Thank god for a new edition…


4th Edition

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I welcome 4th edition because we were due for it anyway if you look at how the game has evolved.

I was looking at the recent rule supplements (book of nine swords for example) and I was appalled by the power creep and complexity that has crept-up in the game.

This is not entirely surprising because, as the game grows older, WotC has to publish more and more overpowered feats/spells/Magic items to keep players interested…and buying

The result is sadly as a DM, I am personally fed up with players asking me if they can use that feat from this book that basically allow them to always win no matter what the circumstances or the stupid decisions they may have taken. I am also fed up to waste time on “special rules for this” and “special rules for that”.

In my opinion, 3.5x has become unbalanced, overcomplexed and is still carrying some serious conception faults (Vancian magic I am looking at you) that have been solved in other games about 10-15 years ago.

You may disagree with me on this one but I genuinely look forward to 4th Ed.

Best regards.


I have 3 comments:

1 - Some new books that were released may have caused the game to become unbalanced...But wheter you allow the new books to be used is your decesion.
Whenever a new book is released doesnt automatically make it a mandatory part of the 3.5 rules.

2 - I read somewhere that Book of Nine Swords is actually based on 4th edition mechanics and Bo9S was made and released to "test the waters" and see how players liked it. If you dislike Bo9S....well...

3 - If you believe that after the 3 core books are released, that WotC will not release a new book every month or 2 and eventully unbalance the game like you say happened to 3rd edition...you are in for an unpleasent surprise.


I'm with you Tabula...

Though some things you mention will continue to happen (like more books full of feats, magic items, etc).

Nevertheless, I like the change in general, so I look forward to it. Whatever the edition there is always space for improvement.

Personally, I felt a bit tired of 3.5. It was a great edition but I need to move on.


I can really relate to this one.

TabulaRasa wrote:

I welcome 4th edition because we were due for it anyway if you look at how the game has evolved.

I was looking at the recent rule supplements (book of nine swords for example) and I was appalled by the power creep and complexity that has crept-up in the game.

This is not entirely surprising because, as the game grows older, WotC has to publish more and more overpowered feats/spells/Magic items to keep players interested…and buying

The result is sadly as a DM, I am personally fed up with players asking me if they can use that feat from this book that basically allow them to always win no matter what the circumstances or the stupid decisions they may have taken. I am also fed up to waste time on “special rules for this” and “special rules for that”.

In my opinion, 3.5x has become unbalanced, overcomplexed and is still carrying some serious conception faults (Vancian magic I am looking at you) that have been solved in other games about 10-15 years ago.

You may disagree with me on this one but I genuinely look forward to 4th Ed.

Best regards.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
TabulaRasa wrote:

I welcome 4th edition because we were due for it anyway if you look at how the game has evolved.

I was looking at the recent rule supplements (book of nine swords for example) and I was appalled by the power creep and complexity that has crept-up in the game.

I'm too am looking forward to 4th edition, but I have to disagree with some of your points.

I personally believe 3rd edition was always too complex.
- It takes longer to stat up many NPCs/monsters than they actually last in game, once encountered.
- Combat takes way too long, particularly at higher levels.
- DMs have way too much data they have to keep track of when running a combination of NPCs/monsters.
- Many publishers (most notably WotC themselves) have a poor track record of accuracy in their stat blocks for published adventures. Even Paizo has had occasional issues/adventures where the stat blocks had errors, and they're probably the best in the business for accuracy here. When the professionals can't get it right, it's too complex.
Most of us who have DM'd for a while have tricks for dealing with these problems, but that doesn't mean these aren't serious problems.

I agree that there's been some power creep, although I see the issue mostly in the spell selection - high level spellcaster PCs made with Core + Spell Compendium should have a level adjustment compared to equal-level spellcasters made with just the spells in the PHB. Other examples of "power creep" include the feats introduced in PHB2, which were mostly wonderful, and shouldn't be considered a problem at all.

As for Book of Nine Swords, this book powers up martial characters to bring them in line with the abilities of spellcaster characters, so if you use non-powered-up martial characters with it, well, that old Fighter's gonna be feeling mighty useless. I still think the concepts are workable, but only if every martial PC is required to use Bo9S in campaigns that allow it. Scrap the martial core classes and use Bo9S instead, and I think it would work great.

And that's one of the reasons why an edition change, rather than a patch on 3.5, seems necessary to me. Because you can't easily replace several base classes with a patch on the current edition, but with a new edition, you can build in the new version of Balance from the ground up, and no more problems with that old Fighter getting left in the dust.

Scarab Sages

TabulaRasa wrote:

I welcome 4th edition because we were due for it anyway if you look at how the game has evolved.

I was looking at the recent rule supplements (book of nine swords for example) and I was appalled by the power creep and complexity that has crept-up in the game.

This is not entirely surprising because, as the game grows older, WotC has to publish more and more overpowered feats/spells/Magic items to keep players interested and buying.

That is kinda funny, given that (as Jason said) the Book of Nine Swords was developed during the development of 4e, and was very much intentionally used to see how people would react to the "martial powers" idea that was then expanded to all classes in 4e. It talks about it in the Races and Classes preview book.

