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D&D 4E

 Post subject: D&D 4E
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:50 pm 
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Rogue-Psyker
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Well, it's still 6 months away (June 2008), but plenty of people have opinions on it already.

DND4.com has a list of specific rule changes which are either known or rumored. Probably the best link for people who want concrete examples of what 4E will be like.

EN World's Unofficial D&D 4th Edition News Page has a lot of news and rumors. This includes all the videos on YouTube from the official announcement.

One major new concept is that the on-line subscription service D&D Insider ($10/month) will be considered part of the "core" rules. Will this really mean that players will all be expected to pay $120/year to subscribe to D&D? Surely not....

I decided to sign up for the DnD Insider experimentally so see what was in there. At the moment it's mostly forums and doesn't cost anything. I assume the subscription fee "feature" will kick in when 4e goes live. I did note that of all the 4e related forums, the "4E Concerns and Criticism" forum was by far the most active, both in terms of threads and total posts.


The main reason most people I have talked to are unhappy about 4E is that it's a substantial change from all previous editions and will not work with the old books. Indeed, Wizards staffers have indicated that it is easier to rebuild all characters over from scratch than attempt to convert them. Whatever books you want will need to be purchased again. Further, there is a rumor that the core books (PHB, DMG and MM) will be re-released each year with new/different content. (I guess they have already started doing this with 3.5 by releasing a DMG2, MM2, etc.)


My own infrequent D&D group has already decided to embrace 4E, largely because we have a variety of gripes against the current rules and hope the many changes in 4E will fix them. Also, and maybe most importantly, we have already rebelled against the madness of buying every class/race/region/item sourcebook that comes down the pipe. Our current campaign is "core only". The only 3.5 book I currently own is the PHB. When 4E comes out, the PHB is all I will be buying. I don't like D&D well enough to run it, so that's all I need.


So, have your D&D groups decided to follow the herd or just say NO to 4E, and why?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:21 am 
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Venator,

Thanks for the links, I will have to check these out. At the moment most in my group plan on sticking to 3.0/3.5 . Since we all known the Wizards of The Coast are going to run D&D like Magic. New versions every time you turn around.

Gotta sell books...

Thanks again for the information and links.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:19 am 
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As mentioned in another thread, though I do not get the opportunity to play D&D, I guess I'm one of those that is resisting the change. The only group I know of (a co-worker's girlfriend's group) has dumped too much money into the current ruleset/books to want to change, so I'm going to try and sell the ten or so books I have to them.

Though I know it would be highly ridiculous and unlikely to coordinate, WotC should (IMO) offer some sort of program for those that supported them during 3/3.5. Asking those same people to re-purchase all of their books again just seems like a slap in the face. Ideally, I'm thinking of a "send us your old book and we'll give you credit towards a new one" which could either be like a 3.5 PHB for a 4.0 PHB, or maybe just a general credit towards 4.0 merchandise. Again, I know that there would be no way for this to truly work (without going into the book's condition, shipping, etc), but it'd be nice if WotC offered something to reward those that helped them prosper financially (read: not Hasbro!).

I'm still hanging onto all of my d20 Modern books, though, in the hopes that one day I'll find a group interested in playing. :-/

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:35 pm 
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Well, WotC has to sell books to stay in business. If they were not releasing a whole new set of core books, they would be releasing more books filled with pointless add-ons that nobody really needs. Raise your hand if you actually paid money for a book that contained the Oozemaster prestige class.
Personally, I would rather buy a genuinely improved set of core rules than another optional add-on that has little or no real effect on how I play the game or how much fun it is.


For example, one thing I really dislike about D&D is "Vancian Spellcasting"... the idea that a spellcaster is a magazine filled up with pre-mixed ammo that you empty during the course of the day. "Well, it's 10 AM and the Cleric is out of spells. Time to make camp again!"

