The Core Mechanic


4th Edition


Over on the digital dragon there is an 'article' that generalizes some alterations to the core mechanic.


interesting
I cant wait to see how that works
seems like more rolling for the DM
heh
though this statement kinda bothers me "When a dragon breathes fire on you, it attacks your Reflex and deals half damage if it misses."

Now does that mean anytime a dragon breathes on you? or I'm assuming it means, after it has already rolled an attack for said breath weapon.


swirler wrote:
seems like more rolling for the DM

Yeah, but that's 4-6 less dice that the players roll.

DM: Here's your save. If you're a 14 or less, you take full damage.

swirler wrote:

though this statement kinda bothers me "When a dragon breathes fire on you, it attacks your Reflex and deals half damage if it misses."

Now does that mean anytime a dragon breathes on you? or I'm assuming it means, after it has already rolled an attack for said breath weapon.

No change in the current system. Dragon Breath is an AoE, so it doesn't require an attack roll.


I really like this idea, especially rolling touch AC into Reflex. It simplifies at the same time it makes rogueish classes actively improve at evading such attacks; very cool.


I haven't gotten a chance to read the article, but if what everyone is saying is what it sounds like, it sounds like they've broken the idea of AC into its various types--reflex for dodgy rolling and ducking and weaving, fortitude for thick tough armor that protects from injury, and willpower for rugged determination to ignore injury and press on.

I really like this idea. I'm not sure if it will work any more realistically either, but at least it seems like they care enough to rethink it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
tdewitt274 wrote:


Yeah, but that's 4-6 less dice that the players roll.

DM: Here's your save. If you're a 14 or less, you take full damage.

It would be rather horrible for it to be like that. One lucky roll by the DM means the entire party takes high damage. Less averaging of the damage out among the party.


Grimcleaver wrote:

I haven't gotten a chance to read the article, but if what everyone is saying is what it sounds like, it sounds like they've broken the idea of AC into its various types--reflex for dodgy rolling and ducking and weaving, fortitude for thick tough armor that protects from injury, and willpower for rugged determination to ignore injury and press on.

....

No. thier are four types of defense AC, Fortitude, Reflex, Will. So the three saving throws of third edition are replaced with defense score. This will make it easier to teach new players for sure. I am guessing it will also speed up play.

But I will miss the savong throw. I loved those moments. Life or death of a character comes down to a single die roll. That has been a stable of D&D since the first edition AD&D's save v. death magic. I don't give a reap about WotC's spin "drama you don't need". I loved the drama when a player was rolling a save for his characters life.

Good times.

Good times.

Contributor

But now when you do something that triggers a save for your opponent, you make the roll to see how effective your spell, special attack, whatever is. So it really doesn't change how much die rolling anyone does.

(Besides, the way the d20 mechanic works, it's easy to switch who makes the roll in any situation: 10.5 = d20.)

Liberty's Edge

From the article:

"Ever faced one of those life-or-death saving throws? Hours, weeks, or even years of play can hang in the balance. It all comes down to that one roll. There’s drama in that moment, but it’s drama you didn’t create, and you don’t want."

I love that kind of drama. Those dramatic life or death scenes in the game are what me and my group talk about years down the road. What will we say now. "Hey remember that time the DM rolled a die, while I sat there and listened to him kill or spare my character. Yeah that was awesome!"

It seems like this will only increase the number of times the players can say the DM has it in for em. Regardless I like having the fate of my character hang on a die roll...my roll. But that's just me.

Thoughts?


DedmeetDM wrote:


It seems like this will only increase the number of times the players can say the DM has it in for em. Regardless I like having the fate of my character hang on a die roll...my roll. But that's just me.

Thoughts?

yeah i was explaining what I read to my gf (one of my players) and she was like "that will suck, they are taking away my power over my rolls as a player"

we'll see

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
tdewitt274 wrote:
No change in the current system. Dragon Breath is an AoE, so it doesn't require an attack roll.

No, actually, it is a change to the current system. That's why dragons can crit with their breath weapons and wizards can crit with fireballs. I predict many TPKs when the dragon breath crits. "Ok, so the dragon is breathing in this cone.. and I roll... oh 20... ok, roll to confirm..... oh, can you guys take 60d6 of damage?"

