4E blog post by Chris Pramas, head of Green Ronin


4th Edition

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Aberzombie wrote:

Of course, I would never go back to being a teenager again. Maybe a twentysomething. I like being able to buy beer.

Mmmmm...beer

Amen to that.


DMcCoy1693 wrote:
I agree with Pramas, if you are looking at it from his prospective. His prospective: 10 year old kid that was handed the 4E PHB by their uncle or whatever and just sat down and started reading it and wanted to DM their own game. His comments reflect his opinion that 1E was a much simplier game for a kid to just pick up and play as opposed to be shown how to play the game first by an experienced DM. The rest of his blog focuses on how the 4E PHB fails to make it like 1E where its pick-up-playable.

DMmcCoy1693 made some very good points. However, it's a fact that most D&D player don't start by blindly buying or receiving the core books as a gift - they are introduced by someone else. While the 4E PHB is certainly not the best reference for a completely dummy player, it may give considerable help to someone who was already introduced to the game.

I honestly doubt that, although 1E is easier to learn, that 1E would be sucessful nowadays. I've made a long thread about this on the past, but to put simply: today D&D has competitors, and they're not GURPS or Storytelling, they are MMORPGs, console RPGs, and tactical games. All these games have, as traits, vast character customization options and vast number of combat options. I honestly doubt that a teenager used to these games would find fun on playing a 1E fighter that basically does nothing besides "attacking" on his turn.

D&D, since 2E Combat & Tactics, is a highly tactical game, and I believe that being increasingly more tactical is the reason of its success until nowadays. And although many people praise the glorious days of 1E, it's a fact that almost everyone is playing 3E-3.5E-4E now. Even the ones who say that role-playing is everything and don't care at all for the tactical aspect, may be relutant to discard the 3.5E Fighter's options of Disarm/Trip/Sunder/Power Attack/Combat Expertise/etc. and bring back the "I'll attack" 1E Fighter.


Mr. Slaad wrote:
pinpointed my age exactly.

I'm two years older than double your age.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
FabesMinis wrote:

Eh. It's ok. I have 3 months left of being a 20something.

...

Now I feel old.

You're looking at it from the wrong perspective. You're not too old, he's too young.

:)

Sovereign Court

DMcCoy1693 wrote:

I agree with Pramas, if you are looking at it from his prospective. His prospective: 10 year old kid that was handed the 4E PHB by their uncle or whatever and just sat down and started reading it and wanted to DM their own game.

He's correct. My wife has been out of the game for awhile and the PHB was a bit much. I found the quick-start rules were a better way to ease into it. And it's not really an age thing but more of an attention span/time/overwhelming factor thing. Some just don't have the interest to read the book 8 hours to get started playing.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
GAAAHHHH wrote:
Mr. Slaad wrote:
pinpointed my age exactly.
I'm two years older than double your age.

And I'm a year older than that.


P1NBACK wrote:
New players will be targeted in a separate marketing campaign in the fall, likely coinciding with the new starter game in November.

4e could be presented in a great introductory version. We'll just have to see if they produce one.


Wicht wrote:
GAAAHHHH wrote:
Mr. Slaad wrote:
pinpointed my age exactly.
I'm two years older than double your age.

And I'm a year older than that.

And I got 6 years on you (if my ancient brain has done the math correctly)


Oh, gods above and daemons below. There are people to whom 3e was the same experience as 1e was to me. I'd go drink an Elixir of Youth, but they aren't in the game anymore . . .


Ok ... old person check (also good geek trivia check): What famous clone of D&D did the company Flying Buffalo produce in the late '70s?

And if you know the answer, what did the acronym TTYF stand for?

Dark Archive

Patrick Curtin wrote:

Ok ... old person check (also good geek trivia check): What famous clone of D&D did the company Flying Buffalo produce in the late '70s?

And if you know the answer, what did the acronym TTYF stand for?

Tunnels & Trolls. And TTYF stands for, "Take That, You Fiend!"


joela wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:

Ok ... old person check (also good geek trivia check): What famous clone of D&D did the company Flying Buffalo produce in the late '70s?

And if you know the answer, what did the acronym TTYF stand for?

Tunnels & Trolls. And TTYF stands for, "Take That, You Fiend!"

**DING**! hands over the kewpie doll to joela

Scarab Sages

crosswiredmind wrote:
Stereofm wrote:
Better to bring the newbie directly to the table.
Yep. With 4e all that a player needs is on the character sheet. Just get to playing and the rest will sort itself out. The real trick is to be a guide and not to allow the new player to fail horribly.

This has been true since the earliest iterations of the game. With Basic all you needed was on the sheet. With 1st/2nd, all a newb needed was on his sheet, etc... The DM handled everything else.

