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Aron Times
2009-11-09, 07:16 PM
I normally ignore threads which aren't prefixed with [4e] in this forum, but I read several in the past few days, usually to answer questions about 3.5. I couldn't help but notice that there are still some anti-4e posts here and there, and a lot of them are based on misconceptions about it.

So I thought I'd start a thread where those who want to know more about 4e can ask the questions that they were too afraid to ask (Roy Golem reference there :smallcool: ). I'd like this thread to remain informal, so anyone can post a question and anyone who knows 4e well can answer.

First, a little background information on myself. My first experience with D&D was with Baldur's Gate 2, a 2e game. My first character was a human sorcerer who didn't make it past the starting location. Basically, the party ran into some goblins, and I had my character Fireball them. It took care of them, and also killed the entire party (friendly fire).

My first experience with P&P was with 3.0, back in 2001 or 2002 (can't remember which year). I found P&P 3.0 to be much, much better than the Infinity Engine 2e CRPGs. I loved 3.0, and still feel that it is one of the best games I have ever played.

When 3.5 came out, the idea that it was a cash grab by Wizards never occurred to me and my group. We just saw it as part of the evolution of D&D, and converted without any drama. 3.5 was like 3.0, but much, much better.

Thus, the drama of the 3.5/4e edition war baffled me. My group had always accepted new editions as part of the game. We always converted without any drama; we were basically too busy having fun to care.

With my background out of the way, I will concede that 4e does have legitimate flaws that need to be addressed. A short, incomplete list follows:

1. Feat Taxes - The Expertise feats are considered an inelegant kludge by many players.

2. Power Creep - Underpowered 4e powers, classes, and paths rarely get buffed. Off the top of my head, I can remember only one such power getting buffed (Dance of Steel). Wizards seems to prefer releasing strictly better powers, classes, and paths to make up for previous underpowered content.

3. Missing and/or Buggy DDI Tools - A lot of the DDI tools promised when 4e was announced are still missing, and most of existing tools are quite buggy.

4. Inconsistent Article Quality (Dragon/Dungeon) - The infamous Essentials articles are of considerably lower quality than most Dragon/Dungeon content.

Wow, that was a long intro. Let's begin. :smallsmile:

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-09, 07:19 PM
Could you give some examples of these misconceptions? It would be helpful for a jump-start. I get the feeling that you don't want to ramble on and on by yourself, but I think that by all means you should elaborate as much as you can.

Katana_Geldar
2009-11-09, 07:21 PM
The Skill Challenges are contrived and clunky and need to be used properly if at all.

Just a series of roll without the roleplaying makes little sense.

And there is something to be said about the over reliance on minis, as they slow the game down. Yet this can also be said about other games that rely heavily on minis, like 4E's older cousin of a system Star Wars Saga.

That said, I found 4E not hard at all to get and play, particularly the skill rolls which are rather useful. Though why Bluff, Intimidate and Diplomacy are broken up is beyond me. Why not just a catch-all like Persuade?

cupkeyk
2009-11-09, 07:28 PM
I think the OP intended to comment on his own post with the misconceptions...

Aron Times
2009-11-09, 08:55 PM
One common misconception is that you need actual minis to play 4e. Some even believe that you need the official D&D minis to play the game.

What you do need is a battle grid and a way to represent the combantants. My old 3.5 group used graphing paper and pencil. Yes, folks, you can play D&D with a set of dice, a math notebook, and a pencil.

Project_Mayhem
2009-11-09, 09:08 PM
One common misconception is that you need actual minis to play 4e. Some even believe that you need the official D&D minis to play the game.

I like the idea of crack squads of assault laywers bursting through the windows as a player puts down a little lego man on a grid. heh.

Also, for any gridbased games, a gridded (griddled?) white-board is very useful

Akal Saris
2009-11-09, 09:22 PM
Here's some questions - I'm slowly learning 4E and interested in more informed opinions.

1. Do you think combat takes longer than in 3.5? Are there any houserules or tricks that you use to speed it up?

2. What's the 'sweet spot' of the game where it runs most smoothly, people have a solid mix of powers, and most characters are powerful without combat bogging down or breaking the game? In 3.5 it's arguably around 6th level, for example.

3. Does the skills system work well? Are there redundant/useless skills, or things that should have their own skill but don't? What do most games do to houserule or modify skill challenges?

4. Are martial classes really better than divine or primal ones?

5. What do you think the most complex class is to play? So far all of my games have been levels 1-4, and I get bored pretty quickly with the limited options.

Gametime
2009-11-09, 09:26 PM
One common misconception is that you need actual minis to play 4e. Some even believe that you need the official D&D minis to play the game.

What you do need is a battle grid and a way to represent the combantants. My old 3.5 group used graphing paper and pencil. Yes, folks, you can play D&D with a set of dice, a math notebook, and a pencil.

I've never understood the idea that this is unique to 4e. 3.5's combat is almost identical with regard to distances and positioning, and equally difficult to model without a map and representational figures.

TheEmerged
2009-11-09, 09:26 PM
With my background out of the way, I will concede that 4e does have legitimate flaws that need to be addressed. A short, incomplete list follows:

1. Feat Taxes - The Expertise feats are considered an inelegant kludge by many players.

3. Missing and/or Buggy DDI Tools - A lot of the DDI tools promised when 4e was announced are still missing, and most of existing tools are quite buggy.

2 & 4 are true about nearly every roleplaying game. 1 & 3 need to be cleared up, and badly. I'm dangerously close to thinking I wasted my money on DDI right now. I mean, what are the use of the power cards in the character generator if they don't adjust for most feats?

And #1? Feats Should Be Nice Not Required. I was part of the 3.0 psionics board that essentially invented that phrase on the Wizards board back in the day. The Expertise feats needs to be rolled into the classes, period.

--------------

Misconception: "It's just a MMOG on paper!"
I keep hearing this, and can't help but wonder if the people making this crack have spent much time in MMOG's. They simplified the power mechanics so every classes uses powers, that's it. While we haven't seem them stretch the mechanics behind those powers much yet (PHB3 looks to be their first effort to do so), I've seen several interesting ways to use other ways of handling the power mechanic with a different resource mechanic.

-------------


1. Do you think combat takes longer than in 3.5? Are there any houserules or tricks that you use to speed it up?

I can't touch this one, as I played 3.0 a *lot* more than 3.5. Further, I'm used to the HERO system, so I'm impressed with 4.0's speed of combat :smallredface:


2. What's the 'sweet spot' of the game where it runs most smoothly, people have a solid mix of powers, and most characters are powerful without combat bogging down or breaking the game? In 3.5 it's arguably around 6th level, for example.

I haven't run into a spot that doesn't run smoothly, as long as people know what their powers mean and the players aren't hoarding their encounter & daily powers because they're afriad they might need them later (at first, my players were almost exclusively using their at-wills because they were afraid more monsters were going to pop up at the end of the encounter).

[/quote]3. Does the skills system work well? Are there redundant/useless skills, or things that should have their own skill but don't? What do most games do to houserule or modify skill challenges?[/quote]

I'd say the skill system as a whole works better than in 3.x myself. Under 3.x skill ranks didn't really 'matter' relative to the wide spread of the 1d20 until about 5th-6th level, but after about 9th-11th levels if you didn't have the full spread there was no reason to bother with trying the skill. Now being trained in a skill is the same 25% advantage at 30th level it is at 1st level, and I find it actually works better than I feared. Also, skill focus is now pretty huge (essentially being 6 levels worth of improvement).

This comes with the disclaimer that the new language system does NOT work, IMO. We've toyed with a few switches but nothing works quite right yet.

The problems with skill challenges are over-stated. They basically made the DC's about 5 points higher than they should have in PHB1. They overcompensated in the errata, in my opinion.

The *real* problems are that some people are using them in situations to derail the encounter rather than as the "fork in the road" they work better as, that some DM's are being way to lenient with the skills allowed, and that some people feel they're being used to replace roleplay.

In my experience as DM, they work best in situations where the party is faced with which way they're going to solve the problem rather than being the solution to an issue. I ran the zombie encounter in the graveyard in the first module as a skill challenge instead of a fight, and the players loved it.

I've seen examples of people saying players are trying to use Religion in a skill challenge to cross a river. That's blatantly ridiculous, on the level of the people who argued that by RAW you got your full move when prone.


4. Are martial classes really better than divine or primal ones?

I can't speak of primal, since I've only theory-run them through Dungeon Delves (since none of my players were interested in them). Fighters were initially noticeably superior to paladins as a defender before Martial Power, they seem to be about equal now (the defender in the group I DM is a swordmage). Warlords & Clerics are both impressive support (we've had both in the party). Both the rogue & ranger are superior to the Avenger, which is still underwhelming after Divine Power.


5. What do you think the most complex class is to play? So far all of my games have been levels 1-4, and I get bored pretty quickly with the limited options.

It really starts picking up at 5th, in my opinion, when the characters start having enough options that they aren't as afraid of wasting them (your players may not be as paranoid as mine). Of the classes I've watched in actual play, Wizard is the most complex. Between having spells they can swap from the spellbooks, to deciding whether or not to expand their spells, to options like Tome of Preparation and the option to Fey Step people out of of area powers, our Wizard is the one making hard decisions in play.

Tyger
2009-11-09, 09:36 PM
I've never understood the idea that this is unique to 4e. 3.5's combat is almost identical with regard to distances and positioning, and equally difficult to model without a map and representational figures.

I have to say, I agree with this. 4e is hardly more miniature required than 3.5, yet somehow 4e has been flagged as a minis game whilst 3.5 isn't.

Sure, the books may make it more explicit, but if you can imagine 3.5 in yrou head without a map and figs, then you can do the same for 4e. Just replace each "square" with a 5' measure. Problem solved.

Trog
2009-11-09, 09:52 PM
And there is something to be said about the over reliance on minis, as they slow the game down.
I've never found this to be the case in 4e. In 3.x it did a bit, mainly due to figuring out the diagonal movement and keeping track if you spent your movement correctly. 4e eliminated that headache, thankfully. For the most part miniatures (or some sort of counters) speed up the game because if you use only verbal description it inevitably leads to misunderstandings which cause the combat to grind to a halt to explain and sort out. In my experience, what slows down the game in 4e is players picking which of their powers to use and keeping track of all the short term effects going on in combat.

And I understand the idea of skill challenges, and in principal I can back somehow making your skills matter for things, but the system they have set up is a bit... well... clunky.

Power creep has been happening for a long time before 4e, frankly, as the more you increase the options available to players the more they find out which ones are truly worth taking. So both this and the idea that some things aren't worth taking really shouldn't be much of a surprise to any seasoned DnD player. To a certain extent this is always going to happen in a game that continues to develop over time via designer one-upping and general improvement.

sombrastewart
2009-11-09, 09:57 PM
The Skill Challenges are contrived and clunky and need to be used properly if at all.

Just a series of roll without the roleplaying makes little sense.

I've played under several 4e GMs and never had one just let me say "I'll make a [skill] roll." I've always had to explain what I'm trying to do/find/learn before I'm even allowed to make the roll.

Is it common to have skill challenges that are just: make [skill] roll, no exposition/explanation/nothing?

Mando Knight
2009-11-09, 10:03 PM
1. Do you think combat takes longer than in 3.5? Are there any houserules or tricks that you use to speed it up?
Depends. It takes roughly as long as if it were a party of spellcasters or psionic characters: if you know your powers well, you can pick one out and throw it at the targets as quickly as a 3.5 Fighter could pull a full attack, but if you don't know them, you'll spend a while looking through them to figure out what to do.

2. What's the 'sweet spot' of the game where it runs most smoothly, people have a solid mix of powers, and most characters are powerful without combat bogging down or breaking the game? In 3.5 it's arguably around 6th level, for example.
Personally, I like all levels of play, but mid to high heroic (roughly 5th to 10th level) has a good balance of power.

3. Does the skills system work well? Are there redundant/useless skills, or things that should have their own skill but don't? What do most games do to houserule or modify skill challenges?
The skill system works well enough so long as you remember that it's the "adventuring hero" set of skills. Crafting and Use Rope don't have their own skills because adventuring usually doesn't mean sitting around at home putting mundane stuff together or rolling to see if you can actually tie a bowline. Skill Challenges don't work well because WotC is still trying to figure out how they should work themselves, so many DMs are just as well off as

4. Are martial classes really better than divine or primal ones?
No. Ranger and Fighter have some ridiculous damage output when put to the task, and Warlords can improve the team's abilities dramatically, but they're not better than divine, arcane, psionic, or primal heroes. They're just better at using their weapons and wits without channeling power from someone or something else.

5. What do you think the most complex class is to play? So far all of my games have been levels 1-4, and I get bored pretty quickly with the limited options.
Most complex? Perhaps Psion (DDI-exclusive PHB3 preview content) or Druid. Really, WotC didn't want to make any of the classes more complex than the others so that people can more easily try each of the classes.

If it's options for varied optimization routes you want, you'll simply need more of the splatbooks. Martial, Arcane, Divine, and Primal Power and Dragon Magazine provide plenty of extra choices for feats and powers, and the Adventurer's Vault books are basically a pair of Magic Item Compendiums...

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-09, 10:05 PM
They're just better at using their weapons and wits without channeling power from someone or something else.

This part sort of confuses me. Martial classes are better at using a martial power source without using a primal/divine/arcane power source? Isn't that a given?

Bogardan_Mage
2009-11-09, 10:20 PM
Misconception: "It's just a MMOG on paper!"
I keep hearing this, and can't help but wonder if the people making this crack have spent much time in MMOG's. They simplified the power mechanics so every classes uses powers, that's it. While we haven't seem them stretch the mechanics behind those powers much yet (PHB3 looks to be their first effort to do so), I've seen several interesting ways to use other ways of handling the power mechanic with a different resource mechanic.
I believe this is about classes and levelling, not powers. Terms like "video-gamey" are thrown around a lot in a pejorative manner, which is somewhat odd as video games are in my mind often fun so that shouldn't by itself make something bad (quite the opposite). That said, it seems quite appropriate for 4th edition classes in that they system 4th edition uses is both closer to that used by MMORPGs than that of 3rd edition and also inferior to that of 3rd edition (this is my opinion, but it's one I hold very strongly. I'm very interested to hear counterarguments, because I honestly can't think of any). The 3rd edition system is basically only used by those games that are specifically based on D&D. It makes sense, of course, because it's not as easy to program. It works fine in pen and paper games, but with computer games it just makes more sense to have players pick a class and (essentially) stick with it. However, when there are no such technical restrictions, and levels confer specific benefits rather than just general power, and you already have the other system in a previous edition it seems a decided step backwards to go to a far less elegant system like that of 4th edition.

Aron Times
2009-11-09, 10:22 PM
Combat in 4e is actually simpler, in terms of mechanics, than in 3.5. The only reason why combat in 3.5 seems faster is because of the higher lethality of attacks available (I'm talking about the prevalence of save-or-dies and the massive damage dealt by martial classes here). Basically, 3.5 battles are decided whoever wins initiative.

4e battles, on the other hand, are determined by strategy and tactics. Winning initiative still provides a massive advantage, but not as much as in 3.5 where it literally decided the outcome.

Here are some tips on speeding up combat:

1. Use power cards. Whether you're using the official Wizards power cards or just index cards with the necessary information, knowing what your powers do speeds the game a lot.

If you play using a virtual tabletop like me, use power macros to automate your dice rolls. If anyone needs help writing MapTool macros, just PM me.

2. Make each player responsible for his character. The DM is busy enough keeping track of enemy combatants, and having the players be responsible for their own bookeeping speeds up play by lightening the DM's burden.

3. Implement a time limit for each turn. I can get my turn done in less than 10 seconds, and so can you. This also has the side effect of making combat feel fast and frentic. I suggest a 10 to 20 second limit on turns.

4. Pay attention to the board. Plan your action before your turn comes up.

5. Work as a team. Focus fire on wounded enemies to take them out fast. Learn to set up an opponent for a flank. An adventuring party is basically an elite commando squad, with the sheer number of opponents it faces on a regular basis.

Regarding 4e's sweet spot, it was designed to be playable from level 1 to 30. You will notice a spike in power when moving between tiers (10 to 11, 20 to 21), but other than that, it's fairly well-balanced.

Of course, everything goes crazy at level 30, but by then you should be on your Destiny Quest, the last quest before ascension, retirement, or whatever you get for winning the game.

The skill challenge system is basically a framework for a skill-based encounter where success and failure have different outcomes. In my games, we basically freeform roleplay a skill challenge, making rolls depending on what our characters did.

I have no idea why people think it doesn't work when White Wolf games have had them for a long time (they're called extended rolls in WW games). Each time my Malkovian uses Dominate, it's basically a mini-skill challenge.

The martial classes deal a lot of damage compared to their counterparts from other power sources. Compare the fighter to the swordmage, and the warlord to the bard and the shaman, and you'll see just how much more damage they deal. That said, they are pretty balanced with other power sources.

And finally, the complexity we 3.5 players enjoy has been moved from character creation and onto the battle mat. As I mentioned above, 4e combat is a game unto itself.

Think of it as Chess. Chess is a very simple game with enormous strategic and tactical depth.

As for the most complex classes to play:

1. Any controller. Setting up area attacks and forcing the enemy to waste his actions is an underappreciated job.

2. The swordmage. Easily the most mobile defender, playing a swordmage right feels unintuitive at first, but you quickly get the hang of it.

3. The warlord. Not only do you need to know your abilities, you also need to know your teammates' abilities. Many warlord powers grant free actions to his teammates, and knowing when to attack and when to make an ally attack for you is vital to being an effective warlord.

4. The warlock, especially vestige pact warlocks. Warlocks deal low damage for a striker, but most of their spells come with nasty rider effects that make up for it. They also have to move a lot to maintain Shadow Walk and curse as many enemies as possible.

Mando Knight
2009-11-09, 10:23 PM
This part sort of confuses me. Martial classes are better at using a martial power source without using a primal/divine/arcane power source? Isn't that a given?

Exactly. Martial characters are characters that are awesome because they became awesome through sheer physical and mental training (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharlesAtlasSuperpower). Divine characters become awesome through channeling The Power of The Shiny Ones Who Are All Level 35+ (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrystalDragonJesus), Primal characters are awesome through The Power of Nature (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Ptitle0b588116), Arcane characters are awesome through Knowing and Channeling That Which Man Was Not Meant To Know Or Channel (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FunctionalMagic), and Psionic characters are awesome through the Power of Thinking Things Into Happening (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PsychicPowers).

cupkeyk
2009-11-09, 10:27 PM
I think the reason why it takes so long is because its new. We have been playing 4e since it came out and last sunday, we played through four encounters in 7 hours, which is a lot. This included talking to npc's all sorts of intra-party ball cracking. Lolz. but a year ago, we'd have one encounter a day. Also the wizard in 3.5, can't tpk the baddies in one round anymore.

Akal Saris
2009-11-09, 10:41 PM
Thanks for the fast replies MandoKnight, TheEmerged, and Joseph Silver :)

My usual PCs had a good time when I ran 4E after it first came out, but the PCs who were most enthusiastic about it moved and/or had RL issues, and a lot of rulings I made on the spot since none of us really knew the game play.

Since then I've joined a pair of 4E games through PBP, and a RL game run by my friend, but his group is both large (6 PCs) and very casual, so each combat has lasted 4-5 hours so far, hence question 1.

I've had the most fun with my vestige lock so far - I'll try out the druid or another 'real' controller next. Being the defender (goliath two-handed fighter) has been pretty disappointing so far in terms of options. The rogue has been alright so far, pretty much like playing a 2E thief or 3.5 rogue without any UMD options. I don't really feel the need for more splatbooks so much as I like having tons of options in a fight - I'm the kind of guy that buys a dozen different scrolls and things like marbles, lard, bouncy balls, mirrors, and the like, just for the off-chance of using them.

Here's 1 more question: what classes can summon monsters, and how effective/fun is it? I loved playing a conjurer or druid in earlier editions because of all the different combat tricks you could do with summoned and bound creatures =)

Mando Knight
2009-11-09, 10:49 PM
Here's 1 more question: what classes can summon monsters, and how effective/fun is it? I loved playing a conjurer or druid in earlier editions because of all the different combat tricks you could do with summoned and bound creatures =)

Wizards, Invokers, Artificers, Shamans, and Druids all have powers that summon or conjure creatures depending on their class (you'll have to look around for the power locations, though). Generally, Wizards summon elementals, Invokers summon Angels, Druids summon beasts of nature and the Feywild, Shamans call on spirits, and Artificers summon constructs. The full-out summon powers are Dailies and last the entire encounter, but some lesser powers conjure beings temporarily. I haven't actually played any such characters yet, though...

Aron Times
2009-11-09, 10:57 PM
Wizards summon elementals, invokers summon angels, druids summon animals, and artificers animate constructs (they use the summoning rules but the fluff has the artificer animating them).

The wizard gets the most number of summoning powers, having one at each daily and utility level. The wizard's utility summons can't attack creatures, but they can flank and/or provide cover for the party.

The invoker only gets a handful of summons, but each is much more powerful than the others'. As mentioned above, they're all angels. Charlie the Invoker, anyone?

The druid's summons have instinctive actions, which is basically a free action they can do when you don't direct them that turn. Instinctive actions are usually the "attack the nearest guy" type.

The artificer's summons involve animated constructs. Sometimes, the summoning spell animates an actual item.

Summoned creatures share actions with their summoner, so the only class that can effective summon multiple creatures is the druid, thanks to instinctive actions.

Edit: Ninja'd.

Akal Saris
2009-11-09, 11:14 PM
Hmm...so with the invoker I could play the Angel Summoner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw)...

Seriously though, I think the druid sounds closest to what I'm looking for - I'll check it out some more tomorrow :)

Gametime
2009-11-09, 11:16 PM
Summoned creatures share actions with their summoner, so the only class that can effective summon multiple creatures is the druid, thanks to instinctive actions.