This IS the way area effects work in SW Saga Edition and it looks like it WILL BE the way 4th Ed D&D area effects work.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

What gets me is this. Fighter crits and lets say 1d10+5 dmg twice... ok. Now the Wizard crits his fireball and it's 5d6 x2 minimum. All because and I quote, "Have you played a spellcaster and been a little envious of the excitement of other players when they roll critical hits? Have you wished that you could do that for your spells?"

So basically somebody felt left out so we better make them feel better. It's like saying congratulations son your team just placed last out of 400 others. Here's a trophy for you. I HATE that mentallity.

EDIT: Geez my spelling and grammer suck tonight. (More so than normal... I think.)

Liberty's Edge

Hmm, is the DM supposed to roll just one attack for the AoE and see whose defense it beats, and if he rolls a 20, everyone is critted? I'm sure many DM's will resort to rolling once per PC - which will slow down the game but will also prevent many tableside pummelings.

I'll probably roll damage then roll the attack against every defense score caught in the area, and apply damage as is, halve it, or double it accordingly.

I may put the defense roll in the players' hands as well.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Pygon wrote:

Hmm, is the DM supposed to roll just one attack for the AoE and see whose defense it beats, and if he rolls a 20, everyone is critted? I'm sure many DM's will resort to rolling once per PC - which will slow down the game but will also prevent many tableside pummelings.

I'll probably roll damage then roll the attack against every defense score caught in the area, and apply damage as is, halve it, or double it accordingly.

I may put the defense roll in the players' hands as well.

kind of like, I don't know... a Saving Throw?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

HOW FREAKING AMAZING!!! I would have never thought. LMAO

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Funny, when I want to crit, I'll toss a spell with an attack roll.

The look of dread on the DM's face when I roll the nat 20 with Orb of Force almost matches the look when the huge sized power attacking fighter crits on 17-20.

Scarab Sages

I like the drama of the Player saves. But I do see how it "simplifies" things. Basically all "rolls" are attack rolls vs defense score. 3e has a mix of attack rolls vs defense scoe and defense rolls vs attack score (saving throws)...whatever.

Fireballs will most likely NOT do 10d6 dmg from a 10th level wizard...Its looking like they'll be on some sort of 1d6+10 dmg mechanic for the same 10th level wizard, so critting won't be as crazy as you think.

I've flirted with a house rule that works quite well, but it does slow things down slightly:

Area of effect spells have a "target" square. Creatures in that square save at vs DC+4, next square DC +2, all others DC+0. Creatures who save MUST immediately move 1/2 movement AWAY from from "target" square as a free action (using up any free actions) or to "just outside" AoE whichever comes first. If they do not have any free actions then they can only take a single standard action or move action on their next turn. If you are unable to move, you take full damage.

Seems complicated, but it makes AoE's really dynamic. The circumstance bonus to the DC can be changed, and we tried various incarnations, but that seemed "the best". We also considered lowering the damage of AoE's since for the most part, people were facing "higher" DCs. What we did insted was make all AoE spells 1 level higher than listed. That seemed the best.


swirler wrote:
DedmeetDM wrote:


It seems like this will only increase the number of times the players can say the DM has it in for em. Regardless I like having the fate of my character hang on a die roll...my roll. But that's just me.

Thoughts?

yeah i was explaining what I read to my gf (one of my players) and she was like "that will suck, they are taking away my power over my rolls as a player"

we'll see

For what it's worth, that's almost word for word what went though my head when I read the "article." The change will definitely change the game, but I don't see how four people rolling a die at the same time is any slower than one person rolling and the other four checking their "Reflex AC."

I think it's going to seem like the DM capriciously and arbitrarily throwing out numbers that the players have no control over. The danger can be mathematically identical, but when it's you rolling the die, it feels like you succeed or fail, not someone else determining the outcome by fiat. One of the core tenets in 3e was to leave as many decisions in the hands of the players as possible (ie: no railroading) and this seems like a giant step backwards.


