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Burley
2009-08-27, 06:38 AM
So, when 4e was announced, my group swore up and down that we wouldn't touch it. That it was unclean and we were to stay pure. But, for some reason, the Friday after it came out, we all have characters made and were fighting Bullywogs with our at-wills. And, it was easy. The jump from 3.5 to 4e felt so minor. Natural, even.
I always enjoy spell-casters, so the powers weren't a jump. And I prefer perpetual casters, like the warlock, so, never running out of powers just seemed balancing and more fun.
I think my entire group felt this way, except for one of my friends. She refused to look at the books, used a premade character for the first session, and refused to declare sneak attack, even when it was available. She was just being petty, in my opinion. She left when we made the permanent switch to 4e.

Now, that friend invited me and another friend (my BestFriend4Life, if you will) to join her 3.5 group. We thought "Hey, we know the rules, we know the setting and we enjoy it all, so sure." I forgot how complicated 3.5 is. It's hard. There is SOOO much information. Even if you're strapped to just core, there are dozens of spells to choose from. Specializing can cripple your character, but flipping pages back and forth can cripple the player.
Last night, I was trying to look through metamagic feats (JUST METAMAGIC FEATS) and the constant flipping and the shere volume of it all made me sick. I had to close everything and lie down.
And, last night, I played an NPC (its a bad time in the story to bring in new PCs) who had a pretty awful class but he had two feats that made him a-freaking-mazing. Knock Down and Improved Trip. I hit a flying gargoyle, tripped him out of the air, and basically curb-stomped him. Layed one of three out flat with a single readied standard, not full-round action. Standard.
It's because you can just pick two feats to make you awesome in 3.5, and it's almost scary that if I don't find the right two feats for my sorcerer, I'm gonna lose. Everything.

I'm done.
This is much more commentary than question. I look forward to seeing responses, though.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-27, 06:41 AM
I'm a science major at a tier 1 university. 3.5 rules are pretty easy compared to what I go through during the regular school year.


Last night, I was trying to look through metamagic feats (JUST METAMAGIC FEATS) and the constant flipping and the shere volume of it all made me sick. I had to close everything and lie down.

Take two of (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19085) these (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115748) and call me in the morning.



It's because you can just pick two feats to make you awesome in 3.5
Knock Down and trip don't work against ethereal, incoporeal, things with many legs, and I am not sure if you can actually trip flying things. It's a great combo, but not the end all.


and it's almost scary that if I don't find the right two feats for my sorcerer, I'm gonna lose. Everything.
You only need one spell, Limited Wish. It allows you to emulate Psychic Reformation. It allows you to pay XP to rechoose your spells known, feats, and skill allocation.

bosssmiley
2009-08-27, 07:00 AM
So, when 4e was announced, my group swore up and down that we wouldn't touch it. That it was unclean and we were to stay pure. But, for some reason, the Friday after it came out, we all have characters made and were fighting Bullywogs with our at-wills. And, it was easy. The jump from 3.5 to 4e felt so minor. Natural, even.

Oh no. Burley drank the Kool-Aid! :smalltongue:

Seriously though, I'm glad you're enjoying 4E for what it is. It's funny how playing another system for a bit can point up the foibles and flaws of things you already knew and loved, ain't it? I came to a similar conclusion - namely that full bore, multi-splatbook 3E just has too high a 'number crunch/fun' ratio for my tastes - via reversion to older model D&D (crazy damn OSR hot-rodders!).

Life's too short to argue over which rule set you use to magical tea party your pretend elf. :smallbiggrin:

Mordokai
2009-08-27, 07:12 AM
It's because you can just pick two feats to make you awesome in 3.5

Funny, I started DMing me a 3.5 campaign this week and one of my players picked exactly those two feats :smallbiggrin: And boy, is he ever effective!

And you know what I found out? I love 3.5! You wanna know why? It's not because it's balanced. I find it amusing and fun to play because it's not balanced! Right now, 4E just doesn't offer me the chances to put together crazy characters like this and more and my group put together some pretty wacky characters. It'll make me sweat blood, for sure, but I'm having tons of fun already. I never had this much fun while playing 4E and one session of 3.5 was enough to cement my opinion: 4E just isn't my cup of tea. I have no problems with all the numbers and splatbooks and everything out there, I love the edition because of it. If it would be up to me, we'd stay with 3.5 from now on. We probably won't, but it's ok. In a group, one has to adjust and I can do that. But really, now I know what I only suspected thus far. 3.5 is, to me personally, more amusing than 4E could ever be.

This is not meant to lead to edition wars. I understand that some people like 4E over 3.5 and I'm fine with that. However, your reasons are hardly good enough for me to convince me that 3.5 is not good. On the contrary.

Kaiyanwang
2009-08-27, 07:44 AM
And you know what I found out? I love 3.5! You wanna know why? It's not because it's balanced. I find it amusing and fun to play because it's not balanced!

I think I love you.

OP: Considering 3.5, you can do it in 2 ways:

A) Options are a problem: they are a problem because are overwhelming, and the amount of material can lead to strange and OP combos.

B) Options are a tool: A Player thinks a strange PC, a DM thinks an odd campaing, and if you search and tweak enough, there is an answer out there.

If 3.5 becomes A or B, is up to the gaming group.


Of course, I respect people's point of view about how 4th is streamlined and so on. But I think that you can play a low level game or a battle between deities only with SRD, so even the "bunch of splatbook" thing.. well is not mandatory, IMHO.

Dr_Emperor
2009-08-27, 08:02 AM
See the option thing was what scared me about 4rth, I used a friends character builder, and planned out a few characters. Also 4rth will have just as many if not more books for characters, to have to flip through to get the right options. Good to know your having fun with 4rth though.
Also I know from experience that 3.5 is mostly easy. Two feats can make you rock, or they can do very little, but good tactics change everything.

Saph
2009-08-27, 08:20 AM
Yeah, the lack of options has been what's stopped me from switching over to 4e. I'll play it happily enough if that's what my group's doing, but most of the classes are just too limited for my taste.

Erk
2009-08-27, 08:55 AM
Yeah, the lack of options has been what's stopped me from switching over to 4e. I'll play it happily enough if that's what my group's doing, but most of the classes are just too limited for my taste.

I'm not meaning to sound edition warry, but have you checked it out recently? Divine, Arcane, and Martial classes have quite a few options now. There are some other things, like hybrid classes, that I haven't even looked into but should offer a lot more variability. It hasn't, and probably never will, reach the glut of character design specifications of 3e, but it's come a long way from the "choose a race, a class, and a build, you're done" it felt like when it was just the PHB. (don't get me started on feats though. The obsession with making every feat have a racial requirement means that each new splat adds something like 5 feats per tier for any given character, despite having more than 30 feats per tier printed. It's starting to turn me away from buying splats).

Kaiyanwang
2009-08-27, 09:00 AM
I'm not meaning to sound edition warry,

What's of edition warry in what you said? You've been polite and bringed in argumentations. Less than this, is not post, IMHO.

More, could you bring an example of hybrid class, and the source where you can take the rules for them?

Anyway (not to soun edition warry myself too :smallwink:) some peole, right of wrong, could criticize the meaning of how options are different between the editions.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-27, 09:04 AM
What's of edition warry in what you said? You've been polite and bringed in argumentations. Less than this, is not post, IMHO.

More, could you bring an example of hybrid class, and the source where you can take the rules for them?

Anyway (not to soun edition warry myself too :smallwink:) some peole, right of wrong, could criticize the maning of how options are different between the editions.

Hybrid classes are available online only. They're interesting, but generally are less powerful than the classes they try to emulate. Some combinations work out nicely, though.

Mordokai
2009-08-27, 09:04 AM
I think I love you.

Aw shucks, you're making me blush :smalltongue: :smallbiggrin:

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-08-27, 09:06 AM
Speaking as someone who got into the game with 1e, let me just say that 3e is simplicity itself compared to 1e and 2e. Standardized ability score modifiers? Only three kinds of saves? Items you can craft without crippling yourself? Please. :smallwink:

With that out of the way, I hate to tell you this, but 3e and 4e really have the same problems. 3e has sooo many spells and sooo many feats and sooo on and sooo forth? Well, yeah. It has 8 years' worth of material, and 4e has only ~1.5 year's worth. Come PHB 4, people will be complaining that 4e has sooo many powers and sooo many rituals and sooo on and sooo forth. Since 4e feats are meant to fade into the background and give powers the spotlight, the 3e "Pick 2 feats and you rock!" issue becomes the 4e "Pick 2 powers and you rock!" issue--a ranger can do very well simply by choosing Twin Strike and a fighter the same by picking Rain of Blows, both of which are fairly intuitive options. "Complexity and many options" isn't a problem unique to either edition.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-27, 09:10 AM
Speaking as someone who got into the game with 1e, let me just say that 3e is simplicity itself compared to 1e and 2e. Standardized ability score modifiers? Only three kinds of saves? Items you can craft without crippling yourself? Please. :smallwink:

I love the old save mechanic. I think it's much better than either the 3e saves or the 4e static defenses.

Whammydill
2009-08-27, 09:12 AM
My group tried 4e for a while but we went back to 3.5. For myself 4e just felt too much like a glorified boardgame, or it felt like I was playing WoW or something. Now that I think about it, it felt like I was being railroaded into a glorified D&D Minatures games with RP chucked in.

I think 4e is nicely balanced and makes it hard to mess up. But that's what I don't like about it. The trial and error of builds and roleplaying them was what I liked best with 3.5. Yes, 3.5 has its problems, but the system is only broken if the players tried to break it, or the DM let them. In 4e, I felt like my characters were the same as everyone's else, with some arbitrary differences thrown in. Mechanically all characters *are* the same. Everyone gets the same system of at-will, encounter, daily....etc.

The varied and intergrated systems of classes and such in 3.5 made it feel like I had more direct control of what my character can become instead of being lead around by the nose by an "across-the-board" framework.

Just my 2cp.

Zeta Kai
2009-08-27, 09:19 AM
As I've said before, 4E sucks. And 3E sucks. They both do horrifically dumb things, if you let them, & sometimes only Rule #0 will make them truly playable systems. They both have an odd habit of doing the opposite of what the designers told us that they were trying to do. I stick with 3E because I know the rules, I own the books, & I like the versatility & ease by which I can create homebrew. 4E homebrew is subject to rigid strictures of balance that produce a glut of homogeneity in the crunch, & it is thunderingly evident that fluff is largely irrelevent & interchangeable.

Saph
2009-08-27, 09:26 AM
I'm not meaning to sound edition warry, but have you checked it out recently? Divine, Arcane, and Martial classes have quite a few options now. There are some other things, like hybrid classes, that I haven't even looked into but should offer a lot more variability. It hasn't, and probably never will, reach the glut of character design specifications of 3e, but it's come a long way from the "choose a race, a class, and a build, you're done" it felt like when it was just the PHB.

Actually, I'm playing in two 4e games at the moment. One PbP run on this site, and the Scales of War campaign in one of my regular groups.

Don't get me wrong, 4e isn't a bad system. It's just that compared to the vast array of stuff I can do in 3.5, my 4e characters feel a bit limited by comparison. Pretty much every turn comes down to "move, make my attack roll, done." I also find that combats tend to be highly luck-dependent - with every attack it's about 50/50 whether you'll hit or miss, and there isn't that much you can do to shift the odds in your favour.

I've found that Wizards tend to be the best for getting around this problem, as they can make lots of attack rolls, so you're likely to achieve something even if your luck's bad, and they have the biggest variety of powers. The character I was playing in another 4e PbP was a Ranger, and while his DPS was enormous, he was very tedious to play.

- Saph

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-27, 09:30 AM
Actually, I'm playing in two 4e games at the moment. One PbP run on this site, and the Scales of War campaign in one of my regular groups.

Don't get me wrong, 4e isn't a bad system. It's just that compared to the vast array of stuff I can do in 3.5, my 4e characters feel a bit limited by comparison. Pretty much every turn comes down to "move, make my attack roll, done." I also find that combats tend to be highly luck-dependent - with every attack it's about 50/50 whether you'll hit or miss, and there isn't that much you can do to shift the odds in your favour.

I've found that Wizards tend to be the best for getting around this problem, as they can make lots of attack rolls, so you're likely to achieve something even if your luck's bad, and they have the biggest variety of powers. The character I was playing in another 4e PbP was a Ranger, and while his DPS was enormous, he was very tedious to play.

- Saph

I remember trying a melee Ranger and having much the same feeling. It does get better the more powers you have at your disposal, but some classes do feel particularly limited. I guess the real attraction of the 4e system for me is in how easy it is to DM. If I were to be DM'ing 3.5e I'd have to do a lot more work and homework than I do with 4e.

Whammydill
2009-08-27, 09:35 AM
The "something happens even if you miss" aspect that seems to be attatched to every ability in 4e reminds me of the same mentality that has seeped into school-age sports these days; where even if you lose you get a trophy and still get your snack and icecream. Do not want.

Saph
2009-08-27, 09:39 AM
I remember trying a melee Ranger and having much the same feeling. It does get better the more powers you have at your disposal, but some classes do feel aprticularly limited.

Yeah, mine was an archer ranger - Elf, standard build. Every round you take a move action to reposition, then Twin Strike or Two-Fanged Strike your quarry. Two attack rolls plus Elven Accuracy means you hit basically every time. Great DPS, but I found myself getting bored after a while because of how little thought or tactics it required - the only real decision I was making was deciding what to kill next.

Whammydill
2009-08-27, 09:39 AM
I remember trying a melee Ranger and having much the same feeling. It does get better the more powers you have at your disposal, but some classes do feel aprticularly limited. I guess the real attraction of the 4e system for me is in how easy it is to DM. If I were to be DM'ing 3.5e I'd have to do a lot more work and homework than I do with 4e.


