A detailed view of Pathfinder vs. 4th edition


4th Edition

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Silver Crusade

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Sissyl wrote:


But all that pales compared to the worst design flaw: It's extremely non-generative. From the very start, it's not made to design new elements easily. If you make a new class, you need to make pages of class powers for it. If you make a new monster, you have nothing to start with, you have to basically either modify an existing creature (again, with the synergistic powers mentioned above), or pick every number for the monster by hand.
I think it's astonishing that you find it easier to create monsters in pathfinder. I disagree with the whole 4E=WOW thing, but I can understand how it could look like that. Ease of monster design is one of the huge advantages I find with 4E, though - I'd almost say it's the primary reason I have for running DandD

The biggest strength of 3.5/PF for me is that PCs, NPCs and monsters are all build from the same set of Lego bricks. Once you know these bricks, you know how to build anything.

In 4E a PC "rough wooldlands tracker" Ranger party member and a NPC "rough woodlands tracker" Ranger opponent are built out of two completely different sets of bricks. That's perhaps the biggest issue that made me steer clear of 4E.


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Gorbacz wrote:


The biggest strength of 3.5/PF for me is that PCs, NPCs and monsters are all build from the same set of Lego bricks. Once you know these bricks, you know how to build anything.

In 4E a PC "rough wooldlands tracker" Ranger party member and a NPC "rough woodlands tracker" Ranger opponent are built out of two completely different sets of bricks. That's perhaps the biggest issue that made me steer clear of 4E.

I have a lot of sympathy with that view and I wouldn't suggest DandD's approach would suit everyone. I think it's easier though - especially when it comes to inventing completely new monster abilities while trying to balance the creature.


Sissyl wrote:
What I see when I look at 4E,

Man, again?!

Quote:
is a mishmash of various focus-group-design grabs. You have powers you have to choose a few of, just like your action bar in WoW.

Or like any number of other games long-since developed, all of which were not WoW.

Also, in WoW, you know the majority of abilities your class possesses, save a handful of talent-specific abilities. In 4e, you learn only a fraction of the powers available to your class. I guess 4e and WoW are nothing alike!

I mean, if anything, an action bar is an assortment of abilities that you have access to at any given time. Sort of like a Vancian spellcaster's list of daily prepared spells from 3.5/Pathfi-OHWAIT.

Quote:
You have cooldown times (encounter powers) just like WoW.

Do you really want us to start pointing out the cooldown timers in 3.5? Or in Pathfinder? Or maybe you can just accept that complaining about imagined cooldown timers is stupid, and complaining that imagined cooldown timers must make the game just like WoW is even stupider.

Quote:
You have party roles (tank, DPS, healer...) just like WoW.

Or just like D&D has always had. But WoW gave them real names (even though they're not the names used in 4e) so it must be just like WoW!

Quote:
You have Solo and Elite monsters, just like WoW.

Or like any number of other games, including your favorite edition of D&D (and no, I don't care what edition your favorite is; they all had dragons, and dragons have always been solo threats whether they had the word "Solo" scrawled across their forehead or not).

But, I mean, yeah, must be just like WoW. Oh, and WoW is full of bad things that shouldn't come anywhere near your favorite roleplaying game (even though they've actually been a part of your favorite roleplaying game forever) because WoW is dumb, and screw discussing individual game mechanics on their own merit - guilt by mechanical association is the only way of proving you're a true tabletop roleplayer!

Quote:
And so on. About the only thing from WoW you do not have is crafting.

I'm not sure if this is a troll post or not. I mean, I could point out that 4e does have crafting, but I expect you'd be liable to spin that around and pull another "Hah! Just like WoW!" on us.

Quote:
Then, there are other influences too. When you look at monsters, a large portion of them have two or three abilities that interact with one another, say, one ability building up the damage a second one does or the like.

You mean synergistic abilities?! No way!

Quote:
Take a look at Magic the Gathering cards for a while, and the pattern becomes eerily familiar.

Or like 50% of strategy games developed in the last decade. But sure, Magic is the easy target, why not go for that.

And none of this comes anywhere near answering the real, burning question: What's wrong with synergistic abilities?

Quote:
But there are two things that are the worst parts of it for me: First, all monsters have oodles of hit points, to make the quick and streamlined combat take longer.

Except for minions, which specifically address this concern, and of course acknowledging the fact that PCs in 4e deal much higher average damage than previous edition characters.

Quote:
Second, I just can't stand their monster names.

This is both your only legitimate complaint (in that the only real counter to it is "Nuh-uh, those names aren't dumb!") and your weakest (since what you're saying is "I hate this game system because some of the words it uses are dumb.")

Quote:
4E was the first edition that jumped on the "let's make every critter in the game trademarkable" train.

Except, as has already been pointed out, it wasn't the first edition to do that. Also, the monster naming scheme you're complaining about has next to nothing to do with trademark (I'm hoping this is just more trolling).

Quote:
So just like Magic the Gathering, you don't get goblin, you get goblin firegrenadeslinger(tm) or troll swordberserker(tm).

We could call one "Fred" and the other "George", but you probably wouldn't be able to keep track of them that way.

Quote:
But all that pales compared to the worst design flaw: It's extremely non-generative. From the very start, it's not made to design new elements easily.

Oh good god. Someone with no 4e design experience complaining that 4e is hard to design for.

Quote:
If you make a new class, you need to make pages of class powers for it.

The ridiculous part is that I'm sure if we asked you, you'd start claiming that 3.5/Pathfinder is easier to make up entirely new classes for.

Quote:
If you make a new monster, you have nothing to start with, you have to basically either modify an existing creature (again, with the synergistic powers mentioned above), or pick every number for the monster by hand.

Speaking as someone who has designed literally hundreds of new 4th Edition monsters, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Not only are there easy-to-follow guidelines for building new monsters in 4e, but adding new powers to a monster is as simple as dragging-and-dropping from another comparable creature.

Also, monsters are easier to create in 3.5/Pathfinder now? lol

Quote:
If you make a new class power, you need to fit it into the existing power tree of the class.

Yeah, man, you must hate creating new spells in 3.5/Pathfinder. Picking an appropriate spell level? I know, such a pain!

Quote:
And so on. It seems to me that their philosophy of "when you design a monster, it's a monster you design" is more aimed at "you need to be employed full time to design for this game".

Again, you're sort of talking out of your ass here. I'm betting you're going to get told by any number of other people who also have experience with 4e design that you don't know what you're talking about. But you feel like you do, and that gives you license to guess/make things up!

Liberty's Edge

Steve Geddes wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


The biggest strength of 3.5/PF for me is that PCs, NPCs and monsters are all build from the same set of Lego bricks. Once you know these bricks, you know how to build anything.

In 4E a PC "rough wooldlands tracker" Ranger party member and a NPC "rough woodlands tracker" Ranger opponent are built out of two completely different sets of bricks. That's perhaps the biggest issue that made me steer clear of 4E.

I have a lot of sympathy with that view and I wouldn't suggest DandD's approach would suit everyone. I think it's easier though - especially when it comes to inventing completely new monster abilities while trying to balance the creature.

