Pathfinder RPG and Paizo in the Face of 5E


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

Dorje Sylas wrote:
They don't really need a truly new edition to do a new format. That's what a revision is for. It doesn't even have to be a revision as drastic as 3e to 3.5. Pathfinder Core Revised, Gamemastery Guide Revised, done.

There are people violently opposed to having the Beginner Box in the RPG subscription. I can't even imagine how much the board would explode if Core Rules: Reprint Edition was a part of the subscription.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

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Pathfinder Core Revised? If by that, you mean something similar to the Rules Compendium from 3.5e, I'm all for it.

I'd *love* to stop having to look all over for rules.

For example, it took me ages to find the rules for fly categories; I never thought to look under the Fly skill for rules on flying movement, and the movement section didn't say a word about it.

Shadow Lodge

gbonehead wrote:
Pathfinder Core Revised? If by that, you mean something similar to the Rules Compendium from 3.5e, I'm all for it.

See, a Pathfinder Rules Compendium I'd be cool with. But I think what a few people are asking for is the Core Rulebook, but with revised formatting / made easier for beginning players / better organization.


Kthulhu wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
Pathfinder Core Revised? If by that, you mean something similar to the Rules Compendium from 3.5e, I'm all for it.
See, a Pathfinder Rules Compendium I'd be cool with. But I think what a few people are asking for is the Core Rulebook, but with revised formatting / made easier for beginning players / better organization.

Probably too early yet for a Rules Compendium. Give it another year or two to make sure they've worked out all the little kinks as they release a few more of the 'Rules' line (probably mislabelled it there)


The new Legends & Lore article talks about preserving the past of D&D, especially monsters, spells and magic items: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20111018

That is rather relevant and provides further support to the notion that Wizards of the Coast may want to draw back the more D&D tradition-oriented players to the game.

Shadow Lodge

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Probably too early yet for a Rules Compendium. Give it another year or two to make sure they've worked out all the little kinks as they release a few more of the 'Rules' line (probably mislabelled it there)

Agreed. And if they do so, they need to make it a bit more clear what the intentions of the book are. I've seen the Rules Compendium get absolutely blasted by people who didn't quite seem to get the concept of it. Some hated it because they saw it as being incomplete, in that it didn't give you all the rules that WotC had published for 3.5 since 3.5 launched, such as massive amounts of character options, feats, prestige classes, etc.


Roman wrote:

The new Legends & Lore article talks about preserving the past of D&D, especially monsters, spells and magic items: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20111018

That is rather relevant and provides further support to the notion that Wizards of the Coast may want to draw back the more D&D tradition-oriented players to the game.

Poorly written article, and even worse poll, if you ask me. At least Mearls actually included the occasional meat in his; Monte just seems to ramble for the sake of rambling, trying to get people to agree with him by stating things that even the most jaded player can't help but agree with at some level. I just don't see the point of what he is trying to do with the columns. If this is how they plan on building up excitement for a new edition, or for that matter, anything, they need to rethink their strategy.


Roman wrote:

The new Legends & Lore article talks about preserving the past of D&D, especially monsters, spells and magic items: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20111018

That is rather relevant and provides further support to the notion that Wizards of the Coast may want to draw back the more D&D tradition-oriented players to the game.

Just to nitpick that article, he mentions the Peryton was never adapted to 3e, but that's wrong. It was in the Monsters of Faerun book, which was 3e, made by WotC. I've used that creature many times.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Roman wrote:

The new Legends & Lore article talks about preserving the past of D&D, especially monsters, spells and magic items: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20111018

That is rather relevant and provides further support to the notion that Wizards of the Coast may want to draw back the more D&D tradition-oriented players to the game.

Interesting. It's not quite a 180 from 'sacred cows make the best hamburger' but it does hint at a sea change.

I think things like Paizo's 'revisited' line do show there's a 'sacred cow loyalty' out there.


Josh M. wrote:
Just to nitpick that article, he mentions the Peryton was never adapted to 3e, but that's wrong. It was in the Monsters of Faerun book, which was 3e, made by WotC. I've used that creature many times.

Actually, he said he was sad that the Peryton and Leucrotta were not apart of the 3E Monster Manual (which they weren't), not 3E overall.

As for the article itself, I think it has merit. I'm not the one to be upset over slaughtering sacred cows but the idea of keeping certain aspects of D&D thorough the game is a good thing. Monsters and Items are probably the easiest Sacred Cows to keep and there must be a desire for them or you wouldn't see so many conversions of 3e to 4e stuff.


Diffan wrote:
Josh M. wrote:
Just to nitpick that article, he mentions the Peryton was never adapted to 3e, but that's wrong. It was in the Monsters of Faerun book, which was 3e, made by WotC. I've used that creature many times.

Actually, he said he was sad that the Peryton and Leucrotta were not apart of the 3E Monster Manual (which they weren't), not 3E overall.

As for the article itself, I think it has merit. I'm not the one to be upset over slaughtering sacred cows but the idea of keeping certain aspects of D&D thorough the game is a good thing. Monsters and Items are probably the easiest Sacred Cows to keep and there must be a desire for them or you wouldn't see so many conversions of 3e to 4e stuff.

But he mentions it a second time not being part of 3e, when it actually was. Oh blah, forget I said anything. Damn OCD.


I love these long board discussions about the history, playability, flavor, and future of the Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing Game.

One of the problems I have with 4e is the way monsters are handled. It never occurred to us (playing the game in 1977) that the players had classes, and it was our classes that gave the characters abilities to affect the game world, while monsters were just, well, monsters (and even though some monsters could cast spells, and some even had levels in some classes to explain why they could do certain things, the idea we accepted was that monsters functioned they way they did because they were monsters). Then a few editions latter the idea that monsters of certain kinds were really races of creatures and that these races could have classes seemed like a good move to me.

Then along comes 4e and for some odd reason monsters are back to being, well, monsters. I mean why are there goblin ‘hexers’, and just what is a ‘hexer’ anyway? and why can’t my elf be a ‘hexer’. You see it is as if someone decided that every ‘creature’ would have powers that had interesting names (but did, basically, the same things Player Character powers did), and these creature powers would be unique to every little variation of monster. (How does a goblin tribe decide who is a ‘sneak’ and who is a ‘hexer’?)

I am currently working on an adaptation of Palace of the Vampire Queen for 4e play, but I will be implementing many first edition through PF edition ‘house rules’. I have run Palace of the Vampire Queen in every edition of the rules except 4e, and this might be my best version yet.

One of the things I am reorganizing is the challenge categories for the game. Basically Players can expect two categories of challenges, Monsters and Hazards.