Yes, one of my first characters was a ranger. This class in particular was very monotonous(sp?) Every ability seemed like it was exactly the same, just add a few more dice here and there but not very different from any other.

Master_Rahl22
2009-08-27, 09:43 AM
Mordokai, when the gleemax forums are back up go check out the CharOp boards for some ideas on some unbalanced characters. I've seen damage per round over 1000 using nothing but at will powers, meaning they can do it all damn day and not just for a nova. The main thing I like about 4E is that due to the effort they put into balance, it's incredibly hard to make a character that just downright sucks. You get your main attack stat to at least 16 in character creation, and then all you have to do is not choose ridiculously useless feats (Shield Prof. for a Fighter, etc) and your character is playable and could probably pull his weight. One of the side effects of making feats less powerful is that you can spend a few on non-combat fun stuff. One of the coolest 4E characters I've seen was a Tiefling Barbarian who used to be a librarian until he started hearing voices and blacking out only to awake having just killed somebody. He took Linguist 3 or 4 times so that he knows every language in the PHB, and he's still a darn effective character in combat.

Whammydill
2009-08-27, 09:48 AM
Mordokai, when the gleemax forums are back up go check out the CharOp boards for some ideas on some unbalanced characters. I've seen damage per round over 1000 using nothing but at will powers, meaning they can do it all damn day and not just for a nova. The main thing I like about 4E is that due to the effort they put into balance, it's incredibly hard to make a character that just downright sucks. You get your main attack stat to at least 16 in character creation, and then all you have to do is not choose ridiculously useless feats (Shield Prof. for a Fighter, etc) and your character is playable and could probably pull his weight. One of the side effects of making feats less powerful is that you can spend a few on non-combat fun stuff. One of the coolest 4E characters I've seen was a Tiefling Barbarian who used to be a librarian until he started hearing voices and blacking out only to awake having just killed somebody. He took Linguist 3 or 4 times so that he knows every language in the PHB, and he's still a darn effective character in combat.

Of course for pessimists(realists?) that just means you have to try to fail, not fail to try in 4e. I absolutely love the RP value of that barbarian, that could go sooooo very far with so much fun. In 3.5 combat he would be behind the curve I believe though. Of course you could spend your feats for combat and just use skill points for languages/literacy.

/shrug.

dragoonsgone
2009-08-27, 09:50 AM
They are getting into some different mechanics. I love the Psion.

You get no encounter powers but you can use power points to make your at wills better.

Tiki Snakes
2009-08-27, 10:42 AM
Yeah, mine was an archer ranger - Elf, standard build. Every round you take a move action to reposition, then Twin Strike or Two-Fanged Strike your quarry. Two attack rolls plus Elven Accuracy means you hit basically every time. Great DPS, but I found myself getting bored after a while because of how little thought or tactics it required - the only real decision I was making was deciding what to kill next.

It's strange seeing someone feel this way, partly because the oposite is one of the things I actually like about 4th, namely, much more that I can do at any point.

To be fair, my few 3.5 ed characters were usually 'martial' and not in the TOB sense, either. Five foot step, attack, go back to sleep, ya know? Sometimes I'd ready an action.

Still, Rangers are pretty straight forward in many respects. Perhaps the higher risk required from a melee ranger would have kept it fresher? The Archery Ranger in my (finally completed) KOTS game did tend a lot more to simply two-fanged-striking everything than the Two-Weapon Ranger, who was for most of the campaign the closest thing the party had to a defender...

Saph
2009-08-27, 10:58 AM
To be fair, my few 3.5 ed characters were usually 'martial' and not in the TOB sense, either. Five foot step, attack, go back to sleep, ya know? Sometimes I'd ready an action.

Still, Rangers are pretty straight forward in many respects. Perhaps the higher risk required from a melee ranger would have kept it fresher?

After you're familiar enough with 3.5 you can make pretty fun martial characters with very few books. A friend was running a one-off 6th-level 3.5 game last night and insisted that everyone only use the core books, so I put together my old Horizon Tripper character - Ranger/Barbarian/Fighter/Horizon Walker.

The build has reach, trip, Combat Reflexes, expertise, Power Attack, rage, fast movement, Darkvision, tracking, a favoured enemy, max ranks in detection skills, ranks in most physical and movement skills, and the ability to enlarge himself with potions. He can also heal and is a pretty decent archer into the bargain. Uses PHB and DMG only. I never had much trouble finding something interesting to do. :)

Kaiyanwang
2009-08-27, 11:03 AM
After you're familiar enough with 3.5 you can make pretty fun martial characters with very few books. A friend was running a one-off 6th-level 3.5 game last night and insisted that everyone only use the core books, so I put together my old Horizon Tripper character - Ranger/Barbarian/Fighter/Horizon Walker.


Another way I found to add interesting moves to martial character are strange equipment like lazos, net, skiprocks, bolas, and a bunch of poisons and alchemical items. Even the right selection of weapons can do a lot for your full attack, IMHO.

Tiki Snakes
2009-08-27, 11:08 AM
Never got the chance to play much higher than level 5 or 6, really, and to be quite honest, was never up to anything like that level of build-fu. The most interesting character I managed was a glaive-weilding barbarian elf, who traded rage for some rangery stuff (unearthed arcana), and went for the whole opportunity attack route. (managed to find an allowable dragon feat, iirc, that let him attack at short range with a small penalty, basically whenever needed.)

He was a fun character on many levels, but my favourite bit was non-crunch. He'd say hello. To everyone we met. From important NPC's, to two-headed anthropomorphic Rat-Man Vampires.

Then wave, cheerfully.

Leon
2009-08-27, 11:52 AM
Yeah, the lack of options has been what's stopped me from switching over to 4e. I'll play it happily enough if that's what my group's doing, but most of the classes are just too limited for my taste.

This is what ive found from looking into it.
Over time its interest has grown a bit but while simple and streamlined PCs may be ok for a while i like to explore options and the rigidness makes it hard to develop some idea's

Hal
2009-08-27, 01:19 PM
Oooh, another edition flame war. Allow me to summarize the contents of this thread 10 pages later:

[4eFaNb0y]: 4E is streamlined! Non-casters have more options! There are fewer dump stats!

[3pnt5rulz]: 4E = WoW = lolPG. There aren't enough options! My wizard feels neutered! You're dumb if you can't understand 3.5!

Okay, all of that aside, my own experience with 4e has been similar to Burley's. I (and my group) will probably stick with 4e from now on.

I won't say that I'd never play 3.5 again, I think I'd want to do quite a bit of house-ruling before I played a 3.5 game again. Many of the 4e changes (such as the paring down of the skill list) are very attractive, so I'd probably want to hold on to what changes I could.

In any case, I keep seeing "lack of character options" as a complaint, and this is really changing as more material is being released. If you haven't taken a glance at it since the core release, I would highly recommend giving it a second shot if that's all that's holding you back.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-27, 01:26 PM
In any case, I keep seeing "lack of character options" as a complaint, and this is really changing as more material is being released. If you haven't taken a glance at it since the core release, I would highly recommend giving it a second shot if that's all that's holding you back.

I'm sorry Hal, I can't do that.

Sir Homeslice
2009-08-27, 01:30 PM
More, could you bring an example of hybrid class, and the source where you can take the rules for them?

Quick summary, Hybrid classes are what you take when you take one class, chop it roughly in half, and then mash another half class into it. At least one of your at-will/encounter/daily powers have to be from each class, and aside that there are no limitations as far as power goes. Certain class features are given the shaft, but they're only limited to working with that class' powers. Additionally there's a feat caleld Hybrid Talent that grabs you a class feature that isn't part of the starting package. If you give up your Paragon path you can Paragon Hybrid, which allows a bit of flexibility between both sides of the Hybrid, and an additional take of Hybrid Talent.

Overall, Hybrids are slightly underpowered if anything, although there are the occasional Hybrid combinations that explode into joygasms of awesome. Instantly, Rogue|Ranger comes to mind for just throwing damage around, and Avenger|Swordmage for a defender with a bit more of a striker feel and untouchable AC if you Paragon Hybrid.

@ Myshlaevsky, Saph, and Whammydill:

Congratulations, you played 4e's *easiest* class and found it boring, thus 4e is boring. Or at least that's what I'm understanding from your posts. Also, you didn't choose any of the more interesting powers and went for the dice? Small wonder.

P.S: 3.5e annoys e in every way conceivable, but despite that I'm somewhat fond of the system. Factotums, Beguilers, Binders and the like interest me, and I love ToB. I cannot for the life of me stand spellcasters, or at least the Wizard, namely because my OCD would kill me.

Kelpstrand
2009-08-27, 01:30 PM
I like how Hal's 4e fanboy makes statements that are things he actually believes and that are generally accepted as good, and his 3.5 example has people using insults and complaining about how they like to feel big in the pants.

It tells me exactly how fair an balanced he is. Which is to say, as fair and balanced as fox news.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-27, 01:30 PM
I'm sorry Hal, I can't do that.

http://i871.photobucket.com/albums/ab273/Kologotov/Hal9000.jpg


I like how his 4e fanboy makes statements that are things he actually believes and that are generally accepted as good, and his 3.5 example has people using insults and complaining about how they like to feel big in the pants.

It tells me exactly how fair an balanced he is. Which is to say, as fair and balanced as fox news.

I absolutely knew that someone posting an exaggeration of viewpoints would lead to a display of said viewpoints.


@ Myshlaevsky, Saph, and Whammydill:

Congratulations, you played 4e's *easiest* class and found it boring, thus 4e is boring. Or at least that's what I'm understanding from your posts. Also, you didn't choose any of the more interesting powers and went for the dice? Small wonder.

Wow, way to read into my post. I DM 4e and prefer it to 3.5e enormously, but I did find the Ranger class boring at low levels. I don't understand how me saying that leads you to think that I'm criticising an entire system as inferior.

*sigh*

I was going to criticise the edition war post for being untrue but I see that I'm contributing to one in the making myself now.

Sir Homeslice
2009-08-27, 01:35 PM
Wow, way to read into my post. I DM 4e and prefer it to 3.5e enormously, but I did find the Ranger class boring at low levels. I don't understand how me saying that leads you to think that I'm criticising an entire system as inferior.

*sigh*

I was going to criticise the edition war post for being untrue but I see that I'm contributing to one in the making myself now.

Whoops.

Apologies, I read into *everything* too much. And I do mean *everything*.

Mushroom Ninja
2009-08-27, 02:08 PM
Don't get me wrong, 4e isn't a bad system. It's just that compared to the vast array of stuff I can do in 3.5, my 4e characters feel a bit limited by comparison. Pretty much every turn comes down to "move, make my attack roll, done." I also find that combats tend to be highly luck-dependent - with every attack it's about 50/50 whether you'll hit or miss, and there isn't that much you can do to shift the odds in your favour.


That's basically how I feel on 4e. I enjoy it, but I like 3.5 better because of the greater character versatility inherent in its design.

The Glyphstone
2009-08-27, 02:39 PM
Completely off-topic, but someone posting above reminded me of something I've been curious about for a while. Back in 2nd edition/AD&D, there were all those different saves - Save vs. Wand, Save vs. Petrification, Save vs. Spell, Save vs. Death, etc. Did the rules incorporate some sort of heirarchy to determine which took priority? Say, if someone attacked a PC with a Wand of Finger of Death - would that be a Save vs. Wand, Death, or Spell?

arguskos
2009-08-27, 02:43 PM
Completely off-topic, but someone posting above reminded me of something I've been curious about for a while. Back in 2nd edition/AD&D, there were all those different saves - Save vs. Wand, Save vs. Petrification, Save vs. Spell, Save vs. Death, etc. Did the rules incorporate some sort of heirarchy to determine which took priority? Say, if someone attacked a PC with a Wand of Finger of Death - would that be a Save vs. Wand, Death, or Spell?
The item specified, typically.

Kylarra
2009-08-27, 02:44 PM
Completely off-topic, but someone posting above reminded me of something I've been curious about for a while. Back in 2nd edition/AD&D, there were all those different saves - Save vs. Wand, Save vs. Petrification, Save vs. Spell, Save vs. Death, etc. Did the rules incorporate some sort of heirarchy to determine which took priority? Say, if someone attacked a PC with a Wand of Finger of Death - would that be a Save vs. Wand, Death, or Spell?Yes it did, in order or priority.

Save vs Paralyze, Poison & Death
Save vs Rod, Staff or Wand
Save vs Petrification or Polymorph
Save vs Breath Weapons
Save vs Spell


So they'd save vs death.

Umael
2009-08-27, 03:04 PM
I was going to criticise the edition war post for being untrue but I see that I'm contributing to one in the making myself now.

Stop the Blood War!

Demons and devils can get aloonnggg!!!

Mordokai
2009-08-27, 03:07 PM
Demons and devils can get aloonnggg!!!

Sure they can. I mean, succubus is a devil all of a sudden. One has to ask himself how that happened :smallbiggrin:

Mando Knight
2009-08-27, 03:11 PM
Stop the Blood War!

Demons and devils can get aloonnggg!!!

Blood War, huh! Who is it good for?

Good gods, y'all!

Kylarra
2009-08-27, 03:14 PM
Sure they can. I mean, succubus is a devil all of a sudden. One has to ask himself how that happened :smallbiggrin:

somebody up high (down low?) wanted to make a booty call. :smallamused:

Hal
2009-08-27, 03:23 PM
I like how Hal's 4e fanboy makes statements that are things he actually believes and that are generally accepted as good, and his 3.5 example has people using insults and complaining about how they like to feel big in the pants.

It tells me exactly how fair an balanced he is. Which is to say, as fair and balanced as fox news.

I . . . wow. I didn't realize I'd written a post with such malice aforethought. My apologies.

I was just using the stuff I see over and over (and over and over ad inifinitum) in these threads. 3.5 is too complicated / 4e is too simple. 3.5 has interesting characters / 4e is WoW.

