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D&D 4th Edition... Thoughts?

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I haven't yet played a full game of it, but I'm going to be DMing our weekly games with 4e. I've only seen the PHB. I'm not too impressed with somethings, like the Cleric and the Paladin role seems reversed, and the Cleric spells are shared by both the Warlord and the Paladin until level 6.

 

According to one member, magic users get boned. But considering he was a regular magic user character creator, I'm taking his comment with a grain of salt (he liked the magic users at higher levels where martial characters just stand around twidling their thumbs and let the magic users do all the work).

 

It does seem a little over-simplistic. I'm sure, however, that when we start really getting into the game, there will be house rules and tweaks.

Plus, they seemed to have introduced only the basics into the book, and left much room for expansion for supplements.

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I hope they (WotC/Hasborg) choke on their own greed.

 

I'll peruse the pdf of the books (for free, I won't give them a cent now), but my campaign group has already decided that we won't be going to 4th. I play WoW and enjoy it, but I don't want my D&D game to turn into it.

 

~v

 

I hope you get only a half order of Nerd Rage next time; it's not heart-healthy. :)

 

It's a little beyond crass to slam the game with a blanket statement, while simultaneously indulging in copyright infringement to acquire it, don't you think?

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I've read the books for a few days now... and like it. It looks streamlined and pretty tight - as in everything is an unified whole. It's not as complex as 3.5E and a tad more mini-centric, but I don't mind the latter.

 

For complexity - I enjoyed complexity fr a time, but nowadays, I like something "tight" and compact, like Savage Worlds. 4E gives me that, combined with D&D trappings. But seriously, this is not a evolution of D&D, as in 3E++, but more like old Battlestar <-> re-imagined Battlestar. It looks more like a RPG built from ground up to recreate D&D themes.

 

I, for one, like that, because I want a fast system that gives a lot of freedom and value story over mechanics -> simple, straightforward mechanics = good for me. But I see why people dislike it, because the rules system of previous D&D incarnations has its charm.

 

Cheers, LT.

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I hear old role players complain a lot about this system. They've been doing it since it was announced. Unfortunately, what none of these old role players have yet too realize is that they are NOT the target audience for this release. They want the WoW people to buy it. The ones who have never played a PnP RPG before. The ones who will pay to play a game they have already bought. MMO's are not my deal, I admit it. But there are MILLIONS of people who play. WoW players are more numerous than PnP Role players, so it's their opinion that matters to WotC. It's strictly a matter of economics because they probably already have your money. Is it really worth getting this worked up about?

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It's strictly a matter of economics because they probably already have your money. Is it really worth getting this worked up about?

I get worked up because as of this release I won't have anything new. Nothing from the new system integrates with the old. So they may have my money but they won't get any more because there isn't anything for me to buy.

 

I still say they shot themselves in the foot. They could have forked the project and called this something else. But they would have lost the D&D brand name and would have had to put some effort into making a new one.

 

Instead they seem to have alienated a large portion of their most dedicated customers in the hopes of getting new ones. Not the best business practice.

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Before D&D became an RPG, it was a tabletop miniatures game (the original Chainmail). Players turned it into an RPG.

 

Rules are only mechanics to resolve situations. Players make it an RPG, and their game is only limited by themselves.

 

Like any other rules system, 4th will only be as limited as the players make it.

So... what you're saying is that anyone who wants more roleplaying in Fourth Edition D&D will need to reinvent prior editions of the game -- or simply not upgrade.

 

I think people are trying to be respectful here in saying they would rather just not play.

Not at all. I'm saying that any RPG is limited only by those that play it. You can't say that about an MMORPG.

 

I'm saying that any group can add or delete from 4th, however much they like. It's an RPG, and not a tournament battle game that has to have everyone interpreting things the same way. What the players do will determine its success or failure for their group. Take 4th with no changes, and a good group can have a blast with it. Add to it, and it could still be a blast. Simplify it, and yet again, a good group could have a blast. Players make the game fun, and not the rules.

 

I don't see reason for people to spend lots of money to decide what they think of 4th. If the inkling the promo adventure gave was not enough for them to be curious, or they just want to stay with whatever they currently play, then that's a good decision for them. If they want to look more, there are plenty of ways they can.