I think ease of use was a primary driving factor, and part of why I was making the comment about integration with programming was looking at the features taken from MMOG and integrated into 4e, again in my opinion partially to make it more compatible with future programming either through a subscription service or a separate game, and also to make it more familiar and accessible to the big WoW audience they were shooting for.

I think the discussion that took place to drive the bus for making 4e was basically this.

1. The current OGL is giving money away on our core business. We need to tighten that up in the new system.

2. We need to make a system similar to what a younger market is familiar with (specifically WoW) in order to bring in new customers.

3. This will also aid us in integrating the system with subscription services (new source of income) and possibly new computer ventures, as having a chain system similar to existing MMOs may attract investment into an improved 4e MMO.

Conversely, I think the Paizo play went like this.

1. Oh crap, our business is making 3.5 adventures using the OGL license, and that isn't going to be viable in 4e, what do we do?!?!?!

2. Since we have nothing to lose at this point, lets see if we can look for ways to improve 3.5 in a new ruleset and try to hold marketshare for our core products, create a new world (since the old WOTC worlds won't be supported for our business) and put out modules and Adventure Paths in that setting, hoping to hold on to those who liked 3.5 and don't want to change.

3. To make sure that market grows, we need to be aggressively OGL and friendly to third party providers, as the more products they make the more played the system will be. And since our core business isn't the system, but the accessories, these are not competitors as much as people who are helping to expand the player base.

4. And while we are at it, create the PFS to get even more people playing actively.

Then that worked.

Now Paizo is trying to find ways to make the ruleset more accessible to new players.

The biggest problem of 3.5 and Pathfinder is accessibility to the new user. And it wasn't a mistake for WOTC to try and fix this.

It was a mistake to drop a turd in the OGL punchbowl while they did it, and to throw the baby out with the bathwater on the way (not to mention all of the other turds dropped in the campaign settings...)

They could have (and should have) made 4e a "simplified" version, better suited for entry level play, and "fixed" 3.5 as an advanced players system.

They didn't. They have now split the market they basically owned as a result.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

*sips his juice*


TriOmegaZero wrote:
*sips his juice*

*eats his sauerkraut with boiled goose*


Sissyl wrote:

What I see when I look at 4E, is a mishmash of various focus-group-design grabs. You have powers you have to choose a few of, just like your action bar in WoW. You have cooldown times (encounter powers) just like WoW. You have party roles (tank, DPS, healer...) just like WoW. You have Solo and Elite monsters, just like WoW. And so on. About the only thing from WoW you do not have is crafting. Then, there are other influences too. When you look at monsters, a large portion of them have two or three abilities that interact with one another, say, one ability building up the damage a second one does or the like. Take a look at Magic the Gathering cards for a while, and the pattern becomes eerily familiar. But there are two things that are the worst parts of it for me: First, all monsters have oodles of hit points, to make the quick and streamlined combat take longer. Second, I just can't stand their monster names. 4E was the first edition that jumped on the "let's make every critter in the game trademarkable" train. So just like Magic the Gathering, you don't get goblin, you get goblin firegrenadeslinger(tm) or troll swordberserker(tm).

But all that pales compared to the worst design flaw: It's extremely non-generative. From the very start, it's not made to design new elements easily. If you make a new class, you need to make pages of class powers for it. If you make a new monster, you have nothing to start with, you have to basically either modify an existing creature (again, with the synergistic powers mentioned above), or pick every number for the monster by hand. If you make a new class power, you need to fit it into the existing power tree of the class. And so on. It seems to me that their philosophy of "when you design a monster, it's a monster you design" is more aimed at "you need to be employed full time to design for this game".

Your right about the characters and wrong about the monsters.

Its absolutely true that building a half decent class in 4E (say a homebrew gunslinger or some such) is extraordinary difficult. Not only do you have to do most of what you had to do in previous editions, decide what kind of armour it wheres, what it gets for hps what weapons it can use etc. and then decide what special 'class' abilities it has, things like getting benefits to healing powers for clerics or lay on hands for paladins but then comes the really hard part. Making powers - dozens and dozens of powers and they need to be themed to whatever class your designing and balanced to that class and between the other classes.

I have an ongoing project to bring a gun toting class to my homebrew but the only way to do that is to watch about a million westerns and gun-fu movies to get ideas for powers. Needless to say not a project that gets done very quickly. In sum the characters are really hard to make and most everyone just uses the ones made in the books. Fortunately there are several dozen classes already in existance so that is not a huge issue.

The monster elements or NPCs however are extremely easy. It helps if you ever made a monster for an edition prior to 3rd of course since monster design for 4E is pretty close to that of 1st or 2nd. Nonetheless there are in fact tables that back up teh monsters design. Each monster gets a role and a level and that gives you suggested base numbers. After that its simply a matter of making up what powers you want to hook to your monster or NPC. Check out the Monsters of the Hyborean Age thread to see the process in action with David Roberts doing monsters from the Conan books he is reading. They are some good well designed monster too.

Anyone should be able to make monsters that work really well with just a little practice and the process is really quick. For higher level stuff much faster at least for the NPCs then 3rd where, as I recall, designing a truly pimped out fallen paladin of 15th level would be an entire evenings work (most of it in picking out spells and magic items carefully in order to present a serous challenge to my players).

Shadow Lodge

Polski Ninja wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
*sips his juice*
*eats his sauerkraut with boiled goose*

Eww.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ciretose wrote:
It was a mistake to drop a turd in the OGL punchbowl while they did it, and to throw the baby out with the bathwater on the way (not to mention all of the other turds dropped in the campaign settings...)...

I don't know if it was an error to abandon the OGL (I have no idea how well WoTC is traveling) but it's definitely something I wish they had retained.

Personally, I think the forgotten realms was their only misstep with the campaign settings (something they're pretty much stuck with). Eberron and Dark Sun were done pretty well, in my view. I haven't seen much complaining, although presumably a lot who would have complained had abandoned 4E by the time they came out.


Bluenose wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
This works after a fashion in a single player game because we know what level the players will likely be when they reach the scene in question. This of course is why the system works for 4E DMs. Its not so clear cut though in an MMO where there can be a wide spread on what level any given group might encounter any given area.
I don't believe so. There are a lot (possibly a majority by now) of single player games where 'encounters' scale according to the level of the PCs who are engaging them. The same can be true for MMOs. This isn't to say there aren't particular set-piece encounters where the power of something is fixed, just that it doesn't have to work that way either for single-player or MM games.

They scale the monsters, not usually the environment. It is a lot harder to swallow having a 5th and a 10th level thief try and climb a wall and have the wall scale to be equally difficult for both of them at the same time.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
They scale the monsters, not usually the environment. It is a lot harder to swallow having a 5th and a 10th level thief try and climb a wall and have the wall scale to be equally difficult for both of them at the same time.

Why should that be any harder? If anything it's mathematically easier. It would be primarily a matter of adding complicating factors depending on the level of the character, which might admittedly require some additional work for the graphics team.


The chandelier issue could be a problem, but I only think it really is an issue with the design of the game. My favored option would still be to have the DCs set by how hard the the stunt appears to be rather than being determined by the level of the party...