I won't pretend I don't like 4e better, but I was just trying to be funny. Gimme a break man.

Erk
2009-08-27, 03:38 PM
Saph: rangers are all-in-all a boring class. They're made for people like my friend who loves his archer-ranger and is really enjoying his sorceror now. Folks who can't handle basic tactics and math and just want to point at an enemy or group of 'em and roll some dice. For those that want tactics, there are tons of complex characters. Any defender (fighter, paladin, swordmage, warden), most leaders (warlord, artificer, bard, and shaman; cleric is pretty simple), any controller (wizard, druid, invoker), and a lot of the strikers (rogues, some warlock builds, some sorceror builds, avenger, and maybe barbarian). The classes with complex tactical options probably outnumber the point-and-shoot classes even by very rigid definitions. Heck, try to play a shaman sometime. I find them a little too complex.

Now, I admit, my games are houseruled. I do find it a bit flat at low levels with the standard 2 at-will, 1 encuonter, 1 daily, so my games all allow you to have 2 encounters at any given level but only use one of the two in any given encounter. Without that one I do agree that lowlevel play can be pretty monotonous; by about level 5, when you have two encounters, two dailies, and a utility, it clears up though.

Kallisti
2009-08-27, 03:47 PM
I prefer 3.5 e at the moment, because it has more options currently and because the whole 'powers as the core mechanic' thing makes every class feel to similar, but (Heresy! Blasphemy!) I actually like both systems. I haven't played much 4e, but I played one game as a gnome wizard, and I felt like I had a fair number of options during combat without being too overpwered, which was nice. Admittedly, the time I played a ranger was downright boring, but one flawed class isn't enough to turn me off of the whole system.

Mordokai
2009-08-27, 03:55 PM
Why all the ranger hate? One of my favourite characters in 4E was an archer ranger. Admitedly, she started as level four and I did minmaxed the hell out of her because I wanted to piss of the DM(don't judge me, you don't know the whole story), but I had great fun playing that one. Maybe it was because of the fluff(she was an evil ranger/stalker type ranger, devoted to Zehir and expert in poisons, who hunted humans and other humanoids for fun), or maybe it's the fact that I was always soft on melee classes, but that was one of my favourite characters in 4E. High damage output certainly didn't do anything to turn me away from the class.

Erk
2009-08-27, 03:58 PM
Why all the ranger hate? One of my favourite characters in 4E was an archer ranger. Admitedly, she started as level four and I did minmaxed the hell out of her because I wanted to piss of the DM(don't judge me, you don't know the whole story), but I had great fun playing that one. Maybe it was because of the fluff(she was an evil ranger/stalker type ranger, devoted to Zehir and expert in poisons, who hunted humans and other humanoids for fun), or maybe it's the fact that I was always soft on melee classes, but that was one of my favourite characters in 4E. High damage output certainly didn't do anything to turn me away from the class.

I don't think you're seeing much ranger hate. They're not bad and you're not wrong for liking them, they're just tactically extremely straightforward, and therefore boring to anyone that wants a tactically complex character. Don't confuse that for being bad in all cases.

Kallisti
2009-08-27, 03:59 PM
People don't like rangers because every turn becomes "Move, shoot." There are almost certainly ranger builds that have more options than that, but that's the basic summary of the class...

Of course, I might have enjoyed my ranger more if I'd known enough about 4e to have a damage output that made the monotony worthwhile...

oxybe
2009-08-27, 04:02 PM
the 4th ed bow-ranger is the new pre-4th fighter. it's a very direct class that i recommend to players just starting and want to contribute and learn the game. little subtlety, not too complex but it works.

shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, move a bit, shoot some more, sh~ WTF GOBLIN IN MY GRILL?! shift, shoot, shoot...

the big difference is that instead of relearning the core mechanics upon changing to the wizard class, you just need to adjust only your playstyle.

Mordokai
2009-08-27, 04:13 PM
Well, to be honest, that ranger did saw only one play session before everything went south. Had I played it a little longer, maybe I'd get bored of her soon. But then again, I was always happy with having a simple but effective character. If they had a good background, even better.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that, to each his own :smallsmile:

Whammydill
2009-08-27, 04:22 PM
Quick summary, Hybrid classes are what you take when you take one class, chop it roughly in half, and then mash another half class into it. At least one of your at-will/encounter/daily powers have to be from each class, and aside that there are no limitations as far as power goes. Certain class features are given the shaft, but they're only limited to working with that class' powers. Additionally there's a feat caleld Hybrid Talent that grabs you a class feature that isn't part of the starting package. If you give up your Paragon path you can Paragon Hybrid, which allows a bit of flexibility between both sides of the Hybrid, and an additional take of Hybrid Talent.

Overall, Hybrids are slightly underpowered if anything, although there are the occasional Hybrid combinations that explode into joygasms of awesome. Instantly, Rogue|Ranger comes to mind for just throwing damage around, and Avenger|Swordmage for a defender with a bit more of a striker feel and untouchable AC if you Paragon Hybrid.

@ Myshlaevsky, Saph, and Whammydill:

Congratulations, you played 4e's *easiest* class and found it boring, thus 4e is boring. Or at least that's what I'm understanding from your posts. Also, you didn't choose any of the more interesting powers and went for the dice? Small wonder.

P.S: 3.5e annoys e in every way conceivable, but despite that I'm somewhat fond of the system. Factotums, Beguilers, Binders and the like interest me, and I love ToB. I cannot for the life of me stand spellcasters, or at least the Wizard, namely because my OCD would kill me.

No, you are wrong. I tried more than just the ranger. I've done most of them to some degree. I didn't just pick the more dice powers for ranger because i had a choice. If you don't pick *its just more dice* powers as a ranger, you don't have anything to pick from.

I play a class based on an idea I come up with to roleplay that character. Then I build the character to fit that idea for roleplaying without suckin. Thus, I like being able to do that without having my class pigeonholed into an archetype and virtually every power supporting onlythat archetype. So you misunderstood my post. Thanks.

kjones
2009-08-27, 05:26 PM
So, when 4e was announced, my group swore up and down that we wouldn't touch it. That it was unclean and we were to stay pure. But, for some reason, the Friday after it came out, we all have characters made and were fighting Bullywogs with our at-wills. And, it was easy. The jump from 3.5 to 4e felt so minor. Natural, even.
I always enjoy spell-casters, so the powers weren't a jump. And I prefer perpetual casters, like the warlock, so, never running out of powers just seemed balancing and more fun.
I think my entire group felt this way, except for one of my friends. She refused to look at the books, used a premade character for the first session, and refused to declare sneak attack, even when it was available. She was just being petty, in my opinion. She left when we made the permanent switch to 4e.

Now, that friend invited me and another friend (my BestFriend4Life, if you will) to join her 3.5 group. We thought "Hey, we know the rules, we know the setting and we enjoy it all, so sure." I forgot how complicated 3.5 is. It's hard. There is SOOO much information. Even if you're strapped to just core, there are dozens of spells to choose from. Specializing can cripple your character, but flipping pages back and forth can cripple the player.
Last night, I was trying to look through metamagic feats (JUST METAMAGIC FEATS) and the constant flipping and the shere volume of it all made me sick. I had to close everything and lie down.
And, last night, I played an NPC (its a bad time in the story to bring in new PCs) who had a pretty awful class but he had two feats that made him a-freaking-mazing. Knock Down and Improved Trip. I hit a flying gargoyle, tripped him out of the air, and basically curb-stomped him. Layed one of three out flat with a single readied standard, not full-round action. Standard.
It's because you can just pick two feats to make you awesome in 3.5, and it's almost scary that if I don't find the right two feats for my sorcerer, I'm gonna lose. Everything.

I'm done.
This is much more commentary than question. I look forward to seeing responses, though.

I enjoyed 4th edition the first few times I played. After a little while, though, I realized that we had seen more or less all there was too it.

I also felt the same way as Saph did, regarding rolls - you generally have about a 50% chance of success, and there's not much you can do to change that.

There are a bunch of little things that just don't work very well (solo encounters are a slog, a lot of powers don't really make sense), and they just added up for me.

Kurald Galain
2009-08-27, 05:47 PM
The character I was playing in another 4e PbP was a Ranger, and while his DPS was enormous, he was very tedious to play.
I second (third) this. When I played a ranger, every turn was simply "point at an enemy, he takes damage, next". And that wasn't even an archer - it was melee with a beast that essentially gave free combat advantage. I don't find strikers very interesting to play period, but at least the rogue has to work (a little) to get CA every turn.


The "something happens even if you miss" aspect that seems to be attatched to every ability in 4e reminds me of the same mentality that has seeped into school-age sports these days; where even if you lose you get a trophy and still get your snack and icecream. Do not want.
That would seem to be by design, yes. There are numerous of options in 4E that feel like they make a difference but really don't - for instance, unless you're playing a rogue, most of the time it doesn't really matter whether you have combat advantage or not. By making a game where you can't fall far below the average, they made a game where you also can't rise much above the average, hence the luck factor in combat.


Back in 2nd edition/AD&D, there were all those different saves - Save vs. Wand, Save vs. Petrification, Save vs. Spell, Save vs. Death, etc. Did the rules incorporate some sort of heirarchy to determine which took priority?
Yes - that would be the (always the same) order in which the saves were printed in the rulebook or on your charsheet. Work top to bottom, take the first that applies. 2E had several confusing rules but this shouldn't be one of them :)

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-08-27, 07:18 PM
Yes - that would be the (always the same) order in which the saves were printed in the rulebook or on your charsheet. Work top to bottom, take the first that applies. 2E had several confusing rules but this shouldn't be one of them :)

And if you don't have either the book or the sheet handy (which was occasionally the case for me when I was running a game at Boy Scout camp, for instance), the easy rule of thumb is:
Will it kill you (or lead to a CdG next round)? Paralyze/Poison/Death
Does it change you somehow? Petrification/Polymorph
Would getting out of the way help? Breath Weapon
Not sure of the above, and it comes from an item? Rod/Staff/Wand
Not sure of the above, and it comes from a creature? Spell
Not always precise, but easy to remember, and it helps new players get a grasp of the differences.

AgentPaper
2009-08-27, 09:15 PM
...unless you're playing a rogue, most of the time it doesn't really matter whether you have combat advantage or not.

I'm sorry, but I just can't let that stand. Getting combat advantage is very important for every player, although yes, it is more important for a rogue. +2 to hit is really really important when you're only hitting half the time. This is for the same reason that people take things like action surge, which gives you a +1 to hit when you use an action point to make another attack, just for that attack. Every little +1 is huge and can mean the difference between hitting with your big attack or missing and having it go to waste. This is one thing that 4E got right.

Kylarra
2009-08-27, 09:24 PM
I'm sorry, but I just can't let that stand. Getting combat advantage is very important for every player, although yes, it is more important for a rogue. +2 to hit is really really important when you're only hitting half the time. This is for the same reason that people take things like action surge, which gives you a +1 to hit when you use an action point to make another attack, just for that attack. Every little +1 is huge and can mean the difference between hitting with your big attack or missing and having it go to waste. This is one thing that 4E got right.Action surge is +3. It would be significantly less attractive if it were +1. :smalltongue:

AgentPaper
2009-08-27, 09:41 PM
Action surge is +3. It would be significantly less attractive if it were +1. :smalltongue:

:smallredface: You're right. Still, my point stands. :smalltongue:

Shpadoinkle
2009-08-27, 10:05 PM
My group tried 4e for a while but we went back to 3.5. For myself 4e just felt too much like a glorified boardgame, or it felt like I was playing WoW or something. Now that I think about it, it felt like I was being railroaded into a glorified D&D Minatures games with RP chucked in.

I think 4e is nicely balanced and makes it hard to mess up. But that's what I don't like about it. The trial and error of builds and roleplaying them was what I liked best with 3.5. Yes, 3.5 has its problems, but the system is only broken if the players tried to break it, or the DM let them. In 4e, I felt like my characters were the same as everyone's else, with some arbitrary differences thrown in. Mechanically all characters *are* the same. Everyone gets the same system of at-will, encounter, daily....etc.

The varied and intergrated systems of classes and such in 3.5 made it feel like I had more direct control of what my character can become instead of being lead around by the nose by an "across-the-board" framework.

Just my 2cp.

I really couldn't put it better myself. When I sit down to play D&D, I want to play D&D, not a board game. There's nothing wrong with board games, and I do enjoy board games, but given the option, I'd rather play D&D.

The biggest problem I have with 4e is I feel like WotC tried to simplify things, and instead they dumbed it down. 4e is more of a "pick up and play, you can learn as you go" kind of game, while 3.X is more of a "you need to read the manual first or have someone who knows it inside out" kind of game. I prefer the latter.

Kroy
2009-08-28, 12:24 AM
Shpadoinkle has it right. 4th ed. isn't bad per se, it's just a different game then D&D pre 4th. If the called monopoly "Candyland 2nd edition" and you were a big Candyland fan, would you still think it's the same game? I wouldn't, despite it having the same name. This how I think about 4th ed. D&D. It's just a different game entirely from the rest of D&D.

Elfin
2009-08-28, 12:47 AM
I agree. At its core, it really just comes down to what style you prefer, not which game is superior.

BobVosh
2009-08-28, 01:44 AM
meh, I just couldn't abide 4eds 50/50. So I played an avenger, much better chance to hit.

Since this has devolved to editions my problem with 4ed is that every option doesn't feel like it matters. The difference between a daily and an at will is minimal at best. Perhaps a minor buff, and about 10 extra damage (heroic tier at least, never got above it) Also you have about 6 options per encounter if it is the first one of the day.

Admitably that is usually more than the PA Barbie of 3.X, but then you hit consistently for impressive amounts of damage.