Edit: Ninja'd.

Invokers don't do too badly, since attacking with a summon is a minor action for them after 1st level, but the wide level gap between summons does mean that the older ones are unlikely to be too helpful.

I'll vouch for the fact that practice makes perfect when it comes to 4e combat. Getting used to what powers are a good idea to use takes awhile, especially if you start above 1st level. Encourage your PCs to review their powers before each game session until they feel comfortable with them, and to decide what they're doing as other people take their turns.

Katana_Geldar
2009-11-10, 01:35 AM
I've played under several 4e GMs and never had one just let me say "I'll make a [skill] roll." I've always had to explain what I'm trying to do/find/learn before I'm even allowed to make the roll.

Is it common to have skill challenges that are just: make [skill] roll, no exposition/explanation/nothing?

My DM had "This is a skill challenge, you need to make a series of rolls". For me, a skill roll and saying what I am doing is intuitive.

krossbow
2009-11-10, 01:48 AM
Wizards summon elementals, invokers summon angels, druids summon animals, and artificers animate constructs (they use the summoning rules but the fluff has the artificer animating them).

The wizard gets the most number of summoning powers, having one at each daily and utility level. The wizard's utility summons can't attack creatures, but they can flank and/or provide cover for the party.

The invoker only gets a handful of summons, but each is much more powerful than the others'. As mentioned above, they're all angels. Charlie the Invoker, anyone?

The druid's summons have instinctive actions, which is basically a free action they can do when you don't direct them that turn. Instinctive actions are usually the "attack the nearest guy" type.

The artificer's summons involve animated constructs. Sometimes, the summoning spell animates an actual item.

Summoned creatures share actions with their summoner, so the only class that can effective summon multiple creatures is the druid, thanks to instinctive actions.

Edit: Ninja'd.




WTF? thats just dumb. I can understand balance and all that, but a wizard shouldn't have to hold a monster's hand every 6 seconds to guide it through the proper manner to bite someone. Its like your summoning short bus retards.

how hard is it to say "Maul him until he stops moving"?

Asbestos
2009-11-10, 01:55 AM
Perhaps the Abyssal Maw or Fire Warrior summoned by the Wizard doesn't want to do whatever the Wizard says and it requires a little bit of mental arm-wrestling (that always works for the Wizard)
Or some such thing.

The New Bruceski
2009-11-10, 02:16 AM
Or the Wizard is not just summoning the monster, but controlling it. You know, actually takes effort? You need a minor action to maintain a zone (where applicable), why should a flaming sphere be easier?

Thajocoth
2009-11-10, 02:29 AM
WTF? thats just dumb. I can understand balance and all that, but a wizard shouldn't have to hold a monster's hand every 6 seconds to guide it through the proper manner to bite someone. Its like your summoning short bus retards.

how hard is it to say "Maul him until he stops moving"?

It's more like... The wizard is shaping the arcane elements into a solid being. The wizard has to use his/her own mastery of the arcane to force these elements to do his/her will, which is what wizards do best. The wizard is sharp enough to force it to attack, take opportunity attacks, move and manipulate objects at the same speed that the wizard would be able to physically react.

The wizard is also putting a lot of himself into this being. If the link is severed (the summoned creature takes a total of the wizard's bloodied value in damage), the wizard feels pain from that (losing a healing surge). Unsummoning a creature normally is a minor action. The being's defenses are also based on the wizard's, so the being is more an extension of the wizard than it is a separate being.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-10, 04:37 AM
Thus, the drama of the 3.5/4e edition war baffled me.
Welcome to the internet :) Come on, you know what forums are like: people get into flame wars on Kirk vs. Picard, or on Wikipedia on whether Spider-Man ought to be spelled with a hyphen or an en-dash.

Anyway.
(1) Agreed.
(2) I don't entirely agree: underpowered classes do get buffed. For instance, the paladin got a much-needed boost in the Divine Power splatbook.
(3) Agreed.
(4) Agreed, but for comparison I should note that third-party sourcebooks (like the Quintessential series) are of much more random quality than Dragon magazine articles.
I'll add my personal pet peeve (5) WOTC should get off their rear end and release more errata/updates on just a handful of issues that have been unaddressed for over a year.



1. Do you think combat takes longer than in 3.5?
No, but it doesn't take shorter either. Note that "faster combat" was supposed to be a selling point of 4E, but it doesn't really surface.


2. What's the 'sweet spot' of the game
Probably level 5-10. Having a few extra powers and being able to afford decent equipment gives you much more options; and certain combos become broken at paragon tier. Ironically, 4E characters at level 1 tend to feel like they suffer from the "I ran out of spells so I'll use my silly crossbow now" issue, replacing "crossbow" with "at-will power".


3. Does the skills system work well?
That depends. Some skills are much more useful than others, but that is to be expected, really. I have a mild dislike for the shortness of the fighter skill list, but I like using backgrounds to add one or two when needed. Skill challenges, on the other hand, are strongly disliked (or considered a kludge) by a significant part of the player base.


4. Are martial classes really better than divine or primal ones?
No. However, some classes are really better at certain things than others. For instance, the fighter and wizard are widely considered the best defender and controller, respectively. On the other hand, paladins defend less well but can also heal, which fighters can't.


5. What do you think the most complex class is to play?
Strikers tend to be the least complex, controllers and leaders the most. I don't think any class is really complex to play compared to e.g. a 3E summoner (or Omnicaster :smallwink: )



Here's 1 more question: what classes can summon monsters, and how effective/fun is it?
Most controllers can summon monsters (and so can some items, like the bag of many tricks). Almost without exception, summons are daily powers, that put one creature on the table, that uses your actions only. So you never get to do more things. Druid summons do have a default action for if you don't order them to do anything; it depends on the creature whether this is actually useful.

Druid summons are probably the best. Summoning is a mediocre option for wizards, until they get to level 16 in a particular summoning-related paragon path. Item summonings (like the Bag or Figurines) are underwhelming and mainly exist for flavor.

Chrono22
2009-11-10, 06:06 AM
On maps being hard to make for D&D 3.5 & 4:
This is mostly due to reliance on grids. Lose the grids, switch to a measuring stick/thread where 1 inch = 5 feet/1 "square".
If bursts/area effects become problematic, take half an hour to make some out of cardstock/cardboard.

For 4e, implement the rule that "A creature whose space is not totally covered by the area of effect, is not subject to the effect".

All I need for my sessions are a few dry erase color markers, a dry erase board, a tape measure, and a protractor. Minis/tokens are optional.


And finally, the complexity we 3.5 players enjoy has been moved from character creation and onto the battle mat. As I mentioned above, 4e combat is a game unto itself.
Eh, this was not my experience. I played incredibly complex and exciting combats in 3.5. I chalk it up to system mastery and player ability. 3.5 could do what 4e does, and more- if the players took the time and interest to make it happen. With 4e, it's more like the tactical aspect is hardwired into it by powers.

The Glyphstone
2009-11-10, 07:24 AM
I've got a misconception about 4E that might deserve clearing up:

--) Only people who haven't played it don't like it.

I've been a diehard 3.5E fanatic since it came out, on both sides of the screen, and when 4E was released, I was one of those who decried its relative lack of character flexibility and reliance on HP damage. When I finally had the chance to play in a RL 4e game, I took it, on the grounds that I should actually experience what I had been badmouthing.

My feelings didn't really change. 4E was fun in its own way, and I have come to enjoy my weekly games, but for me it was a great step away from 3.5 and anything but an 'improvement', in the context that they were two completely different games sharing a trademark and brand name.

Kaiyanwang
2009-11-10, 07:58 AM
I've got a misconception about 4E that might deserve clearing up:

--) Only people who haven't played it don't like it.

I've been a diehard 3.5E fanatic since it came out, on both sides of the screen, and when 4E was released, I was one of those who decried its relative lack of character flexibility and reliance on HP damage. When I finally had the chance to play in a RL 4e game, I took it, on the grounds that I should actually experience what I had been badmouthing.

My feelings didn't really change. 4E was fun in its own way, and I have come to enjoy my weekly games, but for me it was a great step away from 3.5 and anything but an 'improvement', in the context that they were two completely different games sharing a trademark and brand name.

:thog: "thog seconds what the man with the funny hat said"

Jokes aside, yes, that's my feeling: people insist to say that things seem bad on paper but play good, when I simply miss mechanics and rules that made possible to re-invent the game each time you restart a campaign.

Hashmir
2009-11-10, 09:55 AM
In all fairness, the fact of you disliking it before playing it almost makes it a given that you wouldn't like it afterward. Not that that says anything about you in particular; if you had spent a lot of time talking about how good the game was, you would have almost certainly liked it no matter what. See cognitive dissonance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance#Postdecision_dissonance).

This doesn't make your opinion any less valid than that of anyone who liked the game before they played it, but it is something to keep in mind. We humans suck at being objective.

tcrudisi
2009-11-10, 10:04 AM
I've played under several 4e GMs and never had one just let me say "I'll make a [skill] roll." I've always had to explain what I'm trying to do/find/learn before I'm even allowed to make the roll.

Is it common to have skill challenges that are just: make [skill] roll, no exposition/explanation/nothing?

I wanted to add some clarification to this.

From my experiences with 4e, skill challenges were something new and fresh. They basically came up with a way to count doing nothing but skills as an "encounter." In 3.5, if you wanted to sneak past the sleeping dragon, everyone made a stealth check. Now, in 4e, it becomes a skill challenge. The best part? It gives you xp for doing it.

But... it was clunky at first. Don't get me wrong -- I fell in love with them the moment I saw them. But it didn't quite flow. That's sort of to be expected when something brand-spanking-new is introduced, though.

However, that has changed. I recently played in two new 4e modules. The concensus at the table was "OMG, THOSE SKILL CHALLENGES ROCKED!" We are still telling all of our other gaming friends about how great the skill challenges were.

That brings us to the important question: What was different about them? What made those skill challenges really stand out and shine? Why did we enjoy those skill challenges so much compared to all the others? I think I can shine some light on this.

First, they both fit in with the story amazingly well. In the first one, we were at a Lord's mansion and he was throwing a large party. Things were getting stolen and we were hired to find out who did it. However, the people who were important enough to have things stolen were also important enough to avoid an audience with level 4 adventurer's that they haven't heard of before. But ... there was a way. They were each holding a contest in their area of specialty ... the winner would get a small reward (some ale or something) and chat with them for a few minutes. The contests were things like: a foot race (Athletics), a magical duel to see who could manipulate a small piece of magic the best (Arcana), and a drinking contest (Endurance). Before each, we could do preperations, which was basically using 3 other skills to prep ahead of time. I used Heal on our Dwarf to remind him to drink water during the contest to avoid getting drunk (+2 on his roll), while the Bard used Insight to tell him, "Hey, that guy over there started drinking earlier... he's already tipsy. Drink against him first" (for another +2). All said and done, you could give those in your group attempting the challenge a +6 to their roll. Holy crap was this fun. We spent 90 minutes on this skill challenge. While many people will say, "OMG, 90 minutes on nothing but skills!" we were having a complete and utter blast.

In the second skill challenge, we were going into a demon infested area. We knew there might be prisoners held there. We ran across someone who was a prisoner... until someone realized "Oh crap, he's possessed." So... how does one do an exorcism? (Note, I don't remember every skill that can be used, but there were several options at each section.) Religion roll successful! (success 1). The DM tells us, "The first step is finding the point of entry". Then, with each success, we moved to the next step, which was just another part of an exorcism. And of course, all this while the demon was attacking us. So... much... fun.

Also in both, the DM always gave us a description after a successful or failed check. "You find a small red circle with a hand print on it. It is located on the back of his neck. Now, through your earlier Religion check, you know the next step is to hold him down to give you access to the entry point." It was clear-cut, well described, and incredibly fun in both cases.

I think that's the real difference now. Before, it was more like, "Okay, another Diplomacy success? Gotcha. Just 2 more to go!" But now I think WotC is putting a description in place: "With your first diplomacy check, he tells you that he was there after all... but you think he's still holding back. Maybe he doesn't trust you or he's too scared to talk?" Things like that.

Or, the tlgr; version is this: Skill Challenges went from brand new to suddenly something amazing and fun. I feel WotC is finally getting a grasp on them and what they are supposed to be. The next step is telling the players how to run them best (I know they've tried, but this time I feel like they know what they are doing).

Kurald Galain
2009-11-10, 10:15 AM
In all fairness, the fact of you disliking it before playing it almost makes it a given that you wouldn't like it afterward.
I've spoken to all four kinds of people:
(1) those who thought they would like 4E before playing it, and did like it after playing it
(2) those who thought they would like 4E before playing it, but were disappointed either immediately or after a few sessions
(3) those who thought they would dislike 4E before playing it, but were happily surprised
(4) those who thought they would dislike 4E before playing it, and indeed didn't like it after playing it.

Simply put, asserting that any of these four groups doesn't exist would be false rhetoric.



Also in both, the DM always gave us a description after a successful or failed check. "You find a small red circle with a hand print on it. It is located on the back of his neck. Now, through your earlier Religion check, you know the next step is to hold him down to give you access to the entry point." It was clear-cut, well described, and incredibly fun in both cases.
I believe the situation is this:
(a) if a good DM runs an adventure with skill challenges, it will be good.
(b) if a bad DM runs an adventure with skill challenges, it will be annoying.
(c) if a good DM runs an adventure without skill challenges, it will be good.
(d) if a bad DM runs an adventure without skill challenges, it will be annoying.

Whether a session is enjoyable or not depends on whether you have a good DM, and whether that DM uses skill challenges or not is irrelevant.

Awesomologist
2009-11-10, 10:53 AM
A couple of notes on 4e from someone who came into the game after not having played any PnP RPGs for 10 years.
1) A battle grid is easy to make. You can buy large pads of 1" grids at Staples, use dungeon tiles, or any fancy map building tools. We made a 4'x3' board on a foam stock board and laminated (cost about $60+ to make at the UPS Store, you may find something cheaper in your neck of the woods). We got it made last June when the game came out and have been using it since with dry erase markers. It also allows players to write on the board where they sit to keep track of conditional modifiers or notes they want to make. We also like to appoint one player as the initiative tracker and they can do it right on the board where everyone can see it.

2) The game is mostly balanced but yeah there are some feats or powers that can be better than others. Nothing has been game breaking around our table.

3) The expertise feats are a patch. We've house ruled it as a flat +1 bonus to attacks at levels 6, 16, and 26. If a feat is a must have then just roll it into the class/level up system. This allows players to pick a feat that may actually be interesting and make their character unique and distinctive from others.

4) Game speed only seems to slow down at transitions (level 11 and 21) because the options gained change what you need to keep track of. This slowness last for about a level and goes away eventually.

5) Skill challenges are a challenge to pull off right. In the dozens we've done only about 3 felt exciting and fun. Gathering information is role-playing with maybe a roll or two needed. It shouldn't be an exercise in dice rolling, especially for characters who don't have the required skills.
The few that did work was a chariot race I mocked up (with helpful tips from the D&DI Gladiator article), a chase through the sewers, and a giant trapped room.
My advice is to lay off skill challenges for mundane things such as gathering information, talking to NPCs, or tracking/wilderness excursions. Nobody cares or remembers about these moments and you'll find that some players will feel left out more often than not. If you're playing a pre-made module read ahead and see what they're trying to accomplish with the skill challenges then perhaps tweak them to suit your party or ditch them all together.

6) My only pet peeve with 4e is that using Thievery to disarm a trap always seems to be the exponentially hardest things to. Yet the dumb as a rock barbarian can just smash a trap for nothing. No rogue wants to spend 3 rounds disabling a trap when the meathead can do it in one round. Even Arcane traps are easier to turn off than ones that just require thievery.

Guinea Anubis
2009-11-10, 10:55 AM
I my self really like 4e. I like 3.X just fine but sometimes it just felt bloated on rules and some of the stuff you could pull off by RAW just from the PHD was stupid.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-10, 12:24 PM
I had no real feelings either way until I played 4e. I hadn't really played any RPGs for about a year prior to playing it, but I've played 2nd, 3.0, and 3.5 quite a bit, as well as a couple other RPGs.

Thus, I expect I was a bit slower than most the other players, but I joined an existing campaign that literally started with the initial release of 4e, so I doubt that they were particularily slow, but combat still dragged on for forever. After just a couple session, I found myself hating 4e(and eventually, others gave up on it as well, resulting in us reverting to 3.5). Here's why.

Combat is slow. This seems to be mainly a result of status effects, and the map being an important part of combat, leading to people focusing on the map more. We play with a map in 3.5 as well, but it seems to be somewhat less central to the game.

Casters suck in 4e. Why? Because they don't feel like casters at all, but just another flavor of archer or what have you. This is part of the larger problem of all abilities being mechanically very similar, with an emphasis on damage. Typically, your choices involve things like damage, damage with a minor one round debuff, or damage with a minor movement ability for you.

This leads into the next complaint. Builds are limited. Each class tends to have two distinct paths/builds for it(often racially focused), and this tends to make certain feats, powers, etc very obvious choices. Sure, you don't *have* to take that feat, but it's obviously the best at the level. Basically, once you've decided your initial build, every other char choice onward is just window dressing.

Oh yes...and combat invariably ends up being a dps race. Save or dies and such are pretty much gone. Debuffs and such are greatly weakened, especially in duration. Thus, winning combat will almost invariably take the form of making their hp hit zero before yours do. Obviously, this makes for vastly less diversity in fights.

The video-gamey feel is probably a result of the powers system, since it is similar to plenty of video games. This is more of an explanation than a complaint, since desired feel varies wildly among players, but it seems reasonable.

And my biggest complaint is that 4e offers little that cannot be had in previous editions. Skill checks? Sure, it may not have been as explicit in previous editions, but it was frequent to use multiple skills in succession to accomplish various tasks. A couple of books(complete warrior, rogue, etc) actually have very skill-test like events in them. Instead, 4e only offers a reduction in options, removing many things from 3.x. If those things were things you enjoyed, 4e is not going to be very popular.

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-10, 12:51 PM
I don't think there's much going on in the way of clearing up misconceptions round here.

Or maybe that's just my misconception of the thread? :)

For the sake of being vaguely on-topic;
'4e DnD is a combat game, you cannot RP in it.'
I'm involved in several campaigns right now, (two currently, and a further one on hiatus due to RL issues.) All three are very, VERY much focused on RP over combat.

My currently most successful (in the IC sense) character is my Drow Warlord/Swordmage. He's a terrible character build, or rather, he's an okay build but has terrible ability scores for what he is supposed to be. He's excelled at the tasks presented to him, however, having to date;

- Held on to command of his fortress despite losing almost every single solider (At one point his entire list of surviving warriors consisted of a single partially mamed goblin and the still smoking left foot of the cheif Ranger)

- Successfully shored up his authority in the wake of the affair, undermining the priestess of lloth's authority (mostly by being useful and not abusing every hobgoblin soldier that went within 20 feet)

- Successfully united the hobgoblin tribes under the overking-ship of a Hobgoblin who had sworn allegiance to him personally and his house secondly, (with the fortress itself being a very distant third), (Narrowly avoiding a Hobgoblin uprising by doing so, given that the Over-King has basically been identified as the reincarnation of an ancient Hobgoblin king-arthur-type who would inevitably have ended up as an over-kind whether the Commander set him up as one or not.)

Master_Rahl22
2009-11-10, 01:04 PM
@Tyndmyr: Combat is slow because it is not rocket tag like it was in 3.5. In fact, you even said yourself that save-or-dies are gone, and for most people this is a good thing.

I read your "Casters suck in 4E" as "Casters don't win every time ever always and forever til the end of time amen", which again is a good thing for most people. You no longer give up versatility and ability to contribute because you want to play a rough and tough weapons expert over the bookish master of the arcane.

I agree that very little in 4E is brand new and can't be found in previous editions, but mostly what I like about 4E is the stuff they removed. They removed rules that tried to dictate fluff and made the fluff just what it is meant to be. They removed the extreme fragility of low level characters. They removed the "OMG Caster FTW GG LOL" effect. They removed the save or dies, so no more "Oh you had one die roll not go your way? Sorry make a new character."

@Tiki Snakes: Amen, brother! I love having fewer restrictions on how I RP. There are still some social skills for somebody who wants to play a social character but isn't that way themselves, and for the rest it's just up to the player.

Break
2009-11-10, 01:18 PM
I read your "Casters suck in 4E" as "Casters don't win every time ever always and forever til the end of time amen", which again is a good thing for most people. You no longer give up versatility and ability to contribute because you want to play a rough and tough weapons expert over the bookish master of the arcane.

The impression I got from it was not that casters suck because they're less powerful, but they suck because they're not as distinct from the other classes, likely due to how everyone uses the same power system, whether they're archer or caster (to use Tyndmyr's example). This is a very big difference. I may be filtering the message through my own points, as I have a similar criticism when it comes to 4E casters.

Kylarra
2009-11-10, 01:31 PM
Psion, at least, represents a distinct change from the normal power system. My feeling is that the first classes were simply constructed that way for ease of learning the basics.

On the other hand, while casters aren't distinct for being casters, I do like how in the given role that each class is archetyped into, they have their own flavor for achieving that goal, compared to others in that grouping.

Ormagoden
2009-11-10, 01:32 PM
I've played under several 4e GMs and never had one just let me say "I'll make a [skill] roll." I've always had to explain what I'm trying to do/find/learn before I'm even allowed to make the roll.

Is it common to have skill challenges that are just: make [skill] roll, no exposition/explanation/nothing?

It is with lazy crappy DMs.

I like to hear what people are doing before they roll. If they lay their actions on me all smart like I usually drop the +2 bonus. I generally don't penalize for poor description but its a pet peeve of mine when someone:

Picks up their dice
Rolls it
Looks at it
Picks it up
Announces that the total is "High number"
Announces it was a "_____" check to "_______" the "______"
and then assumes it is a success.