Karelzarath wrote:
I think it's going to seem like the DM capriciously and arbitrarily throwing out numbers that the players have no control over. The danger can be mathematically identical, but when it's you rolling the die, it feels like you succeed or fail, not someone else determining the outcome by fiat. One of the core tenets in 3e was to leave as many decisions in the hands of the players as possible (ie: no railroading) and this seems like a giant step backwards.

I agree. The replacement of saving throws made by players with attack rolls made by DMs will make players feel less in charge of their character's destiny. It will also take a great deal of drama out of an exciting encounter. And from my perspective as a DM, I'd rather have each player rolling a die and being involved than rolling the die myself and telling them the result, especially if the result of the missed save takes one of their PCs out of action.


I gather from some of the replies about, "Oh no, my saving throws are being taken away!" that not all of You have considered the implications for happens on the flip-side of the DM screen.

That is, players rolling their own saving throws isn't the real issue here. That's something that is resolved pretty quickly and it's a dreadfully simple matter for a Star Wars Saga (or 4th Ed) group to house rule to retain the dynamic of players rolling their own saves.

The REAL issue is when a PC attacks a group of monsters with an AoE spell. When that happens in 3E, all the monsters don't each roll their saves all at once like the players sitting around the table do — instead the DM has to sit there making rolls for all the monsters while the players twiddle their thumbs. THAT and consistency (i.e. the notion of the attacker always being the one to make the d20 roll) are the primary motivators behind a change like this.

While it's a ridiculously simple idea, how many of You can honestly tell me that Your DMs were already doing this to speed up gameplay when the PCs attack monsters? Certainly not a majority I'd wager.

As an experiment, I borrowed this mechanic during the last session I ran and it worked very well. A couple of the players were initally concerned/sentimental over not getting to roll their own saves but it sped up AoE resolution 10-fold — there were certainly no complaints about the accelerated rate of combat. In addition, the characters like rogues, rangers and scouts tended to get away with 1/2 or no damage with the same frequency as before and vice versa. For those characters who had items or class ablities that allowed a 1/day reroll, I allowed them to reroll the enemy's magical attack roll for themselves when they opted to use that ability — it worked like a charm.

In terms of maintaining the suspension of disbelief (i.e. immersion), the best comparison I can draw is to avoid ridiculous situations often presented by Strength checks... You know, the ones where the burly fighter with 19 Strength fails to budge a stuck door, yet the scrawy wizard (Str 8) pops it open just because of a lucky roll.

At any rate, I'm just happy to see that this method will be core because it accelerates combat a great deal and with knowledge of what has come before, a DM can easily allow the players to have all the fun, i.e. getting to make magical attack rolls against the enemies AND rolling their own saves! It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if there was a sidebar on that page of the PHB or DMG listing this as a "behind the scenes" or suggested variant rule.


I think I might actually like a lot of the 4th edition crunch. Unfortunately, I am almost certain to hate all of the 4th edition fluff.


Stedd Grimwold wrote:
I've flirted with a house rule that works quite well, but it does slow things down slightly:

I find it interesting how many people house rule D&D to play more like Hero.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'm still concerned about the 'core mechanic' when it comes to this critical bit.

Assuming HP work the same in 4.x as they do in 3.x you're talking about a massive upscale of damage on a crit. That 10d6 fireball normally does an average of 35 pounts. If a crit doubles damage as normal, it means that the same fireball thrown by the bad guy, will do an average of 70 points of damage on a nat 20 attack roll, with everyone in the blast radius taking that full damage.

Sounds great when your 10th level wizard is fighting a swarm of frost giants. Not so much when your party of 8th level characters gets toasted by it. Insert rerolling of characters here.

Dark Archive

swirler wrote:
DedmeetDM wrote:


It seems like this will only increase the number of times the players can say the DM has it in for em. Regardless I like having the fate of my character hang on a die roll...my roll. But that's just me.

Thoughts?

yeah i was explaining what I read to my gf (one of my players) and she was like "that will suck, they are taking away my power over my rolls as a player"

we'll see

One more reason not to switch to 4th edition. They are taking away one of the most meaningful and dramatic die rolls in the game because it will take a few seconds for the players to roll their saves. Way to go WotC. If more streamlined means less fun and dramatic tension, you can keep your dumbed down rules. I can see a wizard making an attack roll against a group of goblins relex defense making things quicker, but if a pc is getting blasted by a fireball or breath weapon, they should make the roll. Of course, there is also the problem of AoE spell crits TPKing parties with frightening regularity.