Kizara
2009-08-28, 03:07 AM
To me, the best way to summerize the difference in edition playstyles is:

4e is meant for casual gamers. Its meant that you don't have to put alot of effort into it (anywhere, from learning to decisions to tactics) to do at least decently at it. It's designed to be easy. Its also designed to be cinematic, gamey (and thus more familiar to non-RPG gamers) and accessible.


Comparitively, even core + 1st run completes (Divine, Arcane, Warrior, Adv) 3.5e is much more geared to those who take their game seriously, and don't mind putting effort into their characters. They also want to be rewarded by their effort by being signifigantly BETTER then others (not just 5-10% better, once 'per encounter' (bloody hate that mechanic)) who did not put in as much time and effort.

Essentially the axium becomes "In a game where noone can lose, noone can win." Now, does this mean that you should play a RPG with the intention of 'winning' against the other players? Not generally, no. But it does mean that for your choices to matter, there must be bad choices. Now, I think that 3e certinally goes overboard with the insane distance between its good and bad choices, but that doesn't mean that I agree with 4e's design philosophy at all.


NOW, to the OP, I know exactly how you feel. While I utterly detest 4e, as the perpetual 'easy mode' cinematic garbage that it is, I had a very similar experience to you.

Some time ago I worked on my Tome of House Rules project, that now stands basically abandoned (I just switched to GURPS), that was a 60-page 10pt font document that had all my revisions and house rules to improve DnD without killing its sacred cows or stripping it of its identity.

Now, I was briefly part of another RPing board that wanted to start up a new RP and invited me to join them. After some discussion, I agreed but then we needed to decide on a system. Some wanted 4e, but it got vetoed by me and another member, and that basically left 3.5e as the only other system we knew. Now, I knew I couldn't ask a bunch of strangers to adopt my huge Tome of House Rules and I didn't feel like going through the 'optimization gaunlet again', with all the cheese I had houseruled and fixed back into play. I was hit with a sudden realization of just how flawed my (then) favorite RPG system was, much like you were in hindsight after 4e. Now, after we ALL went through the same feeling (all 4 of us), we were convinced by the DM to try GURPS. I am still thankful to Rhyburg for getting me onto this amazing system, as it has revitalized RPing for me and my RL group tremendously.

Kurald Galain
2009-08-28, 03:21 AM
I'm sorry, but I just can't let that stand. Getting combat advantage is very important for every player, although yes, it is more important for a rogue.

Thank you for illustrating my point. Mathematically, it makes a difference exactly 10% of the time. For instance, if you need a 9+ to hit a monster, the following applies (and by extrapolation, it applies any time you need something between a 3 and an 18 to hit).

{table]What you roll|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18| 19|20
Hit without CA|no|no|no|no|no|no|no|no|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes |yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes
Hit with CA|no|no|no|no|no|no|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|y es|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes
Did CA make a difference|no|no|no|no|no|no|yes|yes|no|no|no|no|n o|no|no|no|no|no|no|no
[/table]

So like I said, this is exactly one of those options that "feel like they make a difference but really don't".

Of course, good players will try to get CA as often as possible anyway, but the difference between a good player who has CA 90% of the time (which isn't all that difficult) and a poor player who almost never has CA is small.

AgentPaper
2009-08-28, 03:28 AM
Thank you for illustrating my point. Mathematically, it makes a difference exactly 10% of the time. For instance, if you need a 9+ to hit a monster, the following applies (and by extrapolation, it applies any time you need something between a 3 and an 18 to hit).

{table]What you roll|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18| 19|20
Hit without CA|no|no|no|no|no|no|no|no|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes |yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes
Hit with CA|no|no|no|no|no|no|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|y es|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes
Did CA make a difference|no|no|no|no|no|no|yes|yes|no|no|no|no|n o|no|no|no|no|no|no|no
[/table]

So like I said, this is exactly one of those options that "feel like they make a difference but really don't".

Of course, good players will try to get CA as often as possible anyway, but the difference between a good player who has CA 90% of the time (which isn't all that difficult) and a poor player who almost never has CA is small.

That's not quite right, statistically. If you're hitting 50% of the time, and then get a 10% higher change of hitting, you've just effectively increased your chance to hit by 20%. If you're up against a high level soldier, and have a 30% chance to hit normally, flanking effectively increases your chance to hit by 33%. And remember that this isn't 20-33% more damage, this is 20-33% more overall effectiveness. If you don't hit, you might as well be a stick in the mud for all the enemies care. And if you just missed with that big daily attack, well, too bad, because it's gone and you wasted it.

+2 to hit is important.

Also, @Kizara

I could write out a big long rant, but I think it'd be much more concise and just as effective if I just noted I disagree with pretty much everything you said there. :smalltongue: (except for the stuff about GURPS, of course, which I know only enough about to know that it isn't the type of system I would care for)

Kurald Galain
2009-08-28, 04:05 AM
get a 10% higher change of hitting, you've just effectively increased your chance to hit by 20%.
Heh. No, a 10% chance is not a 20% chance. It's surprising how often people think that, but taking percentages-of-percentages is just obfuscating the matter.

The chance that CA makes a difference is 10%, which is easily seen when you write out a table above. Regardless of what your actual chance to hit is (as long as it's in the 10% - 90% range), there is a ninety percent chance that either (1) you would have hit even without CA, or (2) you will miss even with CA.

So yeah, combat is random, and is intended to be random; as several posters have already pointed out, "with every attack it's about 50/50 whether you'll hit or miss, and there isn't that much you can do to shift the odds in your favour." There's plenty to make you think you're heavily shifting the odds, though, and that's actually very clever design, if in a feel-good way.

Saph
2009-08-28, 04:43 AM
*nods* Kurald is right. When adding a modifier to an all or nothing roll, the only thing that matters is "Did it make a difference?" If it didn't make the difference between success and failure then it was irrelevant. A +2 modifier is relevant 10% of the time and irrelevant 90% of the time.

This is why taking an AoO to get combat advantage is generally a bad tactical move in 4e.

tcrudisi
2009-08-28, 05:22 AM
All of the original post.

+1.

I did something very similar. I started 4e and enjoyed it. I loved the balance and the team-work that was required. I had a few problems with it, but I definitely considered myself both a 3.x and a 4e person. And then I went back and played a 3.x game with a new group, just so I could get some variation. After three sessions I had to quit. I could not take the fact that one of the other players was building Pun-Pun. Seriously. I realize it was the "perfect storm" of everything that was wrong with 3.x, but having it thrown in my face like that? I just decided that, "Screw this, 4e is a great enough system; I'll just stick with it." So I have.


(and also quote Saph, since they both made almost the same post back to back) Yes, one of my first characters was a ranger. This class in particular was very monotonous(sp?) Every ability seemed like it was exactly the same, just add a few more dice here and there but not very different from any other.

This is actually why I've only ever played one damage-dealer. I tend to stick with the leader types, and woo-boy is it fun. Yeah, I'm the "healer", but there is so much more to it. The leader has to work hard every round to maximize his groups potential. But if you want to see high DPR? Yeah, go with a striker. If you want to be the reason for that high DPR? Go with a controller or leader and enjoy all the tactics you must employ.

With risk of making this thread longer, I'll give an example. I was playing a Bard. We were in pretty much an end-of-story fight. It was an encounter that was basically two fights of our level in one -- a dragon 4 levels higher than us + several monsters a couple of levels higher than us. We knew we could take the monsters, but that dragon at the same time? Deadly. I worked with the Wizard and decided to use an at-will to lower the Dragon's Will defense by 2 for a turn. I asked the Warrior to get into a position where I could then get flanking advantage. That combat advantage is what allowed me to hit, giving the dragon -2 to Will. That -2 to Will was the difference between the Wizard hitting and missing with Sleep. The Dragon failed it's saving throw, fell asleep, and over the next round we threw everything we had at it, coup de gracing it like that was the new style. We won that encounter thanks to the teamwork we experienced. But did you notice what happened there? A Defender, a Leader, and a Controller worked together to completely demolish an encounter. The strikers just did high damage. Sure, they may have actually done the most damage, but that part was boring (to me, at least).

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-28, 06:19 AM
I could not take the fact that one of the other players was building Pun-Pun. Seriously. I realize it was the "perfect storm" of everything that was wrong with 3.x, but having it thrown in my face like that? I just decided that, "Screw this, 4e is a great enough system; I'll just stick with it." So I have.

I am unclear: have we found a way to completely break 4th ed yet?

Whammydill
2009-08-28, 06:26 AM
I am unclear: have we found a way to completely break 4th ed yet?

We have a team of insane squirrels working on this as we speak! :smallbiggrin:

@Tcrudisi: Thats awesome that your group synergised the way it did. Thats what makes encounters memorable and talked about much after the game ends. Admittedly one of the perhaps better things about 4e is that its pre-designed to synergise easier. You could accomplish great synergy as well in 3.x, but its not put together like a puzzle so you had to work for it.

Kurald Galain
2009-08-28, 06:30 AM
I am unclear: have we found a way to completely break 4th ed yet?
You mean, by single-handedly one-shotting the toughest monster in the MM the week before 4E was officially released? Yeah...


Ok, so that one got errata'ed. What we still have, is (1) a paragon wizard automatically and permanently paralyzing an enemy, (2) infinite loop paragon critical hit cycles, (3) the two-Earth-Brute insta-kill, (4) a low level warlock automatically killing all minions on the board, (5) low-strength characters punching through walls, (6) various infinite loops at epic level, including one that give you infinite movement, and (7) probably some other stuff that slips my mind at the moment. Does that answer your question?

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-28, 06:31 AM
Here's the thing to keep in mind: If your beef is with the system, then you'll be disappointed with 4e too as Charop will find/has found a way to break it beyond repair.

If you're problem is with people who don't know how to play the game politely, then it doesn't matter what edition you play under.

Epinephrine
2009-08-28, 06:51 AM
*nods* Kurald is right. When adding a modifier to an all or nothing roll, the only thing that matters is "Did it make a difference?" If it didn't make the difference between success and failure then it was irrelevant. A +2 modifier is relevant 10% of the time and irrelevant 90% of the time.

This is why taking an AoO to get combat advantage is generally a bad tactical move in 4e.

But Agent Paper is right, in that the effectiveness difference isn't based on the change in gross percentages but in the effective improvement offered.

If you hit only on a 20, and with CA you hit on a 18-20, you've gone from hitting 5% of the time to hitting 15% of the time. That triples your damage output. Ignoring the fact that you've tripled your damage output is silly.

Kurald Galain
2009-08-28, 07:19 AM
If you hit only on a 20, and with CA you hit on a 18-20, you've gone from hitting 5% of the time to hitting 15% of the time. That triples your damage output. Ignoring the fact that you've tripled your damage output is silly.

That's not a relevant example - in 4E you are never ever supposed to fight enemies that you can hit only on a 20, by design, and indeed if your DM pays marginal attention to monster levels (e.g. by not making you fight epic monsters at heroic tier), you never will.

So no, you will not triple your damage output by flanking - that's not even remotely close.

huttj509
2009-08-28, 07:31 AM
Basically it depends on what you're saying the % is of.

With the above example, going from hitting on a 20 to an 18-20, you still only hit on 10% more of your swings, but you triple your damage, reducing the effective time the enemy will be alive by 2/3 (if you're the only one hitting it), and thus reducing the damage total you'd take by 2/3.

Say it has 9 hp, and you do 1 damage/round if you hit (fir math example purposes). Initially, it'd take on average 180 rounds to down the enemy. With CA, this drops to 60 rounds.

If you hit on a 3+, it takes on average 10 rounds to defeat the enemy. With CA it takes 9 (assuming a 1 isn't an auto-miss).

The harder the enemy is for you to hit, the more CA will affect the fight length, and your damage output.

If we look at the extremes this makes sense. If you need a 22 to hit (assuming 20 does not auto-hit), CA makes it POSSIBLE to hit, making a huge difference.

If you hit on a 1 or greater normally, CA makes no difference at all.

Edit: To see middle of the road numbers...

Say you normally hit on an 11+, 50% chance. With the 9hp monster it would take 18 rounds to down it. With CA, that drops to 15. You just did about 16% more damage.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-08-28, 07:54 AM
Why I like 3.5: I have all the books, and I can powergame. :P Having mechanical system mastery means I can roleplay and make off-the-wall characters without being underpowered.

Why I dislike 4e: I don't have all the books, but acquiring them is relatively trivial due to my friend-network. The problem with 4e, for me, is that you have to have D&D Insider to do a lot of the type of powergaming that enables peculiar fringe characters to be powerful. And D&D Insider isn't a one-time ownership fee, and you can't buy it used; which makes powergaming significantly more difficult.

Kaiyanwang
2009-08-28, 08:01 AM
You could accomplish great synergy as well in 3.x, but its not put together like a puzzle so you had to work for it.

QFT. Simply, combos are not premade in 3.x, IMHO. But you ca built a lot, expecialy with more meleers and AOOs.



If you're problem is with people who don't know how to play the game politely, then it doesn't matter what edition you play under.

Seconded.

Epinephrine
2009-08-28, 08:34 AM
That's not a relevant example - in 4E you are never ever supposed to fight enemies that you can hit only on a 20, by design, and indeed if your DM pays marginal attention to monster levels (e.g. by not making you fight epic monsters at heroic tier), you never will.

So no, you will not triple your damage output by flanking - that's not even remotely close.

The improvement varies with the base chance of success, as Agent Paper has said. If the attack was originally 50% successful, it is now 60% suceessful. The ratio is thus 6:5, or 1.2:1 - a 20% improvement.

I used an extreme example to illustrate that improvement isn't strictly 10% - the most extreme example on a d20 is going from 5% to 15%, the least meaningful would be from 90% to 95% (missing on a 2 to missing on a 1), or in fact, going from 5% to 5% (a foe that you can only hit on a 20 with or without flanking). Whether or not it is the norm for 4E gaming, I chose the number for the obviousness of the impact that flanking has on it, not to model 4E games.