The problem lies in the fact that you have essentially written off the people who don't know a current player/DM and are daunted/intimidated by the massive size of the PHB (this goes for 3.x as well)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

Make the questions harder: Which 1989 game supplement featured a (psuedo)deadly shag carpet?

Dark Archive

Patrick Curtin wrote:


**DING**! hands over the kewpie doll to joela

[In best Homer Simpson voice]: "Mmmm. Kewpie doll."


Wicht wrote:
Make the questions harder: Which 1989 game supplement featured a (psuedo)deadly shag carpet?

AGGH! I was busy flunking out of college at this point!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Wicht wrote:
Make the questions harder: Which 1989 game supplement featured a (psuedo)deadly shag carpet?

Did that retarded perversion of Castle Greyhawk come out in 1989?


Methinks a sore spot has been detected. :)

Dark Archive

Daeglin wrote:
Methinks a sore spot has been detected. :)

1989 was a bad year for Erik. That's when he discovered...F.A.T.A.L. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Wicht wrote:
Make the questions harder: Which 1989 game supplement featured a (psuedo)deadly shag carpet?

Did that retarded perversion of Castle Greyhawk come out in 1989?

This one was by flying buffalo and task force games.

The Exchange

dmchucky69 wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
dmchucky69 wrote:
I tend to give Pramas' opinion a lot of respect. He knows a thing or two about book design. I feel confident that he has published more books than CWM here.
So what did I say to warrant that kind of response?

(edited to play nice)

Then again, why feed the frenzy? You'll be fine, and so will I.

Carry on and ignore us crazy 3.5 holdouts! We'll fade into the woodwork eventually. Or will we?

Okay. That didn't answer my question, but .... okay.

nevermind

The Exchange

FabesMinis wrote:

Eh. It's ok. I have 3 months left of being a 20something.

...

Now I feel old.

Dude - I'm 40. I hope that make you feel a little younger.


Wicht wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Wicht wrote:
Make the questions harder: Which 1989 game supplement featured a (psuedo)deadly shag carpet?

Did that retarded perversion of Castle Greyhawk come out in 1989?

This one was by flying buffalo and task force games.

gah ...ack ...nnngggg.... Eyes bulge outward most distressingly

"WHAT IS IT WICHT! MONKEY MUST KNOW!"


Bleach wrote:

Wow....

I can see Pramas points but I tend to disagree on one point.

Why would a new player look at ALL the powers given that at 1st level, there's only 4 choices per silo per character?

That said, I just can't see how much more "newbie friendly" D&D can get given the reaction of many detractors to 4E with it being summed up as "for the noobs". I mean, Paizo is positioning Pathfinder for "advanced gamers" so how much more basic can you get.

That said, I don't think the options are THAT bad given that a newbie can jump right into WoW and easily create a 1st level character.

That is the point exactly. 4E is catering to Wow and Runescape and other MMORPG cultures. I know why they are doing this business wise but I don't like the streamlined version of the game. As a game, there is no 'pure' way to play so I won't argue that 1E-3.5E are actually better ( despite personal opinions). That said it is a definite break from the past, and that will play out as true as the months go by. As such the gaming culture will change because of the MMO's and 4E but luckily, thanks to Paizo and others, it will not be a complete break from the past.


In my experience, D&D has always been a game that you learn from sitting at the table. I may be incorrect, but I don't think it's ever been a game where people say, "Hey that looks interesting. I think I'll be the books and figure it out." D&D 'spreads' by people who play inviting people who don't to check it out and sit at the table. I don't see 4e changing that.

Sovereign Court

crosswiredmind wrote:
FabesMinis wrote:

Eh. It's ok. I have 3 months left of being a 20something.

...

Now I feel old.

Dude - I'm 40. I hope that make you feel a little younger.

And I'm 42. And going to be a grandparent later this year. So you kids just keep it down in here, would ya! Damn yapping.


Pete Apple wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
FabesMinis wrote:

Eh. It's ok. I have 3 months left of being a 20something.

...

Now I feel old.

Dude - I'm 40. I hope that make you feel a little younger.

And I'm 42. And going to be a grandparent later this year. So you kids just keep it down in here, would ya! Damn yapping.

Finally someone who is (one year) older than me! I feel HAPPY!


And get off my lawn!

d%&# kids

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Patrick Curtin wrote:
Wicht wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Wicht wrote:
Make the questions harder: Which 1989 game supplement featured a (psuedo)deadly shag carpet?

Did that retarded perversion of Castle Greyhawk come out in 1989?

This one was by flying buffalo and task force games.

gah ...ack ...nnngggg.... Eyes bulge outward most distressingly

"WHAT IS IT WICHT! MONKEY MUST KNOW!"

Grimtooth's Traps Ate


Ahh .. always meant to try that line of books out ... but so many books, only so much disposable income ..

