Mearls pleading for unity


Gamer Life General Discussion

251 to 300 of 1,627 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>

Jandrem wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:


I disbelief that Duke Nukem Forever exists. ;)

You're welcome :)

link

It's not out yet. I'll believe it when I see it on a store shelf. Maybe.

Plus, what's with that music in the trailer? That's so not the Duke.

Also, what the heck with the frikking ads before the videos? When the thing started, I got a shock seeing it rated "E - for Everyone (Comic Violence)" before I realised they didn't mean the actual game, but Little Big Planet.

Silver Crusade

KaeYoss wrote:

Plus, what's with that music in the trailer? That's so not the Duke.

Without looking at the link: Prodigy's "Invaders Must Die"?

It's quickly becoming for videogame trailers what "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" was for movie trailers five years back.

Sovereign Court

Mearls has officially jumped the shark. I just skimmed part II of his bait and switch blog. And I would agree with Dragonchess that this is a veiled survey, and a crappy one. Did he actually resort to putting my childhood sandbox mini up there to pull my heartstring? Jeez.

(Paizo did that with class btw like five years ago in Dragon Ecologies.)

Isn't Mearls like...five years LATE with this survey?
O I like grids to tell me what to do.
O I like to actually play D&D.

Where were the surveys when wotc 1) Non-renewed Paizo's Dragon and Dungeon? 2) attempted to close down third party publishers with an iron clad GSL 3) disassociated themselves from grognards and old schoolers 4) distanced themselves from v.3.5 and marketed saying "this is not your daddy's dnd" or 5) Pulled the legacy .pdfs of AD&D from the web?

Its time to pay the piper, Faust!
G4ME OVER


Pax Veritas wrote:

Isn't Mearls like...five years LATE with this survey?

O I like grids to tell me what to do.
O I like to actually play D&D.

The fact that this is how you see this poll says a lot.

First, that you believe that a set of rules that describes how things like cover works amounts to "telling you what to do".

Second, that despite the fact that this is a question that the community is clearly divided on, it's not even worth the thought necessary to answer the question on its own merits.

Third, that anyone who disagrees with you must not like to actually play D&D.

Particularly troubling is the fact that the approach you call "I like grids to tell me what to do," is the approach to cover mechanics shared by both 3.5 and 4e - and, by extension, Pathfinder (see here). Sooooooo...is it that you now hate Pathfinder and think it's trying to tell you what to do? I'm confused.

Contributor

Scott Betts wrote:
Pax Veritas wrote:

Isn't Mearls like...five years LATE with this survey?

O I like grids to tell me what to do.
O I like to actually play D&D.

The fact that this is how you see this poll says a lot.

First, that you believe that a set of rules that describes how things like cover works amounts to "telling you what to do".

Second, that despite the fact that this is a question that the community is clearly divided on, it's not even worth the thought necessary to answer the question on its own merits.

Third, that anyone who disagrees with you must not like to actually play D&D.

Particularly troubling is the fact that the approach you call "I like grids to tell me what to do," is the approach to cover mechanics shared by both 3.5 and 4e - and, by extension, Pathfinder (see here). Sooooooo...is it that you now hate Pathfinder and think it's trying to tell you what to do? I'm confused.

Speaking as someone who has done 3.X/Pathfinder for years without bothering with grids, I have to say the grids are highly optional.

4e I think not so much.


Pax Veritas wrote:
Did he actually resort to putting my childhood sandbox mini up there to pull my heartstring? Jeez.

No. It is a copy of the the cheap plastic toy Gygax originally used in his D&D game. Its where the idea for the Rust Monster originally comes from. The story of how we got Rust Monsters in the game would be D&D lore and hence fits with the theme of the column.

If Gygax's estate where ever to find the actual original toy and put it up for auction there would probably be quite the bidding war.


Mikaze wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:

Plus, what's with that music in the trailer? That's so not the Duke.

Without looking at the link: Prodigy's "Invaders Must Die"?

It's quickly becoming for videogame trailers what "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" was for movie trailers five years back.

But it sounds like "Lets take some E and run around in the city", not "I'm gonna rip off your head and s*%# down your neck!"

The Whip! Kick! Boom! Trailer for Bulletstorm has appropriate music. (Warning, rated M for what I call "comic violence".

Sovereign Court

O I like grids to tell me what to do.
O I like to actually play D&D.

Scott makes an interesting observation, but misses the point. Its true that the way that survey is viewed says a lot... about its author! It seemed the second article contained an illustration of a typical "Russian Front" sales choice.

Mearls wrote:
O A set of guidelines used by the DM
O A hard and fast rule determined by the grid

As in, "Which would you prefer:"
O A yummy treat
O Having your eyes gouged out and your elbows broken

My point is that anyone in his position shouldn't be asking lame questions, poorly asked-and I agree its very telling. Excellent gamers and authors understand the gygaxian line that GMs straddle between the perception of rule limitations and the GM's actual authority. Based on Mearl's second article, I feel like it drips with trickery, sales sludge, and set-up. These are not the respectful and forthright tactics I expect from any steward of the game. One doesn't need a tinfoil hat to smell the stygian stink of Fifth Edition in the works here.

Final analysis: When the former lead-designer askes such a biased question on such a complex topic with only tiny radio buttons and little room for actual comments... it plays like a green hag wearing a see-through nightgown. When she points and curls her little finger beckoning you over, you get a sick feeling of disgust.