If the chances of success vary between about 65% and 35%, flanking offers between 30% and 15% improvements in damage output, not 10%.

Kurald Galain
2009-08-28, 08:46 AM
The improvement varies with the base chance of success, as Agent Paper has said.

None of that actually contradicts my original statement, that unless you're playing a rogue, most of the time it doesn't really matter whether you have combat advantage or not. Again, "with every attack it's about 50/50 whether you'll hit or miss, and there isn't that much you can do to shift the odds in your favour."

Renchard
2009-08-28, 09:33 AM
None of that actually contradicts my original statement, that unless you're playing a rogue, most of the time it doesn't really matter whether you have combat advantage or not. Again, "with every attack it's about 50/50 whether you'll hit or miss, and there isn't that much you can do to shift the odds in your favour."

I think that's a major difference in the feel of 4e compared to 3e. 4e is designed to stay within a "sweet spot", where you can only add so many bonuses to your attack and so many penalties to the enemy, so that your range of possible results never extends into auto-success or auto-fail. Because of that design, there's no trumping the dice...everything will come down to the roll.

3e had multiple abilities (particularly spells) that provided "trumps", where the effect of the ability completed obviated certain tactics. The Batman Wizard defines this style of play, using no-save no-SR spells to shut down any opponents that didn't have specifically defined counter-measures. This difference, I think, is why so many people feel that 4e is so "gamey". 4e forces you to play its way, 3e has the capability to allow the player to decide exactly what way they want to play.

Note that I'm not arguing that more player choice is automatically the better option.

Tiki Snakes
2009-08-28, 10:10 AM
Why I like 3.5: I have all the books, and I can powergame. :P Having mechanical system mastery means I can roleplay and make off-the-wall characters without being underpowered.

Why I dislike 4e: I don't have all the books, but acquiring them is relatively trivial due to my friend-network. The problem with 4e, for me, is that you have to have D&D Insider to do a lot of the type of powergaming that enables peculiar fringe characters to be powerful. And D&D Insider isn't a one-time ownership fee, and you can't buy it used; which makes powergaming significantly more difficult.

Re: Insider. Can't help with Character builder, or get you the updates as they happen, but as for the meat and potatos, ie, the Dragon Magazine stuff...Dragon Annual (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/242070000)
This might help?

I'm pretty sure I've seen it in stores already, but given it claims to be released next month, that might be someone being cheeky somewhere along the line. :)

Epinephrine
2009-08-28, 10:11 AM
I haven't yet experimented with 4th edition, though some friends have.

I was intrigued by the Tome of Battle, and the idea of encounter-based abilities and recharge mechanisms. I really enjoyed the articles on wizards.com about "how to build a monster manual", in which they describe the assembly of the MMV for 3.5; the mindset was neat, since it does mirror a lot more what I like in designing an encounter. Both of these elements seem to be part of 4E, with enemies being of various types (I may have the terms wrong, but leaders, minions, mooks, brutes?) and with powers being more regularly accessible.

My intial reaction to 4th (on hearing of its 1 HP enemies, etc) was that it's taking a system that is more simulationist (which I like) and dumbing it down to a few basic principles - but from another perspective, I can see the sense behind some changes. The simulationist bits can be what the DM adjudicates; the underlying system being easy to run and providing interesting encounter resolution is pretty important.

I think I may borrow some 4E books from a friend and have a look at them. At the very least, I'm debating employing some of the ideas in my Pathfinder campaign - nothing says I can't add abilities that allow enemies to work better together, add leader-type effects, and make hard-hitting minions with trivial hit points, forcing players to actually deal with them.

Sipex
2009-08-28, 10:15 AM
On the topic of 4e combat advantage, it seems so little by itself but that's because I find there's more to it than just getting combat advantage.

A good player will try to stack as many situational bonuses at one time, especially when using a daily. For example, if you're melee you add in the ability to charge too (ie: move and attack), to charge you need to move at least 2 squares and if, at the end of that you're also flanking (or if you just happen to have combat advantage) that's a +4 total to hit just from your actions, no spells, action points or magic items.

I think the situation just shows how the system is different than 3.5 and thus you have to think different tactically.

Kaiyanwang
2009-08-28, 10:24 AM
I haven't yet experimented with 4th edition, though some friends have.

I was intrigued by the Tome of Battle, and the idea of encounter-based abilities and recharge mechanisms.

I have to piint out something about ToB: yes, there are mechanics in ToB that are likely to be a 4th edition demo, but the encounter recharge is not the same as 4th. In ToB there are way to recharge maneuver "in encounter"

And the "4theditionims" change from discipline to discipline. The (Ex) healing of devoted spirit is (sadly) very 4th edition, but the full attack and TWF boosts of Tiger Claw, as well as its save-or-die, are veeery 3rd edition, IMHO.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-08-28, 10:40 AM
Re: Insider. Can't help with Character builder, or get you the updates as they happen, but as for the meat and potatos, ie, the Dragon Magazine stuff...Dragon Annual (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/242070000)
This might help?

I'm pretty sure I've seen it in stores already, but given it claims to be released next month, that might be someone being cheeky somewhere along the line. :)

That's what I get for not staying on top of WotC and completely ignoring 4e. Thanks for pointing that out...that's quite intriguing.

Umael
2009-08-28, 10:59 AM
*nods* Kurald is right. When adding a modifier to an all or nothing roll, the only thing that matters is "Did it make a difference?" If it didn't make the difference between success and failure then it was irrelevant. A +2 modifier is relevant 10% of the time and irrelevant 90% of the time.

This is why taking an AoO to get combat advantage is generally a bad tactical move in 4e.

I so agree with the second part, but I think I disagree with the first part.

No, I'm not saying that going from "only hit on a 20" to "hit on 18-20" is an increase of 300%. It's going from 5% to 15%, the CA only gives 10%, got it.

On that hit.

Let's just say that you manage to get CA consistently. Against a minion, it's a one-shot, hit or miss, 10% more likely to be useful. Against most other monsters who need to be hit more often, a consistent CA can spell the difference between success and failure.

Having CA makes a difference 10% of the time.
Having CA twice makes a difference... 19% of the time? I would have to sit down and do the numbers, which I have not done, but my point is - if you can get CA every round, how much of a difference does it make?

50 hit/50 miss -> 25 x2 hit / 50 hit / 25 x2 miss
60 hit/40 miss -> 36 x2 hit / 48 hit / 16 x2 miss

11% more likely to hit twice, 2% less likely to hit only once, 9% less likely to miss twice.

Um...

Okay, I'm confused. If CA for one-hit matters only 10% of the time, what does it matter for two hits?

70 hit/30 miss -> 49 x2 hit / 42 hit / 9 x2 miss

From 60 hit/40 miss that's... 13% more likely to hit twice, 6% less likely to hit only once, 7% less likely to miss twice.

...

I think I am being forced to conclude that Kurald it only matters 10% of the time is misleading.

Thoughts?

AgentPaper
2009-08-28, 11:37 AM
I so agree with the second part, but I think I disagree with the first part.

No, I'm not saying that going from "only hit on a 20" to "hit on 18-20" is an increase of 300%. It's going from 5% to 15%, the CA only gives 10%, got it.

On that hit.

Let's just say that you manage to get CA consistently. Against a minion, it's a one-shot, hit or miss, 10% more likely to be useful. Against most other monsters who need to be hit more often, a consistent CA can spell the difference between success and failure.

Having CA makes a difference 10% of the time.
Having CA twice makes a difference... 19% of the time? I would have to sit down and do the numbers, which I have not done, but my point is - if you can get CA every round, how much of a difference does it make?

50 hit/50 miss -> 25 x2 hit / 50 hit / 25 x2 miss
60 hit/40 miss -> 36 x2 hit / 48 hit / 16 x2 miss

11% more likely to hit twice, 2% less likely to hit only once, 9% less likely to miss twice.

Um...

Okay, I'm confused. If CA for one-hit matters only 10% of the time, what does it matter for two hits?

70 hit/30 miss -> 49 x2 hit / 42 hit / 9 x2 miss

From 60 hit/40 miss that's... 13% more likely to hit twice, 6% less likely to hit only once, 7% less likely to miss twice.

...

I think I am being forced to conclude that Kurald it only matters 10% of the time is misleading.

Thoughts?

Yes, basically, it has a 10% chance of mattering every single time you use it. So if you use it twice, then it has a 19% chance of mattering at least once. If you get it three times, that's a ~27% chance of mattering at least once. If you get combat advantage four times in a fight, you have a 35% chance of it making at least one of your limited powers hit, instead of missing.

Also, @above about charging:
You can only make a melee basic attack at the end of a charge, normally, so that would be a +4 to-hit with your MBA. Which can still be great, if you've amped up your MBA and charges, for example an orc with those bracers that increase your damage with MBAs.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-08-28, 12:11 PM
I started scrolling from the bottom, saw "MBA", and thought somebody was being cheeky about the Masters-level analysis going on here. :P

Umael
2009-08-28, 12:19 PM
Yes, basically, it has a 10% chance of mattering every single time you use it. So if you use it twice, then it has a 19% chance of mattering at least once. If you get it three times, that's a ~27% chance of mattering at least once. If you get combat advantage four times in a fight, you have a 35% chance of it making at least one of your limited powers hit, instead of missing.

I don't wish to come across as pedantic or insulting, but could you please show me how using CA twice matters 19% of the time?

By the numbers, it doesn't matter if your chances of hitting go from 40% to 50% or 55% to 65% if it is just one hit. Whether it is 40% to 50% or 55% to 65% does matter when you are talking about more than one hit, at least as my numbers show.

If there is an error in my math, please show me.

Mando Knight
2009-08-28, 12:22 PM
Yes, basically, it has a 10% chance of mattering every single time you use it. So if you use it twice, then it has a 19% chance of mattering at least once. If you get it three times, that's a ~27% chance of mattering at least once. If you get combat advantage four times in a fight, you have a 35% chance of it making at least one of your limited powers hit, instead of missing.

From this, it should be apparent that yes, as you make more attacks with limited-use powers, the trend goes to a 100% chance that at least one will need that CA boost to hit. However, as a single instance, it only provides a flat +10% difference in your to-hit chance. Due to the random nature of the dice, I would encourage taking CA whenever possible, especially when using limited-use powers, to avoid that risk of that 10% area of where you could have hit, but didn't.

Kelpstrand
2009-08-28, 01:04 PM
Just a point of note. You actaully totally can make attacks auto-successes.

There are a plethora of abilities that can be used to arrange such. Warlords and Beatstick Clerics can do that plenty of the time.

herceg
2009-08-28, 05:09 PM
From this, it should be apparent that yes, as you make more attacks with limited-use powers, the trend goes to a 100% chance that at least one will need that CA boost to hit.

Except, limited-use power are... limited, and you won't have the chance usually to use them more than once or twice, so the flat +10% is mostly accurate. Of course if you can manage it, you should - any addition is nice - but you shouldn't do so if the cost is higher than the gain (ie. if you'd get an OA etc, just as Saph said)

Tiki Snakes
2009-08-28, 06:11 PM
That's what I get for not staying on top of WotC and completely ignoring 4e. Thanks for pointing that out...that's quite intriguing.

It doesn't have the special insider only player race, the Revenant's*, but otherwise, it's a pretty good one-off purchase if you've no intention of getting insider anytime soon.

I can say from personal opinion, that I really enjoy a lot of the Dragon matirial, and have found good use for a fair amount of it already, even with having very limited chances to play. Specifically a couple of feats and a certain very flavourfull Epic Destiny. (One day I also intend to get some use out of the Player-Race write-up of the Minotaur, too).

*Frankly, this is fair enough. Us paying Subscribers deserve some rewards for our looseness of wallet, after all! ^_^

Tiak
2009-08-28, 07:32 PM
After some time i finally feel the pressure of converting to 4th edition, me and my gaming group have been sticking with 3.5 but even though I stick strongly to my beliefs that there isn't a thing wrong with 3.5 I just can't help but wonder, is 4th edition better? the new character sheets look darn nice (esspecially that sideways one) and a half dragon player race? cool! I just don't want to pay all that money to buy all new books! But I'll cut to the chase, if I buy a 4.0 players handbook will I be able to use my "old" dungeon master's guide?

Mystic Muse
2009-08-28, 07:34 PM
no you probably won't and old monsters won't work either.

I personally prefer 3.5 There's nothing wrong with 4th edition persay I just like 3.5 better.

get the books from your local library and look them over first.

Mongoose87
2009-08-28, 07:34 PM
While I'm not a fan of 4e, I don't get this view on "conversion." Why can't you play both?

BRC
2009-08-28, 07:36 PM
So, tommorow my group is going to do a 4e one-shot, just to try it out. Now, i've only glanced through the 4e sourcebook, but our DM is good at helping people remember rules.

What I'm wondering about, is what type of character to make. Now, I base my characters primarily on concept first, mechanics later, so I'd like to start thinking about it ahead of time.

Assuming we only have Core, can somebody give me a quick outline of the classes, their capabilities, and a basic idea of the type of customization I could do with them?

Kizara
2009-08-28, 07:37 PM
*pastes rant*

I highly reccomend GURPS!

From someone that started with, played and still is generally rather fond of 3.x DnD, I can attest that GURPS is awesome in the following ways:

1) Less balance headaches! Sure, its not completely gone, but its an easier foundation to start with to houserule problems away.

2) More versitile! If you like homebrewing even a little bit, you'll love GURPS because you almost homebrew each character in that you can customize each trait, advantage (kinda like Feats) and so forth to a very large degree.

Which leads us too...

3) More character customization! Between making interesting personality elements with disadvantages (like Klepomania and Klutz, or Bloodlust and Callous, just to name 4 of like 100 options), choosing EXACTLY the skills you want (no more class skills, or classes at all for that matter), make EXACTLY the character you want to play!.