Many of the later books were WotC designers tossing ideas out that might be in 4e (heck, they've been at least officially working on it, if not very hard, for over two years now, so how many books have they released in that time?) either very closely modeled (Bo9S) or having a similar concept (I think that Magic of Incarnum was one that may have been mentioned for this kind of thing).

Anyway, before you cry your thanks to the stars too loudly you might want to make sure that 4e isn't just a logical extension of all the things that make you think 3.5 needs to go away. :)


hmarcbower wrote:
Anyway, before you cry your thanks to the stars too loudly you might want to make sure that 4e isn't just a logical extension of all the things that make you think 3.5 needs to go away. :)

I think these are wise words.

Maybe you are ready for a new edition, maybe 4th will give you all your are looking for... And for your sake, I hope it does.

I don't agree with the "power creep," feeling though... But then I am used to Rifts for power creep. When you are used to major flooding every few months, a couple of inches each month are hardly noticeable. And seem very manageable in comparison.

But here is to hoping 4th Edition brings you the joy I find in 3rd. :-)

The Exchange

hmarcbower wrote:


Anyway, before you cry your thanks to the stars too loudly you might want to make sure that 4e isn't just a logical extension of all the things that make you think 3.5 needs to go away. :)

Yep. That is the big concern that I have. I will give 4E a fair shake. I will try some of the Living Realms campaign. I may even run a small home game using the generic non-setting to kick the tires. But quite frankly I am not optimistic that the core problems with 3E will really be solved in 4E.

Regardless - I started to pack my 3E books away in the attic.


TabulaRasa wrote:
I was looking at the recent rule supplements (book of nine swords for example) and I was appalled by the power creep and complexity that has crept-up in the game.

I have some bad news for you…

TabulaRasa wrote:
…WotC has to publish more and more overpowered feats/spells/Magic items to keep players interested…and buying

I think it is naïve to believe this will not happen with the new edition.

TabulaRasa wrote:
The result is sadly as a DM, I am personally fed up with players asking me if they can use that feat from this book…

This may be GM burnout or maybe you need to sit down with your players and explain that the ‘arms race’ is ruining the game for you.

TabulaRasa wrote:
In my opinion, 3.5x has become unbalanced, overcomplexed and is still carrying some serious conception faults (Vancian magic I am looking at you) that have been solved in other games about 10-15 years ago.

I agree with you on the concept faults but you will get little sympathy around these parts. It seems most people are pretty happy with the way things are and specifically with Vancian magic.

TabulaRasa wrote:

You may disagree with me on this one but I genuinely look forward to 4th Ed.

From what I understand, Vancian magic is going but in my opinion, there are other ‘concept faults’ that will remain. Class being a deal breaker all in itself. I am curious to see some of the other changes but it is very unlikely I will be playing 4e.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Cintra Bristol wrote:


I personally believe 3rd edition was always too complex.
- It takes longer to stat up many NPCs/monsters than they actually last in game, once encountered.
- Combat takes way too long, particularly at higher levels.
- DMs have way too much data they have to keep track of when running a combination of NPCs/monsters.
- Many publishers (most notably WotC themselves) have a poor track record of accuracy in their stat blocks for published adventures. Even Paizo has had occasional issues/adventures where the stat blocks had errors, and they're probably the best in the business for accuracy here. When the professionals can't get it right, it's too complex.
Most of us who have DM'd for a while have tricks for dealing with these problems, but that doesn't mean these aren't serious problems.

Sorry, just had to address some of your points, I found them interesting.

  • agreed, Even with just core and PC Gen it can take a while, The NPCs in the DMG helped, but an article or two in a Dragon (or in the DMG II) on quick NPC stats would have helped.
  • I frequently hear people complain it's the opposite, with 'save or x' spells being a hallmark. Also 4.x seems to be designed around longer fights.
  • I don't see any game system coming up with a good solution to this. the more baddied with FX, the more those FX interact.
  • Everything has mistakes, WotC just had sloppy proofreadrs (working on 4th taking up too much of their time?) and editors. I don't see this as a fault of the system. Rather it's the fault of the editors to keep these thigns from being so frequent. If you played Battletech you'd wince whenever the words "Pardoe design" were uttered, because of things like the Grand Crusader and the Grand Titan, both of which had several incarnations before they got it right. At the same time, he gave us the Wyvern, so it comes down to was it his bad math, or editing/layout errors? And we've no proof that 4.x will do it any better, since it's from the same people.

    Not bashing 4.x in general. Just thought they were interesting enough to reply to.


  • CourtFool wrote:


    From what I understand, Vancian magic is going but in my opinion, there are other ‘concept faults’ that will remain. Class being a deal breaker all in itself. I am curious to see some of the other changes but it is very unlikely I will be playing 4e.

    From what I understand the Vancian Magic system is not gone, but revamped, so that a spell caster will always have a spell to throw. Thank the gods (May the Dark lords bless you and curse your enemies), they aren't doing a point buy magic system.