 

I'm seeing some very broad strokes painting 4th into a little box I didn't think it fit into very well, with many comments based on a marginal exposure to the product, or even simple gut reaction when an unliked change was discovered. That doesn't help anyone.

 

4th can't appeal to all gamers equally, because gamers are too diverse in what they want from a game.

 

4th adds some things I've known groups to already use, and changes others in ways some players will really like. 4th dropped or changed things that some players really loved. Players will have to decide for themselves if the changes are worthwhile, or enough reason to look for another game.

 

No matter how much people feel it reminds them of an MMORPG, it will still be a PnP RPG, with all the additional capabilities that entails. MMORPG's will always be similar to PnP RPG's in feel, because MMORPG's are the diminished offshoots of full RPG's. Each has also drawn from the other as long as both have existed.

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I think that WOTC/Hasbro found itself in a bit of a bind anyway. After all, how many more 3.5 products could they have produced that wouldn't be retreading some other product (from WOTC or someone else) that would have induced large sales?

 

I get worked up because as of this release I won't have anything new. Nothing from the new system integrates with the old. So they may have my money but they won't get any more because there isn't anything for me to buy.

But, what 3.5 products would you have bought that you don't already have?

 

I still say they shot themselves in the foot. They could have forked the project and called this something else. But they would have lost the D&D brand name and would have had to put some effort into making a new one.

The name is a big factor. On the other hand, if D&D 4.0 were too close to D&D 3.5, some people wouldn't see the need to buy new core books.

 

Instead they seem to have alienated a large portion of their most dedicated customers in the hopes of getting new ones. Not the best business practice.

They have alienated a large portion of their past customers, but how many really are existing customers? How many WOTC D&D products did you buy last year?

 

Even if they did know that they were going to alienate a large number of existing customers, they are presumably gambling that the existing base is graying and shrinking. By risking the alienation, they are hoping to snag part of an even larger population (as well as cause their existing customers to buy new products again). Time may very well be on their side.

 

The more that I think about it, the more that I think that WOTC is not only trying to grab a bigger audience, but they are also making the changes to tie the core rules into an increased revenue stream from their online offerings and the D&D miniatures.

 

Ron

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hear old role players complain a lot about this system. They've been doing it since it was announced. Unfortunately, what none of these old role players have yet too realize is that they are NOT the target audience for this release. They want the WoW people to buy it. The ones who have never played a PnP RPG before. The ones who will pay to play a game they have already bought.

 

So what; are those who are disappointed supposed to just shut up and get with it then? If this was the reasoning behind teh changes in DnD then I think that WOTC has just effectively killed the DnD brand name. Agree or not, DnD is what it WAS, and certainly NOT what it seems to be becoming. Change for the sake of change is NOT productive. .

 

I VERY seriously doubt that WoW players will put down the mouse and keyboard for a PnP game. If they were going to they probably already have or would have without 4e.

 

Mind you I have gamed for like 12 years ( not for lack of desire I just lack time and good group ) and I personally would probably rather use AD&D 2e rules with a generous helping of basuc set fluff and flavour, back when Elves were Elves and Dwarves were Dwarves, and a poison dart from a treasure chest was every bit as dangerous as gaggle of kobolds or one orc.

 

I do not think it is so much that WOTC has changed the rules of DnD that has everyone so pissed off. I think it has far more to do with how they are using the DnD name brand to establish a completely NEW product and flavour of fantasy that has absolutely nothing to do with what made DnD so special to begin with.

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Rather than nest quotes I'll do a few quick answers.

 

I've been picking up adventures to run. With 4.0 there will be no adventures I can use with my current material.

 

I also rationed out my purchases of the source books. When I had extra cash (and no new minis caught my eye) I would get a source book. Or a fluff book. But I would get the books.

 

I realize that change is inevitable and that I won't like some of it. Fine. So I'm going to stick with what I'm using until/unless a better alternative presents itself. By 'better' I mean one that fits the style of play I prefer. At this point I don't see it being 4.0. Maybe 4.5? I'm not cutting off the prospect.

 

As of right now I'm not seeing anything in the 4.0 release that makes me want to try it. So I won't. Others will. That's the fun of having so many game systems to choose from. If one doesn't make you happy there's always another one.

 

Until the game is out for a while and people really start finding out what it can do I don't see the point in speculating about it. As I've said many times, based on what was released at that time I was voicing my opinion. Same here. I probably missed some things I might find really interesting. But I just don't have the time (or money) to invest on the off-chance that it is there.