4) More tactical, interesting and diverse combat! Like combat in 3.5? Ever use anything from Unearthed Arcana? Well this is going to be like crack for you! Combat involves active defenses (shield blocks, dodges and parries) and an actual hit is huge! With comprensive rules for damage types, injuries, disabling a limb, hit locations, per-second rounds that allow for maximum simultaniety and more, its the deepest, best combat simulation that isn't a pain in the arse to run!

5) Its not 4ed! AT ALL! If you dislike 4E for ANY reason beyond "they stopped making 3.x stuff", you'll like GURPS, as its literally the exact opposite design direction.

Which leads to...

6) Its realistic! Most of the game is designed to be realistic and simulationist-oriented. There are rules (and comprehensive and good ones) for more cinematic, and/or silly games, the default assumption is a more gritty and realistic RPG. I can't even begin to list how many rules it has that are more realistic then 3ed. Also, it isn't as hyper-gritty as some systems. Although far more realistic then DnD, it still isn't as random or brutal as other systems.

7) Its easier to run! While its not easier to LEARN, its actually far easier to run as you don't have to keep track of dozens of bonuses, skills don't become totally broken after 6th level (there is no 6th level, and the skill system in general is way better, if a bit finely cut for my taste). Also, it uses 3d6 instead of d20, so its less luck-oriented and crits are less common-place. However, when they do come up (especially in combat), its a BIG deal, as you can't defend against a crit and it can easily do more or more lethal damage.

8) Its more adaptable! Want to run a sci-fi game with fantasy magic, lightsaber swords, phasors and Firefly-class transports? Its never been easier.

9) As much simluation as you want! The rules are set up that they go very deep, but you can use as many as you want. You don't have to use the hit locations, bleeding, and tactical movement rules (for instance). The game works perfectly fine (if shallow, it feels like DnD) this way, but it works that much better with all the 'optional' rules in play. These rules aren't like the lame Death From Massive Damage 3ed rule, they are progressive levels of simulation.


To reiterate: no or little gamism, no MMORPG conventions, no "rule of cool" bullcrap (except for some things that make a point of saying "this is cinematic, not for use in realistic games"), less caster imbalance (and its far, far easier to fix and control), a much better, more tactical and more immersive combat system, better and more customizable character options, etc etc... awesome!!!


Now, there ARE some downsides:

1) Its not as plug-and-play. If you want to say, play a Druid, the game supports this, but you have to do some homework and effort in putting it together. The more unique or specialized the concept the more this comes up. Its rather rewarding when you do tho. I can provide you with some examples if you like.

2) The fineness of how the skills are cut can be annoying. Is it really neccessary to have pickpocketing, filth and sleight-of-hand to all be seperate skills? You gain a whole lot more then you lose here. And while playing skill monkeys can be expensive, its also more valuable to your group because you really contribute in ways that others need and can't be easily replaced by magic.

3) Its a lot to take in. The amount of options and the complexity of the rules (compared to the basic concepts of 3ed) are a bit more of a learning curve and is a bit more intimidating then 3ed. However, there's quite a bit less rules-lawyering needed in general, as the rules are almost to a whole very natural and intuitive. More then once I have thought "I don't know how they do X, but I would do it like 'such and such'." and then found the actual rule for it and been impressed that it was almost exactly what I already had in mind.

Gralamin
2009-08-28, 07:38 PM
The best thing to do is to buy the 4e Players handbook, and read it. If you like it, you can then think about getting the MM and the DMG. Then you can play 4e, 3.5 or both (Not in the same campaign). No real reason you have to choose one or the other.

vasharanpaladin
2009-08-28, 07:39 PM
Think Tome of Battle. That's how all the classes work now.

For your first go, make sure you've got one of each role: Striker (Rogue, Ranger, Warlock), Defender (Fighter, Paladin), Leader (Cleric, Warlord), and Controller (Wizard). This makes it easier on whoever's running, because the premade encounters are set up with the assumption that each role is there in the party.

Also, expect fights to last a lot longer than in 3.5. :smalleek:

Tiak
2009-08-28, 07:42 PM
yeah, i don't really understand conversion either, i was really just hoping that 4th edition was easier than 3.5, I personally have no problem with it but my gaming group still has problems with most of the mechanics (why i have no idea, we've been playing for close to two years!). the 4.0 character sheets seem , i don't know, better?

Tiak
2009-08-28, 07:45 PM
I think i will follow your advice Gralamin! although i think i'm gonna try gurps too, i bought the Hellboy book and i think that might be a good alternative.
Thanks all!

Gralamin
2009-08-28, 07:51 PM
So, tommorow my group is going to do a 4e one-shot, just to try it out. Now, i've only glanced through the 4e sourcebook, but our DM is good at helping people remember rules.

What I'm wondering about, is what type of character to make. Now, I base my characters primarily on concept first, mechanics later, so I'd like to start thinking about it ahead of time.

Assuming we only have Core, can somebody give me a quick outline of the classes, their capabilities, and a basic idea of the type of customization I could do with them?


Custimization in core isn't all that huge. You mostly have your power choices, and one or two choices of class abilities, and feats.
Clerics - Are healers. They have two main core choices: Lazer (Attack with ranged attacks), and Battle (Melee attacks). They are one of the core classes with multiple attack stats, making them a bit difficult to use.

Fighters - Are basically Warblades from 3.5. Your choice is basically what sort of weapon you like to use. As a Defender, they act by attacking if an enemy does target them (Based on Marks).

Paladins - Are like Crusaders from 3.5. They also use two attack stats. As a Defender, they act by auto-damaging one enemy if it chooses to attack someone else (Based on Marks, again)

Ranger - Also use two attack stats. Archery Rangers use Dexterity, And Two-weapon fighting Rangers use Strength. As Strikers, they focus on multiple attacks.

Rogues - Also a striker. They focus on Flanking, Surprise, and Stealth, dealing extra damage when they have Combat Advantage.

Warlock - Is another class with two attack attributes. The Warlock is a striker that partially a controller, using its attacks to debuff and hit multiple targets. The choice for them is their pacts.

Warlord - Is a buffer. They are leaders focusing on shifting, bonuses, and saving throws. Your Presence is the choice.

Wizards - are the base controller, focused on AoE damage. They have a variety of implements to choose from, the most powerful one being the Orb of Imposition. They also have a spellbook.

Dublock
2009-08-28, 07:52 PM
slightly off topic...but 4E has been out for 2 years....damn....makes me feel old....and I'm still in college.

Hal
2009-08-28, 07:53 PM
To expand on the others:

Leaders are the group's primary healers and buffers. Clerics do it from divine magic, Warlords do it from being awesome warriors.

Controllers are big on debuffs and AoE attacks. Wizards are still arcane casters, but they work slightly differently from the other classes, and not really as they did in 3.5.

Defenders are the classic "tank" character. They get in front of the enemy and take all the hits. They do this by "marking" the enemy (-2 to hit unless the enemy hits the one who marked him). Fighters and Paladins cause different effects when they mark an enemy (stop movement/AoO or cause damage, respectively).

Strikers do lots of damage. Warlocks come in a lot of different flavors; Rangers and Rogues less so, but they're still interesting in combat.

Mongoose87
2009-08-28, 07:58 PM
slightly off topic...but 4E has been out for 2 years....damn....makes me feel old....and I'm still in college.

I can remember when 3.5 was shiny and new, and we still had people confused as to why their PHBs weren't any good anymore.

FoE
2009-08-28, 08:03 PM
Most classes also have secondary roles. It's important to "synergize" with your team; dungeoneering will be a bit more difficult if, say, you all play Strikers.

Everyone uses a set of at-will, encounter and daily powers. When you pick a class, you stick with it for life, though there are multliclass options.

The Skill system has been simplified; gone are the days of taking ranks in Basketweaving and Chewing Tobacco. Athletics, for example, cover swimming, wall-climbing, bending bars and flamanca dancing (OK, not really). PCs are assumed to have basic competency in all skills and can be trained in others, which grant a big bonus to skill checks.

Monsters definitely have more HP and fights can be overly long, but you can shorten the duration by having everyone inscribe "power" cards (which will cut down on constantly referring to the book) and deciding what to do next BEFORE their turn.

Most non-combat skills are now Rituals that carry a casting cost and have to be cast out of battle. Raise Dead, for example, takes eight in-game hours to cast.

Fights also have a lot more emphasis on movement, particularly if your DM uses terrain the way he or she should. Also, the vast majority of fights will be against groups of enemies, as opposed to, say, all four or five of you against one goblin.

Mando Knight
2009-08-28, 08:03 PM
slightly off topic...but 4E has been out for 2 years....damn....makes me feel old....and I'm still in college.

Nope. Just one. SAGA's been out for two, though.

Tiak
2009-08-28, 08:04 PM
I'm right there with ya, i think it's funny how they already have a players handbook 2 for 4th editon!

Dublock
2009-08-28, 08:04 PM
oh ok good, I was confused lol

Kaun
2009-08-28, 08:05 PM
From playing a lot of 4e i have found that no classes are essential but not having a defender or leader can cut down on how much a party can take on at a time.

Also striker classes like rogue ranger and barb have a tendency to dish out some awesome damage right from the start, this leads to a condition i like to call "thinking there **** hot awesome" and they tend to start wading in to large groups of enemies with the opinion there unstoppable.
Its not long after doing this that they realize that bunches of mobs can tear a player apart fairly quickly and not having a defender or leader to drag there butts out of the frying pan can make for rather embarrassing player deaths.

Also remind your players that they have action points cos a lot of players to come across from earlier editions forget this and also that just cos they don't have a power that depicts the weird and wacky stuff they used to do in earlier editions doesn't mean they cant be done.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-08-28, 08:06 PM
Go into this with an optimistic attitude. If your first impression is pessimistic, you'll notice all the flaws, and remember them every time you sit down to a 4e session. If you don't expect doom and gloom, you won't notice it immediately, and the flaws of 4e won't bother you until 5e rolls around or you start reading the CharOp boards.

Gralamin
2009-08-28, 08:07 PM
I'm right there with ya, i think it's funny how they already have a players handbook 2 for 4th editon!

Something I just remembered about that might be a cheaper alternative:
The Test Drive (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/dndtestdrive)
There are two adventures, and some quick start rules. It'll give you a chance to try it before buying anything.

Mark Hall
2009-08-28, 08:11 PM
*pastes rant*

I highly reccomend GURPS!


Tangent: I can't play GURPS. I would start out trying to make a specific character, then wind up point-whoring myself so horribly that I'd look like I was standing on the corner, asking spare points if they wanted a good time.

Mando Knight
2009-08-28, 08:17 PM
or you start reading the CharOp boards.

CharOp boards for any game tend to be soul-sucking abominations.

Kaun
2009-08-28, 08:20 PM
Go into this with an optimistic attitude. If your first impression is pessimistic, you'll notice all the flaws, and remember them every time you sit down to a 4e session. If you don't expect doom and gloom, you won't notice it immediately, and the flaws of 4e won't bother you until 5e rolls around or you start reading the CharOp boards.

Yeah +1 to this.

If you or any of your players go in expecting not to like it then there is a better then average chance they wont.

Kizara
2009-08-28, 08:22 PM
Tangent: I can't play GURPS. I would start out trying to make a specific character, then wind up point-whoring myself so horribly that I'd look like I was standing on the corner, asking spare points if they wanted a good time.

Its much better if you start small and conservative in your character concept and work up as you understand more and more of the system. I started with a medival swordsman, and used the combat lite rules. Now we use the hit location, injury and tactical facing rules. Soon we will start using the tactical movement rules. Its best if you wade in instead of dive in, so you don't drive yourself mad.

Restraint is a bit needed to use the system, but its wroth it.

Gralamin
2009-08-28, 08:22 PM
CharOp boards for any game tend to be soul-sucking abominations.

Apparently I'm immune to the CharOp effect though. :smalltongue:

Kaun
2009-08-28, 08:25 PM
slightly off topic...but 4E has been out for 2 years....damn....makes me feel old....and I'm still in college.


Damn man i can remember the complete fighters handbook coming out for 2e and pouring over all the new options.. and that dosent seem like that long ago:smallfrown:

Tiak
2009-08-28, 08:26 PM
oooooo.... a 4.0 demo! thats brilliant! thanks alot! I'm sure this will scare my gaming alot less than me walking in to our next session with a 4.0 rulebook.

Tiak
2009-08-28, 08:28 PM
Damn man i can remember the complete fighters handbook coming out for 2e and pouring over all the new options.. and that dosent seem like that long ago:smallfrown:

yeah i know how you feel, but i still think rolling a d20 and adding base attack is easier than thaco, but maybe i'm just crazy.

Zeta Kai
2009-08-28, 08:31 PM
*pastes rant*

I highly recommend GURPS!

GURPS is a great simulationist system, but it has the steepest learning curve of any system that I know. This is more of a problem for GMs than the players, as a GM essentially has to sift through all the variant rules & cobble together their own game system based on the core mechanics. Players still have a lot to learn before they roll initiative, but it's not terribly much more than becoming adept at 3E D&D.

Also, there are a bazillion different books out there, one for every conceivable genre, time period, environment, etc. The sheer volume of material out there is staggering. Granted, 90+% of these books are not needed to play, but they are all so well-researched & full of good ideas that I know many people buy those books & use them in other games, just for the inspiration.

Steering back on-topic, there is not really any conversion between 3rd & 4th edition D&D. They are two completely separate & incompatible systems, that just happen to share many of the same names. Translation between editions can really only be done by breaking an element down to its core ideas, & then rebuilding it from the ground-up in the new edition. I fail to see how this is "conversion" in any real sense.

BRC
2009-08-28, 08:34 PM
Okay, currently I'm thinking Rogue, just because I love scoundrel characters. But if everybody goes Striker, I'll play a Fighter.

Kallisti
2009-08-28, 08:38 PM
I've played a little bit of 4e, and while I don't particularly care for it, it's not blasphemy, either.