    Also, I thank the Dark lords, WotC, is sticking with a class based advancment system and is not doing a skill based advancment system like Heroes System, blaaah! OCVs, DCVs, PPs, EPs, 3d6, roll low, cool a 13, Yuuuk! (ok I like the 13, with a creative gm).

    Sovereign Court

    TabulaRasa wrote:

    I welcome 4th edition because we were due for it anyway if you look at how the game has evolved.

    I was looking at the recent rule supplements (book of nine swords for example) and I was appalled by the power creep and complexity that has crept-up in the game.

    This is not entirely surprising because, as the game grows older, WotC has to publish more and more overpowered feats/spells/Magic items to keep players interested…and buying

    The result is sadly as a DM, I am personally fed up with players asking me if they can use that feat from this book that basically allow them to always win no matter what the circumstances or the stupid decisions they may have taken. I am also fed up to waste time on “special rules for this” and “special rules for that”.

    In my opinion, 3.5x has become unbalanced, overcomplexed and is still carrying some serious conception faults (Vancian magic I am looking at you) that have been solved in other games about 10-15 years ago.

    You may disagree with me on this one but I genuinely look forward to 4th Ed.

    Best regards.

    Hello Tabula,

    Well in any event, I hope you have fun with whatever system, but seriously, I agree with the other posters : I think that every new edition of D&D so far has included severe power creep (and I have played them all). And 4e may be the worse of them from the little I know of it.

    And the BoNS is explicitely cited as one of the experiments leading to 4e, so ...

    Besides, 4e seems to be a game where you can't lose, because it's not fun, so ...

    And then, they will need to publish new books when the initial rush sets in, so the cycle will start anew. not to mention 3rd party.

    Liberty's Edge

    Well, they're allready putting out a splatbook in October, so....hope you think it's balanced and all...


    I'm looking forward to 4th edition for a number of reasons. It's a fresh start, for one. Some of the 3rd edition books were poorly thought out but it's really tough to take something away from players once they've used it and like it. The only book we've been able to effectively ban from our group was the psionics book, which ruined D&D for our group for a whole year.

    I think they're taking the game in a fun direction. I like the idea of a character's race being a more meaningful thing from a game mechanical standpoint. I think that's a great idea and I'm looking forward to seeing how they handle it.

    I don't mind the power creep since I think we're going to see the most balanced rule system yet. What I'm reading indicates that this is the most well-thought out RPG system, probably ever. I'm willing to at least give it a shot.

    The ideas they have about changing the settings are all awesome, in my opinion. The "Worlds and Monsters" preview book was the most entertaining RPG product I've read since "Age of Worms" (which is still the best RPG idea I've ever seen in terms of innovation and fun).

    Third edition D&D was a giant leap forward for the game, and I think 4th edition is going to take the game to a new, more fun level. It's disappointing that this community largely sees the advent of the new edition as a bad thing, but it's not going to discourage me from giving it a try. The reality is that most of the more vocal naysayers are likely to be playing 4th edition by this time next year. I understand the reluctance to leave one's comfort zone, but to get discouraged based on internet speculation and weapons-grade misinterpretation of the few pieces of information that have leaked about the game doesn't make much sense to me.

    It's not hard to imagine that some of the same things that happened to 3rd edition that made it unwieldy and dragged down the speed of play will happen to 4th edition. I'm okay with that. We'll all grow though the game like we did through 3rd edition. And I am fully aware of the business case for an eventual 5th edition. I'll cross that bridge when it comes.

    Scarab Sages

    DudeMonkey wrote:

    The "Worlds and Monsters" preview book was the most entertaining RPG product I've read since "Age of Worms" (which is still the best RPG idea I've ever seen in terms of innovation and fun).

    Wow, if that was the best thing you've read since "Age of Worms" I think I may pity you.


    Aberzombie wrote:


    Wow, if that was the best thing you've read since "Age of Worms" I think I may pity you.

    Hmm. Have you read it? While it lacks any concrete crunch, it is well-written and an intriguing read.

    In truth, it is one of the few times in memory I read an RPG book from cover to cover as soon as I could.

    I am greatly intrigued and optimistic in regards to 4e.

    Liberty's Edge

    It cured my astigmatism. It's great.
    It should win an Oscar, nay nix that--a Nobel Peas Prize.


    TabulaRasa wrote:

    I welcome 4th edition because we were due for it anyway if you look at how the game has evolved.

    I was looking at the recent rule supplements (book of nine swords for example) and I was appalled by the power creep and complexity that has crept-up in the game.

    This is not entirely surprising because, as the game grows older, WotC has to publish more and more overpowered feats/spells/Magic items to keep players interested…and buying

    The result is sadly as a DM, I am personally fed up with players asking me if they can use that feat from this book that basically allow them to always win no matter what the circumstances or the stupid decisions they may have taken. I am also fed up to waste time on “special rules for this” and “special rules for that”.

    In my opinion, 3.5x has become unbalanced, overcomplexed and is still carrying some serious conception faults (Vancian magic I am looking at you) that have been solved in other games about 10-15 years ago.