How I handle it myself until epic - then I switch the look and feel. T Hat said this is because I view the characters as cinematic action hero's from level one and am fine with the idea that they don't get particularly better at swinging from a chandelier simply because they are 10th level instead of 1st. A lot of people disagree with my take on this however seeing 10th level chandelier swingers as being fundamentally better at swing from said chandelier.

Blazej wrote:

...but even if another route is taken I don't think it is any harder to program. No matter route they go it doesn't define how we run our games as wrong.

I think that it works very well in a MMO environment because one of the things that a designer does in the creation of a scenario is to define what level the party facing it should be.

I think it is about as being similar creating most adventures. I don't think that for a MMO that you really have to prepare for a wide array of levels. I think that one could design an adventure within the game for a defined level (and I would suggest that they already do this for similar MMORPGs) and not worry about if a higher or lower level party attempts to accomplish it. If a band of six 25th level characters want to run through a dungeon of wimpy kobolds for kicks, I say let them. You don't need to make it so that the kobolds become a threat a challenge to the epic party

I'm not suggesting that a computer would be the one to assign the DCs. I wouldn't imagine that would be typical for most video games (except for maybe an automatically generated simulation type game). The DCs would be set by the people creating the adventure, right along with the monsters, traps, plot, dialogue, and all other components of the adventure.

All true - my point however is that its a lot easier on the CRPG coders to use numbers picked by the TTRPG designers then it is for them to make up those numbers themselves - especially considering that few coders are TTRPG designers themselves. The argument was that the game had been made for ease of use by coders. MY point is that this element is not easier for the coders at all and in fact WotC had wanted to make life easier for coders they would have chosen to go with 3rd editions route of providing all the numbers. It would save the coders from having to work this whole element themselves.

Particularly important when we recognize that at very fundamental levels 4E is what each of us as DMs make it. If I'm using it as a kind of Xena simulator (and that's not that bad an example for what I do in fact do) and your doing something else with it then the coders need to figure out what their answer is going to be.

They can do that but its not as easy as using Pathfinders skill system which comes with all the numbers already generated and has a default look and feel already chosen.

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:


In 4E a PC "rough wooldlands tracker" Ranger party member and a NPC "rough woodlands tracker" Ranger opponent are built out of two completely different sets of bricks.

This WAS how D&D was all along until 3e came along and decided otherwise - and then and now I disagree with this development. In terms of the game as an RPG I see no advantage other than to hamper the DM and give the players prior knowledge of every creature they meet. It is not lightly I say that 3e was a bigger depart from the way 1e AD&D played than 4e is when it comes to DMing. As DM give me a palette rather than a book of law any day.

S.

Liberty's Edge

Wrath wrote:

Actually Stefan, this is the only part of the forum where they're allowed to come and complain about 4th edition.

I get that, but complaining here on Paizo's forum is like going to www.apple.com and complaining about Windows 7. What I mean is the D&D developers are less likely to be looking over Paizo's forum for feedback on 4e than say the WotC forums. Pretty much saying I don't like 4e, even with good reasons, here on Paizo's forums seems unlikely to influence or help WotC respond to customers.

Then again I found my D&D when Essentials came out and now have little to complain about...

Still if it helps people to vent?
S.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stefan Hill wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


In 4E a PC "rough wooldlands tracker" Ranger party member and a NPC "rough woodlands tracker" Ranger opponent are built out of two completely different sets of bricks.

This WAS how D&D was all along until 3e came along and decided otherwise - and then and now I disagree with this development. In terms of the game as an RPG I see no advantage other than to hamper the DM and give the players prior knowledge of every creature they meet. It is not lightly I say that 3e was a bigger depart from the way 1e AD&D played than 4e is when it comes to DMing. As DM give me a palette rather than a book of law any day.

S.

Yeah, but in 1E/2E the problem was mitigated by the fact that both PCs and NPCs could do pretty much the same things, read: swing swords for x damage. It went south in 4E. Here's an example:

A party is fighting a guy in a loincloth with a large sword who's foaming at mouth, clearly a barbarian of sorts. The party includes a barbarian, too.

DM: OK, so the evil barbarian warlord uses his encounter power Doomstrike of Obliteration, hitting each of you for 22 damage and sending each of you flying 6 squares...
Barbarian Player: Wow, cool. Hey, when I will be able to use this power?
DM: Erm... you won't.
BP: But he's a Barbarian, clearly higher level than mine I understand, but I want to do this stuff at some point!
DM: You see, he's not a Barbarian, he's a Barbarian.
BP: You mean ... I'll never ....*sadpandaface*

See what I mean here?


Scott Betts wrote:
and of course acknowledging the fact that PCs in 4e deal much higher average damage than previous edition characters.

I don't think this is true. Once the fighters started doing full attacks that damage added up really fast. Its pretty hard to evaluate with the character classes but there is no way that monsters do comparable damage. It was not that unusual for one of my monsters to dish out upwards of 100 points of damage to a single enemy character once we got in and around 10th level.

I think the default number of rounds in a combat just went from a presumed 2-4 rounds to a presumed 6-7 rounds.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
All true - my point however is that its a lot easier on the CRPG coders to use numbers picked by the TTRPG designers then it is for them to make up those numbers themselves - especially considering that few coders are TTRPG designers themselves. The argument was that the game had been made for ease of use by coders. MY point is that this element is not easier for the coders at all and in fact WotC had wanted to make life easier for coders they would have chosen to go with 3rd editions route of providing all the numbers. It would save the coders from having to work this whole element themselves.

This is why 4E works best in an long term setting like an MMO rather a single shot game like Baldur's Gate. A game company can afford to hire one or two pure designers who are able to design the outline, parameters, and numbers to maximize the ability for each individual coder to be most effective, reducing the number of coders and developers needed once the base program is in place. It doesn't make it easier on the coders directly, but by putting the design into the hands of people who can shape the design specifically for the digital environment, when the game does reach the coders, not only the numbers, but the overall structure, is much easier. 3.5 provided the numbers, but the structure can be as much of a challenge as the raw numbers needed for final imput.


Bluenose wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
They scale the monsters, not usually the environment. It is a lot harder to swallow having a 5th and a 10th level thief try and climb a wall and have the wall scale to be equally difficult for both of them at the same time.
Why should that be any harder? If anything it's mathematically easier. It would be primarily a matter of adding complicating factors depending on the level of the character, which might admittedly require some additional work for the graphics team.

Its the exact same wall - they are right beside each other climbing it. Thing about MMOs is your party is not the same level.

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:


See what I mean here?

Only if you play pigeon holes. Why say "You encounter a Barbarian" = boring.

Now a DM saying "You see a large human male with numerous tattoo's depicting death and destruction. He wields a huge two-handed sword and with a mighty call to some foul god he strikes!" Describe the mechanic effect of 22 hp damage, and "he sends you flying" describe the knock back effect.

No issue at all consider the NPC Barbarian is NOT meant to be a Hero Barbarian.

S.


Gorbacz wrote:


Yeah, but in 1E/2E the problem was mitigated by the fact that both PCs and NPCs could do pretty much the same things, read: swing swords for x damage. It went south in 4E. Here's an example:

A party is fighting a guy in a loincloth with a large sword who's foaming at mouth, clearly a barbarian of sorts. The party includes a barbarian, too.

