Kendal

Best Version of DnD?

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There's tweaking monsters, and then there's what they did with 4e.

 

The system worked, but it wasn't role-play friendly, and it didn't - when I tried it - much encourage teamwork, much less team-building. I suspect groups that adopted it for other reasons made it work, because gamers do that, but it didn't work for me, personally.

Or, as I said after 4e came out, if I want to play an MMO, I'll play World of Warcraft.

 

YMMV, naturally.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Pingo said:

 

 

2 hours ago, Pingo said:

 

By the very early 1970s, when I started reading the comics, Batman had gone all serious and dark and I loved it.  Rā's al Ghul (pronounced "raze" or "rage" but not, as so many on the current TV shows say, "roz"), Talia, grimdark, yum.  I suspect it was in reaction to the campy stuff, which felt like a relic from the 1930s.

 

I hope to goodness you do not mean "Teen Titans Go".  

 

It certainly is ... different ... from Marv Wolfman and George Pérez' New Teen Titans, on which it is based, I will grant you that.  Making the tormented half-demon Raven into a pouty goth and -- especially -- making the proud alien warrior princess Starfire into some sort of giggly girl thing played for laughs like Urusei Yatsura is indeed a dramatic change.

 

Part of the reason Alan Moore's "Watchmen" succeeded so well was that he was suprememly unfaithful to the ridiculousness of the original source material, the superheroes of Charlton comics, whilst and at the same time giving the utmost respect to their internal logic and how they would behave if someone really intelligent and well-read were basing a story on them.

 

But changing a well-loved comic needs to be done for good reasons.

 

 

I first encountered Teen Titans Go when Megan showed it to me, complaining the whole while. (Teen Titans was one of 'her' comics, growing up - in the same way that Dr. Strange was 'mine'.)

 

And yet... she keeps watching it! Even as she continues to gripe about it! (Me, I want to bury it in the back yard.)

 

Anyone remember the live action Justice League TV show in... the nineties, I think? (So, so bad... and not in a good way.) *EDIT* 1979, actually - and the pain... I must share....

 

 

As for the Silver Age (which I am ashamed to admit that I grew up in)....

action454.jpg?w=324&h=500

 

The Auld Grump - on the other hand, I think that The Flash has been lucky both times it has gone to the TV....

 

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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1 hour ago, Sylverthorne said:

There's tweaking monsters, and then there's what they did with 4e.

 

The system worked, but it wasn't role-play friendly, and it didn't - when I tried it - much encourage teamwork, much less team-building. I suspect groups that adopted it for other reasons made it work, because gamers do that, but it didn't work for me, personally.

Or, as I said after 4e came out, if I want to play an MMO, I'll play World of Warcraft.

 

YMMV, naturally.

Yeah but Cranky Dog was talking about changes to the campaign settings, not the game mechanics.

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34 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

I first encountered Teen Titans Go when Megan showed it to me, complaining the whole while. (Teen Titans was one of 'her' comics, growing up - in the same way that Dr. Strange was 'mine'.)

 

And yet... she keeps watching it! Even as she continues to gripe about it! (Me, I want to bury it in the back yard.)

 

<snip>

 

The Auld Grump - on the other hand, I think that The Flash has been lucky both times it has gone to the TV....

 

 

adored the 1990 "Flash" starring John Wesley Shipp, campy though it was.  I mean, come on, Marc Hamill as the Trickster?  Wow!  

 

It never got as silly as the old "Batman" show, but it was pretty dang silly.

 

I think part of the reason I liked it was that those years were a bleak nadir of science fiction / fantasy TV, a parched desert of noninclusiveness for geeks.

 

I love the new "Flash" too (although I think even after several seasons it still seriously shortchanges all its female characters -- my biggest gripe about an otherwise brilliant show).  John Wesley Shipp as Barry Allen's dad was a sweet nod, and bringing back his costar Amanda Pays reprising her role as Dr. Tina McGee was awesome.  The return of Marc Hamill was a delight.  And then, when Shipp actually got to don a Flash costume again, I got all misty-eyed.

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1 minute ago, BlazingTornado said:

Yeah but Cranky Dog was talking about changes to the campaign settings, not the game mechanics.

In the case of 4e, a lot of the changes to the campaign settings was because of the mechanics. (Not the first time  that Forgotten Realms got changes for that reason.)

 

Again - WotC assumed that people were loyal to the brand, not to the game or the settings - and learned that they were dead wrong in that regard.