    You may disagree with me on this one but I genuinely look forward to 4th Ed.

    Best regards.

    Pal, then I hope you're ready to cheer for 5th edition in 3 to 4 years from now; because that's what you'll be getting! I've heard quite a bit mentioned of 4E being run like a World of Warcraft RPG. I don't know whether that's accurate or not, but what I do know is that Wizards of the Coast, who purchased D&D some years ago, made its money originally from the Magic the Gathering Card Game, and WoTC's been running D&D much like the Magic Card game ever since. 4th edition will go on the same power-splatbook-craze as did 3.5, simply because WoTC can make a great deal of money doing it. And they will keep doing it. So get ready to cheer for 5.0 in 2011, or 2012. WoTC's counting on you.


    Allen Stewart wrote:
    Pal, then I hope you're ready to cheer for 5th edition in 3 to 4 years from now; because that's what you'll be getting! I've heard quite a bit mentioned of 4E being run like a World of Warcraft RPG. I don't know whether that's accurate or not, but what I do know is that Wizards of the Coast, who purchased D&D some years ago, made its money originally from the Magic the Gathering Card Game, and WoTC's been running D&D much like the Magic Card game ever since. 4th edition will go on the same power-splatbook-craze as did 3.5, simply because WoTC can make a great deal of money doing it. And they will keep doing it. So get ready to cheer for 5.0 in 2011, or 2012. WoTC's counting on you.

    I think a lot of us are pretty much aware of the fact that 5th edition will inevitably be here. If it's better than 4th edition, I'll buy into it. If 4th edition is better than 3rd edition, I'll buy into it.

    I'm not really sure why this is such an offensive idea to people here. Third edition is great. I love it and I've played it since 2001. I'm going to check out 4th edition when it gets here and if it's awesome then I'm in. If it's not ... well, I've got tons of 3rd edition material that's still playable and I'll be happy to do so.

    Why is keeping an open mind to 4th edition something that generates so much ridicule? I think that's a puzzling idea. People are attempting to make a hobby that you enjoy better. They may or may not succeed. But why would you want to avoid giving them the chance?


    Aberzombie wrote:
    DudeMonkey wrote:

    The "Worlds and Monsters" preview book was the most entertaining RPG product I've read since "Age of Worms" (which is still the best RPG idea I've ever seen in terms of innovation and fun).

    Wow, if that was the best thing you've read since "Age of Worms" I think I may pity you.

    Age of Worms was awesome.

    Worlds and Monsters was awesome.

    I'm comfortable with that.

    Liberty's Edge

    So it's better than Savage Tide?


    TheDude wrote:
    Why is keeping an open mind to 4th edition something that generates so much ridicule?

    I think it is because not accepting 4th Edition meets with at least as much ridicule.

    In a sense, there is a "war" going on between both camps. I can't say who fired the first shot, but shots keep getting fired at each.

    The Exchange

    Disenchanter wrote:
    TheDude wrote:
    Why is keeping an open mind to 4th edition something that generates so much ridicule?

    I think it is because not accepting 4th Edition meets with at least as much ridicule.

    In a sense, there is a "war" going on between both camps. I can't say who fired the first shot, but shots keep getting fired at each.

    I think that sticking with 3.5 or 3 or 2 or AD&D or even original D&D are legitimate choices and no one should be ridiculed for that choice. The same goes for 4E.

    Those that look forward to it are not Evil Anime Were Sheeple that want everything to feel like WoW. Some of us are ready for something new.


    It seems that numerous people are trying to justify why the version they are unhappy with should be shunned.

    Liberty's Edge

    Was it better than Hordes of the Abyss?


    I've got a dumb question...

    One of the biggest gripes I see with pro-4E folks is that Vancian magic is this heinous, horrible, baby-eating monstrosity.

    If the magic system that's been around since the inception of the game 30+ years ago is this awful, awful thing, why are you still playing D&D?

    I'm not trying to flame or insult anyone, I just seriously want to know.

    I've seen the hatred and disgust of the Vancian system brought up in such detail, with the usual conclusion that the whole game is worthless because of it.

    I just can't wrap my head around why someone would continue to punch themselves in the groin repeatedly, by playing a game they have such animosity for...

    If other games out there have a vastly superior magic system, what exactly is it that's keeping you from playing it? What non-magic stuff does D&D do better?


    TabulaRasa wrote:
    Thank god for a new edition…

    We regret to inform you that God has been retconned out of 4th edition. You may now thank, "Hasbro" instead.


    While you're at it, from now on D&D players should also direct all prayer to Hasbro as well.


    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Brian E. Harris wrote:

    I've got a dumb question...

    If the magic system that's been around since the inception of the game 30+ years ago is this awful, awful thing, why are you still playing D&D?