DM: OK, so the evil barbarian warlord uses his encounter power Doomstrike of Obliteration, hitting each of you for 22 damage and sending each of you flying 6 squares...
Barbarian Player: Wow, cool. Hey, when I will be able to use this power?
DM: Erm... you won't.
BP: But he's a Barbarian, clearly higher level than mine I understand, but I want to do this stuff at some point!
DM: You see, he's not a Barbarian, he's a Barbarian.
BP: You mean ... I'll never ....*sadpandaface*

See what I mean here?

What are they Sibko?

Quag the evil Barbarian Warlord is a unique individual with his own techniques and fighting style. They do not share DNA nor where they trained to fight in exactly the same manner. Now our Barbarian player will get awesome ass kicking abilities - after all he is a Barbarian - he'll just get his own unique ass kicking abilities and is unlikely to ever meet an evil barbarian that fights just like he does...well unless the DM decides to make him meet his evil twin or something and uses his powers as the basis for the DMs NPC.

In fact I find the whole idea that there is some kind of brotherhood of Barbarians out there that means that the noble Horse Lord barbarians of the southern plains happen to fight in much the same way as these nasty ape barbarians we have been fighting in the sweltering jungle.


Gorbacz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Sissyl wrote:


But all that pales compared to the worst design flaw: It's extremely non-generative. From the very start, it's not made to design new elements easily. If you make a new class, you need to make pages of class powers for it. If you make a new monster, you have nothing to start with, you have to basically either modify an existing creature (again, with the synergistic powers mentioned above), or pick every number for the monster by hand.
I think it's astonishing that you find it easier to create monsters in pathfinder. I disagree with the whole 4E=WOW thing, but I can understand how it could look like that. Ease of monster design is one of the huge advantages I find with 4E, though - I'd almost say it's the primary reason I have for running DandD

The biggest strength of 3.5/PF for me is that PCs, NPCs and monsters are all build from the same set of Lego bricks. Once you know these bricks, you know how to build anything.

In 4E a PC "rough wooldlands tracker" Ranger party member and a NPC "rough woodlands tracker" Ranger opponent are built out of two completely different sets of bricks. That's perhaps the biggest issue that made me steer clear of 4E.

Yes this is ONE of my +1's for why I steer clear.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aaaand that's why you guys prefer 4E and I don't :)

Simply put, I find appeal in having the same set of Lego bricks for everything. Sure, every Barbarian will have his own fighting style - that's what PF has feats and rage powers for - but also every player knows that this stuff is out there, available for him/her to pick at some point. So if a master swordsman hits my PCs with a Stunning Critical, they know it's something they will have access too, if they choose to.


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Scott Betts wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
What I see when I look at 4E,

Man, again?!

Quote:
is a mishmash of various focus-group-design grabs. You have powers you have to choose a few of, just like your action bar in WoW.

Or like any number of other games long-since developed, all of which were not WoW.

Also, in WoW, you know the majority of abilities your class possesses, save a handful of talent-specific abilities. In 4e, you learn only a fraction of the powers available to your class. I guess 4e and WoW are nothing alike!

I mean, if anything, an action bar is an assortment of abilities that you have access to at any given time. Sort of like a Vancian spellcaster's list of daily prepared spells from 3.5/Pathfi-OHWAIT.

Quote:
You have cooldown times (encounter powers) just like WoW.

Do you really want us to start pointing out the cooldown timers in 3.5? Or in Pathfinder? Or maybe you can just accept that complaining about imagined cooldown timers is stupid, and complaining that imagined cooldown timers must make the game just like WoW is even stupider.

Quote:
You have party roles (tank, DPS, healer...) just like WoW.

Or just like D&D has always had. But WoW gave them real names (even though they're not the names used in 4e) so it must be just like WoW!

Quote:
You have Solo and Elite monsters, just like WoW.

Or like any number of other games, including your favorite edition of D&D (and no, I don't care what edition your favorite is; they all had dragons, and dragons have always been solo threats whether they had the word "Solo" scrawled across their forehead or not).

But, I mean, yeah, must be just like WoW. Oh, and WoW is full of bad things that shouldn't come anywhere near your favorite roleplaying game (even though they've actually been a part of your favorite roleplaying game forever) because WoW is dumb, and screw discussing individual game mechanics on their own merit - guilt by mechanical association...

Sissyl's post was valid criticism. Clearly you are frustrated at the criticism, for that I am sorry.

This is a prime example of a poster with valid criticism being dumped on.


Steve Geddes wrote:
ciretose wrote:
It was a mistake to drop a turd in the OGL punchbowl while they did it, and to throw the baby out with the bathwater on the way (not to mention all of the other turds dropped in the campaign settings...)...

I don't know if it was an error to abandon the OGL (I have no idea how well WoTC is traveling) but it's definitely something I wish they had retained.

Personally, I think the forgotten realms was their only misstep with the campaign settings (something they're pretty much stuck with). Eberron and Dark Sun were done pretty well, in my view. I haven't seen much complaining, although presumably a lot who would have complained had abandoned 4E by the time they came out.

Actually I think they should have run with Dark Sun right out of the gate. I read through the Dark Sun books in the game store. They are pretty true to the original source material.

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:

Aaaand that's why you guys prefer 4E and I don't :)

Simply put, I find appeal in having the same set of Lego bricks for everything. Sure, every Barbarian will have his own fighting style - that's what PF has feats and rage powers for - but also every player knows that this stuff is out there, available for him/her to pick at some point. So if a master swordsman hits my PCs with a Stunning Critical, they know it's something they will have access too, if they choose to.

I guess I don't see it any different to me not allowing a player to stare at people and turn them to stone after they saw a Medusa do it... Stuff on my side of the DM screen behaves as I choose it to. RPG's have never struck me as a competitive game of DM vs Players so I don't see the vital need for DM vs Player balance in any aspect of the game.

S.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stefan Hill wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Aaaand that's why you guys prefer 4E and I don't :)

Simply put, I find appeal in having the same set of Lego bricks for everything. Sure, every Barbarian will have his own fighting style - that's what PF has feats and rage powers for - but also every player knows that this stuff is out there, available for him/her to pick at some point. So if a master swordsman hits my PCs with a Stunning Critical, they know it's something they will have access too, if they choose to.

I guess I don't see it any different to me not allowing a player to stare at people and turn them to stone after they saw a Medusa do it... Stuff on my side of the DM screen behaves as I choose it to. RPG's have never struck me as a competitive game of DM vs Players so I don't see the vital need for DM vs Player balance in any aspect of the game.

S.

Oh, it's not about the DM-Player balance. In other news I oh so much don't enjoy the "Player Advocacy Movement" which would prefer to replace all DMs, sorry, Mister Caverns with AIs so that there's no risk of MCs using the DM side of screen to CONTINUALLY SCREW THE PLAYERS OVER, BECAUSE THAT'S WHY PEOPLE RUN GAMES, TO EXPLOIT POWER AND SECRECY. Cref: Cartigan.

It's about teasing my players with things they can strive to achieve "Boy that Wizard almost kicked our butt but few levels more and it will be *me* who will toss Lightning Bolts around!".