Monsters, in my version of Dungeons and Dragons are divided into two groups, Creatures and Adversaries.

Creatures are, basically, classic monsters and do things, have abilities, powers, and effects based upon their existence as creatures (a hydra is a creature)

Adversaries are, basically, monsters who do things, have abilities, powers, and effects based upon their class levels.

Both Creatures and Adversaries can be involved in encounters that use combat or skill challenges to overcome (effectively this means an encounter with the town herb gatherer to discover what she knows are good folk remedies for diseases against the things that can be found in the Palace of the Vampire Queen is a challenge involving an Adversary (npc) with class levels in possibly cleric, druid, or wizard)

A creature's powers are unique to the creature because of its nature (a trolls regeneration, which inexperienced characters will have to learn about first hand) and an Adversary will have powers based upon class levels (goblins living in the abandoned chambers of the Palace will be Fighters, Rogues, Warlocks, Druids, or whatever suits their tribal needs, and characters should be able to identify the behavior of certain goblins when they see them use powers they themselves have access to – no Adversary will be able to do something that at least some Player Character Class can also do).

In my version of the game a Dragon is the only monster that is special (it is, after all, Dungeons and Dragons). Dragons are the only monsters that are both Creatures and Adversaries.

I like this approach, and I can see that many will have arguments as to my choices in some cases. For example I have always been opposed to trolls having character classes. I like my trolls feral and frighteningly unpredictable. In my game trolls are Creatures, not Adversaries.

This long post was meant to point out that in the discussion of playability versus verisimilitude, it is my opinion that every edition has its weak and strong suits, but that it is in this completely unexplainable application of monsters having powers that have no relevance to other powers of other monsters and yet character class powers are particular to character class that I have a unique opposed opinion about.

Any edition revision that is derived from 4e, in my opinion, should address this issue if it is going to win me over from my current position of playing both Pathfinder and 4e equally as the players involved desire.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

This thread continues to warm my coccles. Maybe even the ones on my heart.

In case nobody heard, the new edition from Paizo will be called

Pathfinder 2.0: All the rules for the Synthesist in One Place!

It will use Amber diceless role playing as its core mechanic.

True story. I saw it in the stars last night.

Also, as a side note, I am a firm believer of Pathfinder over 4ed. I played D&D from 1983 (purple box Beginners set) through the first six months after 4ed released. My gaming group couldn't deal with a) the reduced focus on magic items (i.e. uses per day) b) the concept of per round, per combat and per day powers and c) the idea that monsters had very different stats than PCs did. Yes we dealt with point C in 1st and 2nd edition, but we, somewhere along the in 3/3.5 I guess, became enamoured with the idea that what the NPCs could do, the PCs should, in most cases, be able to do as well.

However, having said that, we ('we' being my gaming group) do feel that 4th edition did one thing right that Pathfinder, being based on 3.5, could not do: provide a high level to 'epic' level transition that didn't alienate most players and DMs.

4th edition was built from the ground up, at least from casual observation, to accomodate players at the highest levels of play without blinding them with 2 page stat blocks.

The scariest things about Kyuss and Dragotha (from Age of Worms) weren't their in-game abilities, it was that their stat blocks were so long and involved that very few groups wanted the aggravation of running the combat and actually facing them.

My gaming group lives for high level play, we like feeling powerful, making decisions that change entire nations in our game world (Golarion), and seeing that the time we have invested in our characters has resulted in PCs of legend. The problem is that 3.5 and, by extension, Pathfinder, make it so painful to actually run encounters at levels 16+.

Hopefully, if and when Paizo does produce ultra high level gameply (which should imo be limited to level 30 or maybe 36 for nostalgic reasons), they will take a page from 4ed's book and make it fun and cool to game at those levels....

Someone posted a few pages back that WotC, by virtue of the Dungeons & Dragons brand name, still has massive marketing and mind share in the gaming world. This is a diminishing truth. I am buying the Pathfinder Beginner's boxed set for my 9 year old son as a Christmas gift. Another person in my gaming group is also likely to do the same thing for his 8 year old son.

Those two kids' first table top RPG experience will be with Pathfinder from Paizo, not Dungeons & Dragons from WotC. Paizo has created an incredible opportunity for itself over the last 4 years due to 4ed's declining sales and popularity. It now stands to potentially seal the coffin, if you will, on a new generation's first exposure to table top RPGs with their Beginner's boxed set.

Paizo has a solid marketing machine and a development schedule that has (and I'm taking SWAGs here, no solid data to support my theories) profitable, sustainable monthly releases via their subscriptions, and what seems to be a dedicated, talented and creative leadership team.

I'm not a betting man, but if I was, I would say that Paizo's future is looking blindingly bright regardless of what WotC produces (or doesn't) in terms of D&D 5th edition.

Now, just so that my post isn't ENTIRELY off topic, I will say that, if a 5th edition of D&D is released, I would purchase the core rulebook. I owe the system that much, for nostalgia if nothing else. Of course, given my current dislike of 4ed, a 5th edition would need to really knock my socks off in order for me to even consider spending any money on it after the initial core rulebook purchase.

P.S. You know, now that I think about it, WotC lost me the minute they stopped producing print versions of Dungeon and Dragon Magazines. That, in turn, led to the creation of Pathfinder, and here we are. I do love me some irony.

P.P.S. Hmm....I guess in order to actually be 'on topic' I should have mentioned Monte Cook somewhere in here and not just 5th edition. Do we give partial credit for thread 'on-topicness?'

Good gaming to all,

DJF


Terquem wrote:


.....Then a few editions latter the idea that monsters of certain kinds were really races of creatures and that these races could have classes seemed like a good move to me.

Then along comes 4e and for some odd reason monsters are back to being, well, monsters. I mean why are there goblin ‘hexers’, and just what is a ‘hexer’ anyway? and why can’t my elf be a ‘hexer’. You see it is as if someone decided that every ‘creature’ would have powers that had interesting names (but did, basically, the same things Player Character powers did), and these creature powers would be unique to every little variation of monster. (How does a goblin tribe decide who is a ‘sneak’ and who is a ‘hexer’?)

This long post was meant to point out that in the discussion of playability versus verisimilitude, it is my opinion that every edition has its weak and strong suits, but that it is in this completely unexplainable application of monsters having powers that have no relevance to other powers of other monsters and yet character class powers are particular to character class that I have a unique opposed opinion about.

I will never understand why this is an issue. I firmly blame 3E for the idea that everything has to fall under the same rules to have some sort of In-World verisimilitude, which I feel is pretty silly. Most monsters, aside from Solos, have powers that are generally "weaker" than PC powers. In addition, there is often a PC equivalent of a creatures power somewhere in the vast versatility of the system. More over, if a power or feature is REALLY REALLY that interesting, then have the PC research it and when your comfortable with the amount of time they've invested in that research, give them the option.

