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@theroc:

I think 4E stopped feeling like D&D to me because, while D&D has always been a game, 4E abandoned anything like a simulationist approach and went completely to the game side of it. It was, if anything, too balanced. In earlier editions, an elf was not the same as a human or a dwarf in power levels -- a lot of that got smoothed out in 3.x, but it was still present to some extent.

In retrospect, I feel like 4E was a great miniatures tabletop skirmish game where all the classes were balanced against each other and had very defined roles which no amount of player creativity could break them out of.

The magic items, too, felt very generic. Far from moving magic items back to the mysterious and cool aspects in 1E/2E/BECMI, they felt even more like simple bolt-ons to your class.


Thorkull wrote:
In retrospect, I feel like 4E was a great miniatures tabletop skirmish game where all the classes were balanced against each other and had very defined roles which no amount of player creativity could break them out of.

Out of curiosity, did you try? Nearly every class can be tricked out to satisfy a different role than the one it's commonly described as. Some of them are even arguably better than in their original role! For instance, even pre-Essentials, you could make some astonishingly powerful striker Fighters.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Thorkull wrote:
4E abandoned anything like a simulationist approach and went completely to the game side of it.

I can agree with part of this, though I feel as much as 4e went to the game side of it, 4e also pushed more towards a more narrative perspective, putting what makes a good story above simulation-ism e.g. having NPCs be able to do what the plot requires of them; letting the players decide when circumstances conspire to allow their fighter to pull off that once a day killer move (as opposed to letting the dice determine it) so that the killer move is used on a henchmen or main villain rather than "wasted" on a mook.

Thorkull wrote:
The magic items, too, felt very generic. Far from moving magic items back to the mysterious and cool aspects in 1E/2E/BECMI, they felt even more like simple bolt-ons to your class.

Again I can sort of agree with this, though TBH I can see much the same thing in 3.5 and PF. Apparently in DDN this is going to change so that magic item powers become more mysterious than just +1 Longsword with d6 extra fire damage. They talk about magic items growing with the PC which remind me of Earthdawn and how you research a magic item to unlock new powers and weave threads between it and you.

Silver Crusade

Stefan Hill wrote:


If WotC's plan is too make people leave Paizo they will fail. I suspect they are providing another style of play of a fantasy RPG however.

When my cousin was in nostalgic rapture after I gave him the play test documents, this is exactly how I felt. He felt in rapture because the rules reminded him of Original/BECMI D&D. I, however, felt it was time to look to the future and I can't wait to see the Character Creation rules pop up! :)

I asked a friend of mine, who I don't hate as a person but was rabid about 4th ed, if he saw any 4th ed influence in the play test materials -- he said he did. I'm betting on that we see a lot of 4th ed. influence in character creation.

Grand Lodge

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DigitalMage wrote:
Thorkull wrote:
4E abandoned anything like a simulationist approach and went completely to the game side of it.

I can agree with part of this, though I feel as much as 4e went to the game side of it, 4e also pushed more towards a more narrative perspective, putting what makes a good story above simulation-ism e.g. having NPCs be able to do what the plot requires of them; letting the players decide when circumstances conspire to allow their fighter to pull off that once a day killer move (as opposed to letting the dice determine it) so that the killer move is used on a henchmen or main villain rather than "wasted" on a mook.

I was using Simulationist and Game in the definition of the Threefold Model. I wasn't addressing the Drama side of the model as you can adjust Drama largely independent of game mechanics. To sum up, I feel 4E pushes a Gamist approach rather than a Simulationist approach, regardless of how Dramatist it is.

Thorkull wrote:
The magic items, too, felt very generic. Far from moving magic items back to the mysterious and cool aspects in 1E/2E/BECMI, they felt even more like simple bolt-ons to your class.
Again I can sort of agree with this, though TBH I can see much the same thing in 3.5 and PF. Apparently in DDN this is going to change so that magic item powers become more mysterious than just +1 Longsword with d6 extra fire damage. They talk about magic items growing with the PC which remind me of Earthdawn and how you research a magic item to unlock new powers and weave threads between it and you.

As I said, "far from moving ... back to ... mysterious". I fully acknowledge that 3E+ moved away from that, but I feel like 4E ran screaming from mystery in your magic items.

Silver Crusade

Come to think of it, if 5e can make us forget that 4e had happened, then it would accomplish something WotC has never foreseen. Gamers coming together and forgetting the mistakes of the past.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Thorkull wrote:
I was using Simulationist and Game in the definition of the Threefold Model. I wasn't addressing the Drama side of the model as you can adjust Drama largely independent of game mechanics. To sum up, I feel 4E pushes a Gamist approach rather than a Simulationist approach, regardless of how Dramatist it is.

I guess I just perceive it differently, the Gamist emphasis didn't seem to me to change much between 3.5 and 4e, but rather the Simulationist focus changed more to a Narrativist focus (for me the idea of Encounter and Daily martial exploits is purely a narativist pacing mechanic for example).

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