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

I

ts absolutely true that building a half decent class in 4E (say a homebrew gunslinger or some such) is extraordinary difficult. Not only do you have to do most of what you had to do in previous editions, decide what kind of armour it wheres, what it gets for hps what weapons it can use etc. and then decide what special 'class' abilities it has, things like getting benefits to healing powers for clerics or lay on hands for paladins but then comes the really hard part. Making powers - dozens and dozens of powers and they need to be themed to whatever class your designing and balanced to that class and between the other classes.

I have an ongoing project to bring a gun toting class to my homebrew but the only way to do that is to watch about a million westerns and gun-fu movies to get ideas for powers. Needless to say not a project that gets done very quickly. In sum the characters are really hard to make and most everyone just uses the ones made in the books. Fortunately there are several dozen classes already in existance so that is not a huge issue.

My buddy made a new class (well, redone version) called the Factotum. The class focus was being good at a TON of abilities (roles) but for a very short duration. He could do "spike" damage and nice amounts of DPR but only for a round or two, he could heal but not as good as the cleric, he could mark a creature like a fighter but the mark would only last 1 or 2 rounds, and he had some varying AoEs with minimal "soft-control" like a wizard. The class was very interesting and a sort of "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" and it worked conventionally well in any party. Some of the powers were too strong, some too weak but generally he hit the mark on most of the level-based spells.

Alternatively, you could have a much easier time making the Gunslinger a sort of "Essential" based class. Basing the attacks of the Gunslinger off his RBA would help in keeping power selection low, as you'd only have to do Utiliy powers, some stances, and possibly a Spike-DPR mechanic.

And as for Monster design, seriously a piece of cake. I've NEVER run into problems creating monsters using 4E rules because they are devoid of PC creation mechanics. Sorry but it'd be VERY hard to create a Calzone Golem if I had to use rules for PCs. Instead, with the rules for monster design, my Calzone Golem worked out perfectly. He had a Garlic-Breath blast, slam attacks, radiated heat, and melee-based attacks that hit him dealt damage to the attacker due to boiling tomato sauce splashing on your face. Classic!

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:


It's about teasing my players with things they can strive to achieve "Boy that Wizard almost kicked our butt but few levels more and it will be *me* who will toss Lightning Bolts around!".

I understand what you mean. But I play with the idea that players level as a consequence of adventuring not that players adventure to gain levels. Levels I feel have become the reason for playing as 3e's feat system to make your character promotes this. I have no issue with those who see things differently. I find that PF craters more to the 'levelers', whereas 4e is happier with leveling being more optional. I like both games for differing reasons, I don't think the style of play overlaps much and as such I like spending time on both. If I had to choose either PF or 4e it would depend on if I was playing or DMing. As player I prefer PF as the characters look more like 'old' D&D, but if I was DMing only I would choose 4e due to again it's more like 'old' D&D.

S.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stefan Hill wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


It's about teasing my players with things they can strive to achieve "Boy that Wizard almost kicked our butt but few levels more and it will be *me* who will toss Lightning Bolts around!".

I understand what you mean. But I play with the idea that players level as a consequence of adventuring not that players adventure to gain levels. Levels I feel have become the reason for playing as 3e's feat system to make your character promotes this. I have no issue with those who see things differently. I find that PF craters more to the 'levelers', whereas 4e is happier with leveling being more optional. I like both games for differing reasons, I don't think the style of play overlaps much and as such I like spending time on both. If I had to choose either PF or 4e it would depend on if I was playing or DMing. As player I prefer PF as the characters look more like 'old' D&D, but if I was DMing only I would choose 4e due to again it's more like 'old' D&D.

S.

At some point I did read an excellent article on psychology of rewards in RPGs, which underscored why getting "more, but less often" - such as the levels system in D&D is superior to getting "less, but more often" - as in WoD and WFRP/WH40k.

I hope I dig it out and repost here someday, there was some excellent insight as to why people play RPGs and how important is the aspect of accumulating character power/wealth/fame. I guess that most of my groups are "accumulators", so I roll with that.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mournblade94 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
ciretose wrote:
It was a mistake to drop a turd in the OGL punchbowl while they did it, and to throw the baby out with the bathwater on the way (not to mention all of the other turds dropped in the campaign settings...)...

I don't know if it was an error to abandon the OGL (I have no idea how well WoTC is traveling) but it's definitely something I wish they had retained.

Personally, I think the forgotten realms was their only misstep with the campaign settings (something they're pretty much stuck with). Eberron and Dark Sun were done pretty well, in my view. I haven't seen much complaining, although presumably a lot who would have complained had abandoned 4E by the time they came out.

Actually I think they should have run with Dark Sun right out of the gate. I read through the Dark Sun books in the game store. They are pretty true to the original source material.

Eberron wasn't too bad either (no doubt they got better at it as they went along though). Neverwinter is good too, in my opinion (not that that's a true re-imagining) and their later flavor heavy material is getting much better.

I wonder how it would have gone if they'd left FR til third - I daresay they misjudged how many people would push back against such massive changes. Overall, I think that was the error - making a bunch of flavor changes to suit the rules rather than using the rules to tell stories in a rich, preexistent setting.

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:


At some point I did read an excellent article on psychology of rewards in RPGs, which underscored why getting "more, but less often" - such as the levels system in D&D is superior to getting "less, but more often" - as in WoD and WFRP/WH40k.

I hope I dig it out and repost here someday, there was some excellent insight as to why people play RPGs and how important is the aspect of accumulating character power/wealth/fame. I guess that most of my groups are "accumulators", so I roll with that.

That would be cool is you could find it. But why is a level more of the reward than say rescuing the princess? Levels does have the downside of once you hit 20th level then the game is over right? The player has won? Leveling for the sake of leveling seems a hollow way to RP from my position.

S.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stefan Hill wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


At some point I did read an excellent article on psychology of rewards in RPGs, which underscored why getting "more, but less often" - such as the levels system in D&D is superior to getting "less, but more often" - as in WoD and WFRP/WH40k.

I hope I dig it out and repost here someday, there was some excellent insight as to why people play RPGs and how important is the aspect of accumulating character power/wealth/fame. I guess that most of my groups are "accumulators", so I roll with that.

That would be cool is you could find it. But why is a level more of the reward than say rescuing the princess? Levels does have the downside of once you hit 20th level then the game is over right? The player has won? Leveling for the sake of leveling seems a hollow way to RP from my position.

S.

Oh, there are Gamist rewards (levels, combat power, crazy stuff I can do), Narrativist rewards (princess saved, bards sing about it yay!) and Simulationist rewards (erm, dunno, if you fall from 20m you're likely dead, go physics?). That article dealt squarely with the first type, and neither are mutually exclusive.

Liberty's Edge

Mournblade94 wrote:

Sissyl's post was valid criticism. Clearly you are frustrated at the criticism, for that I am sorry.

This is a prime example of a poster with valid criticism being dumped on.