    Here are my reasons


    • Vancian magic has one advantage that most other magic systems do not have - specific spells with clearly delineated effects. Most other games have magic systems that require you to build spells via a menu of various effects. I have very little patience for this.
    • The magic systems in other role playing games depend on mana pools or endurance checks. These systems involve other trade offs that I don't always like to deal with.
    • 3e has a number of other redeeming qualities that make up for the presence of Vancian magic.
    • I do in fact prefer to run and play some other games. 4e looks like it might be a version of D&D I can see myself enjoying again. I suspect I'm not alone in this regard. New editions of D&D present an opportunity to bring gamers back into the fold who have wondered away from the game.


    Brian E. Harris wrote:


    If the magic system that's been around since the inception of the game 30+ years ago is this awful, awful thing, why are you still playing D&D?

    Brian,

    My personal answer to this is twofold:


    • First, D&D as the grand daddy of all RPG had a serious first mover advantage. Playing a RPG game requires gathering 4-6 people. Statistically, there is a greater chance that a number of those people play D&D than any other game (or so it was when I started playing some 15 years ago). Therefore, you played D&D because your buddies played D&D…

    • Second, D&D remains a great game despite its flawed Vancian magic. I think the designers of 3.5x have somewhat acknowledged this when I see spells like “Rope Trick” which is the equivalent of the “get out of jail free card” of D&D. I could also point out to you that the Warlock class is in my opinion also an attempt to solve this (and attract brooding teenagers to the game) or the numerous alternative rules from the Unearthed Arcana

    Regarding the numerous posts above, I would like to start by thanking all the participants in this thread which has remained quite civil.

    I do know that 4th Ed will be in part based on the BoNS (aka “The Abomination”). I am not opposed to fighters having spell-like abilities to make them more interesting. I sincerely hope however, that they will not be as overpowered as those found in BoNS.

    I am also aware that 5th edition is probably coming our way sooner or later. And yes, there will be more splatbooks to come…That how WOTC will make money. One point I would also like to stress is that I actually want WOTC to make money simply because if D&D is profitable, WOTC and Hasbro will continue to support the line. There are many incredibly useful things that didn’t existed back when I started gaming: Pre-painted minies? Tilesets? Battlemaps?... I do believe that it is in everybody’s interest, whether 3.5 hardcore grognards or 4.0x manga junkies, that D&D be successful. I am sure this point will be controversial.

    Finally, I am looking toward 4th Ed because it is a restart. It will hopefully reboot the game and put it back on a fresh and balanced start…or at least this is what I am hopping for.

    I guess I will find out in June like the rest of you

    Best regards

    Scarab Sages

    crosswiredmind wrote:
    ....Evil Anime Were Sheeple .....

    I couldn't help myself. I read this and just started laughing. I love that term. I'll have to try and work it into a conversation at work, just to see the looks on people's faces.

    Dark Archive

    Just some general thoughts to the WoC products in the last few years:

    Let me compare the "Complete" line with the "Books of ... Might" from Malhavoc Press and with the "Races of Renown" and "Advanced Players Manual" from Green Ronin.

    I think we can all agree, that there are a lot of cool ideas for Feats, Skills, Spells new Base and Prestige Classes in the WoC Splat Books. But there are a lot of unbalanced elements in the Books.
    I do not see so many "power creeps" or simply bad mechanics in the 3rd party publisher products above.
    Why?
    Simply because the 3rd party publisher use extensive playtesting for their products!
    Look at the Malhavoc and Green Ronin Books. You will always see a playtesters credited.

    I have not found playtest credits in the WoC Books of the last few years.

    And IMO that is why these products have a lot of crappy stuff in it. It was not playtested enough!

    If there was playtesting and the playtesters are simply not credited, my arguing is invalid and I apaologize.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

    Tharen the Damned wrote:

    Just some general thoughts to the WoC products in the last few years:

    Let me compare the "Complete" line with the "Books of ... Might" from Malhavoc Press and with the "Races of Renown" and "Advanced Players Manual" from Green Ronin.

    I think we can all agree, that there are a lot of cool ideas for Feats, Skills, Spells new Base and Prestige Classes in the WoC Splat Books. But there are a lot of unbalanced elements in the Books.
    I do not see so many "power creeps" or simply bad mechanics in the 3rd party publisher products above.
    Why?
    Simply because the 3rd party publisher use extensive playtesting for their products!
    Look at the Malhavoc and Green Ronin Books. You will always see a playtesters credited.

    I have not found playtest credits in the WoC Books of the last few years.

    And IMO that is why these products have a lot of crappy stuff in it. It was not playtested enough!

    If there was playtesting and the playtesters are simply not credited, my arguing is invalid and I apaologize.

    Also, since the 3rd party publishers could only build off the SRD and their own products, power creep remained minimal. WOTC kept building and building off its more powered stuff until things get broken like Bo9S.

    Since the announcement, I've bought many 3rd party products, never having done so before because I was a WOTC D&D Official only sort of person. I was brainwashed into the belief that most of what was out there was garbage and munchkinized the game as it didn't take power and compatability as serious as WOTC. Boy was I wrong, thanks WOTC for opening my eyes to the excellent talent NOT on you payroll.