That generally gets you a "Re-roll please" at my table.

I like description and I like rolls after you describe whats your character is doing and when I ask for them. (This has inspired me for another topic THANKS!)

Tyndmyr
2009-11-10, 01:37 PM
The impression I got from it was not that casters suck because they're less powerful, but they suck because they're not as distinct from the other classes, likely due to how everyone uses the same power system, whether they're archer or caster (to use Tyndmyr's example). This is a very big difference. I may be filtering the message through my own points, as I have a similar criticism when it comes to 4E casters.

This is completely correct.

Also, in 3.5, combat wasn't always rocket tag...at least, it isn't unless your DM is remarkably bad. Things like casting grease on a sloping surface can have fun, useful effects that aren't death. They may lead to death rapidly, but a great deal of the fun is in figuring out *how* to use your effects to down people, especially things that weren't designed to be terribly dangerous.

4e has removed a great deal of that, and while I haven't tried psion, the fact that all the base classes use the power system leads to surprisingly little diversity even between classes. If you're a striker, the exact flavor is mostly irrelevant.

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 01:42 PM
Hmm...so with the invoker I could play the Angel Summoner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw)...

Yep. That's what an Invoker looks like.

Tehnar
2009-11-10, 01:46 PM
What I found about 4e is that combat is predictable. What I mean is that in every system during combat there is a time when you can predict how it will turn out. From my experience in 4e, this time comes quickly, in the first few rounds. Once you figure out the outcome, the options remaining are either flee or play the resource conservation game which kind of kills the excitement of combat.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

kc0bbq
2009-11-10, 01:59 PM
Does anyone else feel the same way?I have had plenty of fights where the tide of battle changed multiple times during a single fight, so I disagree.

Draxar
2009-11-10, 02:00 PM
My issues with the skill system is that it's a flat 'you're in or you're out' setup, I like the ability to mix and match, put a couple of points here, a few there, and so forth.

I am curious whether D&D has fixed my other issues with it, given that I've not given it much of a look beyond the core books:

Lack of options – without full on multiclassing, Bob the Wizard can't disarm, bull rush, trip or whatever. In D&D 3-3.5, he might suck at such, but he always has that option. That, I dislike. Sure, your DM can come up with a roll for him to make for it, but the point of the rules is to provide a framework for people to take actions within, so cutting off a whole area with 'you need training to even attempt this' annoys me.

Lack of non-combat options – I looked at the spells, and the number of non-combat things was frankly pitiful. There are the rituals, but those all cost money, and are a pain to learn. No more is there the ability to just go "I start reading his thoughts" or similar.

Either of those been functionally fixed? Because it was that that essentially made me look at 4E as a reasonable tactical combat game, but not something I'd want to roleplay within.

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 02:00 PM
That's because neither side usually has any surprises planned out for later, and open with their Encounters and Dailies.

Remember Return of the Jedi? The battle was predicted from the start by Palpatine, and would have been a correct assessment except for Chewie and the Ewoks taking out the AT-STs on the ground and Luke and Vader killing Palpatine off. Without those two anomalies, the Death Star and the Star Destroyers would have destroyed the Rebel fleet, as Ackbar complains to Lando. Same thing happened in A New Hope: Without Han and Chewie coming out of nowhere to pick off Vader's wingmen and knock the Dark Lord's fighter out of control, it was fairly obvious as soon as Vader appeared that no one was going to be able to get a clear shot at the Death Star's exhaust port.

Combat is predictable early on because early on the forces' respective strengths become clear and barring lucky shots or reinforcements, the battle can easily be extrapolated from there.

tcrudisi
2009-11-10, 02:06 PM
I believe the situation is this:
(a) if a good DM runs an adventure with skill challenges, it will be good.
(b) if a bad DM runs an adventure with skill challenges, it will be annoying.
(c) if a good DM runs an adventure without skill challenges, it will be good.
(d) if a bad DM runs an adventure without skill challenges, it will be annoying.

Whether a session is enjoyable or not depends on whether you have a good DM, and whether that DM uses skill challenges or not is irrelevant.

Of course a good DM can make a game enjoyable and a bad DM can ruin it. That is always true. However, that is not what I was referring to in my earlier post about skill challenges.

In fact, I daresay that the second DM I had was a borderline bad to average-quality DM. The reason his skill challenge was so fun was because of the way that WotC wrote that module. He literally fed it to us as the module prescribed, but the skill challenge itself was so well written that it was amazingly enjoyable. And that was my ultimate point -- skill challenges have evolved since the PHB1 and I feel as though WotC has tapped the potential of what skill challenges can be. It's very rewarding now to do a skill challenge. Sure, a bad DM could still ruin it ... but WotC has figured out how to write them in such a way that they are a blast to play. The next step is articulating it in the DMG3 so that everyone can make their own skill challenges as enjoyable as WotC has recently figured out.

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 02:19 PM
Two misconceptions in my opinion:


"MMOG on paper"
This is a bit too extreme, it feels a LITTLE like a MMO, but not the way these people describe it.

"You need minis to play"

Yes, you do, but guess what? SAME AS 3.5!

Saph
2009-11-10, 02:24 PM
Combat in 4e is actually simpler, in terms of mechanics, than in 3.5. The only reason why combat in 3.5 seems faster is because of the higher lethality of attacks available (I'm talking about the prevalence of save-or-dies and the massive damage dealt by martial classes here). Basically, 3.5 battles are decided whoever wins initiative.

4e battles, on the other hand, are determined by strategy and tactics. Winning initiative still provides a massive advantage, but not as much as in 3.5 where it literally decided the outcome.

:smallsigh:

I'd suggest that if you want to be taken seriously about "clarifying misconceptions about 4e" you might want to avoid spreading misconceptions about all the other editions.

3.5 combat is not determined by who wins initiative. If it was, all combats would be over in 1 round. I'm playing in a Pathfinder game at the moment, and I can't off the top of my head remember a single battle decided that fast. 3.5 combats are decided by a mixture of strategy, tactics, and luck, and the greater the disparity in the two parties' strategy and tactics, the less important luck is.

In general, if you can do well at 3.5 strategy and tactics, you'll find 4e tactics pretty straightforward. I can pretty much play a 4e character on autopilot - it's vastly easy than trying to play a spellcaster in 3.5.

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 02:29 PM
Actually, at lower levels in 3.5, initiative CAN win the battle.

Let me show you an example, I had a pair of orcs ambush 4 level 1 characters, wizard and fighter win initiative, wizard cross bolts one orc, killing it. Fighter charges the other one, killing it.

My gosh.. here I am actually defending 4e, when I regularly criticize it..

tcrudisi
2009-11-10, 02:32 PM
Lack of options without full on multiclassing, Bob the Wizard can't disarm, bull rush, trip or whatever. In D&D 3-3.5, he might suck at such, but he always has that option.

Anyone can bull rush in 4e. It's a core mechanic. See page 287 of the 4e PHB. Trip? That is no longer an "option" per se. Why? Because every class can do it as a part of their powers. It has just been renamed "knocking prone." Since you named Wizard as an example, I will use the Wizard class as my example: Level 1 power, Icy Terrain: knocks a burst 1 (9 squares) worth of creatures prone and deals them damage. Grease, level 1 power: knocks creatures prone if they enter into an area. Phantom Chasm, level 1 power: knocks a burst 1 (9 squares) worth of creatures prone and deals them damage, while also preventing them from being able to move. Sleep, level 1 power: puts a burst 1 worth of creatures to sleep ... which has a side-effect of knocking them prone.

And that is just at level 1. Even better? All those powers key off Intelligence, so the Wizard is far more likely to succeed than a 3 or 3.5 wizard trying to use Str to trip someone.

Now, as for Disarm? I am not aware of any powers in 4e which disarm. Not only can wizards not do it, but Fighters can't either.


Lack of non-combat options I looked at the spells, and the number of non-combat things was frankly pitiful. There are the rituals, but those all cost money, and are a pain to learn. No more is there the ability to just go "I start reading his thoughts" or similar.

The "non-combat" things are your skills and rituals. Rituals cost money just as spells did in 3.5 with material components. Passive (and active) Insight functions wonderfully as a faux-mind reading. Rituals are really no more a pain to learn than spells were in 3.5. Sure, you could find a wizards spellbook in 3.5... but you can find a wizards ritual book in 4e. It costs money to learn, though? Well, they cost money to buy in 3.5 as well, they were just referred to as "scrolls". Really, the only difference is that rituals are specifically designed to be used out-of-combat and powers are designed to be used in combat. Spells were designed to be used in both. It's just different bookkeeping.

I enjoy roleplaying a lot more in 4e than I ever did in 3e. Sure, 4e got rid of a lot of things, but they really simplified it and streamlined it. I'm okay with not having a seperate skill to know what direction I'm walking in. I'm okay with spot, search, and listen being combined into Perception, or with pick pocketing, open locks, and disarm traps being combined into Thievery. It just means that my character, with 2 skills, can have the equivalent of 6 skills in 3rd edition. Plus, 4e really broke new ground with their skill challenges. And, sure, you might find a few things that 3.x can do that 4e can't ... but that doesn't mean that 3.x is a stronger roleplaying system. Any situation that can be roleplayed in 3.x can be roleplayed in 4e. Rules have very little to do with roleplaying ... players do.

Saph
2009-11-10, 02:33 PM
Actually, at lower levels in 3.5, initiative CAN win the battle.

Of course it CAN. That doesn't mean it DOES.

My two longest-running characters in 3.5 games both had initiative modifiers of +1. By level 10, their initiative modifiers had risen to the dizzy heights of +2. By Joseph's reasoning, they would have died in their second combat or so. Skill and build will beat initiative any day.

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 02:36 PM
Good point, but at level 3 I had a monk with initiative +8.

Akal Saris
2009-11-10, 02:55 PM
Initiative is pretty awesome in 3.5, but I'd take a druid with +1 to it over a monk with +8...

Though my conjurer is admittedly an initiative junkie, with +9 at 3rd level :P

Tcrudisi, what were the 2 modules that you mentioned earlier with the skill challenges?

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 03:23 PM
Hey I was new at the time!

tcrudisi
2009-11-10, 03:32 PM
Tcrudisi, what were the 2 modules that you mentioned earlier with the skill challenges?

SPEC 1-3 Ghosts of the Past: Windsong Tower (H2)
and
CORM 1-5 In the Bleak Midwinter

Akal Saris
2009-11-10, 03:45 PM
At least you went for improved initiative instead of endurance though!

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 03:45 PM
At least you went for improved initiative instead of endurance though!

:smallcool: Yeah.

EDIT: woops, just double-checked that old char sheet of mine, I had a +7, not a +8, and I had that at lvl 1

Horatio@Bridge
2009-11-10, 03:54 PM
I don't quite understand how combat is longer in 4e than 3.x, at least on a round by round basis. Ruling out system inexperience, dice rolling and math are the things that take the most time in combat. Just eliminating the full attack option massively reduces the time it takes to resolve a combat round. Having a single damage roll for AoEs also reduces resolution time. As for math, 4e eliminated a lot of the conditional bonuses like the dwarven +1 vs. orcs and goblinoids. Sure, it replaced them with the activated power bonuses like the warlord's +1 for having used X power on his action, but that's usually easier to keep track of since it was activated 5 minutes ago rather than at character creation.

Of course, 4e combats as a whole still last quite a while (normal throwaway combats for me last about half an hour to an hour, while set piece adventure/session climax battles can go for an hour and a half or more), but that's because they tend to be more complex with more going on. More monsters, stuff like that. So, technically, you're getting more game for your buck, to borrow a term. Rather than spending your time rolling dice or doing math, you're spending your time making decisions for your character. Which is, for most people, the fun part.

Hmm...perhaps it would be better to say that 4e makes combat resolution faster, rather than combat itself faster, since that seems to be a more accurate description of what's going on.

Aron Times
2009-11-10, 04:00 PM
I would like to remind everyone that I have been playing 3.5 since the very beginning, and I know the system like the back of my hand. I am not making things up; I am speaking from experience. I don't actually hate 3.0 and 3.5; as mentioned above, I feel that they are two of the best games ever made. I just feel that 4e is a better system to play.

Emphasis on play. 4e was designed with the assumption that it is a game and not an accurate simulation of a fantasy world. Many of its rules are completely unrealistic but make a lot of sense when you think of it as a game.

On the issue of initiative in 3.5...

When I say that combat in 3.5 is decided by whoever wins initiative, I'm not saying that the battle will be over in one round. What I'm saying is that it might as well be over since the side who loses initiative will more often than not lose combatants in the first round, drastically reducing its fighting ability.


Skill and build will beat initiative any day.

True, but assuming equally powerful builds on both sides, the battle will be won by initiative. It won't be over in the first round, but it might as well be. Combat lethality is too high in 3.5 for tactics to actually matter.

Regarding character builds, they matter less in 4e. The gap between highly-optimized characters (like my Argent and my Melisizwe) and unoptimized ones (his party members) is a lot smaller. The game has basically taken complexity out of character creation and moved it to the battlefield.

Another misconception that has popped up in this thread is the idea that 4e has no variety among classes and powers. While it is true that 4e classes use the same basic framework of at-will, encounter, and daily powers, each class plays very differently from each other.

For example, the fighter and the warlord are both melee martial combatants. The similarity ends there.

Playing a fighter involves interposing yourself between the enemy and your allies to provide cover and marking them to keep them from attacking the rest of the party. Combat Superiority keeps the enemy from getting past him and Combat Challenge keeps the enemy from ignoring him. The 4e fighter is basically a mobile wall that protects his party.

On the other hand, playing a warlord involves good party strategy and tactics. Not only does the warlord need to know what his powers do, he also needs to know what his allies' powers do. Many warlord powers grant free actions to party members, usually in the form of basic attacks or movement. Granting a Commander's Strike to the fighter lets him mark an extra target. Granting it to a rogue or a ranger who missed on his turn the chance to deal his Sneak Attack or Hunter's Quarry damage this turn to keep it from going to waste.

Warlords are nowhere as good as fighters at protecting the party. Unlike the fighter, who has Combat Superiority, the warlord's opportunity attacks do not stop the enemy from moving past him. Virtually nothing can get past a narrow passage guarded by a fighter, while just about anyone can get past the same passage guarded by a warlord.

Fighters, on the other hand, cannot substitute for warlords. First, they have no ability to heal fellow party members, and second, none of teir powers involve granting free actions to let other party members act for them. The fighter can't give the rogue a second chance to Sneak Attack this turn nor can he easily heal a fallen party member.

Wow, another long post... Keep 'em coming!

Chrono22
2009-11-10, 04:14 PM
This is not a sign of disrespect. If I don't quote a specific part of your post, it's because I either don't disagree, or don't have an opinion.

I would like to remind everyone that I have been playing 3.5 since the very beginning, and I know the system like the back of my hand. I am not making things up; I am speaking from experience. I don't actually hate 3.0 and 3.5; as mentioned above, I feel that they are two of the best games ever made. I just feel that 4e is a better system to play.

Emphasis on play. 4e was designed with the assumption that it is a game and not an accurate simulation of a fantasy world. Many of its rules are completely unrealistic but make a lot of sense when you think of it as a game.
I mostly agree- 4e is about play. But I don't play RPGs because of their mechanical precision, simplicity, or speed. I play them to roleplay. And 4e doesn't suit my roleplaying style- because it isn't a simulation of reality, nor does it try.
If balance, speed of action, and playability are the primary purpose of play, then chess would be a superior game based solely on those parameters.

Combat lethality is too high in 3.5 for tactics to actually matter.
This isn't true. I can back my statement up with many examples. I'm not going to in this post, because I find the assertion that tactical complexity in 3.5 doesn't exist, is absurd.

The game has basically taken complexity out of character creation and moved it to the battlefield.
The complexity was already there... and in 3.5, there is no ceiling. Combats can be as simple or complex as the players and DM want them to be. In 4e, the emphasis was put on tactics- and powers force players to use them. But the complexity was already there.
I can only imagine someone would think 4e's combats were more tactically complex if they spent most of 3.5 walking up and full attacking; if they didn't put any thought or work into tactics of their own volition.

So, whatever you say about your own experience with 3.5, I can't believe you when you say 3.5 didn't have tactical complexity. It certainly did- choices mattered to a greater degree because of the "lethality" of play. 4e, on the other hand, has training wheels.

Eorran
2009-11-10, 04:14 PM
One of the misconceptions I had when switching from 3.X to 4 revolved around non-combat options. Earlier editions of D&D, from basic through 3.5, had a number of spells that were useful in many different ways. Things like change self, hold portal, invisibility, etc.

4e doesn't have the spells, which initially looks like it doesn't have the options. However, I think it's the job of the group to find ways to do these things. Skills become an important part of every character if the skill can't easily be replicated by magic. I'm willing to make up rituals for stuff that isn't covered by a skill or spell.

For example, an early 4e campaign I DM'd had the players wanting to infiltrate a hobgoblin fortress-city. I didn't think it would work - my previous options like alter self, detect thoughts, and invisibility weren't available to a group of 6 9th level PCs. (Also, I was mostly tired and cranky). Looking back at it, this would have made a great option for a team-based skill challenge, perhaps using a ritual or mundane disguises, and relying on their wits to get them by.

Aside - I like the fact that the only way to defeat monsters is to run out their HP. If HP is an abstraction anyways, one that represents your ability to keep in a fight, then why build in so many workarounds, especially ones that are only available by magic?

Horatio@Bridge
2009-11-10, 04:18 PM
If balance, speed of action, and playability are the primary purpose of play, then chess would be a superior game based solely on those parameters.


By many standards, chess is a superior game. That's why it's been around for thousands of years.

Draxar
2009-11-10, 04:18 PM
Anyone can bull rush in 4e. It's a core mechanic. See page 287 of the 4e PHB. Trip? That is no longer an "option" per se. Why? Because every class can do it as a part of their powers. It has just been renamed "knocking prone." Since you named Wizard as an example, I will use the Wizard class as my example: Level 1 power, Icy Terrain: knocks a burst 1 (9 squares) worth of creatures prone and deals them damage. Grease, level 1 power: knocks creatures prone if they enter into an area. Phantom Chasm, level 1 power: knocks a burst 1 (9 squares) worth of creatures prone and deals them damage, while also preventing them from being able to move. Sleep, level 1 power: puts a burst 1 worth of creatures to sleep ... which has a side-effect of knocking them prone.

And that is just at level 1. Even better? All those powers key off Intelligence, so the Wizard is far more likely to succeed than a 3 or 3.5 wizard trying to use Str to trip someone.

Now, as for Disarm? I am not aware of any powers in 4e which disarm. Not only can wizards not do it, but Fighters can't either.

So a wizard can never actually physically knock someone over, he's got to do it with his magic. And no-one can disarm folks. Eh, not so fond.




The "non-combat" things are your skills and rituals. Rituals cost money just as spells did in 3.5 with material components. Passive (and active) Insight functions wonderfully as a faux-mind reading. Rituals are really no more a pain to learn than spells were in 3.5. Sure, you could find a wizards spellbook in 3.5... but you can find a wizards ritual book in 4e. It costs money to learn, though? Well, they cost money to buy in 3.5 as well, they were just referred to as "scrolls". Really, the only difference is that rituals are specifically designed to be used out-of-combat and powers are designed to be used in combat. Spells were designed to be used in both. It's just different bookkeeping.

Different bookeeping, and less immediate options.

There are plenty of non-combat 3.5 spells that don't have costly material components. The majority of the illusion spells can be dropped in a single round, and without cost, meaning their use is far broader than the 4E costly and slow illusions.

Message is instant intraparty communication. The various charm spells, especially the longer ones like Suggestion and Geas add a whole new set of ways to resolve encounters. And can be cast instantly.

Unseen servant means you can costlessly have a little flunky to help with stuff.

And beyond that, there are a whole load of lovely little spells that do a particular thing in a clever way – like Scholars touch, which allows you to touch a book and read it in a single round, and do so to a bunch of different books during it's duration. I can see a whole host of situations where that'd be useful, from going through the city records to find where the diggings that woke the Mummy occured, to (combined with the conceal spellcasting skill trick), reading the diary of the BBEG's teenage daughter while you're talking to her, allowing you to pick the right arguments that will bring her round to your side.

In 3.xE, magic is a dynamic thing that can quickly do a whole host of things. In 4E, combat magic is a (somewhat) dynamic thing that can quickly do a fair number of things. Non combat magic can do a fair few things, but very slowly. That, I dislike.


I enjoy roleplaying a lot more in 4e than I ever did in 3e.

Okay. I don't. I think we value different things in our roleplay.


Any situation that can be roleplayed in 3.x can be roleplayed in 4e. Rules have very little to do with roleplaying ... players do.

Ah, that old nugget. Yes, roleplay is roleplay not rulesplay. But RPG systems can encourage or discourage roleplay. And to me, 4E discourages it.

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 04:27 PM
Combat in 3.5 IS extremely lethal- but only at low levels.

Aron Times
2009-11-10, 04:27 PM
This isn't true. I can back my statement up with many examples. I'm not going to in this post, because I find the assertion that tactical complexity in 3.5 doesn't exist, is absurd.
Then refute my faulty argument instead of leaving it there.

What I failed to mention was that most of the strategy and tactics in 3.5 were in the planning and preparation stage. Because of the high lethality of the system, in-combat strategy and tactics matter far, far less than that involved in planning and preparing for the fight.

Preparation matters in 4e combat, but so does the in-combat tactics. Because of the reduced lethality, proper movement and positioning of the combatants matters a lot more than in 3.5.

Saph
2009-11-10, 04:28 PM
I would like to remind everyone that I have been playing 3.5 since the very beginning, and I know the system like the back of my hand.