I have to disagree here. It's the usual 4E is like WOw and/or Magic the Gathering nonsense that has been proven wrong many times since 4E has been released. You might as well call Pathfinder a video game or an MMO too while your at it because PF has a lot of stuff that you can find it both.


memorax wrote:
Mournblade94 wrote:

Sissyl's post was valid criticism. Clearly you are frustrated at the criticism, for that I am sorry.

This is a prime example of a poster with valid criticism being dumped on.
I have to disagree here. It's the usual 4E is like WOw and/or Magic the Gathering nonsense that has been proven wrong many times since 4E has been released. You might as well call Pathfinder a video game or an MMO too while your at it because PF has a lot of stuff that you can find it both.

I am choosing not to participate in the videogame comparison, but I have read every post here and nothing has been 'proven' wrong. At best you get 'otherthat games are video games too.'


Steve Geddes wrote:
Mournblade94 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
ciretose wrote:
It was a mistake to drop a turd in the OGL punchbowl while they did it, and to throw the baby out with the bathwater on the way (not to mention all of the other turds dropped in the campaign settings...)...

I don't know if it was an error to abandon the OGL (I have no idea how well WoTC is traveling) but it's definitely something I wish they had retained.

Personally, I think the forgotten realms was their only misstep with the campaign settings (something they're pretty much stuck with). Eberron and Dark Sun were done pretty well, in my view. I haven't seen much complaining, although presumably a lot who would have complained had abandoned 4E by the time they came out.

Actually I think they should have run with Dark Sun right out of the gate. I read through the Dark Sun books in the game store. They are pretty true to the original source material.

Eberron wasn't too bad either (no doubt they got better at it as they went along though). Neverwinter is good too, in my opinion (not that that's a true re-imagining) and their later flavor heavy material is getting much better.

I wonder how it would have gone if they'd left FR til third - I daresay they misjudged how many people would push back against such massive changes. Overall, I think that was the error - making a bunch of flavor changes to suit the rules rather than using the rules to tell stories in a rich, preexistent setting.

Many people read the change in fr as a forced change to cater to 4e rules. The shift said to many fr fans, that their old world could not work for 4e.

Whether old realms is possible to run in 4e or not; the message was you have to change.


Mournblade94 wrote:


Sissyl's post was valid criticism. Clearly you are frustrated at the criticism, for that I am sorry.
This is a prime example of a poster with valid criticism being dumped on.

Problem is, it's valid criticism that can be easily applied to pretty much any RPG game. The points Sissyl makes uses 4e terminology, true, but the core of those complaints can be used to discuss anyone's personal dislike of 2E/AD&D, 3E, Pathfinder, 4E.... It's not like these concerns were any less valid using something NOT 4E.

Sissyl points out the use of "roles", as clearly defined parameter for PCs to follow. While it's more heavily invested in Class design for these roles, by no means are PCs required to stick within these confines. Such things as multiclassing and hybrid characters are easy ways of having 2 to 3 varisions of "roles" as a Hyrbid Paladin|Bard (defender|leader) could multiclass into Sorcerer (striker) for a little extra damage with ranged spells. This is, generally speaking, no different that when a character multiclasses in v3.5/PF and was much stricter when you actually obeyed the rules of Multiclassing and incorporated XP penalities (which no one ever used, sadly).

Additionally going along the lines of "roles" in previous editions, classes were formed to fit a certain "style" or theme like the Fighter was specifically designed to be an up-front solider. His "role" was soaking lots of damage, and engaging enemies to protect their allies. 4E just gave them better tools to do that objective. Rogues were given a "Striker" mechanic for spike-damage in the form of Sneak Attack. Clerics spells were specifically designed to be beneficial in scope, aiding allies, and healing them. There are very very few cleric spells that deal direct damage or cause large debilitating effects.

So the Roles are there, have been there, and probably always will be there as long as Fantasy tropes exist in any media form.

~

Sissyl also points out cool-down effects in 4E (encounter powers) are an MMO aspect akin to WoW. This is really nothing new to RPGs as 2E/AD&D and v3.5/PF both have cool-down effect powers. Every class that has a daily effect (rage, smite, turning) all have cool-down times but are longer in duration. This doesn't equate to better verisimilitude or better mechanics. It's what they were used to dealing with and probably felt deviation from this method wasn't necessary. Later we find that PCs play longer in game-time when they aren't resting for 8 hours every 3 battles due to consumption of power. Think like this, the wizard at 5th level has 3 levels of spells to go through, all with varying amounts of power. Compare that to the paladin at 5th level who has 2 uses, period, of his Smite class feature. After those are wasted, there is little that separates him (mechanics wise) from a fighter from full-filling his role as a "meat-shield" and is often considered worse at it.

Personally speaking, I'd rather have a bunch of options to use per battle than always being conservative with my one or two "big" powers so I don't become a drain on party's ability to function the rest of the day. From this perspective, it's hardly a wonder why Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords received glowing reviews and accolades for breaking the mold of boring "Swing, Swing, Swing...Next!" Instead we get an array of powers that allow a martial character to become actively engaged with combat dynamics, even at later levels where they truely suffer from standard action attacks and repetitiveness.

~

Sissyl also notes Monster tags such as elite, brute, solo, yadd-yadda and I do feel this concept is completly taken from MMO (not necessarily WoW, but those genre of games). However the method of these monsters is as old as D&D itself. There are times, far and few between, in published adventures that PCs face more than just a Dragon. These encounters and many like them are looked at upon as the BBEG (or Big Bad End/Evil Guy) and are often dueled between that lone creature and the party. Not only is this iconic to D&D (any edition), but it's a trope played throughout movies and games too.

What 4E did was say "hey, this is already a tried and true method of encounter design so why not help the DM by listing what would be appropriate for the PCs to face and how many of them. Won't that make things easier?" and yes, yes it did. By tagging these monsters with such titles as Lurker, Solo, Elite, etc. it gives the DM an idea of how to use these monsters in an encounter. It become less of a guessing game based on stat-block read outs and more on encounter design. Additionally it helps DMs figure out the strength of a monster and if it's the sort of creature (s)he wants to put them up against.

The problem I see is that people use the Monster Manual title in their actual roleplaying aspects. For example;

DM: "ok a troll charges out of the swamp covered in armor and wielding a HUGE sword."

I wouldn't say "Ok, an elite bladerager troll, level 13, charges out of the swamp covered in armor and wielding a HUGE sword."

One sounds plausable and gives a good description of what it looks like, what race it is, and armaments. The other shows a DM giving off huge clues to what it's power it and infuses meta-gaming in the PCs.
So maybe more descriptive text from the DM and not so much literal translation of the mechanics to game world. By no means 4E's fault BTW.

Liberty's Edge

Mournblade94 wrote:


I am choosing not to participate in the videogame comparison, but I have read every post here and nothing has been 'proven' wrong. At best you get 'otherthat games are video games too.'

Then we will have to agree to disagree. I wonder then if you agree to say that Pathfinder feels like a video game because when I play it I see the influence of video games in certain aspects of the rules.


sunshadow21 wrote:
The development time would have to be greater, and it would have to include actual 4E DMs, but the coding would not take any longer.

Ok, a couple questions, because I'm really not seeing any support (in my understanding of the rules of different editions, my experiences in online gaming, or knowledge of coding) to remotely support some of the vague assertions you are making.