    The Exchange

    Let's not wax too poetic about the wonders of 3rd parties and how awesome they are. Some do better work than WotC, some are on par with them, and many just don't cut it.

    Munchkins have found plenty of cheese in sources outside of WotC's splat books.


    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    TheDude wrote:


    I think a lot of us are pretty much aware of the fact that 5th edition will inevitably be here. If it's better than 4th edition, I'll buy into it. If 4th edition is better than 3rd edition, I'll buy into it.

    I'm not really sure why this is such an offensive idea to people here. Third edition is great. I love it and I've played it since 2001. I'm going to check out 4th edition when it gets here and if it's awesome then I'm in. If it's not ... well, I've got tons of 3rd edition material that's still playable and I'll be happy to do so.

    Why is keeping an open mind to 4th edition something that generates so much ridicule? I think that's a puzzling idea. People are attempting to make a hobby that you enjoy better. They may or may not succeed. But why would you want to avoid giving them the chance?

    I think most of us could accept "4th Edition" as an abstract concept--i.e. WOTC needs to do a new edition every so often to stay profitable. No problem there. I've changed editions three and a half times already, I could certainly do so again. I can only speak for myself, but it isn't that I don't have an open mind, or that I don't want them to succeed. If they were honestly trying to make the current game better I would be a big supporter. But the problem isn't the *idea* of a new edition, it is the specific things we're starting to hear about that edition. Based on what we've seen, it does not seem that they are "trying to make a hobby that [I] enjoy better." Instead, it seems that they are trying to pass a completely new hobby off as a new "version" of my favorite hobby.

    They aren't trying to make an old hobby better. It appears that they are trying to create a brand new hobby for people *other than* those of use who have played D&D for many, many years.

    And for the record, of the things that may have needed to have been fixed, Vancian magic wasn't one of them.

    The Exchange

    Brian E. Harris wrote:
    If the magic system that's been around since the inception of the game 30+ years ago is this awful, awful thing, why are you still playing D&D?

    To be honest - lowest common denominator. The only RPG groups I have been able to muster since the advent of 3E have been D&D focused.

    In 1982 I switched over to RuneQuest and stayed there until switching over to Warhammer Fantasy Role Play in the early 1990s.

    RuneQuest used a learned spell list but then used an extensible power reserve for casting. RuneQuest, particularly the world of Glorantha, has no spell casting class - well there are no classes at all, but there are no dedicated spell flingers. Warhammer used a system akin to D&D but without the clear restrictions on per day casting. It too used magic points. The second edition uses a cool limiting mechanism - casting can be harmful so you don't want to cast all too often.

    Since 3E came onto the scene I have played D&D. I never play an arcane caster and I rarely play clerics. I have played a druid but that was mostly about shape change to me. Besides, most of the time I am the GM so I can hold my nose and swallow the magic system as long as my players don't mind it.

    Brian E. Harris wrote:
    If other games out there have a vastly superior magic system, what exactly is it that's keeping you from playing it? What non-magic stuff does D&D do better?

    As I said at the top it's all about finding a group to play other games. I just managed to cobble together a WFRP group (just in time for the game to go completely out of print) but they are just looking for a stop gap game until 4E rolls around. I hope to keep them interested in WFRP for a while but that seems unlikely.

    Dark Archive

    crosswiredmind wrote:

    Let's not wax too poetic about the wonders of 3rd parties and how awesome they are. Some do better work than WotC, some are on par with them, and many just don't cut it.

    Munchkins have found plenty of cheese in sources outside of WotC's splat books.

    That is true CWM.

    For example, the Race and Class Splat Books by Mongoose Publishing have done very well in the sales and some of them a very good, but some of them are simply beyond powerful.

    I think it mostly boils down to these factors:
    1) Do the designer(s) have a solid grasp of the rules and the underlying math?

    2) Do the designers try to impress with cool new ideas or simply rehash old ideas with more power?

    3) Was the meterial playtested and/or reworked by the development team or was just published after the developers had a readthrough?

    And I think even the WoC designers should use the instrument of playtesting.
    After all, WoC see themselves as the Leading RPG Publisher. Sure they lead in numbers but they should, IMO, also lead through quality.
    The above was no rant, just my humble opinion

    The Exchange

    Tharen the Damned wrote:

    That is true CWM.

    For example, the Race and Class Splat Books by Mongoose Publishing have done very well in the sales and some of them a very good, but some of them are simply beyond powerful.

    I think it mostly boils down to these factors:
    1) Do the designer(s) have a solid grasp of the rules and the underlying math?

    2) Do the designers try to impress with cool new ideas or simply rehash old ideas with more power?

    3) Was the meterial playtested and/or reworked by the development team or was just published after the developers had a readthrough?

    And I think even the WoC designers should use the instrument of playtesting.
    After all, WoC see themselves as the Leading RPG Publisher. Sure they lead in numbers but they should, IMO, also lead through quality.
    The above was no rant, just my humble opinion

    I think your points are spot on. One of the reasons I went to playing Living Greyhawk almost exclusively was that I was tired of having to review the latest prestige class that one of my players found in some book that i never read. They asked about spells i had never heard of and wanted to use. They asked about feats that seemed ok but then got abused in combination with other feats that sounded ok at the time.