James Wyatt of WotC had an accurate description of how encounters work in 3e:
"See, in 3e there's a basic assumption that an encounter between four 5th-level PCs and one CR 5 monster should drain away about 25% of the party's resources, which primarily translates into spells (and primarily the cleric's spells, which determine everyone else's total hit points). What that actually means is that you get up the morning, then have three encounters in a row that don't reallly challenge you. It's the fourth one that tests your skill—that's where you figure out whether you've spent too much, or if you still have enough resources left to finish off that last encounter. Then you're done. So basically, three boring encounters before you get to one that's really life or death."
Actually, I've had GMs that liked to "challenge" the party with much harder encounters. We often spent so much power in just ONE encounter that the day was over in about 1 hour of game time.


The new magic system as described on the EN World site:

Vancian 'spell slots' will be reduced in how much they control a caster's total ability -- "Vancian magic system – there’s an element of that we held on to, but it’s a much smaller fraction of their overall power. A wizard will never completely run out of spells. They can run out of their “mordenkainen’s sword, however”

Vancian system survives, but it's only a "fraction" of the magic (or magic options) available to characters: "a wizard who casts all his memorized per day spells should be at about 80% of power."

All characters will have spells or special abilities that are usable "once per encounter" or "at will" so nobody will run out of things to do. All classes will also have some ability to heal themselves so the Cleric doesn't have to act as the whole group's hit point battery. It's also very likely that the Cleric will have weak healing abilities that reduce downtime and don't run dry, so the party will never have to make camp for the night before they've even had lunch.


If 4E can fix the many problems inherent to D&D's old mechanics, it will be money FAR better spent than anything in 3.5 (which was a very trivial tweaking of 3.0 and not worth publishing or buying new books over).

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:18 pm 
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Well, my group is probably going to 4e just for the online aspect. The group would get together when two of my friends came back from college for the summer, but now one is in Cali and the other in Michigan. So we don't really have a way to play, and since its the best group any of us ever has had, we want to keep it. I do like the idea with the spells though. God, the times my cleric used all his spells and then was back to being a second-class fighter really sucked.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:27 pm 
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Well I for one can say that I will not be embracing 4th ed. I had enough trouble trying to embrace 3rd ed. I still have my 2nd and 1st edition books on the shelves. So I will probably stick with it. I will probably give 4th the once over that 3rd got. But, Unless Wizards of the Coast got off the high and mighty kick. I just cannot see myself playing a newer edition of D&D.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:55 am 
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We have one memeber of our group who is all fired up about the new 4E.
But he tends to be the guy who looks for ways to use the rules to his own advatage. So I am sure that he saw something in there that he felt would give him the edge as it were.

I will also only buy the Player Guide if I have too. Lucky for me that we have two guys that are the types that will buy every book because they have to have them. So if I need to run a game I will just borrow theirs.
That is what we do now anyway. I also suggested that we chip in money like we do for beer to buy the Monster Manuals. Since we will all be using them anyway.

The real problem that I see is that it will be version 4E the 4.5 then 5 the 5.1 and it will never end. Kinda like some other gaming systems I know of. :-(

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:50 pm 
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I won't be able to buy into the newest edition of D&D. I think the key problem is, the game system itself became too rules oriented. Granted, it had many flaws, from 1st edition forward, but you could work around them. The mechanics overtook the game system and less imagination was involved. Too many times in 3.0 & 3.5 I had younger players be stuck and I would say, as the DM, "Well, what would you like to do?" They reply would overwhelmingly be, "I don't know. I'd like to try this, but the rules say...." or "I'd liek to do this, but I don't have the skill or..." Dude, just roll a die. Do a dex check, if you make it, then you manage to grab the rope. I literally had one player tell me that the group had to quit an adventure because the prisoner they were supposed to be escorting slipped away before dawn. Since none of them had the track skill, they just had to give up. I explained, that the night before it was raining and the ground was soft, so there was probably footprints. He argued that it was against the rules. I liked the old editions that threw in some common sense and was less hampered by rules.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:13 am 
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Quote:
"I'd liek to do this, but I don't have the skill or..." Dude, just roll a die. Do a dex check, if you make it, then you manage to grab the rope. I literally had one player tell me that the group had to quit an adventure because the prisoner they were supposed to be escorting slipped away before dawn. Since none of them had the track skill, they just had to give up. I explained, that the night before it was raining and the ground was soft, so there was probably footprints. He argued that it was against the rules. I liked the old editions that threw in some common sense and was less hampered by rules.