Its just too bad that Hasbro's directive to D&D R&D seems to be the premise of "make a game that sells", rather than "make great D&D". These are two distinct approaches.

It is my belief that when making great D&D became an impediment to making great money, that company chose the latter. And, unfortunate that they lacked the creativity, communication, and skill to have the best of both. It far too late for them now.
G4me Over.

Dark Archive

Pax Veritas wrote:
it plays like a green hag wearing a see-through nightgown. When she points and curls her little finger beckoning you over

Just.. omg.. I'm gonna be sick.. *barf*

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Pax Veritas wrote:


Mearls wrote:
O A set of guidelines used by the DM
O A hard and fast rule determined by the grid

...

...Based on Mearl's second article, I feel like it drips with trickery, sales sludge, and set-up...

Are you suggesting that "A set of guidelines used by the DM" verses "A had and fast rule determined by the grid" is not a respectfully neutral tone? To echo Scott Betts, I think that speaks more of where you're coming from than of where Mearls is coming from.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

Speaking as someone who has done 3.X/Pathfinder for years without bothering with grids, I have to say the grids are highly optional.

4e I think not so much.

That's really not the point. Regardless of whether or not you can handwave away grid-based combat in either edition (and, frankly, it would be a nightmare to do so in 3.5 OR 4e, without also removing the DM's ability to accurately adjudicate things like attacks of opportunity), it's plain that both editions of the game use rules for determining things like cover.

To put it another way, in order to forgo the use of grids in either edition, you are forced to either ignore or very roughly approximate a number of particular rules. You can certainly do this, but you are house-ruling at that point. To continue, you can do this just as easily in 4e as you could in 3.5 - it's not like movement doesn't happen in 3.5/PF combat, it just happens more in 4e combat.

I played 3.5 for its entire life cycle, both as a DM and under well over a dozen others, and nearly every time combat came up there was a battle mat on the table. On the rare occasion that we didn't have one, due to space constraints or because the DM didn't have one with him, problems always arose. I imagine that exactly the same would be true for 4e.


Hydro wrote:
Pax Veritas wrote:


Mearls wrote:
O A set of guidelines used by the DM
O A hard and fast rule determined by the grid

...

...Based on Mearl's second article, I feel like it drips with trickery, sales sludge, and set-up...

Are you suggesting that "A set of guidelines used by the DM" verses "A had and fast rule determined by the grid" is not a respectfully neutral tone? To echo Scott Betts, I think that speaks more of where you're coming from than of where Mearls is coming from.

Exactly. Pax is the first person I've seen who has taken issue with the wording of the poll. Both of the options are worded pretty neutrally. And, for what it's worth, a tweet a couple days ago from one of the WotC guys mentioned that the poll was roughly tied so far, so it's obviously not so sinister in its imagined twisting of language as to trick the respondents into all picking the same option.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Scott Betts wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

Speaking as someone who has done 3.X/Pathfinder for years without bothering with grids, I have to say the grids are highly optional.

4e I think not so much.

That's really not the point. Regardless of whether or not you can handwave away grid-based combat in either edition (and, frankly, it would be a nightmare to do so in 3.5 OR 4e, without also removing the DM's ability to accurately adjudicate things like attacks of opportunity), it's plain that both editions of the game use rules for determining things like cover.

To put it another way, in order to forgo the use of grids in either edition, you are forced to either ignore or very roughly approximate a number of particular rules. You can certainly do this, but you are house-ruling at that point. To continue, you can do this just as easily in 4e as you could in 3.5 - it's not like movement doesn't happen in 3.5/PF combat, it just happens more in 4e combat.

I played 3.5 for its entire life cycle, both as a DM and under well over a dozen others, and nearly every time combat came up there was a battle mat on the table. On the rare occasion that we didn't have one, due to space constraints or because the DM didn't have one with him, problems always arose. I imagine that exactly the same would be true for 4e.

To be fair, my little experience with 4e suggests that it has all of 3e's grid-dependence and then some. There are still attacks of opportunity, powers with short ranges, and area attacks, but there are also a lot of specific powers that let you 'slide' 5-feet, or 'push' enemies small distances, or switch places with someone, or which put additional emphasis on who is threatening whom at any given time.

I don't think that's a bad thing. The designers of 4e wanted to make combat more fluid and less about standing-still-and-attacking, and I think they did a really good job. But there are people who run 3e without grids (I've certainly done it), and my impression is that that would be harder in 4th edition.


My only problem with the poll is I want niether of the two option...I want a mix of them. So I do think it is a poorly designed poll...as the two seection are really absolutes.


Hydro wrote:
Pax Veritas wrote:


Mearls wrote:
O A set of guidelines used by the DM
O A hard and fast rule determined by the grid

...

...Based on Mearl's second article, I feel like it drips with trickery, sales sludge, and set-up...

Are you suggesting that "A set of guidelines used by the DM" verses "A had and fast rule determined by the grid" is not a respectfully neutral tone? To echo Scott Betts, I think that speaks more of where you're coming from than of where Mearls is coming from.

I think the options set up a false choice personally. I see no reason why the DM and the grid have to be at odds with each other. Using the cover example, a grid can help players know when some form of cover is in play, but precisely how much or if it even applies for a specific angle is still the DM's call. I understand the appeal to older DMs to not have the grid at all, but without the grid, it can be hard for players to visualize what is going on or what questions they need to ask to get a better understanding of what is going on. Unless the grid represents every opening and everybody's size precisely, the DM still has final say on close calls, but the grid can help in eliminating a lot of questions that the DM would otherwise have to keep answering.