I don't think anyone needs to convert to anything, though. Don't play a system because it's the system you play--play it because you're having fun. If you're enjoying fighting that dragon, does it matter if it's using 1d20, 2d10, or 3d6 to attack you?*


*Yes, I realize both 3.5 and 4.0 use d20 for attack. But it was the best way to put it...

And,
*pastes rant*

I highly reccomend GURPS!


This. Definitely. These are cogently presented and well-said points, and, as it happens, yes. GURPS is a very good system.

EDIT: And, hey! Look! Most of a page and no inter-edition flame war! Amazing...

Kizara
2009-08-28, 08:40 PM
GURPS is a great simulationist system, but it has the steepest learning curve of any system that I know. This is more of a problem for GMs than the players, as a GM essentially has to sift through all the variant rules & cobble together their own game system based on the core mechanics. Players still have a lot to learn before they roll initiative, but it's not terribly much more than becoming adept at 3E D&D.

Also, there are a bazillion different books out there, one for every conceivable genre, time period, environment, etc. The sheer volume of material out there is staggering. Granted, 90+% of these books are not needed to play, but they are all so well-researched & full of good ideas that I know many people buy those books & use them in other games, just for the inspiration.



1) There's less supplimental books for GURPS 4e then for 3.5 DnD. There ARE quite a few, and you have more-or-less the same sort of problem as playing "anything goes" 3.5 DnD. But why would you have to play like that? We are using the core set and having a great time.

I have GURPS Magic and been peeking at it as we are starting to use the magic system, but its hardly a huge new pile of stuff to learn: its mostly just better formatted and slightly expanded spell lists.

I also have GURPS Martial Arts, which takes fine-detail simulationism to a whole 'nother level, but we use material from that only sparingly and as our tolerance and understanding of the system improves.

The ONLY books you need to play are the Basic Set (Characters and Campaigns). Really, there are alot of good rules and options in these two books, you don't need anything else to have a rich RPing experience.

2) Argh, most of it is NOT THAT DIFFICULT. I could explain the fundamental mechanics to you in an hour, I promise. And there's FAR less to keep track of and bother with in play then 3.5 DnD, even core-only.

But no, its not super plug-and-play, but if your roleplaying and character building experience doesn't deserve a few hours of your time out of your game session, then you are better off with something like 4e DnD, where 'tactical play' involves flanking and using 'dailies' (URGH).

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-28, 08:49 PM
Okay, currently I'm thinking Rogue, just because I love scoundrel characters. But if everybody goes Striker, I'll play a Fighter.

Striker is often the most popular role, but Rogue is a good choice - I had a lot of fun the first time I played a Rogue in 4e. You'll work best with a dedicated flanking partner, ideally a melee defender such as a Fighter or Paladin. A Warlord could do a lot for you, too.

Hal
2009-08-28, 09:11 PM
Striker is often the most popular role, but Rogue is a good choice - I had a lot of fun the first time I played a Rogue in 4e. You'll work best with a dedicated flanking partner, ideally a melee defender such as a Fighter or Paladin. A Warlord could do a lot for you, too.

Warlords work very well with Rogues (they have lots of abilities that grant attacks with combat advantage).

Paladins still have Lay on Hands, which is good for some emergency healing (self or otherwise).

If you go with a Rogue, I recommend carrying a crapload of daggers and a shortsword or rapier as well. Since there's no penalty for offhand attacks, a shortsword/rapier in one hand and a dagger in the other will let you decide when you'd rather have the higher damage or the higher attack bonus. Plus, you can throw daggers for some of your attacks, so you'll always have that option. This goes really well with Quick Draw (lets you draw a weapon as part of an attack).


Edit: Oooh, also shuriken. Call them "darts" if shuriken sounds too out-of-place. You still get the +3 bonus and the d6 damage die with a thrown weapon. Again, one of the strengths rogues have is being able to choose, actively, when they want a bigger damage die and when they want a more accurate attack. (Quick Draw really, really helps with this)

The New Bruceski
2009-08-28, 09:25 PM
If you go with a Rogue, I recommend carrying a crapload of daggers and a shortsword or rapier as well. Since there's no penalty for offhand attacks, a shortsword/rapier in one hand and a dagger in the other will let you decide when you'd rather have the higher damage or the higher attack bonus. Plus, you can throw daggers for some of your attacks, so you'll always have that option. This goes really well with Quick Draw (lets you draw a weapon as part of an attack).

Seconding this. You can also burn a feat or two for a bonus from your off-hand weapon, but even without them a rogue has no reason not to carry one (no shield proficiency), and they're cheap so you can just drop it if you need that hand for something, and have spares to grab afterward.

Kylarra
2009-08-28, 09:26 PM
Once you get a +1 dagger, you don't even technically need to carry spares, since it'll return to you automatically.

Umael
2009-08-28, 09:27 PM
Like classes, races also have a similar, but different feel to them. Every race, except humans, has +2 on two given stats, whereas humans get +2 on one chosen stat. They also get +2 on two given abilities, a few racial bonuses, and one racial power that can be used once per encounter.

Strength OR Constitution helps determine your Fortitude, Dexterity OR Intelligence helps determine your Reflexes, and Wisdom OR Charisma helps determine your Will.

There is a lot of balance to the game, but you have to supply your own fluff.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-28, 09:28 PM
Like classes, races also have a similar, but different feel to them. Every race, except humans, has +2 on two given stats, whereas humans get +2 on one chosen stat. They also get +2 on two given abilities, a few racial bonuses, and one racial power that can be used once per encounter.

Strength OR Constitution helps determine your Fortitude, Dexterity OR Intelligence helps determine your Reflexes, and Wisdom OR Charisma helps determine your Will.

There is a lot of balance to the game, but you have to supply your own fluff.

Rather than get a +2 to two defined abilities, Humans get an extra skill entirely, an extra feat and a +1 bonus to all their defenses.

Hal
2009-08-28, 09:32 PM
Like classes, races also have a similar, but different feel to them. Every race, except humans, has +2 on two given stats, whereas humans get +2 on one chosen stat. They also get +2 on two given abilities, a few racial bonuses, and one racial power that can be used once per encounter.

Strength OR Constitution helps determine your Fortitude, Dexterity OR Intelligence helps determine your Reflexes, and Wisdom OR Charisma helps determine your Will.

There is a lot of balance to the game, but you have to supply your own fluff.

Ah, yes. Mind your new "NADs" (Non-AC defenses). Now instead of making saving throws, attacks will target Fort, Ref, and Will as though they were a defense like AC. As Umael pointed out, these scores are based on your ability scores.

Some things still require a saving throw to end an effect; all this means is that you make a roll, and 10 or higher is a success.

Hal
2009-08-28, 09:41 PM
Ah, I just realized nobody's mentioned skills in terms of character customization yet.

The skill list has been pared down (Search/Spot/Listen are all now Perception, for example). Training in a skill is a one-time deal which grants a flat +5 bonus to skill checks. Some skills, or uses of a skill, are trained only. Check the PHB for details on all of that.

If you're going to play a Rogue, you'll want to consider Acrobatics and Atheltics. These skills let you pull off physical feats in combat (leaping off a chandelier, jumping across a gap, tumbling off of a balcony, etc.).

The PHB doesn't list a lot of uses for Acrobatics because it's left to the player and GM to decide what you can/can't do with it in combat, and what the general check for a thing should be.

My favorite use of this in game: We came into a room with a stage, and a large weight tied to a rope in the middle of the ceiling. Some mooks on the stage were throwing the weight at us; it would swing out, hit us, then swing back to the stage. I convinced the GM to let me grab onto the rope the next time it swung out, then kick the guy in the face when I swung back to him.

The point is, have fun with it.

Haven
2009-08-28, 09:47 PM
EDIT: And, hey! Look! Most of a page and no inter-edition flame war! Amazing...


But no, its not super plug-and-play, but if your roleplaying and character building experience doesn't deserve a few hours of your time out of your game session, then you are better off with something like 4e DnD, where 'tactical play' involves flanking and using 'dailies' (URGH).

You just had to say it.:smalltongue:



Anyway, for my two cents: I'd definitely agree that 4e is "video-gamey", but I think this is mostly a good thing. It's definitely good at what it does, and it does a really good job of making you feel like a competent hero from the very beginning. Since you now add your Constitution, rather than merely your modifier, to your starting HP; this goes quite a ways. Also, you can do interesting things all the time now, beginning at level 1.

I don't like the fact that Wizards is promoting the min-maxing mentality, though. That's something I could do with less of. It's not that I mind it (I mean, otherwise I wouldn't hang out at this place, which is practically an optimization board unto itself), it's just that I don't think it should become the dominant mentality.

Tiak
2009-08-28, 09:51 PM
well this whole 4.0 thing seems like a much better idea now, but what happened to bards? i flipped through a 4.0 rulebook and couldn't find them! did wotc cut them out or did i miss something?

Kizara
2009-08-28, 09:51 PM
Yea... :smallredface:

That's more then a little ironic.

I just... hate the playstyle and design decisions of 4e so greatly (and yes I read most of the PHB, its not all on heresay) that it spills out sometimes...


I'm sure it can be fun. Playing some flash games can be fun too, but they don't replace DotA (for example).


EDIT: Bards got moved to the PHB2. From those that like the system, I've heard positive things about them. Don't really know tho, as its all homogenous garbage to me.

Tiak
2009-08-28, 09:56 PM
i think the main problem with my 3.5 game is that my group has gotten away from using most of the rules (someone else has been DM) so I'm most likely just turning to 4.0 in hopes that it will help get my group back into using rules.

to bad about bards, i think the bard is highly under-rated

Kylarra
2009-08-28, 10:02 PM
4e bards are quite nice, so if you decide to play 4e, definitely get a PHB2 as well as PHB1.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2009-08-28, 10:10 PM
Don't really know tho, as its all homogenous garbage to me.Rules light systems are almost always quite homogenous/streamlined. Are they all bad?

Besides, I think the system matters a lot less than the group. For example, I've played in a system called Dogs in the Vineyard before, and I think it sucks. The one-size-fits-all resolution mechanic is incredibly simplistic and yet only really works well with one-on-one interactions, character creation manages to be both homogenizing and confusing, and you have to buy your flaws. That said, I had a ton of fun playing it because the group playing it was great; they turned the kludge of the system into hilarity, and to be honest the setting (Mormon cowboys) lends itself to some pretty funny moments as well. You might say 'well, you would have had more fun in a better system,' but the point is I think I would have had just as much fun in a better system.

Crow
2009-08-28, 10:14 PM
i think the main problem with my 3.5 game is that my group has gotten away from using most of the rules (someone else has been DM)

Can you go into some more detail here? This seems like it would be a problem no matter what the edition.

Kizara
2009-08-28, 10:18 PM
i think the main problem with my 3.5 game is that my group has gotten away from using most of the rules (someone else has been DM) so I'm most likely just turning to 4.0 in hopes that it will help get my group back into using rules.

But... but GURPS rules are so much better... it lets you create an experience that really allows you to immerse yourself in your roleplaying.


Here is a great but very simple example:

Say you want to play a mediveal warrior. You think it would be really awesome to dual-wield broadswords (longswords, etc).

So, I'm not going to walk you through all of character creation, but here's some things you'll love about playing your character:

1) Your weapon choice, and how you use it, is very realistic. The damage type isn't a minor point, and it greatly effects how your hits hurt your opponents, and sometimes how well you can punch through armor DR.

2) You don't have to jump through hoops to use 2 weapons at once, and it opens some defensive options (more parrying) while closing others (no shield), and gives you some more offensive options (extra attack) while removing others (don't have a reach weapon).

3) As #2 aludes to, combat FEELS like actual combat! You defend not using "AC" or "Armor defense" or other nonsense, but actual defensive moves like parrying (that's based directly on your skill with your weapon), dodging (which is based on your character's speed), and blocking (which is based on your shield skill).

What if you want to make a feinting attack? You don't need a feat or something to do this, and it resolves exactly as you'd imagine: You make opposed weapon skill rolls, and if you beat your opponent your margin of victory is subracted from his next defensive roll against you. This is an example of a typical GURPS rule: logical, intuitive, and sensible while accurately simulating the required forces involved.

All combat moves that you can perform do not require you to have a feat, power, ability, whatever to do them, only enough weapon skill to pull it off. And its not like "you must have skill 15 to do this", an example:

If you want to hit someone in the neck, its -5 to your weapon skill roll. So if you had a 15 skill, you'll have to roll 10 or under to hit. If you 'hit', then your opponent can try to defend, if he can't block or dodge your blow, then you just hit him in the neck! You deal additional damage if you have a cutting weapon (like a broadsword) and if you deal enough damage you can decapitate him!

In general, combat is dangerous (but not crazy-dangerous you can never do it), requires tactics and really makes you feel like you are roleplaying a swordsman! There is so much more I can say here, but I'm trying to be at least a bit brief.

4) Other people aren't automatically just as good as a swordsman as you. As there is no 'levels', and most people who are not warriors will not invest as much into hp, strength, weapon skill and so forth as you, the difference in your ability will be very apparent: as it should be! Also, your choices in tactics and how good you are at playing your swordsman make a huge difference in your effectiveness, as opposed to your level and your d20 roll (not that there's no luck, but you are far less of a slave to it).


Etc, etc... I really could just go on and on here, but you are doing yourself a tremendous disfavor by not trying GURPS.

The only reason to pick 4e over GURPS is if you desire a system that artbitarily pigeonholes you and cares more for MMORPG conventions over one that gives you an unprecedented ability to customize your characters (and good tools to do it with!) and provides you with a deep, engaging and immersive roleplaying experience.

Kylarra
2009-08-28, 10:26 PM
Can you go into some more detail here? This seems like it would be a problem no matter what the edition.Yeah, that does seem a bit off.

