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vutpakdi

D&D 4th Edition... Thoughts?

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Just played our first 2 games, and I love it. My 3.5 is getting packed up when I get home. I have played D&D since about 1984 or so, so I have seen all the versions (own the orginal stuff, too). For everyone against it, try it I say. Just like Green Eggs and Ham - you want to hate, so you don't ever try. But when you do, I think most people will be pleased with the results.

 

Don't be putting words or opinions in my mouth.

 

The game runs smooth, and focuses on combat - but all versions of D&D have.

 

3.0/3.5 expanded the non-combat skills considerably and made for more non-combat options. 4.0 devolved from that.

 

Minimal downtime between fights keeps the action up.

 

I never had downtime problems with 3.5. What you really want is a miniatures skirmish-style wargame. Check out Warlord, it even has heroes. All it needs is an experience and point allocation system and it becomes a simple "RPG".

 

 

The whole group, 6 of us, agreed it is a much better game.

 

That's your opinion. Mine differs.

 

 

The group has to work together to beat 'Hard' combats. Every character has a place in every fight, I think - which is great. And no-one can take it solo in a fight - surest way to die. Really helps with group tactics / dynamics. Everyone has to know what is going on, and group tactics are built into the core rules for just about every class.

 

Same thing exists in 3.x. Don't be attributing 4.0 with ground-breaking smoother mechanics when all it did was dumb down what 3.5 does.

 

There are a pile of monsters in the MM, also. So building encounters is easy. Use a 'template' from the DMG, fill it out and modify it as you want, and you are good to go. As a DM, I planned out 6 encounters to take the group from first to 2nd level, and it took me less than 1/2 the time as 3.5, and they ran smoother and we had a better time.

 

I never had issues creating quick encounters with 3.5. Maybe I know how to put 2+2 together and don't need someone holding my hand in doing so?

 

And the options available to characters are great. Each character has a role, and plays that role well, with minimal overlap with other classes - makes every character unique. And it is really hard to power game it - everything is balanced, IMO. No feat / race / class combinations that screw the DM.

 

Mike

 

Classes in 3.x were quite unique as well and had their roles to play. What happened, and it will happen in 4.0, is rules/book bloat, and many GMs did not learn to say "no". Did any of them impose the xp penalty for multiple classes? I would have imposed one for extra prestige classes; in fact, I would have ruled that once you take the 2nd prestige class, you lose the non-xp penalty of taking the first one so from then on you have a 20% xp penalty. See how many people exploit multi-classing then.

 

4.0 is a devolution in role-playing, copied from the lack of it in MMOs. Its a disgrace to RPGs in general. It has some neat ideas, any of which could be made to fit into 3.5; perhaps call it 3.8. But that won't resell as many books. Have you seen WOTCs book release schedule for the next year? They're reprinting, with changes of course, all the 3.5 books so they can sell them again.

 

Wait, I'm a partner in a game store. I should be stating my partner's mantra: "D&D 4.0 is the greatest game ever." and in a follow-up whisper, "buy more stuff" :rolleyes: .

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Sethohman was just relating his opinions based on the games he played. I'm sure he wasn't making any kind of personal attack, and there certainly wasn't any need to jump down his throat. Your tone was more inflammatory than his.

 

Ishil

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Thank you Ishil - saves me from getting too angry in a reply.

 

I was not posting against anyone. I was giving my experience, and how I think the version is light years ahead fo 3.5. I hated 3.5 - only played it because that's what I could find.

 

Mike

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Regaurds the comment of "screw the DM". A good DM will keep things balanced for the game by not allowing certain combinations in particular scenarios.

 

A DM should also always have a copy of the characters in his group, that way he knows the capabilities of each and can tweak a game get the most out of and give the most to, all the characters.

 

4.0 is geared to hack and slash, where the previous gives more to the times between battles. If you tried one off my games, hack and slash would not "cut" it. IMHO

 

I do like the magic system of 4.0, though I'd link it to CON. ie. con roll - spell level or can't cast any more spells till rested.

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I have to admit, I'm baffled by everyone saying 4.0 is less of an RPG because the non-combat stats are fewer and not as robust. I never needed numbers on a sheet to tell me how to roleplay. In fact, I kinda like having less of a "roleplay" system in place, because it allows me, the players, and the DM to interact without dice getting in the way.

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I find this more insulting, intentional or not, and others have said nearly the same thing, than anything I have ever posted:

 

".. you want to hate, so you don't ever try. But when you do, I think most people will be pleased with the results."

 

You were pleased. I was not.

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I have to admit, I'm baffled by everyone saying 4.0 is less of an RPG because the non-combat stats are fewer and not as robust. I never needed numbers on a sheet to tell me how to roleplay. In fact, I kinda like having less of a "roleplay" system in place, because it allows me, the players, and the DM to interact without dice getting in the way.

 

As others have pointed out, it's your CHARACTER that interacts with NPCs in RP situations. So it should be your CHARACTER's capabilities, not you as the player, that has more influence on the outcome. You can direct your character's actions, but there might need to be some mechanic to finally resolve the situation.

 

How does the GM determine your character's success when you try to sneak past a guard?

 

Do you automatically succeed at forgery attempts?

 

Some GMs will fudge things to move the story along, so whether or not there is a rules system in place for non-combat situations will not matter to them, but others do like such rules.

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I find this more insulting, intentional or not, and others have said nearly the same thing, than anything I have ever posted:

 

".. you want to hate, so you don't ever try. But when you do, I think most people will be pleased with the results."

 

You were pleased. I was not.

But it sounds like you've tried it, therefore the comment isn't applicable to you any way.