I doubt it, frankly. If you can say something like this:


When I say that combat in 3.5 is decided by whoever wins initiative, I'm not saying that the battle will be over in one round. What I'm saying is that it might as well be over since the side who loses initiative will more often than not lose combatants in the first round, drastically reducing its fighting ability . . .

. . . assuming equally powerful builds on both sides, the battle will be won by initiative. It won't be over in the first round, but it might as well be. Combat lethality is too high in 3.5 for tactics to actually matter.

. . . then you don't know the system anywhere near as well as you think you do. 3.5 tactics are incredibly complex, and take a very long time to become really good at. Saying that whoever wins initiative in 3.5 always wins is like saying whoever plays white in chess always wins. It's so nutty that it's hard to figure out how to answer.

I've been playing 3.5 and 4e since the "very beginning", too, incidentally. Unlike you, I'm not going to claim that either system has no tactics, because it's not true. However, 4e tactics are pretty straightforward compared to 3.5 ones. I don't have to think anywhere near as hard when I'm running a 4e character. Not necessarily a bad thing - the systems are different, that's all.

jseah
2009-11-10, 04:29 PM
True, but assuming equally powerful builds on both sides, the battle will be won by initiative. It won't be over in the first round, but it might as well be. Combat lethality is too high in 3.5 for tactics to actually matter.
Tactical incompatibility can tip battles as well. (anti-mage counterspeller vs summoner? Summoner loses even if he wins init) There are some builds that are just plain weak against certain others. Winning init won't help you there but that's what a party's for right?

Although, this was actually one thing I liked about 3.5. High combat lethality makes strategic planning very important.
I've played in one 4E campaign from start to finish and this situation really clinched it for me:
We were...
1) in a confined tunnel ~7 squares wide
2) got flanked on both ends
3) surprised by one group
4) enemies had at will powers that placed encounter duration 3x3 difficult terrain
5) 2 leader enemies from each end had aura 5 that stunned on hit
6) our cleric was missing from that session
7) half our dailies were blown on a semi-boss fight earlier
By any assessment from a realistic perspective, we should have gotten mauled horribly. We pulled through with 3 of 4 characters dropping below 0 but not actually dead.
We made a strategic blunder, I admit that. We should have gotten punished for it and I think our DM tried to. But 4E's system is so non-lethal that focus fire tactics work better than ambushing. (our group in the middle can concentrate on one flank while the other side enemies have to choose their targets from the mess of difficult terrain)

I suspect our DM played the enemies' tactics reasonably (since they were low int automatons) which meant they went after their nearest targets and we just focus fired. Which did contribute to our victory. I went over the pieces after the battle and concluded that if I was in charge of the attack, and sent the monsters without the flanking ambush, we would have died by the fifth round, tenth at latest.
Flank in tight tunnel is LESS advantageous than force concentration. >.> Something seems wrong to me.

I have a (sometimes unreasonable) hate for big damn heroes who just jump into a situation without a clue about what's going on. IMO, if you jump into a mine of unknown dangers, unknown layout, and definitely hostile enemies, you deserve to get a Tucker's Kobolds pulled on you.

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 04:32 PM
I'll be honest with everyone: I started D&D just a few months before 4e was unleashed, and was right in the middle of the can of worms that was "OOTS convert to 4e?" so I might not know nearly as much of the system as you experts, or at least you claim to be experts, not knowing you, I can't tell.

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 04:35 PM
1) in a confined tunnel ~7 squares wide

That's a huge tunnel for you to be "confined" in. It's roughly 35' wide, enough for a large hallway, or even the nave of a small chapel.

Kesnit
2009-11-10, 04:45 PM
Combat is slow. This seems to be mainly a result of status effects, and the map being an important part of combat, leading to people focusing on the map more. We play with a map in 3.5 as well, but it seems to be somewhat less central to the game.

Combat is not inherently slow. Players playing badly can slow it down. Players who, when their turn comes up, know what they are going to do and roll for it makes combat go very quickly.

There are exceptions, such as the use of a lot of enemies, but as I said, those are exceptions.


This is part of the larger problem of all abilities being mechanically very similar, with an emphasis on damage.

Only if you are playing a Striker. Controller builds focus much more on battlefield control.


This leads into the next complaint. Builds are limited. Each class tends to have two distinct paths/builds for it(often racially focused), and this tends to make certain feats, powers, etc very obvious choices.

I will concede this one.


Oh yes...and combat invariably ends up being a dps race. Save or dies and such are pretty much gone. Debuffs and such are greatly weakened, especially in duration.

What? You mean players have to work together and use tactics?


Obviously, this makes for vastly less diversity in fights.

Only if the players have no imagination.


And my biggest complaint is that 4e offers little that cannot be had in previous editions.

I fail to see where this is a problem.


Instead, 4e only offers a reduction in options, removing many things from 3.x.

Again, most anything removed is because the players and/or DM chose to remove them.

jseah
2009-11-10, 04:45 PM
That's a huge tunnel for you to be "confined" in. It's roughly 35' wide, enough for a large hallway, or even the nave of a small chapel.
If you read further, I later say there's an aura 5 enemy that stuns on both sides.

Suddenly 7 squares doesn't quite seem so much anymore.


What I failed to mention was that most of the strategy and tactics in 3.5 were in the planning and preparation stage. Because of the high lethality of the system, in-combat strategy and tactics matter far, far less than that involved in planning and preparing for the fight.
That is true.

In combat strategy in 3.5 can reduce your losses or amplify your gains. Summoners who choose suitable creatures or a well-placed meta-fireball can save resources and end the fight quicker.

They sometimes can turn a battle around if it's close. A bunch of fighters going at it will benefit massively from tactical superiority. Ever heard of the wizard who cast fly on his party against melee enemies?

The strategic game is at least as important in 3.5 as the tactical game. This allows purely strategic characters to contribute meaningfully.

Your point being?


Preparation matters in 4e combat, but so does the in-combat tactics. Because of the reduced lethality, proper movement and positioning of the combatants matters a lot more than in 3.5.
I say the in-combat tactics is too important. Preparation is very little.

Ambushes net you a few +2s and a free salvo. That's not very important since everything takes at least 5 shots to down. (mooks don't count)
Strategic positioning often divides up your forces. Splitting to attack from both sides means you have less firepower to concentrate and will lose the focus fire benefit. Flanking doesn't even begin to compensate.

Strategic planning in 4E is undermined by reduced lethality and sheer impossibility of gaining an overwhelming advantage. Heck, most enemies even get stronger when you hit them! (bloodied usually does something)

Furthermore, levels are far more important in 4E than in 3.5. Make a strategic blunder in 3.5 and level 10 wizards can be killed by kobolds.
4E? You can't even hit him due to his level bonus to freaking everything. And he slaughters you with at wills.

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 05:04 PM
If you read further, I later say there's an aura 5 enemy that stuns on both sides.

:smallconfused: Nothing has an aura 5 that stuns. Auras (which never require attack rolls) and at-wills never stun, as they would allow unrestricted stunlocking, even more so than an Orbizard. It might have been a close burst 5 encounter power that causes stun (like the Dragons' Frightful Presence power), perhaps with a recharge 6, but other than that I question the monster.

Chrono22
2009-11-10, 05:06 PM
Then refute my faulty argument instead of leaving it there.
The burden of proof lies on the person making a claim. You claim 3.5 tactics don't matter.
All I have to do, is make a case where they can, and it refutes that assertion. So I will. A fighter who charges a large group of foes, is putting himself at a greater tactical risk, because the penalty to his armor class will apply many times (for each surviving foe). Therefore, charging a single foe is tactically superior (and safer), than charging a large number, unless other circumstances are at play.

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 05:07 PM
Probably homebrewed, he said they were constructs of some sort.

Though I don't know how the heck you could homebrew ANYTHING in 4e, its too hard and confusing.

jseah
2009-11-10, 05:13 PM
:smallconfused: Nothing has an aura 5 that stuns. Auras (which never require attack rolls) and at-wills never stun, as they would allow unrestricted stunlocking, even more so than an Orbizard. It might have been a close burst 5 encounter power that causes stun (like the Dragons' Frightful Presence power), perhaps with a recharge 6, but other than that I question the monster.
It's my first and only game. I don't have the DMG... so I don't know what was going on.

All I know is it attacks everything within 5 squares (it's allies were immune) vs will. if it hits, it deals negligible damage and stuns until beginning of next round. Has to hit though, so it's not like it's perma stunlock since the thing only hit around half the time.

Can't remember if it used the monster's actions because the moment that turned up, we all ran away and it helplessly tried to reach us across difficult terrain with a move of 4. =/
Darn corridor. If it wasn't there we could have kited them all to death.

EDIT: No, it doesn't take actions. I recall the things biting the ranger unconcious.

Aron Times
2009-11-10, 05:30 PM
I say the in-combat tactics is too important. Preparation is very little.

Ambushes net you a few +2s and a free salvo. That's not very important since everything takes at least 5 shots to down. (mooks don't count)
Strategic positioning often divides up your forces. Splitting to attack from both sides means you have less firepower to concentrate and will lose the focus fire benefit. Flanking doesn't even begin to compensate.

Strategic planning in 4E is undermined by reduced lethality and sheer impossibility of gaining an overwhelming advantage. Heck, most enemies even get stronger when you hit them! (bloodied usually does something)

Furthermore, levels are far more important in 4E than in 3.5. Make a strategic blunder in 3.5 and level 10 wizards can be killed by kobolds.
4E? You can't even hit him due to his level bonus to freaking everything. And he slaughters you with at wills.

Ambushing the enemy nets you a surprise round and combat advantage. This is basically a free turn for the party. This is enough to take out one or two non-minion enemy combatants. It gets worse when you have a good controller in the party who gets a free turn to stun, daze, immobilize or otherwise disable the enemy party, netting you another free turn.

This is a big deal because combat in 4e assumes near-equal numbers on both sides (excluding minions). In 3.5, an suitable encounter for a party of four level 1 characters is a CR 1 creature. In 4e, the same party of four would face four level 1 monsters. Getting a free turn to take out even just one enemy combatant or force the enemy to waste its first turn drastically reduces the enemy's fighting ability.

Sir Homeslice
2009-11-10, 05:31 PM
Though I don't know how the heck you could homebrew ANYTHING in 4e, its too hard and confusing.

Assuming you're talking about monsters, maybe you should read the DMG as it gives guidelines for that. Assuming you're talking about anything other than classes or monsters, it's not at all difficult. Assuming you're talking about classes, yes, it is.

Aron Times
2009-11-10, 05:33 PM
Probably homebrewed, he said they were constructs of some sort.

Though I don't know how the heck you could homebrew ANYTHING in 4e, its too hard and confusing.
It's actually much easier to homebrew content in 4e than in 3.5. The DMG has guidelines for creating your own monsters with their own custom powers. Also, if you need something to happen in 4e, you can simply say that it happens. Power to the DM!

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 05:39 PM
I TRIED to use the DMG rules for making monsters, far too confusing.

Kantolin
2009-11-10, 05:40 PM
Also, if you need something to happen in 4e, you can simply say that it happens. Power to the DM!

That is hardly something unique to 4e.

It does seem to come up more frequently in 4e than 3.5, but that in no way implies exclusivity.

jseah
2009-11-10, 05:43 PM
Ambushing the enemy nets you a surprise round and combat advantage. This is basically a free turn for the party. This is enough to take out one or two non-minion enemy combatants. It gets worse when you have a good controller in the party who gets a free turn to stun, daze, immobilize or otherwise disable the enemy party, netting you another free turn.
Huh. I must have played in a higher HP game than I thought, since it was never possible to down any enemy in one salvo. Much less the 1-2 attacks that the ranged party members could get off.

I was the wizard. Orbizard with sleep in fact. I did try sleeping them, but monster make their saves too often for it to be much use other than delaying one or two of them for a round.

I don't feel how ambushing is anywhere near as lethal as you make it out to be. Melee combatants cannot close and attack in surprise round, ranged characters (around half the party) alone don't deal enough to down even one guy unless the striker crits.

Sure, sleep or icy terrain helps delay them. It doesn't do much, if anything at all. They just get up and continue.
It helps. They lose an action, maybe an attack. So? Combat lasts more than 10 rounds anyway. I haven't curbed their ability to damage us significantly.


This is a big deal because combat in 4e assumes near-equal numbers on both sides (excluding minions). In 3.5, an suitable encounter for a party of four level 1 characters is a CR 1 creature. In 4e, the same party of four would face four level 1 monsters. Getting a free turn to take out even just one enemy combatant or force the enemy to waste its first turn drastically reduces the enemy's fighting ability.
It does not. Reference my example encounter.

If the enemies had concentrated their forces into one large force, we would have got slaughtered with 3/4 of the party stunned at any round. (since there's basically no way to avoid them) Plus difficult terrain artillery prevents us from retreating. The ambush was detrimental and in fact divided them up so far that we managed to barely win a hopeless battle.
As it was, we piled towards one side and let the difficult terrain stall the other. Focus fire > than surprise and flanking

Chrono22
2009-11-10, 05:53 PM
Focus fire > than surprise and flanking
If this is true (not saying it is or isn't). Then that would mean parties with multiple strikers would unbalance 4e combats in favor of the players.

The groups I've played 4e with only had 1 rogue, but this did seem to be the case- without the rogue, we couldn't kill the monsters fast enough, and therefore suffered more damage. Encounters that were normally cakewalks became far more difficult.

Nightson
2009-11-10, 06:02 PM
While multiple striker parties kill things faster, they are generally easier to kill as well.

jseah
2009-11-10, 06:07 PM
I saw a thread on another forum about the best 4E party composition. I think someone tried to argue that cleric/wizard/striker/striker/striker/etc...

with all of them elves and using bows would work well.

EDIT: and that all of them maxing out perception and being cautious should prevent ambushes.

Aron Times
2009-11-10, 06:10 PM
Combat lasts more than 10 rounds anyway.
10 rounds? A moderately-optimized party can finish a standard to difficult encounter in less than 5 rounds. Just a few weeks ago, we had a discussion in CharOp on whether optimizing your character's at-will powers was necessary since once you reach the paragon tier, with few exceptions, you rarely get to use your at-wills anyway.

On your next combat encounter, note the number of rounds that it takes. I will be very surprised if it lasts the full 10 rounds that you say.

Another thing... Sleep isn't intended to neutralize the entire enemy force. On average, 45% of the targets will fall unconscious and take massive damage from the coup de grace that inevitably follows. Also, while unconscious, those enemies aren't attacking you. Sleep basically reduces the enemy's power by 45%.

jseah
2009-11-10, 06:17 PM
Well, the campaign's over last year. So I won't see much 4e action. =P

Although I think 10 rounds was around normal whenever our DM used monster rules. When our DM did a few encounters with the enemies following standard character creation, battles ended in less than 4.
- Could be that our DM hates using mooks. We often fought 6 or 7 hp-enemies each battle.

Sleep does not neutralize much of the enemy force. It hits 50% of the time, slows, then 25% of the targets go to sleep and half of them wake up every round. And hitting all enemies is difficult. I'm lucky if I manage to get two enemies to suffer a coup de grace.

EDIT: if they're solos or elites, they usually make their saves.

cupkeyk
2009-11-10, 06:19 PM
The same thing I hated about 4e when it came out is the thing i love about it now. in 3.5 i always played coma-mancers. There wasn't combat that I couldn't end in one round. maybe it will last ten but mostly because we had to walk around coup-de-gracing people. I loved doing my maniacal laughter as my opponents fell helpless and paralyzed and i take as much time as necessary to behead them with my soup spoon, and gloat about my 6 strength-- i will tell them that this will be a very-very-very long beheading process.

4e came around and i thought I would like wizard and i hated it. it wasn't the wizard i knew... fine. I was dealing damage and things don't die immediately. I tried warlord. More up to bat to how i want game play to be but I was always running out of HP. I tried bard, I became a band-aid... which i hate. Now i am playing a fighter with a defender-controller build and i am loving it. I can't kill things off as fast but i don't mind. i am playing my role. I make thiongs suck for my opponents and I whittle down their hp until the strikers can finish them off.

Its two different ganmes that don't compare well. that's all.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-10, 06:31 PM
That's because neither side usually has any surprises planned out for later, and open with their Encounters and Dailies.
Yes. Furthermore, I've heard several people claim that on a halfway-decent knowledge check, the DM must show the players the stat blocks for the monsters, so there won't be any surprises there.


And that was my ultimate point -- skill challenges have evolved since the PHB1 and I feel as though WotC has tapped the potential of what skill challenges can be.
This is the exact opposite of my experience with skill challenges in official adventures. Granted, I haven't played every single official adventure, but I haven't seen a single skill challenge that wasn't kludgy and boring.


In general, if you can do well at 3.5 strategy and tactics, you'll find 4e tactics pretty straightforward. I can pretty much play a 4e character on autopilot - it's vastly easy than trying to play a spellcaster in 3.5.
This, absolutely. In terms of a tactical battle game, 4E is sorely lacking in depth. (edit) that's not necessarily a bad thing, because roleplaying isn't supposed to be a tactical battle game. At least for most people.


Anyone can bull rush in 4e. It's a core mechanic. See page 287 of the 4e PHB.
No, the majority of classes can't bull rush in 4E, in that they'll suck at it, are obviously better off using their standard powers, and just won't try it. Although to be fair, the majority of classes can't bull rush in 3E, either.


Now, as for Disarm? I am not aware of any powers in 4e which disarm. Not only can wizards not do it, but Fighters can't either.
It's a paragon fighter power.


Passive (and active) Insight functions wonderfully as a faux-mind reading.
Ah, but you can't specialize in that. You can't become meaningfully better at any skill than your other party members, except by what is determined by your class setup at level one.

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 06:34 PM
It's my first and only game. I don't have the DMG... so I don't know what was going on.

All I know is it attacks everything within 5 squares (it's allies were immune) vs will. if it hits, it deals negligible damage and stuns until beginning of next round. Has to hit though, so it's not like it's perma stunlock since the thing only hit around half the time.

Can't remember if it used the monster's actions because the moment that turned up, we all ran away and it helplessly tried to reach us across difficult terrain with a move of 4. =/
Darn corridor. If it wasn't there we could have kited them all to death.

EDIT: No, it doesn't take actions. I recall the things biting the ranger unconcious.

That's a poorly done monster. None of the constructs have stunning burst powers, and definitely not on a no/free action, which is even worse than the at-will stun in and of itself.

@gamerkid: I have no idea why you thought the 4e DMG's rules on homebrewing monsters was confusing: it details exactly how much HP to give it, what its defenses should be, and roughly what damage it should be able to deal based on what you want it to do. Then by cross-referencing with the Monster Manuals and templates, it isn't hard to assign appropriate bonus abilities like resistances or higher move rates fairly. The fact that it details the monster creation process in such a quick plug 'n chug fashion makes it better than 3.5 in that regard, where CR is a shot in the dark and each RHD has radically different qualities...

Kurald Galain
2009-11-10, 06:44 PM
I don't quite understand how combat is longer in 4e than 3.x, at least on a round by round basis.
The main reason is the existence of lots of little bonuses that really don't matter all that much, but that people do have to keep track of, and that many players attempt to optimize (with a variety of skill therein). For instance, players can think a long time on how to set up a flank. Problem is, unless you're playing a rogue, it doesn't make much of a difference whether you flank or not.

4E is really good at making you care for every +1 to hit or +1 to damage, and for every square of positioning, while simultaneously assuring that it doesn't matter all that much whether you succeed at optimizing those little +1s and squares.

(edit) although it sounds cynical, this is actually one of the game's greatest strengths: it keeps players enthousiastic about the options they're using, while simultaneously making sure that better players don't overshadow the weaker players. Every character is entitled to be cool and powerful.


4e was designed with the assumption that it is a game and not an accurate simulation of a fantasy world. Many of its rules are completely unrealistic but make a lot of sense when you think of it as a game.
Yes. Thus, it should not be surprising that this bothers people who expect their game world to be realistic. Games are about winning; roleplaying is not. Many people play RPGs precisely because they are not "a game" in that fashion.


Combat lethality is too high in 3.5 for tactics to actually matter.
The Test of Spite proves you wrong. 3E is full of countermeasures, counter-counter-measures, immunities, ways to breach immunities, and so forth. 4E has very little of that.


It's actually much easier to homebrew content in 4e than in 3.5.
That is actually a misconception: the way of homebrewing suggested for 4E is indeed easy to do in any other system. In 3E, too, it is easy to take e.g. a goblin and call it a monkey banana-thrower. Ta dah, new enemy! 3E offers the option to also homebrew in additional ways, which you have the option of ignoring.


Focus fire > than surprise and flanking
That is correct. Circumstances that would give you a bonus, like flanking and surprise, in 4E give you a tiny bonus that doesn't stack. As a result, circumstances become much less important, and consistent damage is key to winning most combats.

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 06:56 PM
@gamerkid: I have no idea why you thought the 4e DMG's rules on homebrewing monsters was confusing: it details exactly how much HP to give it, what its defenses should be, and roughly what damage it should be able to deal based on what you want it to do. Then by cross-referencing with the Monster Manuals and templates, it isn't hard to assign appropriate bonus abilities like resistances or higher move rates fairly. The fact that it details the monster creation process in such a quick plug 'n chug fashion makes it better than 3.5 in that regard, where CR is a shot in the dark and each RHD has radically different qualities...

Maybe I just am more used to the 3.5 method, besides, I miss prestige classes.

Draxar
2009-11-10, 07:08 PM
No, the majority of classes can't bull rush in 4E, in that they'll suck at it, are obviously better off using their standard powers, and just won't try it. Although to be fair, the majority of classes can't bull rush in 3E, either.


(Disarm): It's a paragon fighter power.


Ah, but it doesn't matter if they suck at it; the context of the question is that I was complaining about the inability to have a breadth of options in combat, even if they are sub-obtimal.


Ah, but you can't specialize in that. You can't become meaningfully better at any skill than your other party members, except by what is determined by your class setup at level one.

Heh. And that is why I dislike it.