Some things in life, such as combat, are not simple affairs and while some simplification and abstraction is required to simulate it in a game, it can only be simplified down to a certain point. No matter what you try to do, combat is and always will be a complicated affair, no matter how the rules for it try to simplify it. I have played bits of every edition from 2nd ed on, and combat in all of them is a massively complicated affair if the DM cannot somehow clearly communicate with the players. They all involve very complicated rules that, written or unwritten, need to be clearly understood by everyone for the combat to go smoothly. This is not to say that one way is superior to the other, just that underneath the surface fluff, there really is no difference between having a DM decide the outcome based on their own set of unwritten rules and relying on grid, written rules, and dice. Both methods require the player to understand and rely on an external set of rules and understanding of how things work beyond their immediate control.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

John Kretzer wrote:
My only problem with the poll is I want niether of the two option...I want a mix of them. So I do think it is a poorly designed poll...as the two seection are really absolutes.

That's an interesting observation. Personally, I do think there's a qualitative difference between relying directly on the grid and relying directly on the DM; at its core it looks like a binary thing to me.

But even in the former case, the DM can still use the grid for reference ("Well, it looks like you don't have a very good shot at him.."). And even in the latter case, the DM doesn't relinquish his right to intervene in cases where the rules-as-written aren't making sense (he's still the DM, after all!).

I think of the GM as a manager and the rules as an assistant manager. The GM gets the last say, and he can be as hands-on as he wants, but at the end of the day some things are still left up to the rules. That's their job, after all; if you REALLY hate how they're doing it then you should fire them and hire some new ones. :)

(edit: I was responding to John Kretzer, but I think I ended up replying to sunshadow too)


Hydro wrote:
I think of the GM as a manager and the rules as an assistant manager. The GM gets the last say, and he can be as hands-on as he wants, but at the end of the day some things are still left up to the rules. That's their job, after all; if you REALLY hate how they're doing it then you should fire them and hire some new ones. :)

Your analogy is one of the better ones I have seen, and covers the spectrum of what people are looking for quite well. I think the biggest difference I have seen in how players of different editions react to the ratio of rules vs DM fiat is how many options they want or can find before resorting to getting rid of the DM. 2nd edition, and to a certain extent, 4th edition doesn't really give the players that many options or arguments to bolster their case against a stubborn DM, at least on the surface, while 3.5 tends to appear to be anti DM at times with the amount of rules it has. Once you dig under the surface, the differences are not all that great, but the ease of the player in reacting to the DM in ways short of either the player or the DM leaving the table seems to be a major factor in the edition wars.

Some players, like employees, like having some kind of clearly written policy, or rules, to clearly back them up when faced with challenging the boss. Others are able to come up with their own arguments or are willing to dig through dozens of regulations and rules to find what they need. The other major factor is their ability to find a replacement DM/game. Some people are kind of stuck with a small pool of players/DMs and have to figure out how to make the best of it, while others have the advantage of being able to walk away from people they don't like and still be able to play elsewhere.


Hydro wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
My only problem with the poll is I want niether of the two option...I want a mix of them. So I do think it is a poorly designed poll...as the two seection are really absolutes.

That's an interesting observation. Personally, I do think there's a qualitative difference between relying directly on the grid and relying directly on the DM; at its core it looks like a binary thing to me.

But even in the former case, the DM can still use the grid for reference ("Well, it looks like you don't have a very good shot at him.."). And even in the latter case, the DM doesn't relinquish his right to intervene in cases where the rules-as-written aren't making sense (he's still the DM, after all!).

I think of the GM as a manager and the rules as an assistant manager. The GM gets the last say, and he can be as hands-on as he wants, but at the end of the day some things are still left up to the rules. That's their job, after all; if you REALLY hate how they're doing it then you should fire them and hire some new ones. :)

(edit: I was responding to John Kretzer, but I think I ended up replying to sunshadow too)

I don't think you are wrong...and I like you analuoge. I see your point.

Though I still would vote for the third option. As I think more than just 'guidelines' are required. But I also don't want to see 'hard and fast rules determined by a grid.'

I think the defination of guideline that is up in the air. That I think could mean aot of things. And while the DM is the in control and makes the final ruling...it also could give him too much control...so it becomes a point where we are just sitting around and listening to the DM tell a story with a little input from us. Rules can help in preventing that feeling.

Than I again...I think polls...do very little in actualy telling anything to start with...so maybe I am just anti-polling.


John Kretzer wrote:

Than I again...I think polls...do very little in actualy telling anything to start with...so maybe I am just anti-polling.

Nate Silver was able to predict the presidential election decisions of 49 of the 50 states in the union and the outcome of every senatorial race in the 2008 election cycle using statistical analysis of polling. Polls tell you plenty if constructed properly and interpreted properly (and, by properly, I mean according to sound methodology, not "they just happened to get it right").


Scott Betts wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

Than I again...I think polls...do very little in actualy telling anything to start with...so maybe I am just anti-polling.

Nate Silver was able to predict the presidential election decisions of 49 of the 50 states in the union and the outcome of every senatorial race in the 2008 election cycle using statistical analysis of polling. Polls tell you plenty if constructed properly and interpreted properly (and, by properly, I mean according to sound methodology, not "they just happened to get it right").

Link? I am curious.

And there is very big diffrence between political polling...and this kinda of polling.