Simple solution, if it's a basic power, then it's probably At-Will and if it has a recharge of 4,5,6 then it's an Encounter, and if it has a recharge of 6 only or (encounter only) then it's a Daily and make it a power = to whatever level the creature is (rounded up of course). So a level 7 creature has a power a player wants, and through study learns that power but it's a Daily (because it has Recharge 6) then it would be about the range of a Level 9 daily power.

Of course, this really blows balance out of the water but really, if people are worried about taking monster's powers then I'm fairly certain that balance isn't a big deal in the first place.

As for powers of character being more in-line with each others, it's pretty simple. PCs are more structured than monsters are. They're in it for the Long Haul, so to speak, where as monsters are often created to show up and get killed so their powers don't have to really follow any structer. That and the fact that a DM has more liberity to make the monster do anything they want without being confirmed by PC rules. But PCs obviously get the better end of the deal with Class Features and Feats, two things monsters usually Do Not have. So if you really want verisimilitude then they need to start getting feats by level too, which would be a BAD thing IMO.


Often I am not as eloquent as I should be.

My argument about monster powers in 4e was not meant to be, “It does not make sense.” Rather it was meant to be, “It is unnecessarily cumbersome, therefore making it more difficult, for someone with my simple minded approach, to implement.”

That is to say, for me anyway, I would prefer a system that does not require me to ‘look up’ a monster’s powers in a pinch and instead work out a random encounter, ‘on the fly’, knowing that a particular monster though having a different AC, HP, et al, behaves like a ‘Fighter”. I suppose that is I am trying to say that a less developed form of the game is sufficient for me and that improvements, of any kind, should be very easy for me to manage.


Terquem wrote:

Often I am not as eloquent as I should be.

My argument about monster powers in 4e was not meant to be, “It does not make sense.” Rather it was meant to be, “It is unnecessarily cumbersome, therefore making it more difficult, for someone with my simple minded approach, to implement.”

That is to say, for me anyway, I would prefer a system that does not require me to ‘look up’ a monster’s powers in a pinch and instead work out a random encounter, ‘on the fly’, knowing that a particular monster though having a different AC, HP, et al, behaves like a ‘Fighter”. I suppose that is I am trying to say that a less developed form of the game is sufficient for me and that improvements, of any kind, should be very easy for me to manage.

Consider me confused - everything negative you just typed applies far more to 3e, and all the positives apply to 4e. 4e monster building is all about having a very basic shell and adding powers or things you think are interesting. 3e is all about looking up specific powers and spells and exact stats and scaling them precisely to the right level and adding feats and etc, etc.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Terquem wrote:

Often I am not as eloquent as I should be.

My argument about monster powers in 4e was not meant to be, “It does not make sense.” Rather it was meant to be, “It is unnecessarily cumbersome, therefore making it more difficult, for someone with my simple minded approach, to implement.”

That is to say, for me anyway, I would prefer a system that does not require me to ‘look up’ a monster’s powers in a pinch and instead work out a random encounter, ‘on the fly’, knowing that a particular monster though having a different AC, HP, et al, behaves like a ‘Fighter”. I suppose that is I am trying to say that a less developed form of the game is sufficient for me and that improvements, of any kind, should be very easy for me to manage.

Consider me confused - everything negative you just typed applies far more to 3e, and all the positives apply to 4e. 4e monster building is all about having a very basic shell and adding powers or things you think are interesting. 3e is all about looking up specific powers and spells and exact stats and scaling them precisely to the right level and adding feats and etc, etc.

Part of what he's probably trying to say is he's pretty much got 3E memorized and doesn't NEED to look anything up. He can throw an NPC of a given CR and theme and style together in his head in 30 seconds or less, I know I can.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Part of what he's probably trying to say is he's pretty much got 3E memorized and doesn't NEED to look anything up. He can throw an NPC of a given CR and theme and style together in his head in 30 seconds or less, I know I can.

That's how I took it as well. 3E is front loaded in the information you have to learn and figure out how to find, but once you do, it's all nice and consistent. 4E, for better or worse, lacks much of that.


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ProfessorCirno wrote:
Terquem wrote:

Often I am not as eloquent as I should be.

My argument about monster powers in 4e was not meant to be, “It does not make sense.” Rather it was meant to be, “It is unnecessarily cumbersome, therefore making it more difficult, for someone with my simple minded approach, to implement.”

That is to say, for me anyway, I would prefer a system that does not require me to ‘look up’ a monster’s powers in a pinch and instead work out a random encounter, ‘on the fly’, knowing that a particular monster though having a different AC, HP, et al, behaves like a ‘Fighter”. I suppose that is I am trying to say that a less developed form of the game is sufficient for me and that improvements, of any kind, should be very easy for me to manage.

Consider me confused - everything negative you just typed applies far more to 3e, and all the positives apply to 4e. 4e monster building is all about having a very basic shell and adding powers or things you think are interesting. 3e is all about looking up specific powers and spells and exact stats and scaling them precisely to the right level and adding feats and etc, etc.

I'd certainly like to see a list of powers and how do I implement them to the CR. Is that a part of the 4E core? Is the power X equal in strength to power Y, so I can swap them? If I make my own power, is shifting 3 squares worth...

There is a good part of this missing from the game. Perhaps it's part of the DDI tools, but i consider having to pay a subscription fee just to have a complete set of tools a bit foul play.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Zmar wrote:

I'd certainly like to see a list of powers and how do I implement them to the CR. Is that a part of the 4E core? Is the power X equal in strength to power Y, so I can swap them? If I make my own power, is shifting 3 squares worth...

There is a good part of this missing from the game. Perhaps it's part of the DDI tools, but i consider having to pay a subscription fee just to have a complete set of tools a bit foul play.

It's not quite like this (in that there's no table of comparison between shifting three squares, immobilising and a pure-damage attack - there is still some searching through a database involved), but the monster builder makes it relatively straightforward to do what you're suggesting (certainly, in my experience, it's far easier to create 'a monster which pushes the level twelve PCs around' and be sure it is balanced and well-suited to be any of an easy, medium or very tough encounter).

The comparison with rulebooks vs digital content isnt quite pure (since they are offering more than you get with a rulebook in the form of the digital tools - yet they are also offering less in that you dont have anything to put on the shelf and keep). Consequently, I dont consider it foul play - rather I think it's a shift to a different style of RPG delivery which (as a 4E fan) I'm very disappointed in.