I'm sure I read somewhere that Fireballs no longer do level-d6 of damage.. which would make sense given a new crit mechanic.


CourtFool wrote:
Stedd Grimwold wrote:
I've flirted with a house rule that works quite well, but it does slow things down slightly:
I find it interesting how many people house rule D&D to play more like Hero.

My thoughts exactly! If only there was an easier way to get the Vancian feel of the magic system in Hero...

Scarab Sages

tdewitt274 wrote:
CourtFool wrote:
Stedd Grimwold wrote:
I've flirted with a house rule that works quite well, but it does slow things down slightly:
I find it interesting how many people house rule D&D to play more like Hero.
My thoughts exactly! If only there was an easier way to get the Vancian feel of the magic system in Hero...

Sometimes House rules are actually "borrowed" rules ;-)


Stedd Grimwold wrote:
tdewitt274 wrote:
CourtFool wrote:
Stedd Grimwold wrote:
I've flirted with a house rule that works quite well, but it does slow things down slightly:
I find it interesting how many people house rule D&D to play more like Hero.
My thoughts exactly! If only there was an easier way to get the Vancian feel of the magic system in Hero...
Sometimes House rules are actually "borrowed" rules ;-)

Maybe WotC is paying attention to DOJ and will integrate the maneuvers into 4e? DODGE, people! Why is there no Dodge in D&D? And no, not that stupid Feat. Sacrifice an Attack action in your next round to save your hide in the current one!

That's it, I'm switching to Hero. Someone give me a calculator! ; )


tdewitt274 wrote:
If only there was an easier way to get the Vancian feel of the magic system in Hero...

Have you checked out Killer Shrike's Wizardry system?

tdewitt274 wrote:
Someone give me a calculator!

Still having problems dividing in half in your head?

Dark Archive Contributor

They are moving the die rolls to the attacker. Period. It doesn't say that the dragon makes one crit and kills the party. Odds are that the dragon will have to make an attack roll against each defender, simply reversing saving throws (I could be wrong).

The article also mentions removing save-or-die rolls. At least, that's how I read it. Not simply changing who rolls it, but removing them entirely seemed to be the point.

So now, when the wizard blasts the BBEG with disintigrate, he rolls his attack. If it's a nat 20, there will be no DM fiat that "it's not dramatic enough". The villain is most likely going to feel it.

Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but too many seem to be searching for holes in the new edition before they read the rules...


Don't have to search hard. (snicker)


I think that may have been the shortest article ever on WoTC's site but probably the best one so far. That article had more crunch than all of the previous 4E articles combined and wasn't particularly long-winded either.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Boxhead,

So far everything we've seen and all precidents point to 'one roll to rule them all.'

As to your false arguement about disintigrate:

The Player's Handbook 3.5 wrote:

You must make a successful

ranged touch attack to hit. Any creature struck by the ray takes 2d6 points of damage per caster level (to a maximum of 40d6)...

under 3.5 I can already crit and do incredible amounts of damage with disintigrate, against one target.

We're talking about a 3.5 fireball doing, on average, 70 points of damage to every single party member on a crit. Average of 110 on an empowered, 120 on a maximised. For a 10th level party a crit means you've beat the rogue's 'Defence save' DC, he takes 70 and is dead, same thing for the Wizard. If our cleric has a con of less than 14 he's charred and the fighter is as hurt. That's one spell, taking out 3/4th of your party.

Now if you're beefing up your PCs to where they can survive that lucky shot, that just means you're upping the power on everything, so why change it?

it's like the "We want characters to not be defined by their stuff." arguement. Well if my character is nasty without the belt of cheesiness +4, why would I not want to still add the belt of cheesiness +4 to my stuff?


Matthew Morris wrote:

Boxhead,

So far everything we've seen and all precidents point to 'one roll to rule them all.'

As to your false arguement about disintigrate:

The Player's Handbook 3.5 wrote:

You must make a successful

ranged touch attack to hit. Any creature struck by the ray takes 2d6 points of damage per caster level (to a maximum of 40d6)...

under 3.5 I can already crit and do incredible amounts of damage with disintigrate, against one target.