Unfortunaly(in general) people just vote along political party lines...so it is really simple to track. It is really does just boil down to Republican...democrate...ot Other. Not saying this a good thing...It is actualy kinda of horrible, but that is the truth.

Now gamers and RPG in the form of opinions are much more complex for the most part. As I said I would leave the above question blanked as I don't really think either answear reflects my opinion...it is also why I don't fill out poltical polls question either.

But I sorta dislike it in a way because it is misleading...people see option 1) and think 'My god complete railroading by the DM...no thank you.' and look at option 2) 'Oh my god it is a board game.'

I am not saying that is even what is remotely meant...but people will have that reaction.


I have played almost every edition of D&D - 1st, 2nd, 3.5 and Pathfinder and have enjoyed them all, and have never used a grid :) I dont like how wotc treated us dropping off everything, and trying to get rid of open licence and then going to 4e. The new game is ok but it just dosnt have the feal of D&D for me.


John Kretzer wrote:

And there is very big diffrence between political polling...and this kinda of polling.

Unfortunaly(in general) people just vote along political party lines...so it is really simple to track. It is really does just boil down to Republican...democrate...ot Other. Not saying this a good thing...It is actualy kinda of horrible, but that is the truth.

Now gamers and RPG in the form of opinions are much more complex for the most part. As I said I would leave the above question blanked as I don't really think either answear reflects my opinion...it is also why I don't fill out poltical polls question either.

But I sorta dislike it in a way because it is misleading...people see option 1) and think 'My god complete railroading by the DM...no thank you.' and look at option 2) 'Oh my god it is a board game.'

Another obvious problem is that Mearls tries to appeal to the fans of older editions who might have left the game in recent years... but many of those old fans might not be checking the WotC WEBSITE anymore, either. It's like the whole "Dewey Defeats Truman" mistake all over again. I know that *I* stopped checking the WotC website, around the same time I stopped buying WotC products, a couple of years ago. I wouldn't have known about these Mearls articles if not for this thread.

(However, I DID cast my vote. To be sure, providing one answer from two choices doesn't really make my view clear, but still, I always wanted to make my voice heard on that matter, even to such a limited extent.)


Shizvestus wrote:
I dont like how wotc treated us dropping off everything, and trying to get rid of open licence and then going to 4e.

To my knowledge, they haven't tried to get rid of the OGL. They just didn't use the OGL for 4e, instead creating a different (and worse) system (GSL?).


Are wrote:
Shizvestus wrote:
I dont like how wotc treated us dropping off everything, and trying to get rid of open licence and then going to 4e.

To my knowledge, they haven't tried to get rid of the OGL. They just didn't use the OGL for 4e, instead creating a different (and worse) system (GSL?).

The OGL is non-revocable. WotC knew when they put it out there that there was no going back.


John Kretzer wrote:
Link? I am curious.

FiveThirtyEight

Wikipedia - FiveThirtyEight.com

Cheers!


Aaron Bitman wrote:


Another obvious problem is that Mearls tries to appeal to the fans of older editions who might have left the game in recent years... but many of those old fans might not be checking the WotC WEBSITE anymore, either. It's like the whole "Dewey Defeats Truman" mistake all over again. I know that *I* stopped checking the WotC website, around the same time I stopped buying WotC products, a couple of years ago. I wouldn't have known about these Mearls articles if not for this thread.

(However, I DID cast my vote. To be sure, providing one answer from two choices doesn't really make my view clear, but still, I always wanted to make my voice heard on that matter, even to such a limited extent.)

I don't think it really matters. If your so far out of WotCs loop as to not check the website and you don't follow much in the way of media that might get you to check it then your probably a lost cause for WotC. For WotC the real market is not PAX at all but maybe some of the people who either already really like 4E (because they need to keep their current fans and keep them interested) and those that play 4E at least a bit on the side. For the group that plays a bit on the side, if they made the game more to their tastes, then they might play more - and buy more supplements and hopefully get a DDI subscription. Nonetheless the core of the respondents are going to be the 4E player base itself and keeping them happy and continuing to subscribe needs to be WotCs primary goal.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Aaron Bitman wrote:


Another obvious problem is that Mearls tries to appeal to the fans of older editions who might have left the game in recent years... but many of those old fans might not be checking the WotC WEBSITE anymore, either. It's like the whole "Dewey Defeats Truman" mistake all over again. I know that *I* stopped checking the WotC website, around the same time I stopped buying WotC products, a couple of years ago. I wouldn't have known about these Mearls articles if not for this thread.

I didn't stop checking the site until after they started requiring me to sign up for a "Dragon Magazine" account to see any of the articles.

The grognard in me didn't really rear its head until then; I had loved the real Dragon and Dungeon magazines and thought that whatever they did with those titles had better be really impressive to justify taking the names back. So, the fact that they were just taking their usual offerings of free web content and repackaging that under the "Dragon" label was frankly offensive to me.

That said, you know.. the fact that you chose to view this thread (and then chose to view the linked articles) DOES mean that you're still paying attention to what they're doing. Not a lot of attention, perhaps, but a little. If you didn't care at all you would have never gotten to the poll.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Scott Betts wrote:
Are wrote:
Shizvestus wrote:
I dont like how wotc treated us dropping off everything, and trying to get rid of open licence and then going to 4e.

To my knowledge, they haven't tried to get rid of the OGL. They just didn't use the OGL for 4e, instead creating a different (and worse) system (GSL?).