    I like the diversity of publishers but it needed too much management as a GM.

    The best OGL publishers produce single settings and all of the material to give them the right flavor and balance using the points you outlined above.

    This is one of the aspects of the new 4E license that has me a bit optimistic. It seems like the only companies that will publish under it are the ones that are serious about the investment in quality and resources to do it right.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

    To be honest, the last few games I've played in, I've restricted myself to PHB + DMG only for class/feats/etc. Kind of as a way to prove that there is still a lot of life in just that bit of game, and there is.

    The Exchange

    But weren't all the recent WOTC splat books and options for 3E that people seem to be complaining about "play testing" of new material for 4e???


    You know, people keep listing the "sins" of 3E (and I have to agree with several of them) but leave out what, for me, may be the biggest - the game ASSUMES a certain level of magic, etc. is in the possession of the PCs at any given time, or the whole ECL/CL/CR system falls flat.

    Sadly, from the few leaks they've released, it looks like 4E retains this flaw, so I guess mentioning it isn't relevant but still - that is probably the biggest thing I'd be looking to change if I were creating a new edition.
    Maybe allow items to adjust the party's effective level, rather than assuming they're there already...

    Sovereign Court

    Joseph Yerger wrote:
    To be honest, the last few games I've played in, I've restricted myself to PHB + DMG only for class/feats/etc. Kind of as a way to prove that there is still a lot of life in just that bit of game, and there is.

    That's what I do as well. I found that all the supplements watered down the "game night" and made it just "rules night". My old back can't carry that many books. And I thought the feature creep was getting to easy to abuse.

    I also think it's natural for any company to cycle through their products every so often just to maintain interest and pick up new customers. It's normal. If they don't, usually the result is slow death. New cars come out each year, new video games come out all the time, new computers, new cookbooks, etc. (how many ways *do* you need to make apple pie?) Kodak didn't change with the times and they went down hard.

    I'm also looking forward to supporting it considering the margins versus Hasbro's other products. I realize that if WOTC goes down, all the 3rd parties will see a big impact. The number of people that are reading this board can't sustain WOTC or Paizo on their own.

    So the biggest thing I would say to people reading this is give 4E a try. And if you don't like it, take it back to the bookstore and then write WOTC to tell them what to do for 5E. If you do like it, you've helped WOTC and the industry in general.

    And if Paizo decides to do their future work in 4E, then that's a business decision and support them in it. Any product that is great quality and well written can be adapted to any rules set with a little work. Anyone who lambasts them on these boards because of that decision doesn't see the bigger picture.

    Pete


    CEBrown wrote:

    You know, people keep listing the "sins" of 3E (and I have to agree with several of them) but leave out what, for me, may be the biggest - the game ASSUMES a certain level of magic, etc. is in the possession of the PCs at any given time, or the whole ECL/CL/CR system falls flat.

    Sadly, from the few leaks they've released, it looks like 4E retains this flaw, so I guess mentioning it isn't relevant but still - that is probably the biggest thing I'd be looking to change if I were creating a new edition.
    Maybe allow items to adjust the party's effective level, rather than assuming they're there already...

    You couldn't be more correct CEBrown. IMO, the magic-level assumption of 3E is one of it's biggest flaws. As a matter of fact, again IMO, the entire D&D magic system (casting, spells per day, learning, item creation, even the "economics" of magic) needs to be completely torn down and rewritten.

    My group was part of the original 3E playtest and some of things they're doing now with 4E were brought up then (almost 10 years ago) but a lot of the playtesters went nuts and vetoed them because the concepts were new. The designers should have grown a pair and went with the changes. In the long run, 3E would have had a much better magic system.


    CEBrown wrote:

    You know, people keep listing the "sins" of 3E (and I have to agree with several of them) but leave out what, for me, may be the biggest - the game ASSUMES a certain level of magic, etc. is in the possession of the PCs at any given time, or the whole ECL/CL/CR system falls flat.

    Sadly, from the few leaks they've released, it looks like 4E retains this flaw, so I guess mentioning it isn't relevant but still - that is probably the biggest thing I'd be looking to change if I were creating a new edition.
    Maybe allow items to adjust the party's effective level, rather than assuming they're there already...

    I agree with you there, at least re: one of 3E's flaws. From what I had read, however, it looked like this problem was being addressed pretty well.

    I can't find any quotes at the moment, but my memory says that items which provide straight bonuses (boni?) were being limited to three items, with explicit guidelines on the "expected" potency a character is expected to have per level. Just give the same bonuses out for free and it would seem you can run a pretty effective non-magical game.

    I don't think DR has ever been mentioned, so if it's still around, maybe you'd have to something about that but still ...


    Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
    CEBrown wrote:

    You know, people keep listing the "sins" of 3E (and I have to agree with several of them) but leave out what, for me, may be the biggest - the game ASSUMES a certain level of magic, etc. is in the possession of the PCs at any given time, or the whole ECL/CL/CR system falls flat.