 

WotC is not the first to make that mistake, and I very much doubt that they will be the last.

 

The Auld Grump

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I didn't have any problems with what WotC did with the Forgotten Realms with the advent of 4th ed. IMO, the world had evolved into one in which the average PC could only contribute meaningfully if either above 20th level or if the GM completely ignored the internal logic of the world. Which is to say that my impression of the changes was that they were driven by narrative requirements, not mechanical requirements. (I'm pretty sure that's exactly what the designers were saying at the time, too.)

 

But then I was never an FR fanboy, so I didn't have any emotional investment.

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Posted (edited)

24 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

I didn't have any problems with what WotC did with the Forgotten Realms with the advent of 4th ed. IMO, the world had evolved into one in which the average PC could only contribute meaningfully if either above 20th level or if the GM completely ignored the internal logic of the world. Which is to say that my impression of the changes was that they were driven by narrative requirements, not mechanical requirements. (I'm pretty sure that's exactly what the designers were saying at the time, too.)

 

But then I was never an FR fanboy, so I didn't have any emotional investment.

And that last line is exactly why you had no problems with the changes.

 

Don't get me wrong - I am not a fan of Forgotten Realms, either - but I can fully understand why people do not want the timeline advanced two hundred years, all of their favorite characters dying, gods killed off, and the very continents changed.

 

Give the scale of the changes, WotC would have been better off just dropping the Realms and having a new setting - instead of having a new setting and trying to pretend that it was the old one.

 

Despite the faux Frenchman in their commercial, the game did not 'remain the same'.

 

And, really, they should have seen it coming. (But that goes for a lot of the fan backlash against 4e.)

 

I was a bigger fan of Eberron - and I never even bothered to see what they had done to that setting with the fourth edition. (Oddly, FantasyCraft is my favored system for Eberron, though I would not mind running it in Pathfinder.)

 

The Auld Grump - when I buy a box labeled Fudge I do not want to find that it instead contains tapioca, even if I do like tapioca.

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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2 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

 

Don't get me wrong - I am not a fan of Forgotten Realms, either - but I can fully understand why people do not want the timeline advanced two hundred years, all of their favorite characters dying, gods killed off, and the very continents changed.

Did their favorite characters die?

 

In the Neverwinter MMO, Minsc and Drizzt and Bruenor and Elminster are all still alive.

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2 hours ago, Cranky Dog said:

Looping back to the original thread theme: How about them changes to the D&D campaign settings when 4e came out, huh! HUH?!

 

Now there's some changes to the original source material that didn't go down well.

 

That's actually a topic that I can't comment on.  With the notable exception of 2E Dark Sun, the people I've played with have always ignored the established settings.  I don't know what 4E changed because I don't know what the settings were like in 3E.  Or 2E, 1E, 5E.

 

As a generalization though, I would expect a company to make some changes to their settings with each edition.  You will alienate some percentage of old fans (heck, Dark Sun managed this with its revised 2E campaign setting vs. the original 2E setting), but a world that turns static and unchanging starts losing people looking for a new experience.  Too much existing fluff can also turn off potential players, so the publisher wants to get back to "read this one book" to get new people started.  The idea is to strike the right balance between change and the familiar.  The actual execution will vary in success.

 

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One major change - it was hard to get to where there were supposed to be drow in 3e forgotten realms. Like game-weeks of travel in a maze underground.

 

But because of WOW and Drizzit, drow were popular. So they causally ripped open the underdark. Displaced Drow everywhere.

 

The change of the pantheon - the religious upheaval this implies, the wars and politics it must have caused, the shear mess, handwaved. I don't care if centuries passed, this should have been the cause of the entirety of the realms being embroiled in the equivalent of the thirty years war still.

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3 hours ago, Sylverthorne said:

There's tweaking monsters, and then there's what they did with 4e.

 

The system worked, but it wasn't role-play friendly, and it didn't - when I tried it - much encourage teamwork, much less team-building. I suspect groups that adopted it for other reasons made it work, because gamers do that, but it didn't work for me, personally.

Did...did you...not read the Warlord Class powers? The Fighter Class Powers? The Cleric Class Powers? The Rogue Class Powers? The horktonnes of combotastic teamwork buildy stuff baked right into the system with Flanking Bonuses and Interrupt Powers and such?