The OGL is non-revocable. WotC knew when they put it out there that there was no going back.

Also, they DID revoke the d20 license (i.e, the right to but that little logo on your books), which according to my understanding resulted in a lot of 3e books going to landfills.

No, they can't actually revoke the OGL, but they did the best they could.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

John Kretzer wrote:
I think the defination of guideline that is up in the air. That I think could mean aot of things. And while the DM is the in control and makes the final ruling...it also could give him too much control...so it becomes a point where we are just sitting around and listening to the DM tell a story with a little input from us. Rules can help in preventing that feeling.

I think I see what you're saying.

In any given instance, I think that a game designer has two options: either to say "this is what happens", or to say "Ask your DM what happens". But in the latter case the rules may still offer advice or 'guidelines', and the strength of those guidelines can vary a lot, almost to the point of reading like "rules for the DM". Even though, as with anything else, the DM can technically break them if he wants.

You can also get closer to the "middle" from option 1. I.e, you say "this happens" but then provide a lot of support to DMs that want to change or houserule it (the 3e DMG was really great for that; honestly, whenever someone says that 3e was designed to "take power away from the DM" I have to wonder if they've actually read it).

I think it's technically a binary in that you have to do one or the other, but in either cases there are ways to handle or qualify it which can help you find a happy medium between the power of the DM and the framework of the rules.

I agree that that's a nuance which the poll doesn't exactly capture.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

sunshadow21 wrote:
Hydro wrote:
I think of the GM as a manager and the rules as an assistant manager. The GM gets the last say, and he can be as hands-on as he wants, but at the end of the day some things are still left up to the rules. That's their job, after all; if you REALLY hate how they're doing it then you should fire them and hire some new ones. :)

Your analogy is one of the better ones I have seen, and covers the spectrum of what people are looking for quite well. I think the biggest difference I have seen in how players of different editions react to the ratio of rules vs DM fiat is how many options they want or can find before resorting to getting rid of the DM. 2nd edition, and to a certain extent, 4th edition doesn't really give the players that many options or arguments to bolster their case against a stubborn DM, at least on the surface, while 3.5 tends to appear to be anti DM at times with the amount of rules it has. Once you dig under the surface, the differences are not all that great, but the ease of the player in reacting to the DM in ways short of either the player or the DM leaving the table seems to be a major factor in the edition wars.

Some players, like employees, like having some kind of clearly written policy, or rules, to clearly back them up when faced with challenging the boss. Others are able to come up with their own arguments or are willing to dig through dozens of regulations and rules to find what they need. The other major factor is their ability to find a replacement DM/game. Some people are kind of stuck with a small pool of players/DMs and have to figure out how to make the best of it, while others have the advantage of being able to walk away from people they don't like and still be able to play elsewhere.

Honestly, until I read yours and John's replies I wasn't thinking about "player vs DM" dynamics at all. I have such a good relationship with my players (as seldom as we actually get around to playing these days) that I tend to overlook these concerns as irrelevant to game design, but lately I'm coming around to the idea that that isn't really a wise attitude.

Again, my understanding of 4e is based on a lot of second-hand info, but it looks like it's designed with greater consideration for "what should be up to the players" (your class, your race, your powers; the very fact that most 4e players build their characters using the same computer program is telling) verses "what should be up to the DM" (there is a lot more support for abstractions, monsters don't have to follow the same rules as PCs, non-combat challenges are often handled with 'skill challenges' that are totally composed by DM arbitration).

I've often criticized 4e for the way that the rules treat PCs differently from everyone/everything else, and that the rules which the DM uses are so often different from the ones the players uses. But I think this creates a greater sense that much of the game is "behind the screen", so to speak.. the PCs can't take what they know and use it to judge how an NPC is supposed to work, or what skill checks a monster needs to make. And that fosters a more stable sense of boundaries between what is under the DM's control, and what is under the player's control. Again, I'm not just commenting on the rules themselves here; in my experience 4e players tend to feel more like anything happening "outside the screen" is up to them (as long as they follow the rules), but anything "behind the screen" is the DMs business.

And you know, I've never thought about it that way before. I've spent a lot of time debating (or, well, sometimes just arguing) with 4e players, but I've never really made that connection before- that the 'inconsistencies' of the rules create a more stable relationship between the power of the players/rules and the power of the DM.


Hydro wrote:
And you know, I've never thought about it that way before. I've spent a lot of time debating (or, well, sometimes just arguing) with 4e players, but I've never really made that connection before- that the 'inconsistencies' of the rules create a more stable relationship between the power of the players/rules and the power of the DM.

I wouldn't say it creates a more or less stable relationship as much as it creates a different type of relationship between the player and the DM. In 3.x and Pathfinder, a player almost has to be become a mini DM at higher levels to handle part of what is happening because there is so much going on rule wise at that point and the focus is less on the party itself. In 4E, the focus never really shifts away from the party's immediate actions, therefore there is no such need for the player to take as a big a role on the rules side. Which style people prefer will vary, so saying one is more stable or less stable can only be done by the individual groups. I think it is simplest to say that each system draws the boundary is dramatically different ways.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

sunshadow21 wrote:
Hydro wrote:
And you know, I've never thought about it that way before. I've spent a lot of time debating (or, well, sometimes just arguing) with 4e players, but I've never really made that connection before- that the 'inconsistencies' of the rules create a more stable relationship between the power of the players/rules and the power of the DM.
I wouldn't say it creates a more or less stable relationship as much as it creates a different type of relationship between the player and the DM. In 3.x and Pathfinder, a player almost has to be become a mini DM at higher levels to handle part of what is happening because there is so much going on rule wise at that point and the focus is less on the party itself. In 4E, the focus never really shifts away from the party's immediate actions, therefore there is no such need for the player to take as a big a role on the rules side. Which style people prefer will vary, so saying one is more stable or less stable can only be done by the individual groups. I think it is simplest to say that each system draws the boundary is dramatically different ways.