    Sadly, from the few leaks they've released, it looks like 4E retains this flaw, so I guess mentioning it isn't relevant but still - that is probably the biggest thing I'd be looking to change if I were creating a new edition.
    Maybe allow items to adjust the party's effective level, rather than assuming they're there already...

    Yup, this is something they say they've fixed.

    Only a few specific magic items add directly to important calculated numbers: Implement (weapon, wand - adds to attack bonus), Armor (adds to AC), neck/cloak slot (adds to "save" defenses), and I think that's it. No other magic items are allowed to give bonuses to these items, so there is no stacking of different-named effects.

    Then, there's an expected value for each of these. For example, all 8th level characters might be expected to have a +2 armor item.

    But if you want a low/no magic campaign, you can just give everyone that plus as a bonus at that level and not use magic armor (or whatever). And they've stated that if you don't stick to the "expected" curve for magic items, it makes far less difference to the overall power level of the PC than it did in 3.5, so low-magic campaigns are possible without major rebalancing of the rules.

    It appears that high-magic campaigns might be more problematic. For example, if you let 5th level PCs have the expected items of 15th level characters, you'll probably be giving them access to spell effects and abilities that aren't expected by published adventures in that level range (flight at will, teleport, keep in mind I'm only guessing here). So if you go high-magic, it's still probably going to be advisable that you limit each individual magic item to approximately the expected power limits (e.g. houserule that PCs can't activate items that are more than 2 levels above their actual character level). Of course, for all I know, there'll be specific advice on this sort of thing in the DMG (well, I can dream...)

    The Exchange

    Joseph Yerger wrote:
    To be honest, the last few games I've played in, I've restricted myself to PHB + DMG only for class/feats/etc. Kind of as a way to prove that there is still a lot of life in just that bit of game, and there is.

    I think that combo is great ... unless you actually want to use prestige classes in which case the ones in the DMG are ok but there aren't enough options for all class paths.

    Scarab Sages

    TabulaRasa wrote:
    This is not entirely surprising because, as the game grows older, WotC has to publish more and more overpowered feats/spells/Magic items to keep players interested…and buying.

    Do you truly believe that this will stop with a new edition? Maybe you think that WotC won't publish anything else beyond the three core books. Good luck with that.

    Don't get me wrong -- I really don't care if you are for or against a new edition. I'm still not sure where I stand on it. But for some reason, it really gets me when people imply that 4e will "fix" all manner of "broken" with 3.5. I feel fairly confident that a good year after 4e comes out, there will be all kinds of house rules for 4e to "fix" all manner of new and improved "broken".

    And as for "overpowered" -- people in general (it seems) want their characters to do more and be more -- in essence be more powerful. WotC is going to continue to try and capitalize on that simply to make more money. I really don't see how 4e is going to "fix" WotC's desire to make more money.

    Bleah...

    Why do I keep coming back here?

    The Exchange

    For me, regardless of whatever edition we are in, it boils down to how well you organize and allow rules material into your campaign. 4.0, regardless of its strengths or flaws, will soon be orbited by numerous third party or WOTC products which may or may not break your game. Your obligation as a DM, or as an admin if you oversee a MMRPG or Living Campaign, is to select from that content carefully and support the narrative you want to share with your players.

    A new edition should not be the tool you use to manage your game, whichever game it is.

    As to the merits of 3.0 vs. 4.0. I don't think we will know until we see it. I sense a bit of panic on the part of the WOTC folks and I talk about that here, but I don't know if that is indicative of the product itself, market research, or web based response. I will give it a try, but I can't say I am overwhelmed with enthusiasm.

    Dark Archive

    While I'm not too sanguine about 4.0. not incorporating a lot of the Book of Nine Swords-stuff that the OP is finding problematic, I gotta agree that Bo9S seemed a bit over the top for me. I ended up not using it, and none of my players own it, so I haven't had to fend off anyone begging to play one of these classes.

    Then again, perhaps my group is just odd. I gave them a list of other classes to choose from and sources they could reference for Feats, etc., including the PHB2, Completes and Heroes of Horror books and they came back with the usual Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Wizard party, with no feats or races other than those in the PHB. Yay!

    And my personal dislike of Prestige Classes seems to be rewarded, since none of them have expressed any interest in them. Double yay.

    The only 'weird' stuff so far has been the NPCs! (Archivist, Urban Ranger, Cloistered Cleric)


    My players love the Prestige Classes. That's one of the reasons that I don't like the ideas behind 4th edition.

    Moonsea Skysentinel? Now he just rides a bird.

    Dervish? Well, screw you, now you're just a ranger.

    Divine Champion? Now my Ranger has Paladin Levels?

    Runescarred Berserker? Uh...I'm...not in the game, my base class is Barbarian.

    Bard? Well, that's gone too.

    The Forgotten Realms? Light the crack pipe, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for Mad Max Beyond The Sea of Fallen Stars!

    My problem isn't the mechanics that they're using.

    It's that the THEME HAS JUMPED THE SHARK!

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