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

They make fun reading but I wouldn't advise actually using them in a game. :)

Sovereign Court

Pete Apple wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
FabesMinis wrote:

Eh. It's ok. I have 3 months left of being a 20something.

...

Now I feel old.

Dude - I'm 40. I hope that make you feel a little younger.

And I'm 42. And going to be a grandparent later this year. So you kids just keep it down in here, would ya! Damn yapping.

Ahh, the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything.


Wicht wrote:
They make fun reading but I wouldn't advise actually using them in a game. :)

I would say the same about the HoL game. Impossible to run, yet guaranteed to make you laugh at least once out loud, and if you are a hard-core gamer, probably every page.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

FabesMinis wrote:

...

Now I feel old.

you feel old? I could buy beer before he was even born.


C. Pramas, know-little and grognard whiner wrote:
My assessment after having the [4th Edition D&D] books for a few weeks: it fails.

That's just his assessment after "having the books for a few weeks." He needs to play and DM, then make his assessment, honestly. Having the books and flipping through them alone on the couch are hardly qualitative enough for serious analysis. The new edition of D&D is the easiest iteration of the game to learn and understand. The list of improvements from 3.x to 4th is long, to long to detail here.

Perhaps in a year, with some real data and some real experience, Pramas can make his declamations about what failed or what didn't. How can he honestly and genuinely know if anything related to 4th Edition failed to attract whomever after two weeks? He's just another angry voice in the vanity world of Internet opinions. The game is moving on without him, and he's just mad. Like so many haters out there, I bet he secretly likes it, and that makes him mad, too.


Sniffs about

MMMMM fresh troll

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Greyson wrote:


He's just another angry voice in the vanity world of Internet opinions.

Ironic much?

Spoiler:

Edit: Ack. This deserves harsher. Anyone got it? Also, I'd like to disclaim the asshattery on display in the post in question. Chris Pramas is not a "know-little and grognard whiner", he's a great game designer with some serious credits to his name. If you can't show some respect while disagreeing with him, I'd mosey on out of Paizo and find a forum that is more friendly to such hate slinging.


Greyson wrote:
He's just another angry voice in the vanity world of Internet opinions.
Sebastian wrote:
Ironic much?

ROFL.

no, no, no...

LMAO!

no, no, no...

ROFLMFAO!


Sebastian wrote:
Greyson wrote:


He's just another angry voice in the vanity world of Internet opinions.

Ironic much?

Bows to the master

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Billzabub wrote:
In my experience, D&D has always been a game that you learn from sitting at the table. I may be incorrect, but I don't think it's ever been a game where people say, "Hey that looks interesting. I think I'll be the books and figure it out." D&D 'spreads' by people who play inviting people who don't to check it out and sit at the table. I don't see 4e changing that.

Actually, every RPG I've played I've learned after saying, "Hey that looks interesting. I think I'll buy the books and figure it out." At age 9, it was a boxed set of Fantasy Warriors and a couple issues of White Dwarf that my uncle gave my brother and me for Christmas, which led us to Warhammer. Two years later, my buddy was shopping for minis and picked up used copies of the 2E books because "they looked interesting." After teaching ourselves to play DnD, we picked up TMNT, Robotech and Rifts and taught ourselves that system (sort of - it took about 2 years of playing to realize that using the actual rules as written meant combat rounds that lasted about an hour a piece), then Shadowrun, and so on. I've never once jumped into a game and learned from other people, although, starting with 3E, I have taught several newbies how to play.

Now, the root of our interest was fantasy fiction. But I don't see anything that would preclude the current crop of WoW-kiddies from having the same interest -- whether 4E sets the barrier to self-teaching too high, as Chris argues, is open to debate.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Kruelaid wrote:


ROFL.

no, no, no...

LMAO!

no, no, no...

ROFLMFAO!

Why do I sense that you are laughing, but not with me...

Sovereign Court

Billzabub wrote:
In my experience, D&D has always been a game that you learn from sitting at the table. I may be incorrect, but I don't think it's ever been a game where people say, "Hey that looks interesting. I think I'll be the books and figure it out." D&D 'spreads' by people who play inviting people who don't to check it out and sit at the table. I don't see 4e changing that.

Well, I posted earlier in the thread exactly the opposite, although you are mostly right, there are just a few exceptions to every rule.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Greyson wrote:
Perhaps in a year, with some real data and some real experience, Pramas can make his declamations about what failed or what didn't. How can he honestly and genuinely know if anything related to 4th Edition failed to attract whomever after two weeks? He's just another angry voice in the vanity world of Internet opinions. The game is moving on without him, and he's just mad. Like so many haters out there, I bet he secretly likes it, and that makes him mad, too.