I don't think that 3e's designers really tried to create such a boundary at all. I think they left it more up to the politics of the individual group; there isn't an implied division between "DM mechanics" and "player mechanics" in 3e, which is a pro to some (myself included) but a con to others.

As a DM, I think it's important to maintain the illusion that the player characters aren't special and that they follow the same 'rules' as the rest of the world. But on the flip-side I think this illusion of parity is responsible for a lot of the "Player vs DM" symptoms of 3e, the 'arms race' as supplements come out, the arguments over whether the DM should/needs to restrict PC builds and options, whether the DM should/needs to "follow the rules" for villains (verses having them "move at the speed of plot", so to speak), etc, etc.

I agree with your basic sentiment, which is that which approach is 'right' or 'wrong' for you depends on your group, but I do think this is an area where 4e's approach is fundamentally different from that of 3e.


Hydro wrote:
Also, they DID revoke the d20 license (i.e, the right to but that little logo on your books), which according to my understanding resulted in a lot of 3e books going to landfills.

It certainly resulted in a lot of books getting little stickers put on them, and a lot of books sold off cheap.

There wasn't any "destroy" clause in the D20 STL, so anyone doing so was kinda going overboard. EDIT: There WAS a destroy clause, I'm mistaken. Still, I do recall quite a few publishers putting stickers over any D20 STL logos and continuing to sell off that product.

Did WotC ever go after anyone for violation after the termination of the D20 STL? I saw something released last year that had the D20 STL logo on it (can't remember what, I just remember being amused that it was still being used).

Heck, does there even still exist a termination notice? I don't recall ever seeing an official notice, just a bunch of talk about it being cancelled.


Hydro wrote:

Honestly, until I read yours and John's replies I wasn't thinking about "player vs DM" dynamics at all. I have such a good relationship with my players (as seldom as we actually get around to playing these days) that I tend to overlook these concerns as irrelevant to game design, but lately I'm coming around to the idea that that isn't really a wise attitude.

Again, my understanding of 4e is based on a lot of second-hand info, but it looks like it's designed with greater consideration for "what should be up to the players" (your class, your race, your powers; the very fact that most 4e players build their characters using the same computer program is telling) verses "what should be up to the DM" (there is a lot more support for abstractions, monsters don't have to follow the same rules as PCs, non-combat challenges are often handled with 'skill challenges' that are totally composed by DM arbitration).

I've often criticized 4e for the way that the rules treat PCs differently from everyone/everything else, and that the rules which the DM uses are so often different from the ones the players uses. But I think this creates a greater sense that much of the game is "behind the screen", so to speak.. the PCs can't take what they know and use it to judge how an NPC is supposed to work, or what skill checks a monster needs to make. And that fosters a more stable sense of boundaries between what is under the DM's control, and what is under the player's control. Again, I'm not just commenting on the rules themselves here; in my experience 4e players tend to feel more like anything happening "outside the screen" is up to them (as long as they follow the rules), but anything "behind the screen" is the DMs business.

And you know, I've never thought about it that way before. I've spent a lot of time debating (or, well, sometimes just arguing) with 4e players, but I've never really made that connection before- that the 'inconsistencies' of the rules create a more stable relationship between the power of the players/rules and the power of the DM.

Interesting way of looking at it. I agree.


John Kretzer wrote:
My only problem with the poll is I want niether of the two option...I want a mix of them. So I do think it is a poorly designed poll...as the two seection are really absolutes.

Does that mean Mike Mearls is a Sithlord?

...

...

...Yeah, I could see that.

-The Gneech ;P


John Robey wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
My only problem with the poll is I want niether of the two option...I want a mix of them. So I do think it is a poorly designed poll...as the two seection are really absolutes.

Does that mean Mike Mearls is a Sithlord?

...

...

...Yeah, I could see that.

-The Gneech ;P

Aw but are you a sithlord for thinking all sith deal in absolutes?


Are wrote:
Shizvestus wrote:
I dont like how wotc treated us dropping off everything, and trying to get rid of open licence and then going to 4e.

To my knowledge, they haven't tried to get rid of the OGL. They just didn't use the OGL for 4e, instead creating a different (and worse) system (GSL?).

They didn't try to revoke the OGL or anything, since they can't, but they tried the next best thing: In one version of the GSL (and, for all I know, in the current version, too), there was a clause where everyone signing committed to not using the OGL any more, more or less - the GSL said (or still says) that if you use it on a product line, you obligate yourself not never create OGL material for that product line again. Never. That part of the GSL had no expiration date, and would persist even after the expiration of the GSL.


KaeYoss wrote:
Are wrote:
Shizvestus wrote:
I dont like how wotc treated us dropping off everything, and trying to get rid of open licence and then going to 4e.

To my knowledge, they haven't tried to get rid of the OGL. They just didn't use the OGL for 4e, instead creating a different (and worse) system (GSL?).