We're talking about a 3.5 fireball doing, on average, 70 points of damage to every single party member on a crit. Average of 110 on an empowered, 120 on a maximised. For a 10th level party a crit means you've beat the rogue's 'Defence save' DC, he takes 70 and is dead, same thing for the Wizard. If our cleric has a con of less than 14 he's charred and the fighter is as hurt. That's one spell, taking out 3/4th of your party.

Now if you're beefing up your PCs to where they can survive that lucky shot, that just means you're upping the power on everything, so why change it?

it's like the "We want characters to not be defined by their stuff." arguement. Well if my character is nasty without the belt of cheesiness +4, why would I not want to still add the belt of cheesiness +4 to my stuff?

That's assuming you applied the rule to 3.5 D&D. Since we don't know how they will be handling spell damage I think it's a little early to be deciding if/how broken the rule change is.

Scarab Sages

Boxhead wrote:
They are moving the die rolls to the attacker. Period. It doesn't say that the dragon makes one crit and kills the party. Odds are that the dragon will have to make an attack roll against each defender, simply reversing saving throws (I could be wrong).

I may be wrong, too, but I recall that the same mechanic is described as applying for grenades, etc, in Star Wars Saga; ONE roll, vs all Reflex scores.

So, one good roll = TPK.

Personally, I think this idea sucks. It doesn't matter whether the individual target's chance of success/failure is the same as before; this method increases the likelihood of both extreme results, on a logarithmic progression based on the number of targets.

If you have an area effect that hits a group of 5, all of whom have an identical 50% chance of failure, then the chance of everyone failing their save is currently (50%x50%x50%x50%x50%) or 1 in 32. Now it would be a flat 50/50; ie 16 times more likely than before. 6 targets; TPK is 32 times more likely. 7 targets; TPK is 64 times more likely, etc.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Thus my last two paragraphs.

"Wow, I can wipe out a group of 3.5 characters with one lucky shot?"

"Um, well yes, Billy, you can. But these new and improved 4.0 characters come with cheesieness built right in, so that a critical does as much to them as a 3.5 fireball would do to the 3.5 party."

"Well Gee Mister DM. If the spells are more kaboom, but the heroes are still as tough to kill, why are we updating to this new system?"


Matthew Morris wrote:

Thus my last two paragraphs.

"Wow, I can wipe out a group of 3.5 characters with one lucky shot?"

"Um, well yes, Billy, you can. But these new and improved 4.0 characters come with cheesieness built right in, so that a critical does as much to them as a 3.5 fireball would do to the 3.5 party."

"Well Gee Mister DM. If the spells are more kaboom, but the heroes are still as tough to kill, why are we updating to this new system?"

That's if you assume:

1) That the damage from a fireball remains the same (i.e. 1D6/level with a max of 10d6)

2) They make the characters even tougher

3) Critical attacks work the same way they do in 3.5

Honestly, I don't think we can make any of those assumptions with 4.0 since they have made it abundantly clear that they will change just about anything.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see the issue here. This is probably the easiest thing on earth to house rule and its really a matter of how much time you want to take to resolve the actions. The new core rules are choosing the most efficient route for resolving actions: use the same mechanic for every action and use one roll for all targets. The virtue is that it's quick and easy. I don't think it's a bad idea for the core rules to err on the side of quick and easy.

But, for those who want individual rolls, it's as easy as making that a house rule. Instead of the dragon rolling once for the group, they roll once per target. You end up with additional complexity using this rule and it is much slower in play, but if you fear the tpk on a good roll, it might be something you want to consider. However, you could just as easily argue that in pre-4e that fireball damage should be resolved individually by target rather than rolling one lump set of damage and applying it to all targets. Again, it's a question of how much complexity you want to add to avoid the luck factor involved.

If you want to put saving throws back into the hands of players, it's a little more complex, but all you need to do is subtract 10 (or is it 11, I always get that mixed up) from the Ref AC (or whatever it's called), add that to the d20, and use the modifier of the attack to determine the DC of the effect. Bam. "Control" is back with the players.