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4 hours ago, etherial said:

Did...did you...not read the Warlord Class powers? The Fighter Class Powers? The Cleric Class Powers? The Rogue Class Powers? The horktonnes of combotastic teamwork buildy stuff baked right into the system with Flanking Bonuses and Interrupt Powers and such?

 

It's been a while, and I never felt like giving WotC money for the books, and thus, do not possess them.

What I remember was a character that was, at low levels, largely capable of soloing pretty much anything if their player was half-way intelligent.

This may have suffered from the usual 'gaming company makes dubious premades' issues (I got a paladin once with /no charisma bonus/. She wasn't very effective), but I wasn't impressed with any of it. Not the game play, not the character, and not what I was hearing from people who were playing. Some of them were liking it, but there were all these niggling bits...

 

Like there not being a lot of customization options. Or the afore-mentioned lack of role-play friendliness built into the system.

 

I still don't feel like giving WotC money for the books, but if I stumble over a copy of the PHB going for cheap (doesn't seem unlikely) I might pick it up. ;p

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11 hours ago, Pingo said:

 

By the very early 1970s, when I started reading the comics, Batman had gone all serious and dark and I loved it.  Rā's al Ghul (pronounced "raze" or "rage" but not, as so many on the current TV shows say, "roz"), Talia, grimdark, yum.  I suspect it was in reaction to the campy stuff, which felt like a relic from the 1930s.

 

I hope to goodness you do not mean "Teen Titans Go".  

 

It certainly is ... different ... from Marv Wolfman and George Pérez' New Teen Titans, on which it is based, I will grant you that.  Making the tormented half-demon Raven into a pouty goth and -- especially -- making the proud alien warrior princess Starfire into some sort of giggly girl thing played for laughs like Urusei Yatsura is indeed a dramatic change.

 

The 70's was when the comics industry started to finally pull away from the Comics Code a bit. The Code itself was basically forced on the industry because it was either self-regulate or have the government shut them down, thanks to fundamentalists with an anti-fun agenda and that good old McCarthy-era mantra of "If it's different, it's wrong!"

 

When people talk about the Teen Titans cartoon, they're talking about the one that came out in the early 00's, which was very good. The characters were fleshed out, the animation was good(though they did try too hard to make it anime-esque at times), and the writing was generally wonderful. They even did an adaptation of The Judas Contract. Though it was rather heavily rewritten, for obvious reasons, it was still an excellent storyline in the show. Sadly, they killed the show before it got a proper resolution only to bring it back a decade later as a purely comedic show with practically nothing to do with the old show outside of the cast of characters and voice actors being the same. Many of the old show's fans complained enough that they even dedicated two episodes to the complaints. One in which the villain Control Freak comes back and shows the Teen Titans their old show, causing them to stare in awe and wonder what happened to them, and one which opens with them returning from a mission and talking about all sorts of plot threads being resolved and that sort of thing but never showing any of it.

 

Man, some mod needs to come prune the comics discussion to a new thread methinks. I won't be able to stop myself from continuing it in this thread if other people also continue it...

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Posted (edited)

It actually wasn't McCarthy and his crew, but rather a democrat that foisted that crap on us; at least if the information I have is accurate. Highpoints of the original code - no primary protagonists could be black, and police couldn't be portrayed in a negative fashion.

 

Crap reboots are a constant threat. The beasties reboot of beast-wars did the same thing. The various reboots of TMNT have edged towards this a couple times. I'm hoping that the new Samurai Jack avoids this in the other direction by going Grimderp. I don't have high hopes.

 

While we're talking about about versions of D&D, we should also mention the 'old school revival' movement, and games like Laminations of the Flame Princess, which want to re-create the atmosphere of (what they view as) early D&D. It's not really to my preference, but YMMV.

 

Here is a 'cast of a few players having a game that I think is fun. It's pushing SFW very hard, fair warning. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/i-hit-it-with-my-axe?page=2

Edited by Club

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56 minutes ago, Club said:

It actually wasn't McCarthy and his crew, but rather a democrat that foisted that crap on us; at least if the information I have is accurate.

 

Your information is not accurate.

 

The Comics Code Authority and the dogma it enforced was created by the comics companies themselves in a McCarthy-era maneuver to forestall the sort of witch-hunt they feared might come down upon them and their lucrative products.

 

As is often the case with people trying to clamp down on dissent to avoid government regulation, they took up a ferociously rigid, unforgiving code worlds beyond what I suspect anyone in Congress actually cared about.

 

Not a single politician was involved.  The comics companies did it to themselves.

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