They didn't try to revoke the OGL or anything, since they can't, but they tried the next best thing: In one version of the GSL (and, for all I know, in the current version, too), there was a clause where everyone signing committed to not using the OGL any more, more or less - the GSL said (or still says) that if you use it on a product line, you obligate yourself not never create OGL material for that product line again. Never. That part of the GSL had no expiration date, and would persist even after the expiration of the GSL.

I see comments like this and I have to wonder how spoiled we have become. Hope in the way-back machine to 1985 and offer the other RPG companies then if they would sign up for the GSL. They would be wetting their pants to do it. Heck, no matter how restrictive it is it is still more open than most other non-3.x based game systems out there.


pres man wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
Are wrote:
Shizvestus wrote:
I dont like how wotc treated us dropping off everything, and trying to get rid of open licence and then going to 4e.

To my knowledge, they haven't tried to get rid of the OGL. They just didn't use the OGL for 4e, instead creating a different (and worse) system (GSL?).

They didn't try to revoke the OGL or anything, since they can't, but they tried the next best thing: In one version of the GSL (and, for all I know, in the current version, too), there was a clause where everyone signing committed to not using the OGL any more, more or less - the GSL said (or still says) that if you use it on a product line, you obligate yourself not never create OGL material for that product line again. Never. That part of the GSL had no expiration date, and would persist even after the expiration of the GSL.
I see comments like this and I have to wonder how spoiled we have become. Hope in the way-back machine to 1985 and offer the other RPG companies then if they would sign up for the GSL. They would be wetting their pants to do it. Heck, no matter how restrictive it is it is still more open than most other non-3.x based game systems out there.

Spoiled? I wouldn't say spoiled. I see where you are coming from and I don't agree, but I don't think spoiled is the right word.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

I think that 4e is excellently designed and fun to play, but in terms of the company support and the community I think that 3e was a better game, and that Pathfinder continues to be a better game. Just because our expectations are higher doesn't mean that they're wrong; in terms of customer relations I think that 4e was a huge step backwards.

I realize that that isn't necessarily the same thing as a less profitable game. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, I have no idea. But either way I stand by my opinion- I don't like how they've handled this game and I haven't given them as much (or, well, any) money because of it.


pres man wrote:
I see comments like this and I have to wonder how spoiled we have become. Hope in the way-back machine to 1985 and offer the other RPG companies then if they would sign up for the GSL. They would be wetting their pants to do it. Heck, no matter how restrictive it is it is still more open than most other non-3.x based game systems out there.

Well to be fair back in the 1985 they were not sparing the rod....they went after anyone who even glanced at their IP. The OGL and GSL was just them sparing the rod...so of course people were going to get spoiled. The OGL is better than the GSLin terms of freedom.

Doesn't the GSL require WotC approval of how it is used or something like that?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

John Kretzer wrote:
pres man wrote:
I see comments like this and I have to wonder how spoiled we have become. Hope in the way-back machine to 1985 and offer the other RPG companies then if they would sign up for the GSL. They would be wetting their pants to do it. Heck, no matter how restrictive it is it is still more open than most other non-3.x based game systems out there.

Well to be fair back in the 1985 they were not sparing the rod....they went after anyone who even glanced at their IP. The OGL and GSL was just them sparing the rod...so of course people were going to get spoiled. The OGL is better than the GSLin terms of freedom.

Doesn't the GSL require WotC approval of how it is used or something like that?

Anything released using the GSL can become WoTC property at any time, for any reason or no reason. It does also include a long list of reason why they "might" revoke the GSL (and make your work WoTC property) but they aren't bound to those reasons.


Hydro wrote:
Anything released using the GSL can become WoTC property at any time, for any reason or no reason. It does also include a long list of reason why they "might" revoke the GSL (and make your work WoTC property) but they aren't bound to those reasons.

It was not that...the OGL had a clause which allowed WotC to use anything published under the OGL...though it was only used once that I can think of( Triva question: What wasa it?)

But I thought there was something...though maybe it was something about them able to cancel it... and the reasons why. It was a very long time ago when I last looked at the GSL.


A lot of the changes to Pathfinder have to do with the ground 4E broke open to try and address some of the issues with 3.5. However due to backwards compatibility with 3.5, there was some ground that Pathfinder could not change without constituting a major revision. So it is a mixed bag, as each system has faults. But Pathfinder does have the advantage of OGL, and hindsight (following 4E) so they have the upper hand in my opinion. For 4E, they needed to keep enough of the past in the new design, or some would reject it. So they didn't pay enough attention to what Pathfinder was doing right or what those players preferred. So they lost some of their stakeholders. The rest is history.

As to the article, you can dwell into the past as much as you want, but actions speak louder than words. It is not the case that people were not expressing what they liked or did not like in regards to 4E. Where 4E tread into difficulty is trying to be too restrictive in player’s choices, and not paying enough attention to details, to consider old time players, and the impact certain decisions would have on them (the indoctrination on previous mechanics). Powers themselves are not bad, but it should have been treated like the previous spell systems, where you have more powers (choices) that are restricted on how many times you may use them per day. They also need to spend more time on releasing quality powers, versus quantity. But I attribute this partially to the need to release 4E as a collectible card game. At least that is my impression.

The specifics on some of the basic elements like cover, attacks of opportunity, shifting (5' step), move, etc. were never put into question. Using a grid may be a valid input, but it has a small impact, due to most players using battle mats when they play, or similar aids.