And, if you really want to give players "control", you can put all the rolls in their hands. I played for a while under a regime like this in a 2e campaign. Rather than roll attacks as the DM, I had the players make a dodge roll, which was just a d20 plus their AC minus 10 (or was it 11?) to beat the creature's THACO (but don't quote me on that method, it sounds right but might have involved the absolute value of the AC or some such nonesense. I can't remember).

These rules favor simplicty and speed over complexity and player "control" (though mind you, they do give the player spellcasters more "control"). It strikes me as a good trade off given the amount of time resolving area attacks against individuals currently takes. YMMV.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I'm willing to bet that they're going to bring Eberron's 'Action Point' system into the core rules as well, and allow such points to be used for things like avoiding criticals and things like that. They might make Action Points harder to come by (say 1 per level) but they have the ability to save the party from a disaster like the ones mentioned above if the players save them for tactically appropriate moments. For example, say the fireball crit that wipes 3/4 of the party out happens. The cleric's player spends his AP and suffers only normal damage, surviving the blast and quickly moves to heal the others (perhaps with some new ability that allows resurrection within a few rounds of death).

Just a thought.


Aaron Whitley wrote:

That's if you assume:

1) That the damage from a fireball remains the same (i.e. 1D6/level with a max of 10d6)

2) They make the characters even tougher

3) Critical attacks work the same way they do in 3.5

Honestly, I don't think we can make any of those assumptions with 4.0 since they have made it abundantly clear that they will change just about anything.

#1 is a false assumption as stated here

James Wyatt wrote:
Fundamentally, this has meant we've had to abandon some things that might have seemed like sacred cows—fireball spells don't do 1d6/level any more, for example—but it's all in the interest of a far superior play experience.

#2 might be somewhat true (some indications/rumors that PCs start with 3x hit points or something to be ahead of hit point curve, plus probably new options for re-rolls, etc. as in Star Wars SE).

#3 is probably true as well, except apparently no critical confirmations. But the basic "crit = double damage" appears to be there from snippets here and there.

However, #1 is the only one I could quickly find the exact quote for. So assume what you will about the other two. :)


Ken Marable wrote:
Aaron Whitley wrote:

That's if you assume:

1) That the damage from a fireball remains the same (i.e. 1D6/level with a max of 10d6)

2) They make the characters even tougher

3) Critical attacks work the same way they do in 3.5

Honestly, I don't think we can make any of those assumptions with 4.0 since they have made it abundantly clear that they will change just about anything.

#1 is a false assumption as stated here

James Wyatt wrote:
Fundamentally, this has meant we've had to abandon some things that might have seemed like sacred cows—fireball spells don't do 1d6/level any more, for example—but it's all in the interest of a far superior play experience.

#2 might be somewhat true (some indications/rumors that PCs start with 3x hit points or something to be ahead of hit point curve, plus probably new options for re-rolls, etc. as in Star Wars SE).

#3 is probably true as well, except apparently no critical confirmations. But the basic "crit = double damage" appears to be there from snippets here and there.

However, #1 is the only one I could quickly find the exact quote for. So assume what you will about the other two. :)

Thanks Ken! I couldn't find the article where Mr. Wyatt stated that fireball damage would be changing. I find it quite disappointing that the only location of compiled 4E knowledge is not on the WoTC site.

Edit: As far as I know the only complete source of confirmed 4E information is at En World

Scarab Sages

James Wyatt wrote:
Fundamentally, this has meant we've had to abandon some things that might have seemed like sacred cows—fireball spells don't do 1d6/level any more, for example—but it's all in the interest of a far superior play experience.

One of the reasons some spells are currently seen as 'no-brainers' is that they scale with caster level, eg Magic Missile, Fireball, etc, and thus, tend to be picked over those that don't scale, eg Shout (though this spell has special-case benefits...).

Since we have already been told that characters will progress through 30 levels, each level will have some new 'cool-factor' (ie, no 'dead-levels'), and there will be many more spell-levels, I can easily see a situation where the current 9 spell-levels are expanded into 30, by re-classifying some of the scalable spells into multiple specific spells of fixed effect. IE; a 5-dice fireball could be a level 5 spell, while a 6-dice fireball is a level 6, etc. (Don't quote me on this. This is pure speculation).