My current backup character in the Eberron game is something based off this Joker BBEG build (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5496158), adjusted for the fact it's a level 8 PC. His direct combat ability is awful, he has a Spiked Chain for the look of it (yes, he can use it, but not that well). He's ditched inspire courage and inspire competence for stuff that helps him mess with people.

His spell list looks like this:0th level: Read Magic, Prestigitation, Message, Detect Magic, Songbird, Stick
1st level: Improvisation, Stay the Hand, Charm Person, Magic Mouth
2nd Level: Mesmirising Glare, Detect Thoughts, Tongues, Minor Image
3rd Level: Major Image Lesser Geas

He has no direct damage spells, or combat buffs at all. He's all about messing with people, both through diplomacy and bluff, and through bardic and spell effects. He's much more powerful outside combat, and he heavily pulls on the fact that there's a lot you can do quickly and easily outside combat with spells in 3.5.

I really don't think I could build him in 4E.

SmartAlec
2009-11-10, 07:28 PM
Ah, but it doesn't matter if they suck at it; the context of the question is that I was complaining about the inability to have a breadth of options in combat, even if they are sub-obtimal.

What you describe seems to be only the illusion of choice, and a poor illusion at that. I don't think it's the breadth of the options that's important - it's the breadth of viable options.

Draxar
2009-11-10, 07:43 PM
What you describe seems to be only the illusion of choice, and a poor illusion at that. I don't think it's the breadth of the options that's important - it's the breadth of viable options.

Viability depends on the level of what the DM is throwing at you, and what the other characters are like, buildwise.

Breadth of viable options is what's important to you. But to me, it's important that my Wizard can still try and disarm people, even if he'll suck at it. I'd say this is a matter of personal taste, not a question of right or wrong.

But then, there's also the fact that a Wizard who took the right feats, a couple of magic items, and so forth, could actually get quite good at disarming. He'd be a slightly less good wizard, and he wouldn't be a tip-top disarmer, but in a group that's not too heavily set on optimisation he'd do quite well. And that's without taking any prestige classes or anything.

SmartAlec
2009-11-10, 07:48 PM
But then, there's also the fact that a Wizard who took the right feats, a couple of magic items, and so forth, could actually get quite good at disarming. He'd be a slightly less good wizard, and he wouldn't be a tip-top disarmer, but in a group that's not too heavily set on optimisation he'd do quite well. And that's without taking any prestige classes or anything.

You can do that in 4th Ed too. It just involves multiclassing to Fighter, which I don't see as unreasonable.

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 08:21 PM
Maybe I just am more used to the 3.5 method, besides, I miss prestige classes.

Paragon Paths for players and templates for monsters. Same idea, but you get to progress your original powers regardless of your choice of Paragon Path.

As for disarming, it's not a very effective method of fighting, since it's actually very hard to pull off at all on purpose, and doesn't kill the guy.

If you really want to make a disarming attack for every character in 4e, then I'd do something like this, which represents knocking the opponent's weapon out of the way:
Disabling Strike, At-Will Attack
At-Will * Weapon
Standard Action, Melee Weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Strength vs Fortitude
Hit: Target takes a -2 penalty to melee attack rolls until the end of your next turn.
Special: This power is a melee basic attack.

For extra disarming-ness, you could possibly add the following clause:
If you score a critical hit with this power, the target instead takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls and is weakened (save ends both)

My current backup character in the Eberron game is something based off this Joker BBEG build (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5496158), adjusted for the fact it's a level 8 PC. His direct combat ability is awful, he has a Spiked Chain for the look of it (yes, he can use it, but not that well). He's ditched inspire courage and inspire competence for stuff that helps him mess with people.

His spell list looks like this:0th level: Read Magic, Prestigitation, Message, Detect Magic, Songbird, Stick
1st level: Improvisation, Stay the Hand, Charm Person, Magic Mouth
2nd Level: Mesmirising Glare, Detect Thoughts, Tongues, Minor Image
3rd Level: Major Image Lesser Geas

He has no direct damage spells, or combat buffs at all. He's all about messing with people, both through diplomacy and bluff, and through bardic and spell effects. He's much more powerful outside combat, and he heavily pulls on the fact that there's a lot you can do quickly and easily outside combat with spells in 3.5.

I really don't think I could build him in 4E.That's because you're complaining that the combat powers don't have much out of combat capability. A Bard like this in 4e would pick powers like Vicious Mockery, where the damage is mostly a side-effect of you getting it that angry, as well as Charm powers which make the target look like an idiot on a hit. The remaining abilities I would mark up to Arcana, Diplomacy, and Bluff checks or rituals. Also worth looking into would be Wizard multiclass, since Arcane Power introduced Illusionist Wizard build (which has stat synergy with the Cunning Bard).

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 08:26 PM
It just doesn't feel the same, I guess, besides, its kinda restricting, to be a Angelic Aspect you HAVE to be an invoker, to be a Sky hunter you HAVE to be a druid, etc. In 3.5, as long as you multiclassed a little, picked the correct skills and the right feats, you could easily qualify for a prestige class.

Asbestos
2009-11-10, 08:29 PM
It just doesn't feel the same, I guess, besides, its kinda restricting, to be a Angelic Aspect you HAVE to be an invoker, to be a Sky hunter you HAVE to be a druid, etc. In 3.5, as long as you multiclassed a little, picked the correct skills and the right feats, you could easily qualify for a prestige class.

Uh... you can be either of those if you Multiclass into the respective classes as well (at the cost of a single feat!)

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 08:30 PM
Oh sorry I didn't know that, I though those multiclass feats just let you gain some of its powers.

Asbestos
2009-11-10, 08:33 PM
That's because you're complaining that the combat powers don't have much out of combat capability. A Bard like this in 4e would pick powers like Vicious Mockery, where the damage is mostly a side-effect of you getting it that angry, as well as Charm powers which make the target look like an idiot on a hit. The remaining abilities I would mark up to Arcana, Diplomacy, and Bluff checks or rituals. Also worth looking into would be Wizard multiclass, since Arcane Power introduced Illusionist Wizard build (which has stat synergy with the Cunning Bard).

Left out how insanely easy it is for his character to pick up a Spiked Chain which, for say... Valorous bards, is not that bad.
Does that Spike Chain feat that makes it count as a light blade also let it count as one for enchantments? Cause then he could put on one of those enchantments that'd make it a bardic implement.

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 08:33 PM
Oh sorry I didn't know that, I though those multiclass feats just let you gain some of its powers.

That's one of the powers it gives you. :smalltongue:

(And that's what this thread is for, anyway...)

Straight from the PHB:
"A character who has taken a class-specific multiclass feat counts as a member of that class for the purpose of meeting prerequisites for [...] qualifying for paragon paths."

Asbestos
2009-11-10, 08:34 PM
Oh sorry I didn't know that, I though those multiclass feats just let you gain some of its powers.

They do, but they also let you count as that class for Paragon Paths, Epic Destinies, and Feats (and whatever else)

Gamerlord
2009-11-10, 08:38 PM
Ok sorry, a misconception I had.

Draxar
2009-11-10, 09:08 PM
That's because you're complaining that the combat powers don't have much out of combat capability.

But classes don't get non-combat powers. They get skills. And there are rituals, which everyone gets, and which always take a while, and which always cost money. Which I find rather offensive. To blast someone with fire is something that you just concentrate on, and it happens, but to send a message to someone, to make an illusion, to do anything that's not based around hurting stuff, or helping others hurt stuff, these always cost money? That sucks.



A Bard like this in 4e would pick powers like Vicious Mockery, where the damage is mostly a side-effect of you getting it that angry, as well as Charm powers which make the target look like an idiot on a hit. The remaining abilities I would mark up to Arcana, Diplomacy, and Bluff checks or rituals.

But he still lacks any supernatural means to make someone angry. Or charm them to his side, or read their mind. Yes, some of that you can do with just skills, but I find it laughable that magical power can be bent only quickly to martial aims.


Also worth looking into would be Wizard multiclass, since Arcane Power introduced Illusionist Wizard build (which has stat synergy with the Cunning Bard).

It's still far more limited. And I dislike the restrictions on 'this is when you do this, this is when you multiclass, this is when you prestige, and so forth.

Can a bard-esque character in 4E do the following at a speed and ease to make it practical?

Read minds. Actually read them, not 'guess what he's thinking with a good diplomacy roll'.
Make someone forget something, or otherwise alter their memory
Suddenly discovering the people he's trying to persuade not to kill him don't speak his language, be able to converse with them somehow
General purpose telekinesis
Telekinetic force butler.
Lasting mental influence (a la Suggestion, or Geas on the blunter side)
Use magic to aid his use of skills
Walk through a wall
Cover up his scent, and tracks
Cheat at cards
Communicate quietly over distance with allies with some duration
Make someone want, fear, hate, or otherwise deeply affect their emotions about a given thing that isn't neccessarily you
Detect particular items
Make others invisible
Determine a creatures strengths or weaknesses
Use other creatures senses
Temporaarily or permanently create mundane useful objects that are needed for a particular task.
Fly for more than 2 rounds at once
Determine what magic is currently active in an area or on a creature
Walk on walls

I am actually quite curious to see which of those 4E can actually manage.

And I will repeat: I am not saying 4E is bad. It's just not what I want to play.

Draxar
2009-11-10, 09:12 PM
Left out how insanely easy it is for his character to pick up a Spiked Chain which, for say... Valorous bards, is not that bad.
Does that Spike Chain feat that makes it count as a light blade also let it count as one for enchantments? Cause then he could put on one of those enchantments that'd make it a bardic implement.

The spiked chain is largely a side thing – I decided/realised that the character wanted a spike chain, so I took the feat to have one. I'm taking it as a weapon of legacy and it gets vaugely okay from that, though the character is very much not a great figher.

cupkeyk
2009-11-10, 09:26 PM
But classes don't get non-combat powers. They get skills. And there are rituals, which everyone gets, and which always take a while, and which always cost money. Which I find rather offensive. To blast someone with fire is something that you just concentrate on, and it happens, but to send a message to someone, to make an illusion, to do anything that's not based around hurting stuff, or helping others hurt stuff, these always cost money? That sucks.

But bards get words of friendship at first level. And they have non combat utility powers at every level it becomes available including something of an alter self for RP purposes. They even have fast friends which is a lousy encounter power but good rp wise.

Other classes get non (out of) combat powers too. A shifter pp gets him a shapechange into a large cat or wolf power that has no combat statistics whatsoever, just fluff and maybe rp. A wizard can summon a snake, have it sneak around and look through its eyes. There is even a warlock power that requires you to be out of combat. It forces the opponent to tell the truth as long it is helpless (tied down, sleeping, etc...)

when we changed from 3.5 to 4.0, our rp has not changed at all.

SmartAlec
2009-11-10, 09:31 PM
But classes don't get non-combat powers. They get skills. And there are rituals, which everyone gets, and which always take a while, and which always cost money. Which I find rather offensive. To blast someone with fire is something that you just concentrate on, and it happens, but to send a message to someone, to make an illusion, to do anything that's not based around hurting stuff, or helping others hurt stuff, these always cost money? That sucks.

I felt it made sense, in a way. The fireball is literally snatching some power out of the air, giving it a twist, and throwing it. To do something permanent, long-lasting or long-distance, resources need to be put in to make it stick. Maybe it comes from playing Ars Magica.



Can a bard-esque character in 4E do the following at a speed and ease to make it practical?

Would you agree that it's actually a good thing that the designers seem to have sat down and thought, "How can we stop casters from breaking perfectly good storylines and plots"? 4th Ed doesn't just serve game balance, but story balance as well.

Draxar
2009-11-10, 09:54 PM
I felt it made sense, in a way. The fireball is literally snatching some power out of the air, giving it a twist, and throwing it. To do something permanent, long-lasting or long-distance, resources need to be put in to make it stick. Maybe it comes from playing Ars Magica.

Possibly. But a lot of the things I'm after are neither long distance, long lasting or permanent. To nab some stuff from my list, I'll specify:

- Walk through a wall
- Cheat at cards
- Temporarily create useful mundane items
- Read or alter minds.

I don't see that there is any difference between the type of power needed to do combat stuff, and the type of power needed to do those three.



Would you agree that it's actually a good thing that the designers seem to have sat down and thought, "How can we stop casters from breaking perfectly good storylines and plots"? 4th Ed doesn't just serve game balance, but story balance as well.

No. But I can see where you're coming from. I still disagree, for three reasons:

As mentioned, I find the difference between what you can do with combat powers and what you can do outside combat a strain on my disbelief. If they'd actually structured the way magic works in that way, then I could see it. If magic couldn't affect the mind (i.e. no illusion, no telepathy, no mental influence, no pushing data into your mind), or couldn't create an effect that lasts beyond 10 seconds, and it specifically was that way, then that would be be better – they would be justifying it.

Without said justification, I can't really believe the setup. With it, I'd probably still find the game painfully hobbled – I like the idea that I use magical power to mess with your mind, to reshape the world, that's one of the appeals of fantasy gaming for me – but at least it would feel internally consistent..

Secondly, I can see that some DMs would rather people deal with their plots in a largely mundane fashion, but again, the options opened by clever use of magic are too fun, and open too many new possibilities, for me to want to lose them. There are too many fun solutions, like the aforemention diary-reading gambit. And there are too many fun problems that can be created by magic.

Thirdly: If I want to play a game where I'm using mundane means to solve problems, I'll play something that isn't D&D – magic is pervasive in D&D, and its uses should be too.

Edit: Just so people are aware, when they're quoting stuff from books at me – I've only read the three core books for 4E, as given that they didn't leave me wanting to play the system, I haven't got more books.

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 09:58 PM
Can a bard-esque character in 4E do the following at a speed and ease to make it practical?
Some of them, and it depends on whether or not you think you can wait for just ten minutes outside of combat. If you need it right now in the middle of a fight, 4e wants you to kill or disable all of the monsters first.

Read minds. Actually read them, not 'guess what he's thinking with a good diplomacy roll'.No, but a telepath Psion may be able to once they're released in full next year...

Make someone forget something, or otherwise alter their memoryOther than Psion powers? Memory Seal, which takes an hour, but permanently shuts off a memory. Unfortunately, it's also a level 18 ritual.

Suddenly discovering the people he's trying to persuade not to kill him don't speak his language, be able to converse with them somehowSuddenly? Other than a DM allowing you to go with an increased DC Diplomacy roll, no. If you know they don't speak your language, you can prepare Comprehend Languages ahead of time, which now lasts all day.

General purpose telekinesisWizard, or grab the magic item(s) that allow for at-will use of Magic Hand and/or Prestidigitation. Don't know how those fit with a Bard in and of themselves, though, so I suppose that's why WotC didn't give Bards that power.

Telekinetic force butler.Unseen Servant, level 1 ritual that lasts all day.

Lasting mental influence (a la Suggestion, or Geas on the blunter side)Memory Seal for permanent memory alteration, or Mark of Justice to force a character to perform in a certain way. Takes ten minutes like Geas/Quest does, though. Short-term, there's daily powers that Dominate (save ends), which is rather powerful...

Use magic to aid his use of skillsMost skill-related utility powers, the Bard's Word of Friendship power, or several rituals.

Walk through a wallPasswall, Wizard's Escape (lasts 10 minutes after the 10 minute casting time, so can be used in preparation for an encounter), or the powers of certain utility powers and magic items that allow no line-of-sight short-range teleportation...

Cover up his scent, and tracksTrailblaze lasts 8 hours and increases the check for tracking the party by 5. Elves can do it for free with a single feat.

Cheat at cardsMost likely a bluff check anyway. I'd allow any powers that boost Bluff to allow you to cheat at cards.

Communicate quietly over distance with allies with some durationPsions can do it, as can several item powers. Other than that, the Sending ritual. Fool's Speech allows you to give you and your allies a secret language that's otherwise unintelligible.

Make someone want, fear, hate, or otherwise deeply affect their emotions about a given thing that isn't neccessarily youCould be the fluff of a dominate-type power, or the result of a Diplomacy check (or Diplomacy-based Ritual). Depends on what you're asking specifically.

Detect particular itemsThe Detect item ritual set, or the Detect Magic use of Arcana.

Make others invisibleInvisible Troupe allows the entire party to become invisible for a turn once every five minutes, and other powers allow temporary invisibility. Other than that, WotC doesn't use it because they know someone's going to break it.

Determine a creatures strengths or weaknessesKnowledge skill checks, which are likely to succeed due to a Bard's numerous skills, the Cunning Bard's decent Int, and their +1 bonus to all untrained skills.

Use other creatures sensesInquisitive's Eyes lets you see back in time, Wizard's Sight creates a magic sensor, and Share Husk lets you possess an animal for up to a day.

Temporaarily or permanently create mundane useful objects that are needed for a particular task.Mundane? Not really, but there's a couple of Scales of War backgrounds that can do so with sufficient time, and the Create Campsite ritual cuts down your tent-pitching and campfire-making time to only 10 minutes. Duplicate lets you copy a small item you've already got, and there's several powers and rituals that create fake items, and there's rituals for making real magic items, but I haven't seen any rituals or powers that allow for making real mundane items on the spot yet.

Fly for more than 2 rounds at onceI wish, other than Overland Flight, which is horrible now, but always affects the entire party... and a few Paragon Paths and at least one Epic Destiny allow for at-will flight.

Determine what magic is currently active in an area or on a creatureDetect Magic, an ability of the Arcana skill.

Walk on wallsNumerous Rogue powers (not sure on any Bard ones), some item powers.

cupkeyk
2009-11-10, 10:03 PM
There are bard ritual.. level 8 i think( and that they can cast for free once per day) that allows them to move a single person into believing that they are an ally. A higher level version allows them to do it to a crowd. You'll need to speak to it/them for ten minutes. A kalashtar bard can do it telepathically without a language.

TheEmerged
2009-11-10, 10:10 PM
Suddenly? Other than a DM allowing you to go with an increased DC Diplomacy roll, no. If you know they don't speak your language, you can prepare Comprehend Languages ahead of time, which now lasts all day.

If the bard is that one psionic race from Eberron -- Kalashtar I believe? -- then he can understand anything someone says within range thanks to having Telepathy as a language. I'm hoping an explanation for how to learn the Telepathy language is in PHB3 :smallredface:

SmartAlec
2009-11-10, 10:11 PM
I don't see that there is any difference between the type of power needed to do combat stuff, and the type of power needed to do those three.

Here's the rationale my friends came up with.

- 3rd Ed wizards are all about trapping energy and storing it, in the form of spells. The spells themselves are incantations which are intended to ensure the energy takes a particular shape; the feeling is that the more complex and intricate the incantation, the more subtle and complex the spell's effect. In a way, spells are like moulds, with the magic as something like clay or cement; you 'pour' the magic into a spell, let it 'harden', and store it inside your head. It is then safe for later use.

- 4th Ed wizards are about drawing energy directly out of the ether, and shaping it on the fly. The spells are still incantations, but rather than trapping the magic, they merely shape it prior to it being released again. To follow the previous metaphor, whereas a 3rd Ed wizard uses moulds to shape clay, the 4th Ed wizard is tossed a piece of clay and then has to quickly mould it into something before throwing it back. There's a good chance that the 4th Ed wizard will be able to produce something simple and inelegant but functional, but the kind of complex effects the 3rd Ed wizard could create aren't possible.

Thus, something like reading minds or tweaking emotions instantly and on command is simply beyond a 4th Ed wizard's means - the energy they use isn't the same kind of energy that the 3rd Ed wizard uses, and can't be used for that kind of fine-tuning. Burning out a mind, sure. Stunning it, yup. Reading it, probably not.

Edit - this isn't something we just made up, this is how the 4th Ed wizard is presented in the book; a direct manipulator of cosmic energy. That's why all the combat effects are quick and dirty, so to speak.

Asbestos
2009-11-10, 10:14 PM
But classes don't get non-combat powers. They get skills. And there are rituals, which everyone gets, and which always take a while, and which always cost money. Which I find rather offensive. To blast someone with fire is something that you just concentrate on, and it happens, but to send a message to someone, to make an illusion, to do anything that's not based around hurting stuff, or helping others hurt stuff, these always cost money? That sucks.

Had to break this down:
"Which Everyone Gets": In the same sense that 'everyone' in 3.x can cast 1st level Wizard spells, yes. But not every class gets rituals for free and therefor they need to spend a feat if they want to cast rituals. Even if they do, they might not have the requisite skills (a standard Rogue for example would have a rough time with Raise Dead or Remove Affliction)

"Always take a While": Indeed, Rituals can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour to complete. I have never found this to really impede on my out of combat performance.

"Always cost money": Not 100% true, several classes/some feats have the ability to cast a Ritual or two for free. Beyond that, in 3.x terms, plenty of spells had some sort of inherent monetary cost (Raise Dead is a good example).

Thajocoth
2009-11-10, 10:21 PM
Can a bard-esque character in 4E do the following at a speed and ease to make it practical?

Read minds. Actually read them, not 'guess what he's thinking with a good diplomacy roll'.
Make someone forget something, or otherwise alter their memory
Suddenly discovering the people he's trying to persuade not to kill him don't speak his language, be able to converse with them somehow
General purpose telekinesis
Telekinetic force butler.
Lasting mental influence (a la Suggestion, or Geas on the blunter side)
Use magic to aid his use of skills
Walk through a wall
Cover up his scent, and tracks
Cheat at cards
Communicate quietly over distance with allies with some duration
Make someone want, fear, hate, or otherwise deeply affect their emotions about a given thing that isn't neccessarily you
Detect particular items
Make others invisible
Determine a creatures strengths or weaknesses
Use other creatures senses
Temporaarily or permanently create mundane useful objects that are needed for a particular task.
Fly for more than 2 rounds at once
Determine what magic is currently active in an area or on a creature
Walk on walls

A Bard is someone who sings to effect the battle. Most of those don't make sense for what it means to be a Bard. However I'll add a few points to an otherwise excellent post a few posts above mine.