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I hope you get only a half order of Nerd Rage next time; it's not heart-healthy. :)

 

It's a little beyond crass to slam the game with a blanket statement, while simultaneously indulging in copyright infringement to acquire it, don't you think?

In the future, kindly keep the discussion on-topic, and avoid the personal attacks. It would also serve you well to read the posts here completely for comprehension; I did not slam the game, I merely stated facts and an opinion regarding the business practices of Wizards of the Coast, particularly as they have been handled since their acquistion by Hasbro. I am entitled to my opinion, just as you are yours.

 

~v

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hear old role players complain a lot about this system. They've been doing it since it was announced. Unfortunately, what none of these old role players have yet too realize is that they are NOT the target audience for this release. They want the WoW people to buy it. The ones who have never played a PnP RPG before. The ones who will pay to play a game they have already bought.

 

So what; are those who are disappointed supposed to just shut up and get with it then? If this was the reasoning behind teh changes in DnD then I think that WOTC has just effectively killed the DnD brand name. Agree or not, DnD is what it WAS, and certainly NOT what it seems to be becoming. Change for the sake of change is NOT productive. .

 

I VERY seriously doubt that WoW players will put down the mouse and keyboard for a PnP game. If they were going to they probably already have or would have without 4e.

 

Mind you I have gamed for like 12 years ( not for lack of desire I just lack time and good group ) and I personally would probably rather use AD&D 2e rules with a generous helping of basuc set fluff and flavour, back when Elves were Elves and Dwarves were Dwarves, and a poison dart from a treasure chest was every bit as dangerous as gaggle of kobolds or one orc.

 

I do not think it is so much that WOTC has changed the rules of DnD that has everyone so pissed off. I think it has far more to do with how they are using the DnD name brand to establish a completely NEW product and flavour of fantasy that has absolutely nothing to do with what made DnD so special to begin with.

Older gamers, or newer gamers, do not have to be the exclusive target audience. The 15-35 year old demographic exists for games, because the majority of gamers fit that demographic. I see no reason for me to be upset, simply becuase I don't fit the demographic. The changes came because the powers that be felt it was appropriate, and made the product more survivable in an increasingly competitive market. As a business, they have to do that to survive. WotC could not thrive and grow simply on reprints and supplements that add little to the game, just as TSR failed because they tried to.

 

While they may hope to draw in some WoW players, there still exists a significant audience of other gamers. It's been established for some time that there is crossover, just as there is with comic book readers, but that neither is really an untapped market for new gamers.

 

People are crying that the majority of players are upset, but how much real data is there to support that premise? Upset people will complain, but satisfied people are much less likely to comment.

 

I watched the gaming community react when 3rd was released. Amazingly enough, many people felt the same way then. D&D was being changed, in very radical measure, from what it had been to something new and different. 3rd changed a lot of things about the game, yet maintained the same brand name. Some felt betrayed, and others felt elated, by those changes. The game continued, and D&D remained a fantasy RPG, even if it looked and played very differently. How is the previous change that different than what we see now?

 

People can continue to use 3rd. People can switch to 4th. People can play other games.

 

For those who don't have all the 3rd books, more will be hitting the used book stores, as both updating players and leaving players will be selling their's. As has been noted, there are enough different books out there already to cover just about any concept people might want a book on.

 

@Shakandara, While I can sympathise with your frustration, consider how much your post actually functioned as part of the topic. As a representative of Reaper through Black Lightning, ranting at another company and announcing you plan to use ripped off copies of their product on Reaper's forum is not the best of ideas.

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I've been following along with the discussions on the D&D forums since 4th edition was announced, and I'm going to be picking up the PHB just to read through it and make a truly informed decision.

 

Even though I'm not entirely sold on the game itself (It seems interesting, but it's not the D&D I care to play, and doesn't much seem to be "D&D" at all, rather a Heroquest/videogame version of it.), the one thing that's going to keep me from playing it is the fact that I'm going to have to buy three different player's books to be able to play every class, and three DM books to get all the rules. :angry: And wait six months or a year in between each one. It's not worth it to me to have to shell out that much money to get the ability to do what I want within the game.