What I'm hinting at is, that without the DDI tools you can't make a monster as easily. Sure that you can set the attack and defenses, but what about powers? I need to pull them from monsters directly (Err, who said that? Did I hear that the monster manuals are not quite equal in power levels? :) ) so am I stuck with what monster has at certain level, or can I steal just about any and replace the attack and damage values with the table value and call it a day (oh and replace the name with something suitably cool/stoopid)? I think this area is left blank, which creates a feeling of "Either buy another MM or subscribe to DDI if you want to do this."

Not what I like to see.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One of the big differences in D&D through the ages is in what levels it's built for.

In AD&D, once you reached 9th or 10th level, it was time to retire and start a new character. The game really wasn't designed for play past there. In 2e, a few level limits were raised for demi-humans (so they could play with higher level characters), but the game wasn't rewritten with them in mind, and high-level play had (ahem) problems.

3E came along, and inherited a lot of things from AD&D. There's a lot of legacy design in 3E from AD&D which doesn't really work as a system once you get above (say) 14th level. During the 3E era, I ran one campaign to 21st level (Age of Worms) and two campaigns to 16th level, so I got to see a lot of the problems in play. The designers managed to patch some of them (fighters being problematic at high levels was made much better with PHB2), but the underlying maths doesn't really work.

(Consider the thief. A +2/3 BAB makes a lot of sense when you only go to 9th level. It's not so good once you reach 20th level).

The one thing the 4E designers got absolutely right was identifying that the underlying maths had to work. Unfortunately, they got their sums wrong. The recent patches have made a difference - one of my 4E games is at 28th level, and is playing pretty well. (We got through 5 combat encounters in a 3.5 hour session last weekend).

So, come 5E (whenever that is), the maths will have to work. It's also an issue for PF 2E.

Saga edition I played from 1st to 20th level (all through Dawn of Defiance) and it had significant underlying problems. Bad class design, bad power design. Skill checks vs defenses just didn't work at all - the maths was completely wrong there. And lack of healing made things much worse. Don't get me wrong: there were a lot of good things there, but the system needed more development. (A 2nd version of Saga would have been great).

3E/PF emphasizes player character creation and development (a great contrast from 1e and 2e, and handled very differently from the options in 4e, although 4e developed significantly past its initial release). It does this at some cost on the ease of DMing - NPCs in particular can be a bear to create and run. Having good etools makes a great difference to creation, but running them is always likely to be an issue.

Meanwhile, 4e emphasises ease of DMing and play. It has a large number of missteps. In particular, 1 hour combats at every level tend to be far too long at lower levels. And, let's face it, combat length in both 3e/PF and 4e can be greatly detrimental to story pacing. (Still, I'm glad to not be taking 2-3 hours for one high-level combat, as I experienced in 3.5E).

The trouble for 5E lies not so much in "getting players back" as in just doing a really good system with so many competing demands on it. Consider the converse: can Paizo gain the 4E players with a new edition of Pathfinder while maintaining its current player base? It's tremendously difficult.

If 5E were actually to be a brilliant edition of D&D (the best ever!) you'd get people playing it, and some Pathfinder people would move over. Others wouldn't for their own, quite legitimate reasons. The same goes for 4E players: some would change, others wouldn't. You have people who are dissatisfied with aspects of their current system (this certainly applied to me and 3.5e, which is why I embraced 4e), and conversely you have people who really like the system they're using and don't experience the same problems as other people.

I don't believe there is anything wrong in releasing a new edition of the game, even if it has massive changes. The big problem is being able to analyse why you're doing it, and to analyse what succeeded and failed after it's done.

Cheers,
Merric


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Zmar wrote:

What I'm hinting at is, that without the DDI tools you can't make a monster as easily. Sure that you can set the attack and defenses, but what about powers? I need to pull them from monsters directly (Err, who said that? Did I hear that the monster manuals are not quite equal in power levels? :) ) so am I stuck with what monster has at certain level, or can I steal just about any and replace the attack and damage values with the table value and call it a day (oh and replace the name with something suitably cool/stoopid)? I think this area is left blank, which creates a feeling of "Either buy another MM or subscribe to DDI if you want to do this."

Not what I like to see.

Yeah I agree with you - I personally consider DDI to be an essential part of playing 4th edition and it's definitely not what I want to see either.

The reason I dont consider it 'foul play' as such is that there is a whole bunch of stuff solely available digitally and it seems to me that they are moving that way more and more. In other words, I dont think they're particularly interested in selling lots of books with some digital 'extras' but rather in selling a digital subscription with hardcopy as the 'luxury' item. Lately, for example, there's been a whole bunch of oriental adventure/Kara Tur bits and pieces - but not a single print product featuring any of it. I dont think the printed books are their mainstay anymore (and I no longer think of the digital product as 'add on' or supplementary material).

It seems to me, as a consumer, that the most fundamental change WoTC are implementing has nothing to do with mechanics or approach to game design. It's the delivery of the rules itself which is changing substantially, in my view and has been since the initial launch and throughout its ongoing development (one advantage of the prevalence of digital support is the ease with which they can implement rules updates/changes/errata). At the moment, one can play the game purely with the hardcopy, but it is the amount of material available is becoming more and more focussed on delivery via the subscription. (All a subjective judgement, of course, so maybe it's just that the things I'm interested in are digital only. Nonetheless, I would guess there are substantially more pages available in digital format than available in both or in purely printed form.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zmar wrote:

I'd certainly like to see a list of powers and how do I implement them to the CR. Is that a part of the 4E core? Is the power X equal in strength to power Y, so I can swap them? If I make my own power, is shifting 3 squares worth...

There is a good part of this missing from the game. Perhaps it's part of the DDI tools, but i consider having to pay a subscription fee just to have a complete set of tools a bit foul play.

It's not part of the DDi tools. There is no book to help you judge the power of monster abilities. It's something you have to learn yourself during play. The advice in the DMG is to compare the powers to the ones in the MM to get an idea of balance.

I mean, if I wanted to create a Orc leader, I'd just use the basic stats from the DMG (well, the errata) for a 3rd level brute:

Orc Leader. Standard Brute 3. Init +1.
HP 54; AC 15, Ref 15, Fort 17, Will 13
Scimitar: +8 vs AC, 1d8+9
Encounter: Cleaving blow: Close Burst 1: +8 vs AC, 1d6+7 and knocked prone
Str 18, Con 14, Int 9, Dex 10, Wis 7, Cha 11

That took about 2 minutes. Obviously, more complicated monsters will take longer but - with the values on my DM screen - I can actually do a lot of it on the fly.

If I were doing the same in AD&D, it'd be simpler. 2 HD. Roll hp. Assign damage code and speed. Done. (And most special abilities would be modelled on spells).