"Read minds. Actually read them, not 'guess what he's thinking with a good diplomacy roll'." - Prescient Bards can, once per encounter, already know what the enemy was about to do, sing about it in their song, and give their ally a defense bonus. Also, it's Insight to guess at what somebody's thinking. Not Diplomacy.

"Suddenly discovering the people he's trying to persuade not to kill him don't speak his language, be able to converse with them somehow" - They can cast rituals... Comprehend Language is a useful ritual. However, if the person can't understand you, it's only a -5 or -10 to the check I think... For a very diplomatic Bard, that might not even be that big a hindrance.

"Make someone want, fear, hate, or otherwise deeply affect their emotions about a given thing that isn't neccessarily you" - Misdirected Mark - Bard at-will power. It marks an enemy for an ally. This means the enemy is paying close attention to that ally, so they have -2 to hit anyone except for that ally.

Starsinger
2009-11-10, 10:24 PM
In a way, 4e characters are a lot more mundane than 3.5 characters, especially the casters. With the severe lack of world bending utility magic, players are forced to act like... people. When you can't magic away everything that annoys you, it tends to make casters less... smug. Or so I think anyways.

I say leave the world bending magic to the NPCs who need it, like Oracles or Magewrights.

Shadow_Elf
2009-11-10, 10:42 PM
tl;dr

But on the subject of skill challenges, I recently ran a skill challenge in a one-off. It was an elemental storm, and the PCs had to roll skills to magically protect themselves, find cover, or dodge the weather.

It ended up being a lot of fun, because I ran out of random elements to throw at them, and they started suggesting things to fall out of the sky. The last two waves of the storm were hail the size of mini vans and lava sharks.

Yes, it actually rained lava sharks.

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-10, 10:47 PM
Yes, it actually rained lava sharks.

I guess that's what happens when a magical tropical storm passes over an Ocean of Lava. :)

Shadow_Elf
2009-11-10, 10:54 PM
I guess that's what happens when a magical tropical storm passes over an Ocean of Lava. :)

The story was that a crazy dragonborn sorcerer had opened a portal to the elemental chaos and was letting the weather through. I guess anything is possible in the elemental chaos, right? Even rain condensing into lava sharks?

Draxar
2009-11-10, 11:07 PM
A Bard is someone who sings to effect the battle. Most of those don't make sense for what it means to be a Bard. However I'll add a few points to an otherwise excellent post a few posts above mine.

A bard can do so much more than 'sing to affect the battle'. Beyond that, my comments were general on magic, not specific to my particular bard.


"Read minds. Actually read them, not 'guess what he's thinking with a good diplomacy roll'." - Prescient Bards can, once per encounter, already know what the enemy was about to do, sing about it in their song, and give their ally a defense bonus. Also, it's Insight to guess at what somebody's thinking. Not Diplomacy.

But they can't tell that he's hoping you don't throw fire at him, as he's afraid of fire. Or get the name of the guy you're looking for flashing up in his memory when you ask him about it. It's a combat power. Not mind reading.


"Make someone want, fear, hate, or otherwise deeply affect their emotions about a given thing that isn't neccessarily you" - Misdirected Mark - Bard at-will power. It marks an enemy for an ally. This means the enemy is paying close attention to that ally, so they have -2 to hit anyone except for that ally.

Does it affect emotions in a manner that would be useful in an out of combat situation?

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 11:16 PM
A bard can do so much more than 'sing to affect the battle'. Beyond that, my comments were general on magic, not specific to my particular bard.

...But singing/performing is the point of a bard. They're not just another arcanist, they're singing arcanists.

Horatio@Bridge
2009-11-10, 11:17 PM
Probably homebrewed, he said they were constructs of some sort.

Though I don't know how the heck you could homebrew ANYTHING in 4e, its too hard and confusing.

As someone who's DMed 3.x, nWoD, and Exalted extensively, I practically weep every time I go back to those systems after having run 4e just a couple of times. 4e makes the DM's job, whether it be game prep, homebrewing, or making NPCs, so much easier...well, I have a hard time coming up with words to say how much easier it is. It's enough to make me want to play it exclusively, though I can't figure out how to get nWoD and Exalted to convert correctly.


Example of how group fought its way out of an ambush...Focus fire > than surprise and flanking

Actually...have you read the novelization of the Chronicles of Riddick? That's pretty much exactly how the planetary forces at the beginning of the book/movie planned to escape their encirclement...which probably would have worked if it hadn't been for those darn gravity bombs. I suspect that focused fire on one side of a flanking position is pretty much exactly how one is supposed to respond to that situation, so I'd say it's not so much of a surprise that it worked. So, this example speaks less to the weaknesses of 4e and more to your group's strength as tacticians. Have you considered a career in the armed forces?


But classes don't get non-combat powers. They get skills. And there are rituals, which everyone gets, and which always take a while, and which always cost money. Which I find rather offensive.

List of stuff he'd like to see in 4e



Actually, I think utility powers are supposed to be the design space in which to accomplish the things you've mentioned so far. Of course, utility powers might not do everything you've asked for yet, but the game is still fairly young. For instance, there's a new mechanic coming out in PHB3 that will address this sort of thing to some degree. So it's not really that 4e can't do what you're looking for so much as it hasn't yet...which is very much not the same thing.

Mando Knight
2009-11-10, 11:23 PM
It's enough to make me want to play it exclusively, though I can't figure out how to get nWoD and Exalted to convert correctly.

For Exalted you might be able to start somewhere in Paragon, with most campaigns running through high Epic easily... and you'd have to have the right kind of players, the hot-blooded kind who don't mind you describing the characters as avatars of awesome...

Teron
2009-11-10, 11:30 PM
A Bard is someone who sings to effect the battle. Most of those don't make sense for what it means to be a Bard. However I'll add a few points to an otherwise excellent post a few posts above mine.
If they don't make sense for a 4th Edition bard, it's because the definition of a bard has changed. In 3rd Edition, bards are jacks-of-all-trades and particularly masters of mundane and magical social and mental manipulation. For example, modify memory (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/modifyMemory.htm) is a spell that's only available to bards in core.


"Read minds. Actually read them, not 'guess what he's thinking with a good diplomacy roll'." - Prescient Bards can, once per encounter, already know what the enemy was about to do, sing about it in their song, and give their ally a defense bonus. Also, it's Insight to guess at what somebody's thinking. Not Diplomacy.
That's not mind-reading in any meaningful sense; it's just a combat buff with vaguely related fluff. Proper mind-reading should let you actually get information out of someone's head.


"Suddenly discovering the people he's trying to persuade not to kill him don't speak his language, be able to converse with them somehow" - They can cast rituals... Comprehend Language is a useful ritual. However, if the person can't understand you, it's only a -5 or -10 to the check I think... For a very diplomatic Bard, that might not even be that big a hindrance.
He said "suddenly" for a reason -- rituals with casting times measured in minutes won't help if tribal types with spears think you're looking to pee in their sacred volcano or something.


"Make someone want, fear, hate, or otherwise deeply affect their emotions about a given thing that isn't neccessarily you" - Misdirected Mark - Bard at-will power. It marks an enemy for an ally. This means the enemy is paying close attention to that ally, so they have -2 to hit anyone except for that ally.

Again, that's not mental manipulation, it's just fiddling with attack bonuses. This (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/charmPerson.htm) is manipulation. The aforementioned modify memory is manipulation. And this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dominatePerson.htm) is proper mind control, not that neutered "save ends" crap.

krossbow
2009-11-11, 12:46 AM
Actually...have you read the novelization of the Chronicles of Riddick? That's pretty much exactly how the planetary forces at the beginning of the book/movie planned to escape their encirclement...which probably would have worked if it hadn't been for those darn gravity bombs. I suspect that focused fire on one side of a flanking position is pretty much exactly how one is supposed to respond to that situation, so I'd say it's not so much of a surprise that it worked. So, this example speaks less to the weaknesses of 4e and more to your group's strength as tacticians. Have you considered a career in the armed forces?




In a real life situation, you get flanked completely, your dead. no ifs ands or buts, the foe WILL cut you to shreds. in those situations you usually are forced to hunker down and call for someone else to dig you out; attempting to fight out of a flank more often than not just gets you cut down.

the chronicles of riddick is a horrible example of fighting; riddick just one half the time because he was ridick, all other information be damned.

Vic_Sage
2009-11-11, 01:39 AM
In a real life situation, you get flanked completely, your dead. no ifs ands or buts, the foe WILL cut you to shreds. in those situations you usually are forced to hunker down and call for someone else to dig you out; attempting to fight out of a flank more often than not just gets you cut down.
This isn't real life.

Thajocoth
2009-11-11, 01:46 AM
If they don't make sense for a 4th Edition bard, it's because the definition of a bard has changed. In 3rd Edition, bards are jacks-of-all-trades and particularly masters of mundane and magical social and mental manipulation. For example, modify memory (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/modifyMemory.htm) is a spell that's only available to bards in core.

I'm not talking about 4th edition Bards. I'm talking about the English word "Bard". It seems to me they're using the same definition as the English language uses, but adding magical power to their verse and branching out what sorts of instruments they can play.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bard

cupkeyk
2009-11-11, 01:47 AM
now its a 3.5e vs. 4.0e vs. RL deathmatch!

Asbestos
2009-11-11, 02:04 AM
Draxar: Maybe 4e just isn't the system for you and your telepathic, mindraping, goal-post moving bard. But, since that is a rather specific build, I'm not too worried about 4e in general.

jseah
2009-11-11, 03:19 AM
In a real life situation, you get flanked completely, your dead. no ifs ands or buts, the foe WILL cut you to shreds. in those situations you usually are forced to hunker down and call for someone else to dig you out; attempting to fight out of a flank more often than not just gets you cut down.
My point was that our enemies had a superior strategic position, better firepower, and element of surprise.
By all accounts we should have died. Even if we had better equipment and training than our enemies. (higher level and magic weapons)
But strategic initiative loses to tactical maneuvering. Ambushes and surprise count for very little in 4E compared to better focus fire.

I'm looking at the all elf ranger (1 wizard) party as a possible party configuration to try. They'll make a good strike force. And whole party able to use focus fire on basically any target means you can try killing important in 1 salvo. Down the leader and the battle goes far far easier.

Nightson
2009-11-11, 03:37 AM
But from your description it sounds like they didn't have an advantageous strategic position, they didn't have the superior firepower and they wasted the element of surprise.

I mean they ambushed you in difficult terrain from a bit of distance, but it sounded like they were melee monsters. If groups of artillery had ambushed your characters in difficult terrain then it probably would have been different.

jseah
2009-11-11, 03:42 AM
They were basically 2 melee monsters with stun-lock + a load of aoe artillery.

The difficult terrain wasn't there at the start. Their aoe artillery creates difficult terrain. At will. That lasts one encounter. >.>

EDIT: what was the kicker was that, they should have been in a superior strategic position. It's just that the way 4E combat works, it turned out they weren't.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-11, 03:54 AM
I felt it made sense, in a way. The fireball is literally snatching some power out of the air, giving it a twist, and throwing it. To do something permanent, long-lasting or long-distance, resources need to be put in to make it stick.
That would be a good point, except that most rituals aren't actually permanent, long-lasting or long-distance.


Would you agree that it's actually a good thing that the designers seem to have sat down and thought, "How can we stop casters from breaking perfectly good storylines and plots"?
Of the effects mentioned, the majority would not break a storyline or plot. The one thing that commonly breaks plots and was therefore removed between second and third edition is all-too-easy mind reading.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-11, 04:32 AM
Can a bard-esque character in 4E do the following at a speed and ease to make it practical?
Let's see what I can come up with. Several of the things you mention are normal skill uses:

Cover up his scent, and tracks.
Cheat at cards.
Determine a creatures weaknesses.
Determine what magic is currently active.


Most of the things you mention are utility powers, so they are possible at the right level. Note that you are limited to one out-of-class utility power. Note also that most of these powers have restrictions, so they might only technically do what you want.

Walk through a wall. Warlock power, once per day.
General purpose telekinesis. Wizard power, light objects only, at will.
Communicate quietly over distance with allies. Paladin, one encounter per day, short distance.
Walk on walls. Warlock power, 1 round per encounter.
Use magic to aid his use of skills. Various powers, depending on which skill we're talking about. Most work once per encounter.
Make others invisible. Various powers, none of them lasting more than a couple rounds. Most are once per day.
Fly for more than 2 rounds at once. Epic wizard power, one encounter per day.
Make someone forget something. Wizard power, once per day.
Use other creatures senses. Warlock power, once per day, save ends.


These things are possible via rituals, which take a while.

be able to converse with people who don't speak his language. Note that you need an advance sample of the language, or it won't work.
Telekinetic force butler.
Detect particular items.


These things are, to my knowledge, not possible.

Read minds.
Lasting mental influence.
Make someone want, fear, hate.
Temporaarily create mundane useful objects.

Draxar
2009-11-11, 05:14 AM
...But singing/performing is the point of a bard. They're not just another arcanist, they're singing arcanists.


I'm not talking about 4th edition Bards. I'm talking about the English word "Bard". It seems to me they're using the same definition as the English language uses, but adding magical power to their verse and branching out what sorts of instruments they can play.

Again, I disagree.

A bard is a a charismatic jack of all trades who uses performace, magic, and mundane/semi-mundane (bardic knowledge) to do things.

Performance is part of that, but how important it is, is up to you. For me, for this character, it's a tool of manipulation, and one amongst many.

One of the things that has made me muc more interested in 3.5E is the breadth of options that are available to you once you start using alternate class features – my Joker-esque build has more alternate class features than he has unchanged features, IIRC.


Actually, I think utility powers are supposed to be the design space in which to accomplish the things you've mentioned so far. Of course, utility powers might not do everything you've asked for yet, but the game is still fairly young. For instance, there's a new mechanic coming out in PHB3 that will address this sort of thing to some degree. So it's not really that 4e can't do what you're looking for so much as it hasn't yet...which is very much not the same thing.

The problem is that it's effects are the same thing. The lack of a broad array of non-combat powers in the core book is one of the reasons I gave up on 4E after reading the cores. And I as of yet have little to make me go back – certainly the examples cited in this thread aren't making me want to do so.

Gamerlord
2009-11-11, 07:09 AM
As someone who's DMed 3.x, nWoD, and Exalted extensively, I practically weep every time I go back to those systems after having run 4e just a couple of times. 4e makes the DM's job, whether it be game prep, homebrewing, or making NPCs, so much easier...well, I have a hard time coming up with words to say how much easier it is. It's enough to make me want to play it exclusively, though I can't figure out how to get nWoD and Exalted to convert correctly.

Maybe I'm just more used to the 3.5 method.

Also, people can't attack the bard just yet, the system is barely 2 years old, 3.5 had what, like 5-6 years, right?

Necron
2009-11-11, 08:41 AM
4.0 does feel like more of a miniatures game then actual D&D to me (and my group). Tactics seem much more forced then in previous editions. Abilities seem more balanced between classes, but they feel less versatile. Class Feature swapping appears kinda clunky as opposed to multiclassing in previous editions. In fact my whole group felt that 4.0 didn't allow nearly as much customization as 3.X.

And I'd say probably the largest dooming factor in playing 4.0 for us was that we have the whole 3.X library in hardcover... so pushing everyone to invest in a new set of books has seemed rather unlikely.

It's not a bad system. It's just different from our tastes... and the game has strayed from what we felt made D&D... D&D.

I liked how encounter balancing was changed... Solo monsters are really cool. And the design of powers for enemies was pretty good (though it didn't seem like there was a lot you could do to customize enemies).

I felt that Tank Marking was the most frustrating aspect of play as a DM. Forcing enemy attack decisions really made combat lackluster for me (probably speaks poorly of my combat ability tho).

The game itself felt more mysterious in older editions too. Whereas in 4.0 it seems like anyone can just pickup a magic item and figure out what it does. Given the massive reduction in available powers/powers known compared to previous editions also feels like a lot of the non-combat spells/options were reduced.

Planning and preparation for PCs turned into more bum rushing.

My players also stopped roleplaying as much (given some miniatures backgrounds amongst them it wasn't surprising). Perhaps I didn't encourage them as much as I could have. Still it's hard to walk into 4.0 with a RP mindset when you have a lot of mini-gaming experience.

Draxar
2009-11-11, 08:46 AM
The bard is just an example.

And to be thing I'm attacking 4E on is that fact that its core book leaves me with no desire to follow the line, so even if my issues with it are later fixed, I'm still unlikely to play it.

I think I shall bow out of this thread now – my questions/'misconceptions' have been clarified; namely that 4E is a bit better than it was for non-combat magic, but not sufficiently so for me to want to play it. So I've learned something useful.

SmartAlec
2009-11-11, 09:36 AM
That would be a good point, except that most rituals aren't actually permanent, long-lasting or long-distance.

Eh? Just going by the Player's Handbook here:

- Animal Messenger. Lasts up to 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Arcane Lock. Lasts until dismissed. Long-lasting.
- Brew Potion. Never goes off. Permanent.
- Commune with Nature.
- Comprehend Language. Lasts 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Consult Mystic Sages. Contact beings not of this plane. Long-distance.
- Consult Oracle. Contact being not of this plane. Long-distance.
- Cure Disease.
- Detect Object.
- Detect Secret Doors.
- Discern Lies.
- Disenchant Magic Item. The magic never comes back. Permanent.
- Drawmij's Instant Summons. Can bring something to you from far away. Long-distance.
- Enchant Magic Item. Lasts forever. Permanent.
- Endure Elements. Lasts 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Eye of Alarm. Lasts 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Eye of Warning. Lasts 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Forbiddance. Lasts 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Gentle Repose. Prevents undeath for 150 days. Long-lasting.
- Hallucinatory Creature. Lasts for 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Hallucinatory Item. Lasts for 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Hand of Fate.
- Knock.
- Leomund's Secret Chest. Chest never stops being magic. Permanent.
- Linked Portal. Travel between two points. Long-distance.
- Loremaster's Bargain. Contact beings not of this plane. Long-distance.
- Magic Circle. Lasts until broken. Permanent. potentially.
- Magic Mouth. Lasts until activation. Also potentially Permanent.
- Make Whole. Repair something. Permanent.
- Observe Creature. Can scry something anywhere in the world. Long-distance.
- Passwall.
- Phantom Steed. Lasts for 12 hours. Long-lasting.
- Planar Portal. Travel between two planes. Long-distance.
- Raise Dead. Yep. Permanent. thankfully.
- Remove Affliction.
- Secret Page. It never wears off. Permanent.
- Sending. Can potentially contact someone anywhere on the world. Long-distance.
- Shadow Walk. Lasts 8 hours. Long-lasting.
- Silence. Lasts 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Speak with Dead.
- Tenser's Floating Disk. Lasts 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Traveller's Feast. Lasts 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- True Portal. Travel to a particular spot from anywhere. Long-distance.
- View Location. See a location from anywhere in the world. Long-distance.
- View Object. See an object from anywhere in the world. Long-distance.
- Voice of Fate. Contact a being from another plane. Long-distance.
- Water Breathing. Can last for up to 24 hours. Long-lasting.
- Water Walk. Lasts for 1 hour. Long-lasting.
- Wizard's Sight.

Out of 49 rituals, 38 of them come under one of these three categories, and cases could be made for some of them (remove disease etc being permanent - after all, the disease doesn't come back after a set amount of time).

Aron Times
2009-11-11, 02:00 PM
Before this turns into an all-out edition war, I'd like to point out that it's perfectly alright not to like 4e for the same reasons that we who play it like it. For example, the emphasis on playability at the expense of "realism" (within the context of a fantasy world) is one aspect of 4e that its supporters enjoy and its detractors deride.

While it is true that 4e does not allow for the same level of customization as its predecessor, it does have a wider range of viable and balanced options. The vast majority of 3.5 content were traps, basically unplayable.

Also, all those feats spellcasters used to be able to do break the game and the story. For example, the encounter with the purple worm in OotS 689 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0689.html) demonstrates just how game-breaking and anticlimactic these spells are. The rest of the Order might as well not be present since Vaarsuvius singlehandedly defeated it.

Removing such game-breaking spells from the game allows the rest of the party to contribute to the encounter. The party now has to work closely with each other since the wizard cannot simply win the fight with a spell or two.

Again, your mileage may vary. We fans of 4e enjoy this aspect of 4e, while others dislike it for the very same reason.

jseah
2009-11-11, 02:43 PM
That's a very good point. Us 4E detractors shouldn't whine about the system, just fix it.

I'm sure, with the ease a random new power could be inserted into the system, making new powers that do what you want is a piece of cake.
Need dominate person back from 3E? Make it into a wizard daily.
Need random utility spell? Make a new daily/encounter.
Direct conversion needn't take anything more than deciding which level daily is a particular spell.

So what if dailies usually are attack powers? Nothing says that the DM can't allow the player to take a homebrew spell in that slot. And if the spell is more utility than attack, so?
If the players are running out, then give them more dailies. Allow them to be used 2/day or more.

Also, remember that you can take lower level powers at higher levels. You don't have to distribute all the powers evenly. Just chuck them all at level 5 and let the player decide his progression. Or something similar.
You can have blank levels too! If there are no dailies at a level a player should get one, just pick a lower level one.

I think I can see how I might change the system to fit my style of game. It just takes changing a few of the core level progression about 4E.

The skill system from 3.5e is easily modded back in. And doesn't do much different frankly. Some rituals might be obsolete if you make similar dailies, but parties without the class might still use them.

Vancian casting can be brought back. Allow wizards one spell slot of each of the levels of their dailies. Allow them to prep lower level dailies in the higher level slots, allowing double prep if desired. Allow them to scribe scrolls into their spellbooks to expand their dailies known. (but not prepared)
Poof, wizards are virtually identical to their 3.5e counterparts, just with less slots.