But I think the real difference is between Paizo as a company versus WOTC, is the latitude they have in making the appropriate decisions to support the hobby. I think Paizo would suffer the same fate had they been under Hasbro’s direction.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

John Kretzer wrote:
Hydro wrote:
Anything released using the GSL can become WoTC property at any time, for any reason or no reason. It does also include a long list of reason why they "might" revoke the GSL (and make your work WoTC property) but they aren't bound to those reasons.

It was not that...the OGL had a clause which allowed WotC to use anything published under the OGL...though it was only used once that I can think of( Triva question: What wasa it?)

But I thought there was something...though maybe it was something about them able to cancel it... and the reasons why. It was a very long time ago when I last looked at the GSL.

Anyone can publish anything released under the OGL.

With the GSL, when I say "they own it", I mean that you can lose your right to publish your material for any reason or no reason, and that they also have the right to publish something exactly like it if they want.

You're right, the GSL lists a lot of reasons why it 'might' be revoked. I'm saying that at the end of the day that's all hot air, because they don't actually need a reason to revoke it.


John Kretzer wrote:

It was not that...the OGL had a clause which allowed WotC to use anything published under the OGL...though it was only used once that I can think of( Triva question: What was it?)

If you refer to the same thing that popped into my mind: The addition of the Razor Boar and the Scorpionfolk to Monster Manual II.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Are wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

It was not that...the OGL had a clause which allowed WotC to use anything published under the OGL...though it was only used once that I can think of( Triva question: What was it?)

If you refer to the same thing that popped into my mind: The addition of the Razor Boar and the Scorpionfolk to Monster Manual II.

IIRC, they were set aside in the back of the book, along with an editorial note praising them and celebrating the OGL.


Scott Betts wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

Speaking as someone who has done 3.X/Pathfinder for years without bothering with grids, I have to say the grids are highly optional.

4e I think not so much.

That's really not the point. Regardless of whether or not you can handwave away grid-based combat in either edition (and, frankly, it would be a nightmare to do so in 3.5 OR 4e, without also removing the DM's ability to accurately adjudicate things like attacks of opportunity), it's plain that both editions of the game use rules for determining things like cover.

To put it another way, in order to forgo the use of grids in either edition, you are forced to either ignore or very roughly approximate a number of particular rules. You can certainly do this, but you are house-ruling at that point. To continue, you can do this just as easily in 4e as you could in 3.5 - it's not like movement doesn't happen in 3.5/PF combat, it just happens more in 4e combat.

I played 3.5 for its entire life cycle, both as a DM and under well over a dozen others, and nearly every time combat came up there was a battle mat on the table. On the rare occasion that we didn't have one, due to space constraints or because the DM didn't have one with him, problems always arose. I imagine that exactly the same would be true for 4e.

I gave up grids (3.5/Pathfinder) a long time ago. Not only is it simply NOT a nightmare to eyeball this stuff, it is quite easy. First of all, one would hope that after years of staring at a grid, the average player would have in his mind a good general sense of what five or six inches, or an inch, or a foot, looks like. I know I do.

Secondly, judging from what I have read on these boards, a majority of us didn't bother with minis or markers at all until 3.x, yet never broke a game, and some continue to do so. Again, doesn't sound like a nightmare. It sounds like for a lot of us, it's par for the course.

Finally, a good number of us are also wargamers. That means plenty of rulers, measuring tape and templates in the house. Not to mention that the bases of minis (if you are using them) come in standard, recognizable sizes, often in inch increments, making judging space between them quite easy with a glance.

To my mind, all of these things are important to take an honest look at and consider, because they can open your mind to things you might not have tried or thought of before. Being too reliant on some things can really hamper creativity. Though grids are handy, they can be one of those things that ruins inspiration by locking our minds into a method. At their heart, Pathfinder and D&D are still wargames, easy - and quite enjoyable - to play on a 3D terrain with fake grass and hills, and trees, and broken walls and all that good stuff.


pres man wrote:


I see comments like this and I have to wonder how spoiled we have become. Hope in the way-back machine to 1985 and offer the other RPG companies then if they would sign up for the GSL.

1985 just called. They wanted their outdated views back.

While you're at it, they said you should bring them one of our super future computers.

They asked about something with 500mhz!!!! and (they were breathing heavily as they said this) 4MB of RAM and a 1000MB hard disk.

When I told them that I'd rather have you bring one of the up-to-date machines for their troubles of lending you their outdated opinions, that I'd have you bring a Core i7 with 4 hyperthreading processor cores giving them basically 8x3000mhz, 4000MB of ram and a 2.000.000MB HD, half of them just died of overawesomenation. The rest died a second later when I confirmed them that no, I wasn't sending in a mainframe that needs its own building, but rather a normal-sized PC, and would a 22" screen be enough.

In other words: I don't give a flying frick about what companies would have done at the time when I was still to young to go to school. The GSL might have been a godsent back then, but this is not back then. Being more advanced than something from over 25 years ago is just not going to cut it today. Call it spoiled, if you must to feel better. I'll call it the basic human desire to set the bar ever higher in everything.


Bruunwald wrote:


Secondly, judging from what I have read on these boards, a majority of us didn't bother with minis or markers at all until 3.x, yet never broke a game

To drag this thread kicking and screaming into the 7th page, I have seen lack of miniatures break a game in 2e.

Doesn't have to be that way, and there was alcohol involved in the GM, but never say never. :P

251 to 300 of 1,627 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / Mearls pleading for unity All Messageboards