Tiak
2009-08-28, 10:30 PM
Can you go into some more detail here? This seems like it would be a problem no matter what the edition.

okay, when i stepped down from being DM it was only supposed to for two sessions, it turned into me taking a break from DMing to spend some time as a PC (BARD!). but the new DM kinda got away from using rules to a point were the 4th level party was fighting beholders and great wyrm red dragons (and tiamat). it was all very very fun but gaining xp soon became pointless as leveling up didn't effect the game that much, so now everyone has a weapon of legacy, we've battled ares (and won) and much more.
4th edition is a way of starting over, getting back into rules and using battle grids.

Tiak
2009-08-28, 10:33 PM
But... but GURPS rules are so much better... it lets you create an experience that really allows you to immerse yourself in your roleplaying.


Here is a great but very simple example:

Say you want to play a mediveal warrior. You think it would be really awesome to dual-wield broadswords (longswords, etc).

So, I'm not going to walk you through all of character creation, but here's some things you'll love about playing your character:

1) Your weapon choice, and how you use it, is very realistic. The damage type isn't a minor point, and it greatly effects how your hits hurt your opponents, and sometimes how well you can punch through armor DR.

2) You don't have to jump through hoops to use 2 weapons at once, and it opens some defensive options (more parrying) while closing others (no shield), and gives you some more offensive options (extra attack) while removing others (don't have a reach weapon).

3) As #2 aludes to, combat FEELS like actual combat! You defend not using "AC" or "Armor defense" or other nonsense, but actual defensive moves like parrying (that's based directly on your skill with your weapon), dodging (which is based on your character's speed), and blocking (which is based on your shield skill).

What if you want to make a feinting attack? You don't need a feat or something to do this, and it resolves exactly as you'd imagine: You make opposed weapon skill rolls, and if you beat your opponent your margin of victory is subracted from his next defensive roll against you. This is an example of a typical GURPS rule: logical, intuitive, and sensible while accurately simulating the required forces involved.

All combat moves that you can perform do not require you to have a feat, power, ability, whatever to do them, only enough weapon skill to pull it off. And its not like "you must have skill 15 to do this", an example:

If you want to hit someone in the neck, its -5 to your weapon skill roll. So if you had a 15 skill, you'll have to roll 10 or under to hit. If you 'hit', then your opponent can try to defend, if he can't block or dodge your blow, then you just hit him in the neck! You deal additional damage if you have a cutting weapon (like a broadsword) and if you deal enough damage you can decapitate him!

In general, combat is dangerous (but not crazy-dangerous you can never do it), requires tactics and really makes you feel like you are roleplaying a swordsman! There is so much more I can say here, but I'm trying to be at least a bit brief.

4) Other people aren't automatically just as good as a swordsman as you. As there is no 'levels', and most people who are not warriors will not invest as much into hp, strength, weapon skill and so forth as you, the difference in your ability will be very apparent: as it should be! Also, your choices in tactics and how good you are at playing your swordsman make a huge difference in your effectiveness, as opposed to your level and your d20 roll (not that there's no luck, but you are far less of a slave to it).


Etc, etc... I really could just go on and on here, but you are doing yourself a tremendous disfavor by not trying GURPS.

The only reason to pick 4e over GURPS is if you desire a system that artbitarily pigeonholes you and cares more for MMORPG conventions over one that gives you an unprecedented ability to customize your characters (and good tools to do it with!) and provides you with a deep, engaging and immersive roleplaying experience.

a very good point, but my group will freak out and mutiny if i even talk about another game, we have so many different games that adding another will drive them crazy (they don't handle learning new rules well, even if they're simple)

Kylarra
2009-08-28, 10:35 PM
okay, when i stepped down from being DM it was only supposed to for two sessions, it turned into me taking a break from DMing to spend some time as a PC (BARD!). but the new DM kinda got away from using rules to a point were the 4th level party was fighting beholders and great wyrm red dragons (and tiamat). it was all very very fun but gaining xp soon became pointless as leveling up didn't effect the game that much, so now everyone has a weapon of legacy, we've battled ares (and won) and much more.
4th edition is a way of starting over, getting back into rules and using battle grids.Sounds like you broke into freeform, which is fun, but yeah...

4e is very straightforward, just avoid skill challenges (they don't work very well).

Kizara
2009-08-28, 10:38 PM
Rules light systems are almost always quite homogenous/streamlined. Are they all bad?



Yes.

The most rules light system I've appreciated is the warhammer fantasy rules, that we adopted for a RP once. (and I don't mean the actual RPG, I mean the wargame rules; they are pretty cool)

Tiak
2009-08-28, 10:43 PM
Sounds like you broke into freeform, which is fun, but yeah...

4e is very straightforward, just avoid skill challenges (they don't work very well).


so it has a name? well in that case "freeform" is fun but it gets crazy (and a little scary). the real problem is all the pc's still value xp and keep asking
"when will you level our characters up?" (a task they cannot do themselves)
and then complain when i say no

Umael
2009-08-28, 10:47 PM
Kizara - do not take this the wrong way, but your enthusiasm over GURPS is actually driving me away from trying the system.

You may want to tone it down a bit.

Mando Knight
2009-08-28, 10:47 PM
3) As #2 aludes to, combat FEELS like actual combat! You defend not using "AC" or "Armor defense" or other nonsense, but actual defensive moves like parrying (that's based directly on your skill with your weapon), dodging (which is based on your character's speed), and blocking (which is based on your shield skill).

What if you want to make a feinting attack? You don't need a feat or something to do this, and it resolves exactly as you'd imagine: You make opposed weapon skill rolls, and if you beat your opponent your margin of victory is subracted from his next defensive roll against you. This is an example of a typical GURPS rule: logical, intuitive, and sensible while accurately simulating the required forces involved.

All combat moves that you can perform do not require you to have a feat, power, ability, whatever to do them, only enough weapon skill to pull it off. And its not like "you must have skill 15 to do this", an example:

If you want to hit someone in the neck, its -5 to your weapon skill roll. So if you had a 15 skill, you'll have to roll 10 or under to hit. If you 'hit', then your opponent can try to defend, if he can't block or dodge your blow, then you just hit him in the neck! You deal additional damage if you have a cutting weapon (like a broadsword) and if you deal enough damage you can decapitate him!

I still don't see how this set of numerical abstractions makes the combat feel more "real" than any other set of numerical abstractions I've used. :smallconfused:

Kizara
2009-08-28, 10:55 PM
I still don't see how this set of numerical abstractions makes the combat feel more "real" than any other set of numerical abstractions I've used. :smallconfused:

Well, the thing is there is far less 'abstraction' then any other system I've used. To me, this, and the manner in which your choices and tactics effect the outcome of the combat gives it a more immersive simulation then other, far more abstract, systems.

Although there are many contributing factors for this, the major ones are the use of active defenses and good hit location rules.

When your combat involes slugging away at HP, and trying to combine alot of abstract bonuses to gain an advantage in to-hit, damage and armor, it can be fun, but when you take a step back it doesn't feel like an actual sword fight (I'm referencing 3e here btw). When your combat involves an actual exchange of parries, dodges and blocks and when a single decent shot can end a fight, it feels a great deal more realistic.

For an example:

1) Your opponent has, say 15 HP (a reasonable amount for anyone not a heroic or veteren warrior).

-they are using a quarter staff (one of the few weapons that give a parry bonus, in this case +2) and their parry comes out to 13 (a rather high parry number).

-They are wearing only light scale with cloth underpadding on their arms (did I mention it has layered armor? With fairly good rules for it? another thing I love), so they only have 4 DR there.

2) You have 18 weapon skill, being a quite skilled warrior (18 is fairly high), and you want to target his arm (-2 to skill), and also lower his ability to defend against your attack, so you use Deceptive Attack (a technique or move, not a power or 'special use' ability) 2, giving you another -4 to skill but him -2 to his parry.

You roll against skill 12 (a bit risky, but doable roll), and make it with a 10 roll. You opponent rolls against his parry, which you lowered to 11, and fails with a 13.

You hit his arm, and because you have a slashing weapon that deals cutting damage, you deal 1.5x what makes it through his DR. This ends up being 5 x 1.5 = 7. This is over equal to or over half his hp, which is enough to cripple his arm (possibly permanently, he has to make a Health roll to avoid that), making it completely unusable to him for the short term and forcing him to drop whatever he is holding.

This doesn't take into account the many actions spent parrying or otherwise defending against each-other, the game of whether to use actions like All-Out Attack (Determined) to try to get a hit past his defenses but giving up your ability to defend until your next turn, thus taking a big risk. There's just so much more strategy that goes into it.

Moff Chumley
2009-08-28, 10:56 PM
I've been out of the D&D loop for a while, and recently got back into it playing 4e. Like you, I keep my player's sheets, update them, et cetera. When we game, I hand them their sheets, spend a minute or two talking to each of them about what their options are and stuff to remember, then we game for a few hours. The rules are strait-forward, easy to understand, at perfectly adequate for most games. The simplicity has really allowed my settings and stories to shine through, as I get to spend more time doing that than writing adventures, and it allows the players to focus on role-playing and having fun, rather than memorizing laundry lists of rules.

4e PROS:
Easy to learn.
Easy to play.
VERY easy to customize. Most of the monsters my players fight are hybrids or modifications of standard MM creatures.
Streamlined, but not too much.

4e CONS:
Simple. It's not a very complicated, detailed, or realistic system.
If RP/Fun take second place to combat mechanics, your hosed.

Tiak
2009-08-28, 10:56 PM
personally i like the system for "Dark Heresy" (similar to call of cthulhu), it's very easy.

Moff Chumley
2009-08-28, 11:04 PM
Wall 'o' text numero dos

You ever done karate/been in a sparring match? Strikes hurt you, or they don't. One type of strike is no harder to block than another, if it's thrown with the same degree of skill. You could swing a staff at me, or you could elbow me in the face. Either way, I've observed that there's a certain threshold of accuracy EVERY ATTACK need to land solidly. Armor Class does a fine job of representing this. Think of it this way:
Miss: Either they miss you outright (unlikely), or you absorb the blow without a second thought, and no repercussions but a little soreness the next day.
Hit: You still absorb the blow, but it shakes you a little bit. In Karate, I can only take so many hits to the head, for instance.
Crit/Encounter/Daily/Et Cetera: These are the strikes in the traditional perception: huge, game changing blows.

The frequency and effectiveness of most of those, at least for martial characters, is remarkable similar in both 4e and real life.

Gralamin
2009-08-28, 11:07 PM
...Why did these three threads just merge together? Nothing makes sense contextually anymore, and they did start off about different topics. Wouldn't it of been better just to lock it and say, "Further talk about multiple systems should go here"?

Moff Chumley
2009-08-28, 11:15 PM
Agreed. Mods need some sleep... >.<

Mando Knight
2009-08-28, 11:16 PM
Well, the thing is there is far less 'abstraction' then any other system I've used. To me, this, and the manner in which your choices and tactics effect the outcome of the combat gives it a more immersive simulation then other, far more abstract, systems.

There is less, yes, but it's still an abstraction. What feels like an immersive simulation of combat to me is having a moderately expensive 2-kg metal stick in my hand pointed at another guy. And by golly, I can imagine that just as well when rolling a d20 against a static score as when making an opposed 3d6 roll. The math used for fights never "feel" like a real fight to me. It's just arithmetic used to abstract what's going on.

A lot of the time, abstraction is good... especially when the authors of the gaming system know nothing about performing combat actions in a lethal situation and how best to exactly calculate that so as to be accessible to people who know less about them, but want to simulate it. I'm pretty sure none of the gaming companies hire Aerospace Engineers to tell them how to simulate flight mechanics.

Kizara
2009-08-28, 11:22 PM
You ever done karate/been in a sparring match? Strikes hurt you, or they don't. One type of strike is no harder to block than another, if it's thrown with the same degree of skill. You could swing a staff at me, or you could elbow me in the face. Either way, I've observed that there's a certain threshold of accuracy EVERY ATTACK need to land solidly. Armor Class does a fine job of representing this. Think of it this way:
Miss: Either they miss you outright (unlikely), or you absorb the blow without a second thought, and no repercussions but a little soreness the next day.
Hit: You still absorb the blow, but it shakes you a little bit. In Karate, I can only take so many hits to the head, for instance.
Crit/Encounter/Daily/Et Cetera: These are the strikes in the traditional perception: huge, game changing blows.

The frequency and effectiveness of most of those, at least for martial characters, is remarkable similar in both 4e and real life.

I agree with everything you said and feel that GURPS simulates this (and a huge amount of other elements of unarmed Martial Arts that I haven't even learned yet) far better then DnD, especially 4e.

"Strikes hurt you, or they don't. One type of strike is no harder to block than another, if it's thrown with the same degree of skill."

1) Active defenses (blocking or dodging) represent this far better then armor class.

2) To lower active defenses in GURPS, you take actions like Deceptive Attack, that involves going out of your way to make your attack harder to defend against but makes it harder for you to land it squarely.

3) When you actually land a blow, its a fairly big deal if it connected with any power at all.

Also, the unarmed rules work a bit differently, as when you parry unarmed you often still take a bit of damage. Also, as I said, I have not learned all the rules regarding the style of combat you are describing in GURPS, but I assure you that it does a better job of representing it then 4e does.

In GURPS, you could make a karate master (there is an actual Karate skill, and its similar but relivently different from say.. the Judo skill), and actually have options of all the moves and offensive and defensive techniques that you do with your real-life karate. You don't just make an unarmed attack; there is an actual described technique for "Elbow Strike" for instance, and it is different then the technique for "Kick" which is different from "Knee", etc.

Roland St. Jude
2009-08-28, 11:29 PM
Agreed. Mods need some sleep... >.<

Sheriff of Moddingham: Fair enough. Please follow the one thread per topic rule. Multiple threads on the same topic get merged and when the aggregate doesn't make sense, I guess they get locked too.