Multiclassing needs a bit more work. I'm not entirely sure, but simply adding up the levels and granting the various at-wills, encounters, dailies appropriately could work.

Gamerlord
2009-11-11, 02:47 PM
I don't hate 4e, in fact its rather fun, it just has some cons.

jseah
2009-11-11, 03:15 PM
To elaborate on my cryptic one liner,

I think that 4E's structured plug-and-play model is probably a better regulation system than 3.5's free-for-all.

Although 3.5's system allow for far more flexibility (evidenced by the massive numbers of alternate magic systems) balancing abilities is harder.
Thus, making sure your new ability in 3.5 is balanced is far more difficult that in 4E. In that sense, 4E is easier to homebrew for than 3.5.

Perhaps I might consider DMing 4E, heavily homebrewed to my liking. XD Maybe it'll be unrecognizable when I'm done, but at least I can crib it's ideas.

Mando Knight
2009-11-11, 03:25 PM
Need random utility spell? Make a new daily/encounter.

Or make it a utility power... kinda like it implies.

Psions do have a domination power as a daily at level 15. Apparently, mind-screw is the Telepath Psion's gig, like warping the elements of the multiverse is the wizard's. When PHB3 comes out, hybrid Bard(or Wizard or Fey Warlock)/Psion will probably be the best way to represent a mind-controlling arcanist.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-11, 04:03 PM
I don't quite understand how combat is longer in 4e than 3.x, at least on a round by round basis. Ruling out system inexperience, dice rolling and math are the things that take the most time in combat. Just eliminating the full attack option massively reduces the time it takes to resolve a combat round. Having a single damage roll for AoEs also reduces resolution time. As for math, 4e eliminated a lot of the conditional bonuses like the dwarven +1 vs. orcs and goblinoids. Sure, it replaced them with the activated power bonuses like the warlord's +1 for having used X power on his action, but that's usually easier to keep track of since it was activated 5 minutes ago rather than at character creation.

A conditional among many that was activated five minutes ago is, IMO, tougher to keep track of than one that is a static part of your character. If you forget the latter type, it tends to stay forgotten. Status effects however, can lead to confusion, which can eat a lot of time as players try to recall how many rounds have occured since buff x happened or what have you. And 4e has a LOT of short status effects.


Of course, 4e combats as a whole still last quite a while (normal throwaway combats for me last about half an hour to an hour, while set piece adventure/session climax battles can go for an hour and a half or more), but that's because they tend to be more complex with more going on. More monsters, stuff like that. So, technically, you're getting more game for your buck, to borrow a term. Rather than spending your time rolling dice or doing math, you're spending your time making decisions for your character. Which is, for most people, the fun part.

Hmm...perhaps it would be better to say that 4e makes combat resolution faster, rather than combat itself faster, since that seems to be a more accurate description of what's going on.

I also disagree with this. The hit point race, as well as healing surges, etc make hit point damage almost invariably the means of death, and it's not typically rapid(one shots against appropriate mobs are not typical outside of TO realms).

This leads to not only longer fights than in 3.x, where random encounters and such are typically dispensed with rather quickly, but ones with less choice. There is no "should I use stat damage or a SOD?" question, merely a question of how to attack hitpoints.

Mando Knight
2009-11-11, 04:20 PM
A conditional among many that was activated five minutes ago is, IMO, tougher to keep track of than one that is a static part of your character. If you forget the latter type, it tends to stay forgotten. Status effects however, can lead to confusion, which can eat a lot of time as players try to recall how many rounds have occured since buff x happened or what have you. And 4e has a LOT of short status effects.

They're all either always part of your character, last for the entire encounter, or only last for one turn. If you have problem keeping track of things that happened within the last round, pay more attention. If they're part of your character's abilities (feats, class abilities, etc.), it's your fault for not writing them down on a part of the sheet that'll let you remember them. If it lasts for the entire encounter, then you should have written it down somewhere.

Most Rituals and several Daily powers last long enough that the encounter will be over before they expire. At-Wills and Encounter powers usually have a short-term effect. Feats that aren't a constant bonus usually activate when you're bloodied, which is a condition you should be keeping track of in 4e anyway. You should have feat effects written down on your sheet.

3.5's the one with the randomly ending effect problem: Unpersisted Divine Power, Whirlwind, Mordekainen's Sword, etc. have round/level duration, several have minute/level duration, some have 10 minutes/level duration...

In 4e, detrimental effects that are meant to be temporary are appended with (save ends), which eases up the duration to (in rough pseudocode)

If (Save==Yes)
Effect ends
Else
Effect continues

Tehnar
2009-11-11, 04:46 PM
Those little +1 or +2 bonuses flying around are not too hard for a player to keep track of, but can be a killer for the DM. Between running 5+ monsters, keeping minions out of instant death zones, fighting with the defenders mark, etc now you have to remember a bunch of situational modifiers as well. Such as the if monster A is bloodied he has +1 to hit and if he is adjacent to monster B he gets a +1 to AC, and while monster C is 5 sqares away from or less he gets +2 to damage. It kind of leads to this something like this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0034.html"), except not for one creature, but for many.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-11, 04:49 PM
They're all either always part of your character, last for the entire encounter, or only last for one turn. If you have problem keeping track of things that happened within the last round, pay more attention. If they're part of your character's abilities (feats, class abilities, etc.), it's your fault for not writing them down on a part of the sheet that'll let you remember them. If it lasts for the entire encounter, then you should have written it down somewhere.

Or it's the fault of the other guy, who didn't write it down, and got confused, thus slowing us all down. Trying to blame the player instead of the system is pretty futile when the downside hurts everyone.

In 3.5, if someone wanted to five foot adjust and full attack every round, strategy be damned, he could. If he wanted to play a flying orbwizard of doom, he could. Those characters require vastly different levels of attention to be paid to them, but thanks to the flexibility, it's easy for a player to pick something suited to his playing style. In 4e, not so much, because the classes are just not that different from each other.

Gametime
2009-11-11, 04:59 PM
In 4e, not so much, because the classes are just not that different from each other.

I think that's misleading. The classes do what they do in much the same way. What each class does, however, varies widely, and there's a strong case to be made that there's more differentiation between similar classes than previously existed. (I'd argue that a 4e fighter and a 4e barbarian differ more than their 3.5 counterparts, for example.)

Shazbot79
2009-11-11, 05:02 PM
I've seen examples of people saying players are trying to use Religion in a skill challenge to cross a river. That's blatantly ridiculous, on the level of the people who argued that by RAW you got your full move when prone.


To be fair...didn't Moses cross the Red Sea with a successful Religion check?

Haha...get it? Because...nevermind...I'll be at the Bellagio this Saturday opening for Wayne Newton and be sure to tip your bartender...goodnight!



Wizard is the most complex. Between having spells they can swap from the spellbooks, to deciding whether or not to expand their spells, to options like Tome of Preparation and the option to Fey Step people out of of area powers, our Wizard is the one making hard decisions in play.

I think that the Shaman edges out the Wizard in terms of complexity.

Mando Knight
2009-11-11, 05:03 PM
In 3.5, if someone wanted to five foot adjust and full attack every round, strategy be damned, he could.Sure. In 4e, you can shift and use one of your at-wills every round, strategy be damned. The other stuff is for people who want to use everything they can get out of their character. Cleave and Reaping Strike are both solid powers in 4e, so a Fighter could possibly get away with picking one and always using it every round rather than choosing out of an array of encounter and daily powers.
If he wanted to play a flying orbwizard of doom, he could. Those characters require vastly different levels of attention to be paid to them, but thanks to the flexibility, it's easy for a player to pick something suited to his playing style. In 4e, not so much, because the classes are just not that different from each other.
Except for the flying part (See below), you can do so in 4e as well. Orb wizards are doom, thanks to making sure that no one can save against a Sleep (level 1 daily! Level ONE!) that by RAW doesn't immediately end when the target takes damage. If you want to cherry-pick the best powers each level, you can. That's what the CharOp boards tell you to do. No, you can't have all of the tricks at your disposal this time around, but for the most part, that's because you don't need to have every trick in the book to stay alive.

:smallannoyed: My least favorite part about 4e, WotC. I understand that you don't like 3D combat, and that people can break flight, and that not every hero can fly, but you've got dragons that can do it from level 3. At-Will. If my character is a demigod, who fights toe-to-toe with astral abominations, I want to be able to fly, dammit!

krossbow
2009-11-11, 05:21 PM
This isn't real life.

my statement was direct at
Have you considered a career in the armed forces? i was commenting on how badly that translated to actual real life and why that was not exactly good advice.





To be fair...didn't Moses cross the Red Sea with a successful Religion check?

Haha...get it? Because...nevermind...I'll be at the Bellagio this Saturday opening for Wayne Newton and be sure to tip your bartender...goodnight!



I think that the Shaman edges out the Wizard in terms of complexity.


moses was a 3.5 cleric; all we have nowadays are nerfed 4.0 ones.

Mando Knight
2009-11-11, 05:29 PM
moses was a 3.5 cleric; all we have nowadays are nerfed 4.0 ones.

1.) Religion's not exactly a kosher topic here.
2.) 4e clerics aren't gimped. Perhaps compared to 3.5's ClericZilla, which is the result of bad design, or to the excessive power of high-level spells in 3.5, but 4e Clerics still smite villains, heal allies, and converse with spirits effectively.
3.) Moses didn't prepare his spells at the beginning of each day. He was closer to a Favored Soul in that he got whatever power he was told to use.

Inyssius Tor
2009-11-11, 05:45 PM
2.) 4e clerics aren't gimped. Perhaps compared to 3.5's ClericZilla, which is the result of bad design, or to the excessive power of high-level spells in 3.5, but 4e Clerics still smite villains, heal allies, and converse with spirits effectively.

Indeed, 4e clerics are really good.

Okay, fine. They're nerfed in comparison to 3.5 clerics, which could do the fighter's job better than the fighter and still auto-win like a full caster on the side.

The 4e cleric can't do that.

No, the 4e cleric is going to have to settle for being a fairly skilled melee (or ranged) combatant. With arguably the best healing powers in the game. And a selection of excellent Religion-based rituals. (Raise dead, mark of justice, speak with dead, adjure...)

krossbow
2009-11-11, 05:51 PM
1.) Religion's not exactly a kosher topic here.
2.) 4e clerics aren't gimped. Perhaps compared to 3.5's ClericZilla, which is the result of bad design, or to the excessive power of high-level spells in 3.5, but 4e Clerics still smite villains, heal allies, and converse with spirits effectively.
3.) Moses didn't prepare his spells at the beginning of each day. He was closer to a Favored Soul in that he got whatever power he was told to use.


that was a joke...humor much?

Mando Knight
2009-11-11, 05:52 PM
that was a joke...humor much?
1.) Thread with lots of complaints about 4e. Not that easy to pick out the humor.
2.) Religion is SERIOUS BUSINESS

Chrono22
2009-11-11, 06:00 PM
2.) Religion is SERIOUS BUSINESS
Indeed (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091110/od_nm/us_turtle_odd)

On a more serious note, I've seen tons of 3.5 misconceptions in this thread too.
Like, DMs not being able to handwaive or refluff classes or mechanics. Or, 3.5 has no tactics, or 3.5 is rocket tag, or 3.5 characters can't be balanced in respect to eachother. Or, rules automatically interfere with roleplaying, or realism doesn't have a use in fantasy, or D&D is just about the combat.

krossbow
2009-11-11, 06:02 PM
1.) Thread with lots of complaints about 4e. Not that easy to pick out the humor.
2.) Religion is SERIOUS BUSINESS

SOOPER SERIAL?!
my comment was in no way disrespectful to christianity in general, and was a direct response to another religious comment. specificially that of moses using a religion check to split the sea; i see no spite or disrespect in either that statement by the other poster, or my response to it.


Off of that though, just because there are dissagreements between 3.5 and 4.0 people in this thread is no reason to view every statement herein as filled with venom.



anyways, carry on.

Shazbot79
2009-11-11, 06:40 PM
Left out how insanely easy it is for his character to pick up a Spiked Chain which, for say... Valorous bards, is not that bad.
Does that Spike Chain feat that makes it count as a light blade also let it count as one for enchantments? Cause then he could put on one of those enchantments that'd make it a bardic implement.

I believe it does.

His build might just work a lot better in 4E than it does in 3E. Go figure.

Incidentally, options like tripping, bull rushing and disarming in 4E aren't handled by powers exclusively.

There is a simple formula for these detailed on page 42 of the DMG and page 287 of the PHB:

Trip: roll STR vs. Fortitude or DEX vs. Reflex. A successful hit means the target is knocked prone, granting combat advantage, and must spend a move action to stand back up.

Disarm: roll STR vs. Fortitude, or DEX vs. Reflex. A successful hit means that the target drops it's weapon into an adjacent square and must either A) spend a move action to retrieve the weapon, or B) Fight unarmed (rules for fighting unarmed on page 218 of the PHB)

Bull Rush: roll STR vs. Fortitude, target is pushed one square and you shift into the vacated square. If the target cannot be moved into a space behind it, or if it is more than one size category larger than the attacker, then the bull rush has no effect.

Asbestos
2009-11-11, 06:48 PM
In 3.5, if someone wanted to five foot adjust and full attack every round, strategy be damned, he could. If he wanted to play a flying orbwizard of doom, he could. Those characters require vastly different levels of attention to be paid to them, but thanks to the flexibility, it's easy for a player to pick something suited to his playing style. In 4e, not so much, because the classes are just not that different from each other.

It looks like this statement wasn't actually addressed that well...
From what I can glean is that you're saying that in 3.x a player can opt to play a very simple to play character (a generic full-attacking fighter) or they can opt for a very complex character (in terms of options) and that this covers the player that pays little attention and to the librarian in training (no offense players of 3.x Wizards :smallwink:). The downside is that generally the simple character is at a disadvantage in terms of their relative power-level when compared to the complex character.

Anyway, the misconception is that in 4e, because the classes are so 'samey' and have all these varied things to keep track of there are no simple characters for the players that don't desire to keep track of a lot of things. In a sense this is true in that for the very ADD player there is little, but there are characters that are relatively simple and characters that are relatively complex. For the simplest character to play... I'd go with a bow ranger. All you do is keep away from things, quarry whomever is closest, and pick ranged power of choice. For complex, I'd go with a Wizard. What powers to pick to best suit the party, blasts, bursts or single target, what rituals to pick up, etc, etc. Basically the Wizard just has greater versatility (and therefor complexity) than the Bow Ranger. The Bow Ranger also has rather clear feat choices laid out, while the Wizard can go down a number of different, feat intensive, paths.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-11, 06:50 PM
Eh? Just going by the Player's Handbook here:
"Cases can be made", yes. However, an instantaneous effect isn't the same thing as "permanent", and "ask the DM a question, but the answer comes from some faraway entity, honest" isn't really long-distance either. Also, I question "one hour" being "long lasting".

This is similar to how "cases can be made" that a gnome is an invisible character, in that he can be invisible for five seconds every five minutes.

Hashmir
2009-11-11, 07:17 PM
Anyway, the misconception is that in 4e, because the classes are so 'samey' and have all these varied things to keep track of there are no simple characters for the players that don't desire to keep track of a lot of things. In a sense this is true in that for the very ADD player there is little, but there are characters that are relatively simple and characters that are relatively complex.

While we're clearing up misconceptions, I happen to be ADD myself. I vastly preferred the "simpler" characters in 3.5, because properly playing, say, a batman wizard gave me both blank page syndrome during design and analysis paralysis during play. Similarly, with the multitudes of feats and such now available in 4e, I tend to avail myself of optimization guides for the more complex classes, so as to help narrow down the considered possibilities.

I prefer 4e in part because the leaner skill system and the more strictly-defined "power" system suit me much better. I think it is better overall for people like myself who find it easier to be creative within certain types of restrictions.

Draxar
2009-11-11, 08:03 PM
I believe it does.

His build might just work a lot better in 4E than it does in 3E. Go figure.

(Pokes his head back in)

Pay no attention to the man spiked chain behind the curtain bard! It is not important!

The character is all about manipulation, about talking people into being scared, about talking them into doing what he wants, and so forth.

The addition of a spiked chain to this is purely an act of whimsy; he can't use it particularly well, and it's mostly there because spiked chains look badass, as a friend put it. It makes him look scary in combat, but he's got middle BAB + 2 dex for his attack, no strength bonus, and no combat buffs – no inspire courage even.

SmartAlec
2009-11-11, 09:34 PM
"ask the DM a question, but the answer comes from some faraway entity, honest" isn't really long-distance either.

The description in the Handbook makes it very clear that the rituals contact entities on other planes. That's more powerful than several of the other long-distance rituals; many of the rituals can summon, scry or teleport vast distances, but one thing they can't do is access other planes. The rituals to which you refer exceed the boundaries of other rituals; the distance, in magical terms, is logically greater.


Also, I question "one hour" being "long lasting".

It is, compared to the simple and quick combat spells, with durations measured in rounds. It's very long-lasting. In any case, even if you disagree, that only disqualifies one ritual.

As for the rituals that don't come under long-lasting, permanent or long-distance, many of them are 'delicate' - removing diseases, opening locks and so forth are more intricate than the combat powers. One assumes this is why those rituals cost resources, too; the resources are not to fuel the ritual, but rather cover the cost for magical foci that ensure that the effects do not get out of hand and prove harmful or too clumsy.

This is some crazy power you're using; wild, untamed magic. You don't want to suddenly burn all the white blood cells out of someone's body or fuse a lock into a solid lump, after all.

Mando Knight
2009-11-11, 09:44 PM
Also, I question "one hour" being "long lasting".

Let's say each encounter takes five minutes, and there's roughly five to ten minutes in between each encounter. This lets you go through four to six encounters in a single casting. That's roughly an entire day's worth of combat, isn't it? And then there's several rituals that last for 8-24 hours after casting...

Aron Times
2009-11-11, 09:57 PM
Let's steer this conversation away from religion so it doesn't get locked.

One thing I'd like to bring up are 3.5 and 4e's basic assumptions on classes. In 3.5, wizards were rare, but fighters and rogue were much more common. In 4e, fighters are as rare as wizards.

A level 1 fighter in 4e is not some newbie fresh out of boot camp; he is at the very least a seasoned (but not too seasoned) veteran. Characters with class levels in 4e have a power level between that of an elite and a solo of the same level.

A level 1 wizard would be the equivalent of a newly-minted Ph. D, not a first-year college student.

Basically, 4e assumes that your characters are already heroes. This makes sense to me, since someone as green as a level 1 character in 3.5 has no business adventuring; the odds are stacked so badly against him that he'd have a higher chance of survival if he got more training (gained more levels before his first adventure).

Basically, a level 1 character in 4e is the equivalent of a level 3 to 5 character in 3.5. Again, your mileage may vary; this is another aspect of 4e that its fans enjoy and others dislike.

Inyssius Tor
2009-11-11, 09:59 PM
(Pokes his head back in)

Pay no attention to the man spiked chain behind the curtain bard! It is not important!

The character is all about manipulation, about talking people into being scared, about talking them into doing what he wants, and so forth.

The addition of a spiked chain to this is purely an act of whimsy; he can't use it particularly well, and it's mostly there because spiked chains look badass, as a friend put it. It makes him look scary in combat, but he's got middle BAB + 2 dex for his attack, no strength bonus, and no combat buffs no inspire courage even.

So, and correct me if I'm wrong here, your character concept is "very good at social manipulation and trickery, not actually any good in a combat situation"?

Yes, that would in fact be difficult to do using the standard PC generation rules in 4e. It is hard to make 4e player characters who are incompetent in combat. 4e is built with the assumption that when all the cards are down and the **** has hit the fan, everyone will want to contribute in the ensuing brouhaha.

Now, if you let him apply his considerable talents to a combat situation (not giving him more talents, just finding weaponized applications for the ones he has)--talking his enemies into surrendering, tricking them momentarily into treating him as an ally, scaring or demoralizing them, startling them to create openings for his allies, manipulating the battlefield to his advantage--it suddenly becomes a great deal easier.

But as is, yes, you are quite right: if your PC concept includes "very talented out of combat, not very good at all in combat", it is probably going to be significantly easier to realize that concept in 3.5 than 4e.

Vortling
2009-11-11, 11:59 PM
I've got a conception that I don't know if it's a 'mis' or not. Since 4e came out I've had trouble finding people to play in and/or GM games other than D&D. This wasn't the case before it came out. I'm wondering if other people have noticed this as well because it's annoying me greatly.

Therefore:
Misconception to 'bust': 4e D&D is directly causing the decrease of non-D&D RPG being played.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 12:16 AM
Therefore:
Misconception to 'bust': 4e D&D is directly causing the decrease of non-D&D RPG being played.

Hyneman? Savage? Wanna take this one?

Shazbot79
2009-11-12, 12:17 AM
(Pokes his head back in)

Pay no attention to the man spiked chain behind the curtain bard! It is not important!

The character is all about manipulation, about talking people into being scared, about talking them into doing what he wants, and so forth.

The addition of a spiked chain to this is purely an act of whimsy; he can't use it particularly well, and it's mostly there because spiked chains look badass, as a friend put it. It makes him look scary in combat, but he's got middle BAB + 2 dex for his attack, no strength bonus, and no combat buffs no inspire courage even.

I get the concept. I do.

Stripping away classes, proficiencies and feats, at the core you have a character that uses magic and cunning manipulation to effectively "debuff" and control foes, both in combat and out.

The thing is, in 4E this can be done with the right applications and skills.

Furthermore, both the Bard and Warlock classes have spells that operate in this matter, as well as utilities that bolster mundane skills.

And if you want to carry around a spiked chain primarily for show, there is nothing in the system that prevents you from doing so.

I can understand that you don't like magic's place in the mythos of 4E, but let's not pretend that the concept you outlined is unattainable in the new system...because it's quite possible. Your actual complaint is that the system accomplishes these things in a manner that you don't like.