1) How much 4E have you actually played? How much of the current rules have you read?
2) What programming experience do you have?
3) Have you played DDO?
4) Have you actually looked at the code behind DDO or any CRPGS in general?

I am confident there are elements of 4E that would prove simpler to code. There are others that may be more difficult.

But the fundamental 'barrier' to coding D&D as a computer game remains pretty much the same - a computer game cannot encapsulate all of the possible choices players will want to make, cannot improvise or respond to creative ideas, and you have many spells or abilities (movement based like teleport/fly, divination based stuff like scrying, or even charms, illusions, etc) that need to be limited in capability compared to a situation where the DM can analyze and respond to specific situations on the spot.

You can certainly make a game that tries to be as flexible as possible, but even that is a challenge. And we get closer and closer every year to being able to program dynamic games that find ways to 'react' to player choice. But we aren't yet there - the computer cannot yet be a full substitute for the DM.

And lacking that, every other aspect of translating to a computer game is basically the same, regardless of edition. 4E may be easier due to fewer subsystems. I don't actually disagree with you on that - just that what that improvement actually translate to in the world of game design. The level of difference is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, in terms of where all the actual work of coding is.


I have to agree with most of the OP's opinions on 4th.

Our group started with 2nd ed. We loved it, but when the kits started to emerge, our group mastered the art of min/max until the game started to be less fun.

When 3rd Ed. came out, it was a blast again. The new rule set was amazingly easy to adapt to, goodbye Thac0.

Again, the rules faced issues...Timestop, haste, etc... 3.5 was released, we swore up and down that we weren't going to shell out for yet even more books, but we did and were glad we did.

With more and more material released, we once again seemed to find a way to abuse the rule system with dips into new prestige classes, and we yet again, found ourselves way to overpowered.

When 4th ED. was released, we jumped on it expecting changes similar to the jump from 2nd to 3rd ed. We got those changes and rolled with them.

We played mostly modules, as no-one in our group has much time for crafted an original adventure. It seemed fun at first, however it did start to feel like a grind.

Every session felt like "plot blah blah blah, encounter blah blah skill challenge blah blah grey text...."

Now, maybe our group dynamic and GM's suffer from a lack of imagination and that is our problem, however it did come across as lacking in opportunities to role play. The abilities chosen (although I think they had amazingly written flavour-text) seemed to be pretty much the same as other class choices, and didn't feel unique.

We played 4th for about 6 months then moved to star wars and d20 modern until we recently started Pathfinder.

I wouldn't jump on the OP for creating this thread, because he does have some valid criticisms. Besides, if 4th edition was so perfect, their probably wouldn't have been such a high demand for Pathfinder.

just my OPINIONS....


Mournblade94 wrote:


Many people read the change in fr as a forced change to cater to 4e rules. The shift said to many fr fans, that their old world could not work for 4e.
Whether old realms is possible to run in 4e or not; the message was you have to change.

As a huge fan of the Forgotten Realms, 4E provided the Devs an opportuinity to change perceived problems within the setting (not exclusing to rules or edtiions of D&D). For one, the Devs attempted to cater to those that were on the fence about FR as a setting or down right hostile towards the setting. It was an attempt to bring those people into the fold or at least provide enought goodies for them to purchace the products of that setting (ie. Drow, Swordmage, Genasi)

I, for one, do feel that it needed a shake-up. I know the impression many had was of those called "Chosen of Mystra" that were on a consistant crusade to rid the world of evil. While this is exaggerated, heavily, it's what was consistantly considered valid to those people. In addition to that was the earth-like parallels found on Faerûn such as Unther/Mulhorandi (egypt) and Maztica (mezo-america). And then the bloated pantheon that seemed to repeat itself with Gods with almost similar portfolios and domains. Specically the incorporation of Silvanus (earth-father of woodlands), Meilikki (woodland creatures), Lurue (unicorns and woodland pools), Chauntea (earth-mother, planting, and crops), and theres at least one more than I'm missing. Still.....do you need THAT many to cover the topic of earth, nature, and crops???! No, you don't.

Then you have the 100 year jump, which wasn't my favorite idea but served the purposes of allowing the Authors a HUGE time-gap to fill with great story telling and novels. It also helps the DM not have to sift through the ton of lore that has accumilated over the past 20 years to feel like he's running a canon campaign.

The Exchange

Gorbacz wrote:

Aaaand that's why you guys prefer 4E and I don't :)

Simply put, I find appeal in having the same set of Lego bricks for everything. Sure, every Barbarian will have his own fighting style - that's what PF has feats and rage powers for - but also every player knows that this stuff is out there, available for him/her to pick at some point. So if a master swordsman hits my PCs with a Stunning Critical, they know it's something they will have access too, if they choose to.

Well, perhaps. It's not really something I've come across as being an issue for my players. And actually the rules for NPCs in the DMG are really just abbreviated rules for character creation - so they aren't wildly different in either execution or play. I do not deny that some human "monsters" (i.e. stats for human opponents in the MM) do not confirm to any class powers in the PHB.

Whether that is an issue for you depends on your view of the rules and what they mean in the fantasy world. If you can treat them as guidelines, it's not really a problem. If they represent the hard-and-fast rules of what (to take your example) a barbarian does at any particular level, then you end up with a discontinuity. But (as I'm sure you are aware) all you are really pointing out is the different between 3e (specific rules-based) and 4e (guidelines to DM-fiat). It's one of those YMMV things.

Personally, I'm very happy to step away from having all the rules, and the numerous ramification thereof, the same for PCs and non-PCs. The main reason why 4e wins hands-down for me is the fact I can prepare for a game in two hours instead of two days, and so can have a game and spend time with my wife of a weekend. (I could ignite a firestorm and say "4e is the version game for grown-ups with lives" but that would be irresponsible of me.)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
(I could ignite a firestorm and say "4e is the version game for grown-ups with lives" but that would be irresponsible of me.)

So you choose to type it instead.

Clever.

How's that working out for you?

Being clever.


Mournblade94 wrote:

Sissyl's post was valid criticism. Clearly you are frustrated at the criticism, for that I am sorry.

This is a prime example of a poster with valid criticism being dumped on.

No, Mournblade, it really wasn't. Or, rather, some of it was, but the first half was a rehash of the standard "4E is like WoW" complaints whose flaws have already been previously pointed out in this very thread.

Any good points the post might have had were basically undermined by tossing out these statements. And using it as proof of 'valid criticism' being dumped on only serves to undermine any of your own valid criticism, as well.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Aaaand that's why you guys prefer 4E and I don't :)

Simply put, I find appeal in having the same set of Lego bricks for everything. Sure, every Barbarian will have his own fighting style - that's what PF has feats and rage powers for - but also every player knows that this stuff is out there, available for him/her to pick at some point. So if a master swordsman hits my PCs with a Stunning Critical, they know it's something they will have access too, if they choose to.

Well, perhaps. It's not really something I've come across as being an issue for my players. And actually the rules for NPCs in the DMG are really just abbreviated rules for character creation - so they aren't wildly different in either execution or play. I do not deny that some human "monsters" (i.e. stats for human opponents in the MM) do not confirm to any class powers in the PHB.