Perhaps... but at the same point, it's important to remember that not only has Chris been in the game design industry for over half a decade, he also was an employee at WotC for some time as well. Honestly, I feel that his observations are pretty spot on at this point. You're absolutely right that the REAL test of how 4th Edition plays out is yet to manifest; that we'll have a better idea of how things work in six months or a year or more, but he DOES already have a lot of real data and real experience as far as designing, creating, and selling RPGs, and it's foolish to simply sweep aside his opinions as "just another 4E hater."

And as for "secretly liking 4E..." I doubt it. I can tell you right here and right now that there ARE gaming professionals who don't like the route 4E has taken and prefer 3rd edition's rules and setup... just as there were plenty of Star Wars fans who didn't like the direction Lucas took with Phantom Menace and the other two prequels. It's a much more drastic change to the game's traditions and established backstory than any edition change before it, after all. It's BOUND to not be everyone's cup of tea. And that's cool; it's not a popularity contest. 3.5 and 4th Edition and Pathfinder CAN all coexist.


Sebastian wrote:
Why do I sense that you are laughing, but not with me...

No, you really did make my day.

Inflated declaration gets popped with a pin. Indiana Jones shooting the guy with the scimitar in Temple of Doom.

Priceless.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Greyson wrote:
A bunch of sarcastic s$+% mimicking through echoery of the small segment of rabid 4e lovers who insist that you can't make an informed decision by reading the books, etc.
James Jacobs wrote:
A bunch of stuff taking his comments seriously.

I'm with the Aidster on this one ROTFLMAO.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Kruelaid wrote:
Indiana Jones shooting the guy with the scimitar in Temple of Doom.

[nitpick]That was Raiders of the Lost Ark.[/nitpick]


Mr. Slaad wrote:
Billzabub wrote:
In my experience, D&D has always been a game that you learn from sitting at the table. I may be incorrect, but I don't think it's ever been a game where people say, "Hey that looks interesting. I think I'll be the books and figure it out." D&D 'spreads' by people who play inviting people who don't to check it out and sit at the table. I don't see 4e changing that.
Well, I posted earlier in the thread exactly the opposite, although you are mostly right, there are just a few exceptions to every rule.

Just so you know, my experience is from when I started playing the red box basic set way back in third grade. 1981 or so. I'm 36, and haven't actually sat at a table in a long time, although I do PbP. The problem with the rules (3.5, 4ed, or Pathdfinder) are that the rules are too complex for novice players. Hell, if you throw in all the prestige class stuff, the rules can be complex for experienced players - just look at the message boards for discussions on how to interpret different things, or the official Wizards 'Game FAQs.'

Somewhere on these boards, back when they announced 43e, I posted that what is really needed is a basic game to draw in new players, and I'll stick to that. Create a ruleset that people can quickly grasp. Give them a foundation, and when they're ready, they'll build on it.

Although I've stayed off the 4e threads, I'd say the new rules might be interesting, but it's not D&D, or, at least, to me, it doesn't feel like D&D. The whole 'powers' thing is lost on me - If someone's wearing chainmail (or even not), I want them to be relying on 3 feet of steel, not powers. Conan, Fafhrd & The Grey Mouser, Aragorn, etc., did not have powers, they had swords. Stab & slice covers it. If someone's imagination can't fill in the details, the game isn't for them. Dragonborn & Tieflings as starter races? C'mon, it's like they're trying to sell visual appeal. Might as well call it 'D&D Extreme.' It strikes me as really an interpretation of what older game designers think younger game players want to see.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Wicht wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Wicht wrote:
Make the questions harder: Which 1989 game supplement featured a (psuedo)deadly shag carpet?

Did that retarded perversion of Castle Greyhawk come out in 1989?

This one was by flying buffalo and task force games.

WG7 was published in 1988, and is a good parody. Also, I think the deadly carpet is a tapestry. Right up there with Paranoia's Creatures of the Nightcycle, I'd say.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Pramas designed WHFRP, 2nd edition which is not a hard system, but YMMV. He's done some great work w/Green Ronin, especially the Freeport stuff.

That said, I kind of disagree with him. I think today's teens and near-teens are pretty savvy especially with MMOs, CRPGs and FPS's that are pretty complicated to get the hang of with both rules, tactics, and hand-eye-coordination nuances. While they may gloss over the rulesbook, they will quickly get the game once its played on the board.

In my experience with 4.0 so far, it is an easy game to pick up once you get to playing it on the table.

Still, I will be playing both 3.5 and 4.0. To me, it is a different game...almost a different incarnation. As if you were playing Classic Traveller, or Megatraveller vs d20 or Gurps Traveller. Same game at its heart, but a slightly different feel.

The great thing is, these other trav's..They co-exist. I think D&D can do the same.


OK .. thread's getting somber all over again. time for more trivia!

What adventure based in the planar city of Sigil featured the apotheosis of several NPC characters and a cameo appearance by the Lady of Pain herself? And who wrote this 2e Planescape gem?

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