This could result in some of the currently-neglected spells seeing more action, since scalability would no longer be an issue. It could also allow spells to be grouped better, acording to their utility. Each of the current 9 spell levels (or 10, if you include epic) has choices that are perceived as weak, medium and strong. I can easily see these expanded into 3 times as many spell-levels, on that basis, and thus, see fresh new tactics emerge.

Shocking Grasp could remain level 1 (touch range, need to run into melee and bop your foe. Hmmm, no thanks...), while Magic Missile (even with only 1 missile), could easily be level 2 or 3 (long range, force damage, auto hit. Hmmm, thanks!), meaning it is no longer the default for every 1st-level caster.


CourtFool wrote:
tdewitt274 wrote:
If only there was an easier way to get the Vancian feel of the magic system in Hero...
Have you checked out Killer Shrike's Wizardry system?

Didn't really care for some of his stuff (there's a lot of good stuff, but some not so much). Plus, I don't like the vibe I get from his message board posts (which could be just me).

CourtFool wrote:
tdewitt274 wrote:
Someone give me a calculator!

Still having problems dividing in half in your head?

Could be worse! Could be GURPS Vehicle Combat ; )


tdewitt274 wrote:
Didn't really care for some of his stuff (there's a lot of good stuff, but some not so much).

Fair enough. He offers so many different magic systems it is unlikely everyone will love every one of them. However, you asked for Vancian magic and I think he recreates the D&D Wizard quite effectively. His site is one of the reasons I believe Hero does D&D better than D&D does.

tdewitt274 wrote:
Plus, I don't like the vibe I get from his message board posts (which could be just me).

Ah. Yes, if the guy rubs you the wrong way, then even if he posted pure gold, it is not going to sit well with you.


I haven't seen anything from WotC for myself that states that "Save or Die" spells are going away. Instead, Saving Throws are going away, so that a Save or Die spell becomes a Hit or Miss spell for the DM? So, what, if the DM rolls high the character dies? One things for sure, players are going to get a whole lot more nervous when the DM starts rolling behind the screen...


DedmeetDM wrote:

From the article:

"Ever faced one of those life-or-death saving throws? Hours, weeks, or even years of play can hang in the balance. It all comes down to that one roll. There’s drama in that moment, but it’s drama you didn’t create, and you don’t want."

I love that kind of drama. Those dramatic life or death scenes in the game are what me and my group talk about years down the road. What will we say now. "Hey remember that time the DM rolled a die, while I sat there and listened to him kill or spare my character. Yeah that was awesome!"

It seems like this will only increase the number of times the players can say the DM has it in for em. Regardless I like having the fate of my character hang on a die roll...my roll. But that's just me.

Thoughts?

Sadly they had to remove save or die type effects from the new system, probably due to the addition of the static defense scores. Think about it. Do you want a scenario like this?

DM--"Ok the beholer targets you with his disintergration beam"
player--"Oh ok, what do i need to roll to survive?
DM-"Nothing, I'm taking care of the roll"
Player--Umm...Can't I try and jump out of the way or something?"
DM--"Nope, I'll take care of all that. Lets see I rolled a 17, your fortitude defense is a 15, Opps sorry,. looks like you were disintergrated....."
Player "------------"

Personally I'd be rather pissed. Feels lke I have no control over my character at that point.

THough I still think they had to move to the 4th edition saving defenses to try and speed up the game in response to Maneuvers. Since all classes are now getting manuevers ala. book of the 9 swords, If the current saving throw system was kept in place, that would be a ton of saves from round to round. In the new system its alot faster, only one person is rolling dice.

Is it better? That remains to be seen. I think we're losing a bit of fun and flavor in the name of expedience.

--The Osquip---

P.S. Old timer rant below, be forewarned.
*sheds a tear* I still kinda miss rolling other types of dice. Percentiles, d12's and the like. Im a DnD player, I lIKE rolling dice! Now it seems like they are simplyfiying it even more. All i get now is a D20 + Modifier. If they do something crazy and make damage fixed (like in the DnD miniatures game) the only die ill ever need will be a d20. I might as well put one inside one of those Pop-a-matic Bubble and toss all my other beauties away! *cries*

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