What 4E gives you are the typical numbers for every monster at every level. They aren't complicated equations. Since the attack and damage codes are known, you just have to pay a little attention to the additional effects.

3E... building a monster takes longer, with numbers deriving from HD, ability scores, size, etc. (And it's quite breakable. See Grappling).

Cheers,
Merric

Shadow Lodge

Monster creation was at it's best in pre-d20 editions of the game, where the people making the monsters weren't constrained by all the rules of making sure that all the DCs for it's special abilities were correct, that it had the appropriate number of skill points / feats, etc. There's a reason that all of the truely great monsters came from the pre-d20 editions: no artificial constraints.

Shadow Lodge

I'ma go write up a CR 1/2 creature with a 1d3+50 attack now. :D


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TOZ wrote:
I'ma go write up a CR 1/2 creature with a 1d3+50 attack now. :D

Is the balancing factor that it drops dead at the sight of adventurers? ;)

Cheers,
Merric

Shadow Lodge

...'balance'?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TOZ wrote:
...'balance'?

Ah... I see we're going to have to discuss what CR is meant to represent.

You see, when a party of PCs meets a monster...

^_^

Cheers,
Merric

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
MerricB wrote:


You see, when a party of PCs meets a monster...

BLOOD! CARNAGE! DESTRUCTION! OH THE HUMANITY!


I'd like to see more emphasis on math as well. Right now as the splatbooks come out,you have way too much stacking of bonuses. This can greatly throw off an encounter.

I don't mind high level play as much as others. Though I did bite off more than I could chew easily by allowing a five player party Leadership. Running five lvl 20 players with their four lvl 18 henchment has been big task.

But I've done a fair job challenging them by using the KISS principle and not getting to bent out of shape if the player's win easy. They're supposed to sometimes. They're very powerful, some of the most powerful in the entire world. I do want them to feel that way.

I'd definitely like to see more tightening of the math for save DCs on spells and opposed skill checks. Toning down the number of iterative attacks or the damage per attack. Toning down AC stacking from class combinations like monk/duelist/fighter because it can get absurd. We do now need a limit on stacking Dodge bonuses because they can get utterly ridiculous with certain combinations. Toning down archery.

What I do not want to see is the neutering of the magic system. I don't mind a change from Vancian magic. I'd also love to see a move away from the generalist wizard that can know every spell to a more specialized arcane caster like a sorcerer. I think that would go a long way to balancing out magic if a wizard couldn't simply have any spell needed given a day or so. Or could't do everything in his off time like scry. If you wanted to scry on someone, you would have to find someone specialized in that aspect of magic rather than just takea day to memorize those spells.

Instead of neutering the magic system, do the wizard like the fighter (not like 4E did). But make them have to choose a path of magic to follow very tightly just like the fighter has to pick his fighting style very carefully. But still make the spells in a particular path very powerful as magic should be.

Not sure WotC will move in that direction. I'm not sure even if they do come out with a new edition they'll win the battle. Right now the main reason Paizo is doing as well as they are isn't just the rule system, it's the creativity.

They have such a creative bunch at Paizo that share many of the same interests we weird gamers share. They base much of what they're doing off classic ideas of horror, mythology, and fantasy with a touch of the modern thrown in here and there, it's hard not to find something to love in the game system be you a new or old gamer.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Maddigan wrote:
They have such a creative bunch at Paizo that share many of the same interests we weird gamers share. They base much of what they're doing off classic ideas of horror, mythology, and fantasy with a touch of the modern thrown in here and there, it's hard not to find something to love in the game system be you a new or old gamer.

One of the really strange things about this whole PF/4E split is how much more I prefer the 4E mythology and background than that of old 3E and how PF approaches it.

It was pretty amazing seeing Wizards fail to sell it, though, with their "Oh, and the succubus is now a devil" pitch. Urk!

Cheers,
merric


MerricB wrote:
Maddigan wrote:
They have such a creative bunch at Paizo that share many of the same interests we weird gamers share. They base much of what they're doing off classic ideas of horror, mythology, and fantasy with a touch of the modern thrown in here and there, it's hard not to find something to love in the game system be you a new or old gamer.

One of the really strange things about this whole PF/4E split is how much more I prefer the 4E mythology and background than that of old 3E and how PF approaches it.

It was pretty amazing seeing Wizards fail to sell it, though, with their "Oh, and the succubus is now a devil" pitch. Urk!

Cheers,
merric

I don't think a high enough percentage of people care about the cosmology or set up of a given world other than does it give them enough to play around with as a DM. I don't particularly love Golarion or the Forgotten Realms. The only reason I went with them is because they gave me a combination of fluff and crunch along with integrated adventures for me to play around as a DM. But I always made my PCs the stars.

I'm one of those people that never really cared about the cosmology or set up of the world. I'm talking about the adventures. What do most PCs have to do with the cosmology of the universe of a given world or the continents? Nothing. As a DM, you can completely shape the cosmology and world to your own desires.

But the advenures Paizo produces are inspired by some of the great stories of the past be they classic D&D modules like Against the Giants, classic Arabian mythology with Legacy of Fire, Indiana Jones with Serpent's Skull, or classic and modern horror with Carrion Crown. You ever read over the Paizo Adventure paths? Talk about inspiration. They are great and inspire me as a DM because I know the majority of the sources they come from.

That's what I'm talking about when I applaud their creativity as well as what they did with the rulset incorporating archetypes and making classes fun to play 1 through 20.


MerricB wrote:

One of the really strange things about this whole PF/4E split is how much more I prefer the 4E mythology and background than that of old 3E and how PF approaches it.

It was pretty amazing seeing Wizards fail to sell it, though, with their "Oh, and the succubus is now a devil" pitch. Urk!

Cheers,
merric

You know, it's funny, because really, I've looked at their core mythology in a few supplements and, yeah, they do have a fascinating potential campaign setting there. A fascinating potential campaign setting that they do nothing with, don't sell (as in they don't get people excited about it), and don't explain very well. I mean, it's bizarre: on the one hand, I have a manual of the planes that's so full of fluff it might as well be a pillow. On the other hand I have a manual of the planes that doesn't tell me anything about the planes. It's like a vague survey course of "oh yeah, and there's some interesting stuff on planes a, b, and c, but d-f are boring, also there's a city on this one and a war on this one, we think, but don't know; also we may or may not introduce illumians at some point in the future, so we'll throw this in here to keep our options open, but not tell you anything about it." Then I contrast that with the 3.0 Manual of the Planes (I don't know about the Planar Handbook) where it names half a dozen NPCs at least for each plane, gives detailed description for multiple divine realms and their histories, and I just think the new one (picture quality and edition preferences aside) is pretty terrible and lazy.