I've been looking though the new rules and this shouldn't be a problem any more. You're effectively assumed to know every skill with a rating equal to 1/2 your level plus the ability score modifier, plus "Training" (which give you a +5 bonus) if you've chosen to train in that skill.

I haven't actually played with the new rules yet, but 4e looks like much more fun as a game. What I hated about older editions was that attacks were so boring. When you're a fighter, no matter how cool you want your attack to be or to look, it was always the same uninspiring D20, hit, damage.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:39 am 
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I currently work at a bookstore, so I could potentially get the chance to read the new edition while I'm there (just haven't had time yet...). I did kinda skim the PH though, and I was annoyed to find out that:

-they've knocked the pantheon of generic D&D gods/goddesses down to about a dozen, tops
-Alignment now works differently. Instead of combinations of Lawful, Chaotic, Good, Evil, and Neutral, you get:

-Good
-Lawful Good
-Evil
-Chaotic Evil
-Neutral

Wha? Reading the descriptions of the new alignments makes them seem both vague yet too specific. LG and CE are the same, but Good plays out like CG, Evil like LE, and Neutral like CN/TN. Gone are the days of Neutral Good and Neutral Evil, I guess.

But my nitpicky critique is really just an exercise in theory/futility. I don't get to play RPGs anymore, partially due to time constraints, partially due to a lack of a group. A couple of guys at work play in some sort of boring steampunk Victorian setting (ala Arcanum, I guess); haven't been asked to join, but would decline anyway because of the less serious nature of that group. My old 40K/Necro group would be too tough to convince to play an RPG, even if it were Dark Heresy; they like the control of Necro too much, I guess.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:21 am 
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Sucks about the alignments. That was half the appeal. I guess that could always be worked around...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:52 pm 
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You know that brings me to a funny story. I was running a game and one player hired a L/E thief. The thief, after having many long talks, several dozen dark beers and meals over the course of weeks and doing competant jobs was finally trusted by the employing PC. There was a bond of trust (and quite frankly, the npc thief wouldn't have betrayed the employer PC), but once the other PC's found out the npc was Lawful Evil, all they saw was EEEEEEVIL (said in my scariest, Halloween, Mr. Burns voice). I mean they thought anything and everything was the fault of this npc. And then they thought that the employing PC was under a spell and so they killed him! These guys were 2nd level. But the thing was, even though they had talked to the player and they knew the guy was Lawful Evil and under contract, all they saw was EEEEEEVIL (again with the Mr. Burns). So, and I hate to say this, maybe the fact that younger players lack common sense and can't make distinctions about the nuances of alignment is why they are changing it. And perhaps that is a good thing?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:48 am 
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mafiacheese wrote:
A couple of guys at work play in some sort of boring steampunk Victorian setting (ala Arcanum, I guess).

I believe it's probably Victoriana they're playing, it's absolutely fantastic fun.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:54 am 
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Having been a mug, purchasing around 30 of the 3.5 ed. books myself, I cannot be arsed to buy 4th ed. For whatever faults it has, I can usually throw narrative in the way, and the system has worked relatively well for the three or so years that my group and I have played it.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:52 pm 
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I know this is a pretty old thread, but I had to make a comment as an old D and D-er new to 4th edition. I've been currently playing with a group as a Dwarven Cleric (Snodgraz) in a group of about 5 people. (usually 4 of us can show up and we switch off on who plays the missing person's character).

Anyways, I was really apprehensive at first about playing 4th edition with the changes to combat etc. But, after a bunch of sessions (enough that I am level 6 now) I have to say, I really enjoy it. I like the combat system, I like that there are powers that you can use each encounter, and that you have to try to hold off on your daily powers.

I think that a lot of what makes D and D fun in the first place is a good DM. SO, if you are playing with a lame DM or as a DM with lame players, then you are not going to have fun.

I'm playing with a fairly noob group, and they've really taken to it. I like the combat/flaking/shift system, and I think it really helps with the role playing aspects. I like that I can really see the arrangement of the characters, and tactically plan out a battle.

4th edition gets thumbs up in my book.

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