 

He's aiming it at people like me, who haven't tried it. I know I'm going to hate 4e, just like I hate green eggs and ham. I've never tried either. (Ok, actually, if you've ever had scrambled eggs from a large military mess hall, you've probably tried green eggs - so I've actually had them myself). Of course, in my case, I know I'm going to hate 4e for the same reason I hate 3.5e - it's a class/level based system. From what I'm hearing, I may actually like 4e over 3.5, but I won't know for sure until I try it.

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And here's the biggest fallacy 4.0 supporters crow about:

 

"And the options available to characters are great. Each character has a role, and plays that role well, with minimal overlap with other classes - makes every character unique."

 

I give you the 4.0 cleric. It plays both as a fighter and offensive spellcaster.

 

Take the 1st level At-Will "prayer": Lance of Faith. It's a ranged spell, although short ranged, doing 1d8+bonus damage (sure beats the 1d4+1 of magic missile) that the cleric can cast any number of times per day. Any previous D&D edition 1st-level wizard would have given their left eyeball for that capability (to make room for the eye of Vecna later in his career :poke: ). And, the cleric can wear armor and wield big honkin' weapons to boot!

 

So what is the role of a cleric now? He isn't needed for healing any more.

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Thank you Ishil - saves me from getting too angry in a reply.

 

I was not posting against anyone. I was giving my experience, and how I think the version is light years ahead fo 3.5. I hated 3.5 - only played it because that's what I could find.

 

Mike

 

It wasn't totally against you, but all of those that have said pretty much the same thing. You happen to be the last poster that broke this camel's back.

 

My opinion differs, I think 4.0 is light years BEHIND 3.5.

 

I always preferred classless skill-based systems. 3.x gave D&D a decent skill system (comparable to older editions) and made it quite playable for me. 4.0 took many steps backwards, and implemented things from MMOs that I detest.

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I give you the 4.0 cleric. It plays both as a fighter and offensive spellcaster.

 

Take the 1st level At-Will "prayer": Lance of Faith. It's a ranged spell, although short ranged, doing 1d8+bonus damage (sure beats the 1d4+1 of magic missile) that the cleric can cast any number of times per day. Any previous D&D edition 1st-level wizard would have given their left eyeball for that capability (to make room for the eye of Vecna later in his career :poke: ). And, the cleric can wear armor and wield big honkin' weapons to boot!

 

So what is the role of a cleric now? He isn't needed for healing any more.

Mind you, I'm not a 4.0 supporter. However, Clerics have always been semi-decent fighters and offensive spell casters, albeit most of their offenseive capabilites were against undead. When you're in a campaign with lots of undead, they've far more useful than a wizard.

 

Your Lance of Faith example can only be validated by comparing all of the options available to wizards and other classes. It may not compare to Magic Missile in straight out damage, but there are many other factors as well that might make one just as "powerful" as another. Someone not familar with 4e could very likely take that out of context.

 

My understanding is that clerics, even though they're no longer required for healing, make healing that much more effective.

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Re: the whole "try it! You'll like 4e" thing, my group has a 4e mini campaign going on. In fact, someone posted our BLOG to these boards! My feedback is STILL negative. I resent the canned roles characters "play" (less freedom...why can't I build character class x to fulfill whatever role I want? If I can do it, why not?). I also strongly dislike the magic system, which equates it to simply another set of powers -- taking away the uniqueness. And I totally agree with Gaming Glenn. I have a character that is an expert in Nuclear Physics. I am not. How do I roleplay that (or at least in a plausable way)? How do I roleplay my character's 18 intelligence when I might have a 12 to 13 in D&D terms?

 

Damon.

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I always preferred classless skill-based systems. 3.x gave D&D a decent skill system (comparable to older editions) and made it quite playable for me.

Sounds like you and I are on the same page then. I still don't particularly care for the class/level system that 3.5 has, but with the addition of feats and skills, they did make it tolerable for me.

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I have to admit, I'm baffled by everyone saying 4.0 is less of an RPG because the non-combat stats are fewer and not as robust. I never needed numbers on a sheet to tell me how to roleplay. In fact, I kinda like having less of a "roleplay" system in place, because it allows me, the players, and the DM to interact without dice getting in the way.

 

As others have pointed out, it's your CHARACTER that interacts with NPCs in RP situations. So it should be your CHARACTER's capabilities, not you as the player, that has more influence on the outcome. You can direct your character's actions, but there might need to be some mechanic to finally resolve the situation.

 

How does the GM determine your character's success when you try to sneak past a guard?

 

Do you automatically succeed at forgery attempts?

 

Some GMs will fudge things to move the story along, so whether or not there is a rules system in place for non-combat situations will not matter to them, but others do like such rules.

 

So, instead of having twelve or thirteen different interaction skills, they condensed them all down to a few broader ones. I still don't see what the problem is; there's still the mechanic there to have a die roll to resolve various interactions outside of combat. Is it the generalization that's the downside? The fact that you don't have disguise, bluff, forgery, etc. all separate any more? I really am confused by this mindset.

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As others have pointed out, it's your CHARACTER that interacts with NPCs in RP situations. So it should be your CHARACTER's capabilities, not you as the player, that has more influence on the outcome. You can direct your character's actions, but there might need to be some mechanic to finally resolve the situation.

 

How does the GM determine your character's success when you try to sneak past a guard?

So, how did GMs do handle these situations before D&D 3.0 and AD&D 2.0 (with the skill additions)? Most DMs seemed to handle things pretty well, even if they were "fudging" or determining things as they went. Seemed to be called role playing back then as well.

 

Ron

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