That's one other thing I'm frustrated with Wizards with: they give us hints of great stuff, but don't develop it. "Leave it to the DM", they say. Which is all well and good, I suppose, except, of course, when we want substance with our fluff (and I'm not even talking about "crunch" aka the rules). Or, you know, when we're purchasing pre-published adventures. I'd like to have a story with the vaunted "story-telling" system 4E is supposed to be, according to so much I've read from the developers.

ANYway. I wouldn't say it's better than Paizo's Golarion, by a long shot, but it's certainly fascinating in a different way, and has lots of potential, if it ever got developed.

Shadow Lodge

Tacticslion wrote:
That's one other thing I'm frustrated with Wizards with: they give us hints of great stuff, but don't develop it. "Leave it to the DM", they say.

Funny, I feel that way about some of Paizo's rules. :)

Shadow Lodge

TOZ wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
That's one other thing I'm frustrated with Wizards with: they give us hints of great stuff, but don't develop it. "Leave it to the DM", they say.
Funny, I feel that way about some of Paizo's rules. :)

Funny, I feel that d20/3.x/PFRPG is inherently OVER-codified, and wish Paizo would turn the rules down a notch or five. Not that I think that's likely...if anything the seem to be going in the opposite direction.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Maddigan wrote:


That's what I'm talking about when I applaud their creativity as well as what they did with the rulset incorporating archetypes and...

At present, I'm running the closing stages of Prince of Undeath, and the 4e mythology is in full swing.

Once upon a time, a shard of pure evil fell into the Elemental Chaos, forming the Abyss and giving rise to the demons. No power a demon possesses can affect that shard, but once there were powers that could: the primordials.

Orcus has found such a primordial; resurrecting him from his forsaken tomb on Death's Reach, and bound him to his service (the Prince of Undeath does have some powers). And from that shard, the primodial shatters a splinter, with which Orcus will kill the Raven Queen.

The adventure is about the group's pursuit of the primordial into the depths of the Abyss, and ends with them fighting Orcus before the throne of the Raven Queen, with the Goddess of Death already pierced by the splinter of evil.

The HPE adventures have a lot of problems in their construction; they're greatly hampered by a pathetic mindset of "let's make them mostly combats" (which comes from above, not from the designers). But the idea behind them is great.

Madness at Gardmore Abbey also looks pretty strong, btw. But there aren't enough good adventures from Wizards - and it's a failure from the top. I hope now that Bill S. is gone things start looking up again.

One of the really, really weird things about both 3E and 4E is that their initial releases really cut back on the story. Look at both the 3E and 4E monster manuals, and they're really light on for anything but combat stats. (There are hints of more, but that's it). Both editions went a lot stronger towards story/background/ecology as they progressed...

Cheers,
Merric


Kthulhu wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
That's one other thing I'm frustrated with Wizards with: they give us hints of great stuff, but don't develop it. "Leave it to the DM", they say.
Funny, I feel that way about some of Paizo's rules. :)
Funny, I feel that d20/3.x/PFRPG is inherently OVER-codified, and wish Paizo would turn the rules down a notch or five. Not that I think that's likely...if anything the seem to be going in the opposite direction.

Because the majority of Paizo's demographic wants it that way. I like rules. I'd like them tightened up and less spread out over the book.I like rules for a variety of situations like grappling, bull rushing, different types of magic, and the like The more rules to handle a variety of situations makes my life as a DM easier.

Less rules make my life harder. My options when a player wants to do something and there is no rule is either A) You can't do that or B) Try to come up with a rule on the fly. I don't like either option.

If you do, great. I don't. More refined rules with strong adventure support equals better game in my book.

Shadow Lodge

Kthulhu wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
That's one other thing I'm frustrated with Wizards with: they give us hints of great stuff, but don't develop it. "Leave it to the DM", they say.
Funny, I feel that way about some of Paizo's rules. :)
Funny, I feel that d20/3.x/PFRPG is inherently OVER-codified, and wish Paizo would turn the rules down a notch or five. Not that I think that's likely...if anything the seem to be going in the opposite direction.

Rules vs. Rulings.

That being said, I would support a less specific ruleset that was robust enough to cover specifics with general rules. Something along the lines of 'you want to do Y? Make an X check. you want to do Z? Make an X check' rather than 'you want to do Y? Make a Y check. you want to do Z? Make a Z check.'

But then, that's just making rules that support making rulings.


MerricB wrote:
Maddigan wrote:


That's what I'm talking about when I applaud their creativity as well as what they did with the rulset incorporating archetypes and...

At present, I'm running the closing stages of Prince of Undeath, and the 4e mythology is in full swing.

Once upon a time, a shard of pure evil fell into the Elemental Chaos, forming the Abyss and giving rise to the demons. No power a demon possesses can affect that shard, but once there were powers that could: the primordials.

Orcus has found such a primordial; resurrecting him from his forsaken tomb on Death's Reach, and bound him to his service (the Prince of Undeath does have some powers). And from that shard, the primodial shatters a splinter, with which Orcus will kill the Raven Queen.

The adventure is about the group's pursuit of the primordial into the depths of the Abyss, and ends with them fighting Orcus before the throne of the Raven Queen, with the Goddess of Death already pierced by the splinter of evil.

The HPE adventures have a lot of problems in their construction; they're greatly hampered by a pathetic mindset of "let's make them mostly combats" (which comes from above, not from the designers). But the idea behind them is great.

Madness at Gardmore Abbey also looks pretty strong, btw. But there aren't enough good adventures from Wizards - and it's a failure from the top. I hope now that Bill S. is gone things start looking up again.

One of the really, really weird things about both 3E and 4E is that their initial releases really cut back on the story. Look at both the 3E and 4E monster manuals, and they're really light on for anything but combat stats. (There are hints of more, but that's it). Both editions went a lot stronger towards story/background/ecology as they progressed...

Cheers,
Merric

True. They have cut back. Probably more interseted in stuffing more crunch into the book.

Good that 4E inspires you as a DM. It has some good points. I only read brief parts of their mythology and I was so thoroughly disappointed with the quality of their Forgotten Realms books that I didn't delve deeper into their fluff. I almost quit playing D&D over 4E and if not for Pathfinder, probably would have still been playing 3.5.

I imagine you would be a good DM in any system. I've read your posts on EN World for years. You seem like the type of guy that really gives it is his best effort to create a fun game for all involved including yourself. That always makes for the best gaming no matter the system.