Whether that is an issue for you depends on your view of the rules and what they mean in the fantasy world. If you can treat them as guidelines, it's not really a problem. If they represent the hard-and-fast rules of what (to take your example) a barbarian does at any particular level, then you end up with a discontinuity. But (as I'm sure you are aware) all you are really pointing out is the different between 3e (specific rules-based) and 4e (guidelines to DM-fiat). It's one of those YMMV things.

Personally, I'm very happy to step away from having all the rules, and the numerous ramification thereof, the same for PCs and non-PCs. The main reason why 4e wins hands-down for me is the fact I can prepare for a game in two hours instead of two days, and so can have a game and spend time with my wife of a weekend. (I could ignite a firestorm and say "4e is the version game for grown-ups with lives" but that would be irresponsible of me.)

I hear ya, but my prep for a PF game is 2 hours as well. Granted, I have a legal background, and organizing hundreds of rules and numbers in my brain is something I do everyday, so maybe I'm biased :) However, most of my players have more than 2 children, so it's definitely a game for grownups with lives.

The Exchange

Diffan wrote:
Mournblade94 wrote:


Many people read the change in fr as a forced change to cater to 4e rules. The shift said to many fr fans, that their old world could not work for 4e.
Whether old realms is possible to run in 4e or not; the message was you have to change.

As a huge fan of the Forgotten Realms, 4E provided the Devs an opportuinity to change perceived problems within the setting (not exclusing to rules or edtiions of D&D). For one, the Devs attempted to cater to those that were on the fence about FR as a setting or down right hostile towards the setting. It was an attempt to bring those people into the fold or at least provide enought goodies for them to purchace the products of that setting (ie. Drow, Swordmage, Genasi)

I, for one, do feel that it needed a shake-up. I know the impression many had was of those called "Chosen of Mystra" that were on a consistant crusade to rid the world of evil. While this is exaggerated, heavily, it's what was consistantly considered valid to those people. In addition to that was the earth-like parallels found on Faerûn such as Unther/Mulhorandi (egypt) and Maztica (mezo-america). And then the bloated pantheon that seemed to repeat itself with Gods with almost similar portfolios and domains. Specically the incorporation of Silvanus (earth-father of woodlands), Meilikki (woodland creatures), Lurue (unicorns and woodland pools), Chauntea (earth-mother, planting, and crops), and theres at least one more than I'm missing. Still.....do you need THAT many to cover the topic of earth, nature, and crops???! No, you don't.

Then you have the 100 year jump, which wasn't my favorite idea but served the purposes of allowing the Authors a HUGE time-gap to fill with great story telling and novels. It also helps the DM not have to sift through the ton of lore that has accumilated over the past 20 years to feel like he's running a canon campaign.

The rage and fury about 4e FR seemed overblown to me - from reading the book, they blew up the boring places and left most of the others largely intact. That said, I wasn't massively invested in FR (I came to it in 3e), but even so - it seemed like a more fun place to adventure, rather than less so, after the changes. I didn't really buy that the place had to change because of the new system, and the 100 years shift led to some issues if you wanted continuity. But what happened was hardly unprecedented. In a quieter way, 3e FR was different to 2e FR - I remember reading at the time when that came out the developers axed at least one place (a halfling kingdom, for example) without much fuss or anguish.

The Exchange

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
(I could ignite a firestorm and say "4e is the version game for grown-ups with lives" but that would be irresponsible of me.)

So you choose to type it instead.

Clever.

How's that working out for you?

Being clever.

Kinda proved my point, actually.

The Exchange

Gorbacz wrote:
I hear ya, but my prep for a PF game is 2 hours as well. Granted, I have a legal background, and organizing hundreds of rules and numbers in my brain is something I do everyday, so maybe I'm biased :) However, most of my players have more than 2 children, so it's definitely a game for grownups with lives.

Yeah, but being a player doesn't really require the investment in time. I take your point - I know from other people that they prepare for 3e quicker than I do. But I also know from these boards I'm not the only one.


Mournblade94 wrote:
I am choosing not to participate in the videogame comparison, but I have read every post here and nothing has been 'proven' wrong. At best you get 'otherthat games are video games too.'

Ok, tell me which of these statements you disagree with:

1) D&D has always had a focus on specific roles for classes and characters. Every knows you should take along a thief to check for traps, a cleric to heal people, etc. Later games have done their best to ease the burden of "someone has to play the cleric", but the core concepts are still there, and is one that was established in the very earliest days of D&D. Or do you believe this is something that MMOs came up with entirely on their own, and 4E stole from them? (Despite 4E being, perhaps, the edition most friendly towards assembling parties without the 'standard' role representations?)

2) A "cooldown mechanic" represents an ability that recharges over a certain period of time. D&D has always had these - being spells, which refresh on a daily time period - and has had a substantial number of class and magic item abilities that work similarly. (Rage, Wild Shape, Turn Undead, Bard Song, etc). Or do you believe that Daily Powers "don't count" and that only Encounter Powers count as "cooldown powers"? And if so, why?

3) 3rd Edition D&D and beyond has focused heavily on offering characters options. Stats and feats and skills and spells has added on powers (and a few more choices amongst class features). In many ways, the talent trees of WoW most resemble feats (and most match the feat trees of 3rd Edition, honestly), since some of your choices will enhance your existing capabilities (Weapon Focus, Point Blank Shot) while others will give you new powers or approaches entirely (Power Attack, Multi-shot). Do you instead believe that the 4E Power System is a closer match, and if so, why?

4) 4E has monsters with abilities that enhance each other. Do you actually believe this idea of monster synergy is unique to MMOs, WoW, or video games in general?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

The biggest strength of 3.5/PF for me is that PCs, NPCs and monsters are all build from the same set of Lego bricks. Once you know these bricks, you know how to build anything.

In 4E a PC "rough wooldlands tracker" Ranger party member and a NPC "rough woodlands tracker" Ranger opponent are built out of two completely different sets of bricks. That's perhaps the biggest issue that made me steer clear of 4E.

That pretty much sums up nicely one of my main issues with 4e. If I persevered with 4e I may learn the rules that alow for creating monster's stats, but powers are still an art rather than a science.

Fro my 26 session campaign I only created a few NPCs from scratch, most were from the MM and leveled up or down (which is a great mechanic I must admit).

Also you can't use your knowledge of how PCs work to adjudicate how NPCs work shoudl circumstances differ. E.g. what damage does a Goblin Cutter (a minion) do if it loses its shortsword? A shortsword is normally d6 + Str damage for a basic attack but a Goblin Cutter normally does 4 points of damage (strength modifier of +2) so what would that get reduced to? 3? 2? 1?

The Exchange

ciretose wrote:
It was a mistake to drop a turd in the OGL punchbowl while they did it, and to throw the baby out with the bathwater on the way.

I think this is very true. While I suspect they couldn't foresee it, the GSL debacle reflected very badly on WotC and led almost directly to the creation of PF. That said, I think that Paizo's original suggestion that 4e couldn't be used for their sort of campaigns was disingenuous - so far as I can tell, they set up PF because the uncertainty over the GSL was not acceptable to their business model, not really because of genuine systems issues.

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