I think that from the beginning they've been doing 4th Ed. bass-ackwards in classic Microsoft style - they announced this really amazing, great product, then carried on about all these great new features that *might* be or *eventually* will be in it, and *then* they start creating it. And changed it along the way, so much that it only vaguely resembles the product they said they were going to create.

They've spent so much time stringing everybody along with hints and glipses and rumors in order to build up the hype for the game that, at least in my opinion, they've shot themselves in the foot.

There was this huge build-up about the release date for 4th, and what they released wasn't what they'd started out to produce. Now, I don't mind that they've given us enough stuff to fill two or even three PHB's, but it just irritates me that they seem to be assuming that everyone's going to be willing to shell out the cash for another book, and another book, and another book, on an ongoing basis.

If they'd said, up front, that there were going to be X number of books, and that X material was going to be in each one, I might have been more forgiving of it, but it just feels...shifty. It has me wondering if the stuff that they're going to be releasing online for their Insider thing, or whatever it is, is going to be available offline as well, or are we going to have to wait six months or a year to see all the cool monsters and abilities and most importantly new rules in a book if we don't choose to shell out the cash every month for a subscription.

From what I've read and seen so far, there's only a very small chance that I'lll be buying anything other than the first PHB.

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I hope you get only a half order of Nerd Rage next time; it's not heart-healthy. :)

 

It's a little beyond crass to slam the game with a blanket statement, while simultaneously indulging in copyright infringement to acquire it, don't you think?

In the future, kindly keep the discussion on-topic, and avoid the personal attacks. It would also serve you well to read the posts here completely for comprehension; I did not slam the game, I merely stated facts and an opinion regarding the business practices of Wizards of the Coast, particularly as they have been handled since their acquistion by Hasbro. I am entitled to my opinion, just as you are yours.

 

~v

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One of the yocals picked up a copy this weekend. Brought it by for me to look at since he knew I wouldn't be looking at it otherwise. Flipped through a few pages while we drank a couple pints of Guiness. Was about what I expected.

 

I find it interesting that a lot of the defenders keep mentioning how easily you will be able to expand on what they presented...but are missing the current marketing scheme that WotC is using this time around. This is the first set of books - they are intentionally empty. Next spring you will be able to purchase the PHB2, DMG2 and MM2...and the year after that a third set of books...and the year after that, I'll put $50 to any takers that you will be able to buy either D&D 4.5 or 5.0 (or whatever they might be selling it as). If they provided a complete set of books right away...they would miss out on those additional core rules sales in the following couple years. In the end, it isn't $70-100 for the core books - it is $200-300 for the core books. And that doesn't include any other fees and additional hooks that they toss in (errata and corrections only being available via the online payed service?)

 

In terms of the mechanics, I have my own ideas based on what I have seen - i.e. - they are trying to get their moneys worth out of D&D Online. A lot of the rules read more like system design documents from a video game development company than rules for a PnP RPG. I would not be surprised if they didn't take a lot of the simplified rules and concepts from D&D Online and convert them into an even simpler square based combat system (I haven't actually compared a whole heck of a lot to see what matches up straight away...just the impression I got). However by using a lot of rules programmed into that game, they are able to cut a significant amount of time off the development of 4E and time is money.

 

Again though, they are missing the mark with the market. As I have mentioned in several other threads - the Hasbro bean counters and the WotC machine think that by making the PnP version more like a video game they will be able to tap that market. It will not happen - they are different markets. In the end though, they will likely alienate their PnP RPG market...and not move far enough towards miniatures to pick up on the skirmish wargame market.

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So much angst stirred up by this topic . :rolleyes: Well as for alienating the existing community , I think they have done a pretty good job here in Sydney and if the numbers are anything to go from and multiply that around the world , I think D&D wil be dead within 2 years . Bold statement you say , well at one of my LGS's , (there are 3 in the Sydney area) the store owner shipped in whole boxes of the new rules , etc , and well they are still sitting there in the store , unsold . In 3rd Ed and even with 3.5 they were sold out in the 1st week . He tell me he's read the PHB and sold 2 copies which have been disemminated through this store's community of about 60 players , and no-one likes them . That's the whole community . I heard of similar responses from the owners of the other 2 stores . If , these were the rules sets everyone was wanting , the'd be selling like hot cakes and they just are not here in Sydney . WOTC have really overestimated this time . <_<

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