Hopefully if they do a 5E, it's something that keeps your interest in gaming going and makes for a fun time for you and your players.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Maddigan wrote:
Good that 4E inspires you as a DM. It has some good points. I only read brief parts of their mythology and I was so thoroughly disappointed with the quality of their Forgotten Realms books that I didn't delve deeper into their fluff. I almost quit playing D&D over 4E and if not for Pathfinder, probably would have still been playing 3.5.

Well, in a way, you're still playing 3.5E! :)

Thankfully, I became disaffected with the Realms back in the early days of 2E when TSR messed up the cool Grey Box set I loved... (heh) so the 4E idiocy concerning the Realms didn't bother me. Well, it did - but not so much. (I know why Wizards did some of what they did, and I can sympathise with the reasons, if not the result).

Next year, I expect I'll be running an AD&D campaign and a 4E campaign, and we'll see what happens from there.

Oh, and yes, I do collect the Pathfinder APs. I'm missing 1-12 (Runelords and Crimson Throne) due to lacking money at that time; I have the rest (plus the old Dungeon APs) and I'm looking forward to the Runelords TOME.

Cheers,
Merric


kyrt-ryder wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
Terquem wrote:

Often I am not as eloquent as I should be.

My argument about monster powers in 4e was not meant to be, “It does not make sense.” Rather it was meant to be, “It is unnecessarily cumbersome, therefore making it more difficult, for someone with my simple minded approach, to implement.”

That is to say, for me anyway, I would prefer a system that does not require me to ‘look up’ a monster’s powers in a pinch and instead work out a random encounter, ‘on the fly’, knowing that a particular monster though having a different AC, HP, et al, behaves like a ‘Fighter”. I suppose that is I am trying to say that a less developed form of the game is sufficient for me and that improvements, of any kind, should be very easy for me to manage.

Consider me confused - everything negative you just typed applies far more to 3e, and all the positives apply to 4e. 4e monster building is all about having a very basic shell and adding powers or things you think are interesting. 3e is all about looking up specific powers and spells and exact stats and scaling them precisely to the right level and adding feats and etc, etc.
Part of what he's probably trying to say is he's pretty much got 3E memorized and doesn't NEED to look anything up. He can throw an NPC of a given CR and theme and style together in his head in 30 seconds or less, I know I can.

System mastery is awesome:)


Mournblade94 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
Terquem wrote:

stuff

Consider me confused - everything negative you just typed applies far more to 3e, and all the positives apply to 4e. 4e monster building is all about having a very basic shell and adding powers or things you think are interesting. 3e is all about looking up specific powers and spells and exact stats and scaling them precisely to the right level and adding feats and etc, etc.
Part of what he's probably trying to say is he's pretty much got 3E memorized and doesn't NEED to look anything up. He can throw an NPC of a given CR and theme and style together in his head in 30 seconds or less, I know I can.
System mastery is awesome:)

This is not exactly the point I was making, but I agree, yes system mastery is awesome.

I think I understand that I can build a monster in 4e, using guidelines from the core rule books, but the point that I am trying to make is that the guidelines, at least as far as I can tell, don't tell me enough about why a particular monster, in a particular role, has a particular kind of power. And I understand that I can figure it out on my own, by comparing a monster's role (the role I want it to have) to the roles of Player Characters (though the rules do make a point that PC roles and Monster roles are dissimilar - but then that raises a whole new point that frustrates me, i.e. why do monsters need to have/fulfill different kinds of roles then player characters?.

See it all comes back to the goblin hexer, my favorite example - I get that it is an interesting monster with interesting powers, but for my purposes a goblin wizard/warlock/sorcerer/cleric/druid (caster of some kind) could probably do, for my game, what I need it to do. Why do I have to have a new 'breed' of thing called a hexer, and if it can do something peculiar, why can't my players figure out how to do it (and yes I know that I can allow a player to develop a power derived from the goblin hexer power, but again it seems simpler to let the goblin do something the players already know how to do rather than introduce something the players cannot do, but do something like, only so that the players can re engineer it for their own use - does this make any sense at all?)


Hmmm, perhaps that last post was bit too far off topic. Sorry.

If there is a 5e in the works, the possibilities intrigue me, but will it make me a customer? Most likely yes, for nostalgic purposes at least, but a player of the new system? A dungeon master? It is impossible to know, and fearful to speculate.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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Terquem wrote:

Hmmm, perhaps that last post was bit too far off topic. Sorry.

If there is a 5e in the works, the possibilities intrigue me, but will it make me a customer? Most likely yes, for nostalgic purposes at least, but a player of the new system? A dungeon master? It is impossible to know, and fearful to speculate.

I don't think it's that far off. It is a design consideration.

For BECMI and AD&D the issue didn't come up. Why did an ogre mage cast cone of cold? Because it was something the monster just did. Why could a kraken grapple? Because it was part of the nature of the beast.

With 3.x, those lines became sharper. While the ogre mage's cone of cold became codifed as an SLA, the kraken could now grapple because of the grapple mechanic. Nobody expects to adopt a kraken's reach in 3.5 by a feat, but they can take the same improved grapple feat.

(In my understanding*) 4.0 changed that back, but it's confusing. Up to 4.0, a goblin was a goblin was a goblin. 2e (and then moreso in 3e) added class levels to critters, so a 'goblin sneak' was a goblin rogue. A goblin brawler could be a goblin with fighter levels. In 4.0, a goblin sneak is a different monster than a goblin brawler. They have different powers, and with all powers being part of the 'monster' players coming to 4.0 want to know why that goblin sneak can (for example) switch places with the goblin brawler as an immediate action, but the human rogue can't learn that talent for his fighter. There is no more 'generic goblin' like there were in editions before. But at the same time, I assume a 4.0 'ecology of the goblin' wouldn't refer to them in the fluff by their roles. it would read "Goblins like to live in caves love dogs and hate fire." instead of "Goblin sneaks hate fire, while their big brother goblin brawlers love dogs."

So a 5th edition will have to look at which they prefer. Monsters you can stack classes on, or monsters that have unique abilities based on their role against the party.

*

Spoiler:
of course if I'm wrong about 4.x I'm sure someone will correct me.


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I will never understand why some people insist that monsters and PC's should follow the same rules.

Considering that most monsters will have a lifespan of 1-5 rounds, why should they be built with the same complexity as player characters?


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Black Knight wrote:
I will never understand why some people insist that monsters and PC's should follow the same rules.

And I will never understand why some people can't understand that. *shrug*


I am not sure myself, because plenty of other games, including GURPS did not follow the same rules for monsters and PC's. And no one ever complained when they played my games, nor I when I played in someone elses. If players were interested in a monster as a race, there were enough rules to give them what they wanted. Technically there is no D&D game, or derivative, where monsters and PCs playing by the same rules is exact. There is always room to fudge, otherwise, how can you be creative? The important fact is there are rules for monsters and players, and everyone understands what those are.

Another suspicion I have is if there is even the illusion of monsters and PCs following the same rules, then it gives the players a sense of comfort, when they do not trust the DM, or do not want any type of DM fiat.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Uchawi wrote:
Another suspicion I have is if there is even the illusion of monsters and PCs following the same rules, then it gives the players a sense of comfort, when they do not trust the DM, or do not want any type of DM fiat.

Actually, since it is more often the GM who decides the choice of system, I doubt the GM is picking Pathfinder because they don't trust the GM.

It really comes down to simulationist vs gamist. A simulationist wants the game rules to be like physics, and apply equally to everyone. They use terms like verisimilitude and the like. Even if the game is just the illusion of a simulation, that illusion is what they are looking for in a game.

A gamist doesn't care about simulating a world. They just want to play the game. So shortcuts in monster creation are fine by them.

Neither style is better or worse than the other. It is just a matter of taste. If a game focuses too much on one over the other, they loose the other half of the spectrum. I can see both sides, as they each have their strengths.


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WARNING - the following post is far too long, contains lots of personal opinion, and generally thinks very highly of itself in a pompous windbag sort of way. Read at your own risk.

Uchawi wrote:
I am not sure myself, because plenty of other games, including GURPS did not follow the same rules for monsters and PC's. And no one ever complained when they played my games, nor I when I played in someone elses.

WARNING: BROAD OBVIOUSLY NOT-UNIVERSALLY TRUE GENERALIZATIONS FOLLOW

See, there's a funny thing about people. When they've lived most of their life starving, there's a bizarre social tendency to share and share alike. They might not have the happiest existence, but they (generally) tend to be pretty generous. And when they come upon good times: celebrations abound! Everyone is happy! This is because they had nothing, but were given something.

On the other hand, when prosperous, well-tended people tend, bizarrely enough, to be more miserly... especially fall on hard times (i.e. have much of their stuff taken away), they tend to be grasping and restrictive about what goes forth, because they know what they had and they want that or better.

In some senses, its the same with gamers. Originally, there were monsters who were just monsters, and PCs who were just PCs. But then something really nifty happened: the monsters and PCs began to intermingle. Rejoice! Something nifty is now ours! And so it was that this thing was pretty cool. Then it was completely taken away. And lo, the pattern I displayed above occurs in those that felt it was a kind of "wealth" to have said options. That's pretty much what's happened. It's not that prosperity, or having more is bad (otherwise we should all live in huts and starve), but rather it's more difficult to let go of things that you have and you value than it is to get something new and nifty.

For me, it's a matter of something I had and valued being suddenly thrown out the window without so much as a "how'd'you'do and thankyou". Again, WotC treated me badly in their transition. They misread the signs and completely through the baby out with the bathwater. I was more than willing to give 4E a hearty go... and I did! Still do! But there's so much that 3.X does that 4E doesn't. And that's what I'm missing. And that's what Pathfinder generally provides, which is why I go with it.

Uchawi wrote:
If players were interested in a monster as a race, there were enough rules to give them what they wanted. Technically there is no D&D game, or derivative, where monsters and PCs playing by the same rules is exact. There is always room to fudge, otherwise, how can you be creative? The important fact is there are rules for monsters and players, and everyone understands what those are.

Well, let me know how that goes, converting the Yuan-Ti in 4E. Oh, wait, the only conversion I can find online is horridly balanced, far too complicated, and terrible in most every way (and that's not a knock on the designers, whoever they may be - it's a decent attempt, just a poor execution). Or let's look at the MM Githzerai and see if we can accurately make the one they finally printed in PH3... nnnnnnnnope, we can't because not all of them have the racial power that they get for being them. And forget skill bonuses. Drow? Nah, can't get from the MM monster entry to the race in the back for similar reasons.

See, yes, you can fudge, but if you fudge poorly - and a system like 4E tends to fudge those things poorly - then you get a very frustrating experience known as "changing goal posts" in which you never quite tack on what really should be there, and instead end up with a complex mess. But the thing is: the more clear and concrete the rules are, the more you're free to fudge with them, because you know what does and does not work, and are more readily able to find and understand how the system works. It's all straightforward. When you have the very high degree of inherent arbitration, like 4E, it becomes much harder.

Uchawi wrote:
Another suspicion I have is if there is even the illusion of monsters and PCs following the same rules, then it gives the players a sense of comfort, when they do not trust the DM, or do not want any type of DM fiat.

My first thought was "Hahahahahahahahahahah!" because my GM is often my wife and vice versa. Trust ain't an issue on our end, otherwise we'd be in trouble! BUT, you have a point in that it may very well be true for some gamers. I strongly suspect that there's a very large array of reasons and boiling it down into just a few isn't going to cover everyone, or even most people. Even individuals can rarely be pinned down to having only one reason for their preferences.

For me, rather the security issues, it's just that knowing the world functions consistently allows it to feel more real. I can actually learn and know things. Yes, system mastery, but more it's more possible to have system mastery, both in-game and out. And this is great for when I'm GMing or playing, and for metagame and roleplaying. When my GM (or if I'm the GM, when I) struggles to come up with the appropriate description (or the player does), for whatever reason (headache, distraction, phone call, spilled drink, bad day, whatever), we're both significantly more on the same page because things work consistently enough.

If they can't remember the name right now, and they say "that rainbow-thing" (or whatever the description might be) I'm going to have a better idea of what he or she means than in something like 4E where arbitration is the rule of the day. When my character uses their knowledge, I'll probably actually understand what's being said instead of "magic macguffin of magical macguffin land goes to evil macguffin to macguffin the macguffin" because each of those "macguffins" is more readily defined by me in 3.X, so I'll have more context. As a result, I'll be able to be brought far more into the story that way.

It also gives me a sense of satisfaction when I can watch what happens, what the result, and come up with an accurate understanding of the scene because that's how things work. That allows me to come up with better strategies and tactics (or, if I'm playing someone not too bright, worse strategies and tactics) that I know will function like I think they will. That means the GM has a lot less guess work to do, as do I.

It also means that when the GM does something that's not within the rules as written, you can bet I'll pay attention - because it's something strange and new and important. Again, this brings me into the story.

It's not about trust - I trust my wife to GM well and to think on her feat and react swiftly as well as to provide a great story and game experience (all of which she does), and I've trusted my other GMs similarly and not been disappointed. Instead, its about consistency of the character of the world and the way I, as a player, interact with it.

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