There are many complaints about the new system, some of which are valid in a way:

"The classes all follow the same basic structure and action economy"

True...but those of us who prefer 4E see this as a feature of the system, not a bug. It may be fun for some people to godmode through the game as a caster. It may be fun for some people to have their characters polish their swords while the casters completely invalidate them.

But for some of us, the disparity between classes was a major flaw of the previous system.

"The rules prioritize playibility over simulation of reality"

Also true. But you know what? I deal with reality everyday...I'm kind of bored with it. What I'm looking for isn't a game that simulates reality, but a game that simulates heroic fantasy, which is something that many of us feel the new system does well.

But the complaint that the system is inflexible is hogwash. People who play it have little or no trouble accomplishing the concepts they envision. The real complaint here is, again, people don't like the way that 4E accomplishes it. The game is more modular and has a lot less moving parts than 3rd Edition, but then again it doesn't need them.

In 4E I can make a Fighter of noble lineage who is as skilled in courtly intrigue as he/she is in combat. And I could do this at 1st level using the 1st PHB alone...not so in 3.x.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 12:39 AM
"The classes all follow the same basic structure and action economy"

True...but those of us who prefer 4E see this as a feature of the system, not a bug.

Gee, all bodies in the universe follow the same basic structure and laws of physics. That's boring. There's no way I can make anything interesting like rockets or jetpacks if they follow the same laws of physics as a rock.

Shazbot79
2009-11-12, 03:00 AM
Gee, all bodies in the universe follow the same basic structure and laws of physics. That's boring. There's no way I can make anything interesting like rockets or jetpacks if they follow the same laws of physics as a rock.

Why then, should some classes have to be the rock, while others get to be the jetpack?

Kurald Galain
2009-11-12, 04:45 AM
The description in the Handbook makes it very clear that the rituals contact entities on other planes.
Sure. On the other hand, level-1 powers like Fey Step, Witchfire, or Wrathful Thunder also invoke other planes. So being long-distance (or fluffed as long-distance when in practice it's not) is not a justification for an effect costing money or having a long casting time.


many of them are 'delicate' - removing diseases, opening locks and so forth are more intricate than the combat powers.
Again, several combat powers are similarly 'delicate', such as mind control, or paladin condition removal, or rogue opening locks, or even Blinding Barrage at level one. So being delicate (or fluffed as delicate when in practice it's not) is not a justification for an effect costing money or having a long casting time, either.



This is some crazy power you're using; wild, untamed magic. You don't want to suddenly burn all the white blood cells out of someone's body or fuse a lock into a solid lump, after all.
That would be a point if rituals were actually capable of burning white blood cells or fusing a lock. Chaos sorcerers wield wild, untamed magic, which indeed sometimes does powerful and unexpected stuff. Ritual users don't.

Anyway, we can talk about the details all day; but the point is that a statement was made that it's ok for rituals to take long and be expensive because they're powerful (with some examples of what "powerful" means) and that my counterargument is that no, the vast majority rituals really are not powerful if you look at what they actually do (as opposed to "technically").

Overall this means that it's not justified for (most) rituals to cost such an extreme amount of time and money, and this I consider a major design flaw. (and one that WOTC is slowly addressing through classes that use rituals for free, or items or powers that reduce their cost).


Let's say each encounter takes five minutes, and there's roughly five to ten minutes in between each encounter.
That means that in a 16-hour day, you'll have 64 to 80 encounters. Are you sure that's a realistic assumption?


Basically, a level 1 character in 4e is the equivalent of a level 3 to 5 character in 3.5.
Correct. Also, a level 30 character in 4E is the equivalent of a level 10 to 12 character in 3.5. Note that this is a deliberate move by WOTC.



In 4E I can make a Fighter of noble lineage who is as skilled in courtly intrigue as he/she is in combat. And I could do this at 1st level using the 1st PHB alone...not so in 3.x.
Considering neither bluff nor diplomacy, nor insight, are on the fighter's skill list - how?


Why then, should some classes have to be the rock, while others get to be the jetpack?
Because in real life, most people care a lot less about "game balance" than in discussions on the internet. That's because (1) people can have fun even when not balanced, and (2) regardless of actual rules, "game balance" depends a lot on the DM involved, on player skill, and on luck of the dice.

Shazbot79
2009-11-12, 06:13 AM
Considering neither bluff nor diplomacy, nor insight, are on the fighter's skill list - how?


1st level Human Fighter gets 2 feats...

Skill Training: Diplomacy (covers ettiquette and knowledge: nobility and royalty)
Skill training: Insight (sense motive)

Taking the Warlord multiclass feat would also give them training in either of these, as well as a once per day heal.

That's just in the first PHB. Since backgrounds have been introduced in later supplements, a noble background would give them access to either one of these skills woithout the cost of a feat.



Because in real life, most people care a lot less about "game balance" than in discussions on the internet. That's because (1) people can have fun even when not balanced, and (2) regardless of actual rules, "game balance" depends a lot on the DM involved, on player skill, and on luck of the dice.

That doesn't answer my question.

What I asked was: "Why is it that some classes have to be the rock while others get to be the jetpack?"

In other words...exactly why do classes have to be unbalanced?

your explanation attempts to explain why class imbalance is acceptable...it does not explain why it is necessary.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-12, 06:43 AM
1st level Human Fighter gets 2 feats...
Yeah, you could solve it that way if you're human or eladrin. Still, the lack of skills a fighter gets bothers me. But that's not a misconception about 4E.


In other words...exactly why do classes have to be unbalanced?
I don't think that anyone or any system considers imbalance a necessity, no.

I think Mando means that even if all classes use the same subsystems (which, I agree, is a feature of 4E and indeed of most other RPGs in existence), then there can still be interesting variation between classes. I'm not sure what this has to do with game balance. That 3E is unbalanced has little to do with its separate subsystems; and that 4E doesn't have separate subsystems doesn't mean that imbalance doesn't exist.

Overall, I do feel that 4E is needlessly limiting its design space: even using the same subsystems for every class, it would be easy (and possible to balance) to have a class that e.g. gets more utility powers but less daily attack powers. Or to have greater variation in defenses or skill levels between classes.

Kesnit
2009-11-12, 07:33 AM
Misconception to 'bust': 4e D&D is directly causing the decrease of non-D&D RPG being played.

Two theories...

1) 4E is "new" and "shiny." I know it's been out a while now, but it's still newer than a lot of tabletop RPGs. Everyone wants to try out the "new" to see what it is all about.

2) It's just your area. I know where I live, there are a lot of 3.5 games, several nWoD games, and a few Star Wars games happening weekly or bi-weekly. And those are just the ones I've consciously noticed, there may be others that I just didn't register.

SmartAlec
2009-11-12, 08:51 AM
That would be a point if rituals were actually capable of burning white blood cells or fusing a lock.

The whole point of using a ritual is that you don't want to do these things. If you wanted to do these things, you'd use a combat power, and those, as I said, are simpler and more brutal.

The mind control you mentioned isn't as delicate as you might think. It's simply accessing a mind, and stunning it, or overriding it with an impulse. It's not as fine-tuned as reading surface thoughts or carefully rewriting alignment. Paladin and Rogue powers are nothing to do with this, as those powers don't use wizard magic; and that's what we're talking about.


Anyway, we can talk about the details all day; but the point is that a statement was made that it's ok for rituals to take long and be expensive because they're powerful (with some examples of what "powerful" means) and that my counterargument is that no, the vast majority rituals really are not powerful if you look at what they actually do (as opposed to "technically").

This is where I disagree. If we judge them by 3rd Ed's notion of power and utility, then no, they are not powerful. But I think 3rd Ed has spoiled us in that regard.

Seriously - what they 'actually' do? What those contact-other-plane spells actually do is give you a hint from the DM. How is that not powerful?

Kurald Galain
2009-11-12, 09:10 AM
The whole point of using a ritual is that you don't want to do these things. If you wanted to do these things, you'd use a combat power, and those, as I said, are simpler and more brutal.
Well, you were the one that claimed rituals were using "wild, untamed" magic. This is clearly inconsistent with what rituals actually do.


those powers don't use wizard magic; and that's what we're talking about.
Rituals don't use wizard magic either. As far as I'm concerned we're not talking about wizard magic.


If we judge them by 3rd Ed's notion of power and utility, then no, they are not powerful.
But if we don't, then many of them still aren't powerful. This is not about 3E vs 4E. This is about how 4E rituals, standing on their own, suffer from major design flaws. That these flaws can and will be ignored by a competent DM doesn't mean they aren't there.


What those contact-other-plane spells actually do is give you a hint from the DM. How is that not powerful?
It's not powerful because of its limitations. For instance, "consult oracle" specifies that the answers given are brief and cryptic, and that the oracle has no foreknowledge and limited judgment. So it is entirely possible that you'll spend an hour and a small fortune, and get no useful information in return.

Funnier examples include a Create Food ritual that costs more money than actual food, and a Locate Object ritual that takes more time to cast than it would to search the relevant area by hand.

Draxar
2009-11-12, 09:44 AM
I get the concept. I do.

Stripping away classes, proficiencies and feats, at the core you have a character that uses magic and cunning manipulation to effectively "debuff" and control foes, both in combat and out.

The thing is, in 4E this can be done with the right applications and skills.

Furthermore, both the Bard and Warlock classes have spells that operate in this matter, as well as utilities that bolster mundane skills.

And if you want to carry around a spiked chain primarily for show, there is nothing in the system that prevents you from doing so.

I can understand that you don't like magic's place in the mythos of 4E, but let's not pretend that the concept you outlined is unattainable in the new system...because it's quite possible. Your actual complaint is that the system accomplishes these things in a manner that you don't like.


If by that you mean that it lets me do the generality of the aim, but not in the way I actually want to do it – i.e. casually and with real out-of-combat duration.

I can make something that looks like this character in 4E, or that comes from the same base starting point. But it wouldn't do what I want to do.

I understand that the way 4E works makes these 'design features' rather than 'flaws'. But that still leaves me with little desire to play it.


So, and correct me if I'm wrong here, your character concept is "very good at social manipulation and trickery, not actually any good in a combat situation"?

Yes, that would in fact be difficult to do using the standard PC generation rules in 4e. It is hard to make 4e player characters who are incompetent in combat. 4e is built with the assumption that when all the cards are down and the **** has hit the fan, everyone will want to contribute in the ensuing brouhaha.

More that his direct ability in a combat situation is very much not the focus. He has various options, but they're options that also work out of combat, and generally have a longer lasting duration than 'combat rounds'


Now, if you let him apply his considerable talents to a combat situation (not giving him more talents, just finding weaponized applications for the ones he has)--talking his enemies into surrendering, tricking them momentarily into treating him as an ally, scaring or demoralizing them, startling them to create openings for his allies, manipulating the battlefield to his advantage--it suddenly becomes a great deal easier.

That would be nice, if he also can do the things I want him to do. Which he can't.

Probably the easiest way to describe that part of the concept is 'reflexive and casual user of magic to achieve his aims'

SmartAlec
2009-11-12, 10:05 AM
Well, you were the one that claimed rituals were using "wild, untamed" magic. This is clearly inconsistent with what rituals actually do.

All wizard magic is channelled from the same source - the 'true power that permeates the cosmos', to quote the Handbook. The combat powers are the quick, sudden and simple versions. The rituals are more specific and focussed; rituals are rituals purely to avoid being wild or unpredictable.


Rituals don't use wizard magic either. As far as I'm concerned we're not talking about wizard magic.

Then you missed something, as this started from a discussion on the fluff of the 4th Ed wizard. Besides which, where does it say that rituals don't use wizard magic? If a wizard uses a ritual, it's wizard magic. If a cleric uses a ritual, it's divine magic. I don't see this as weird; after all, even in 3rd Ed, both clerics and wizards could cast various spells with very similar effects.


But if we don't, then many of them still aren't powerful. This is not about 3E vs 4E. This is about how 4E rituals, standing on their own, suffer from major design flaws. That these flaws can and will be ignored by a competent DM doesn't mean they aren't there.

Let's see what flaws you come up with, here:


It's not powerful because of its limitations. For instance, "consult oracle" specifies that the answers given are brief and cryptic, and that the oracle has no foreknowledge and limited judgment. So it is entirely possible that you'll spend an hour and a small fortune, and get no useful information in return.

That's not a flaw; it's a DM get-out clause so a single ritual doesn't give away a plot. 4th Ed is very much a system that gives a DM a lot of leeway, remember. This isn't a bug, it's a feature. As you say, a bad DM can use this clause to make the ritual useless, but bad DMs can do lots of things to make a game less fun, and if you've got one that's as obstructive as that, then a ritual not working is the least of your problems, really.


Funnier examples include a Create Food ritual that costs more money than actual food, and a Locate Object ritual that takes more time to cast than it would to search the relevant area by hand.

I think you've missed the point of rituals, here. Rituals are not conveniences; they're emergency measures, backups, the things you pull out when there's no other option. This is in direct opposition to 3rd Ed's world, where casting a spell to achieve something was often much simpler and less resource-intensive than doing it by hand.

The Create Food ritual is to avoid starvation in dire circumstances; if the party ends up teleported in the middle of a desert, or is undersupplied but cannot take the time to return to a town and restock because time is a factor, that's when the Create Food ritual shines. Detect Object isn't an easy alternative to searching by hand; it's the emergency option, when searching by hand hasn't worked. Is it here, or did we just not find it? Are we even in the right room? Detect Object can give us an answer.

Telok
2009-11-12, 10:06 AM
Here's a bit of advice I've discovered for 4e,

"Don't try to transfer a character from 3.5 to 4e, neither should you come up with a concept and then make a character. Make the 4e character first, then come up with the character."

Three of the four best characters I had in 3.5 simply cannot be made in 4e mostly due to the way the powers and/or multiclassing work. The last one (which I'm currently trying to play in a 4e game) is shaping up to be a dismal failure.

That and 4e combat isn't very engaging to me. I end up being just as effective reading a book as paying attention to the other players turns, and more entertained. Non-combat is fine, but that's when powers aren't used and I'm roleplaying.

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-12, 10:19 AM
But if we don't, then many of them still aren't powerful. This is not about 3E vs 4E. This is about how 4E rituals, standing on their own, suffer from major design flaws. That these flaws can and will be ignored by a competent DM doesn't mean they aren't there.
.

This is to my mind clearly a flawed argument. Taken on their own with no comparative reference, Rituals are VERY powerful. How else could you teleport across a plane, seal away a defeated villain for all eternity, send messages instantly across the world, create powerful magical items of your choice, etc etc.

To claim that they are somehow inherantly unpowerful is very ingenuine. You may not believe you are still comparing them to 3rd edition magic, but it's quite clear that you're comparing them to SOME external source.

Personally, I have taken to waving the cost requirements of Rituals, admittedly. This isn't entirely because of the cost being too high however. Rather, high cost or not, my players seemed to simply forget they could cast rituals. Plus, something to do with psychology no doubt, the idea of spending money to use them is irrationally offputting I find.
Length-wise, I really don't see a valid argument against their casting times. If you can't find 5 minutes to sit down and make with the candles, then clearly your DM wants you to hurry, rather than witter about sending messages or some so on.
I personally find the flavour of magic actually taking some effort (And not being an economy destroying shortcut that always trumps everything) to make much more sense narratively speaking, and generally match up much better with magic in actual fiction.

Kaiyanwang
2009-11-12, 10:39 AM
Length-wise, I really don't see a valid argument against their casting times. If you can't find 5 minutes to sit down and make with the candles, then clearly your DM wants you to hurry, rather than witter about sending messages or some so on.


Well, see, this could depend from ritual to ritual. I find reasonable that in a certain power level campaign, 10 minutes for a teleport are OK.

But 10 minute for a silence is madness. It implies a railroady sight of encounter. Sort of things that like to DMs that hate that their players overcome an encounter avoiding it. Bad DMs in my opinion.

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-12, 10:42 AM
Well, see, this could depend from ritual to ritual. I find reasonable that in a certain power level campaign, 10 minutes for a teleport are OK.

But 10 minute for a silence is madness. It implies a railroady sight of encounter. Sort of things that like to DMs that hate that their players overcome an encounter avoiding it. Bad DMs in my opinion.

Actually, I just assume that the 10 minute silence is much more for over-coming plot based things, like warding the war-room, etc.

Just because it has the same name as something else doesn't mean it has to have the same uses.

[edit] Oh, and the type of use you are implying would basically be much more appropriately modeled by a (wizard?) Daily power. Probably similar to the various ones that grant some form of invisibility, probably at a similar level, or lower.

Probably lower, as all it would actually do is make it harder to notice you when you were already hidden, rather than allowing you to hide without cover, as it were, with invisibility.

Easy homebrew job, really.

Personally, I'd base it on the unseen mage utility; Guillaume's Veil. (A small zone the wizard can move. )
It's only level 12, (on account of the relatively modest size and speed, I'm guessing) so our little zone of quiet could quite conceivably be a standard wizard utility (daily) at the nearest utility level below that. That would, conceivably, stack quite nicely with the unseen mage's daily zone, but the speed and action limitations (you'd be sacrificing some to maintain two zones at once) limit it pretty fairly, and for using two dailies it had better be a bit good. :)

Kaiyanwang
2009-11-12, 10:46 AM
Actually, I just assume that the 10 minute silence is much more for over-coming plot based things, like warding the war-room, etc.

Just because it has the same name as something else doesn't mean it has to have the same uses.

Ok but... in 3.5 I could cast it, find a way to make it permanent (item and so on..), even create an incantation to make a a fighter able to cast it (with an effort).

I can guard the room and make my buddies cleric and fihgter with heavy armor pass trough the giant. In 4th edition cannot.

BTW, in 3.5 I can ban teleport and create a cheap teleport ritual, if the campaign is low magic.

Isn't it a sign of 4th edition sort of failure?

Druid example:

In the plain, a wolf and an eagle are free to travel. But the eagle can travel 3D, the wolf 2D. I see differencies and variability in 4th edition, but sometimes I think that when people point out "sameness", is not because 4th edition is so restrained, but because the "degrees of freedom" are dramatically different.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-12, 10:49 AM
If a wizard uses a ritual, it's wizard magic. If a cleric uses a ritual, it's divine magic.
If a fighter uses a ritual, it's martial magic?

Anyway, this is irrelevant. Rituals can't justify their high cost (in time and money) because "they're long-distance" or "they're delicate" because many powers exist that are equally or moreso long-distance or delicate, that don't cost any time. Rituals also can't justify their high cost because "they're powerful", because many of them are not. Since the high cost isn't justified, it is a design flaw (for many but not all rituals).


That's not a flaw; it's a DM get-out clause so a single ritual doesn't give away a plot.
Regardless of whether it's a flaw or a feature, it does answer your question of "how is this not powerful". This is how.



I think you've missed the point of rituals, here. Rituals are not conveniences; they're emergency measures, backups, the things you pull out when there's no other option.
Again, this clearly isn't true. Rituals like Fastidiousness or Endure Elements clearly are conveniences, and not at all emergency measures or backups.

And that's good, because most rituals would fail as emergency measures. First, the word "emergency" generally implies that you don't have one to eight hours to spare to cast a ritual. Second, "things you pull out when there's no other option", are moot as long as there is another option. And the rules ascertain that as long as there is another option, it will be faster and cheaper than a ritual.

True, you can use divination ritual if you get stuck and you need the DM to give you a hint. However, you can also make a skill check to get a hint (e.g. streetwise, or history, or whatever). That means we have another option, which is both faster and cheaper.



The Create Food ritual is to avoid starvation in dire circumstances;
A party in any wilderness environment can hunt, which is faster and cheaper. A party that is undersupplied is more likely to have food than ritual components. Also, a low-level magical item produces free food every day, and certain races don't eat in the first place. To top it off, by the rules the entire party can go without food for several days.

Essentially, that means that the ritual is only useful if the DM decrees the party needs food now, and the DM disallows hunting, gathering, or eating the monsters you just killed, and the party has more expensive ritual components than cheap actual food, and the party wizard prepared a substantial amount of resources (that he could have spent on more useful stuff) in advance for this unlikely situation. That's pretty contrived, to say the least.

In what emergency would you use Gentle Repose? Or Leomund's Secret Chest? How contrived must the circumstances be before Eye of Warding becomes more useful than simply setting a guard?


Detect Object isn't an easy alternative to searching by hand; it's the emergency option, when searching by hand hasn't worked. Is it here, or did we just not find it? Are we even in the right room? Detect Object can give us an answer.
No, it's not. Detect Object doesn't tell you if you're in the right room, and neither does it distinguish between "it's not here" or "it's here but we rolled too low". If after making skill checks you haven't found the object, then making more skill checks is always still a better option than casting DO.

Is the ability to locate objects useful? Yes. But the ritual doesn't do that. This distinction is important to realize.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-12, 10:57 AM
How else could you teleport across a plane, seal away a defeated villain for all eternity, send messages instantly across the world, create powerful magical items of your choice, etc etc.
I admit there are exceptions; I was speaking of most rituals, not all of them. Yes, some rituals are very good, and that includes teleportation rituals, remove affliction, and magic circle (among others). But on the other hand we get silly stuff like scrying rituals that take an hour to cast and last for fifteen seconds. Several rituals require highly contrived situations, that boil down to DM fiat that "you must use the ritual now", before they're useful.


generally match up much better with magic in actual fiction.
Which actual fiction would that be?

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-12, 10:58 AM
Ok but... in 3.5 I could cast it, find a way to make it permanent (item and so on..), even create an incantation to make a a fighter able to cast it (with an effort).

I can guard the room and make my buddies cleric and fihgter with heavy armor pass trough the giant. In 4th edition cannot.


So, the Silence ritual lasts 24 hours, but you'd prefer a permentantly silence-warded war room, right? Possibly with a command word to drop or raise the effect?
840gp, adventurers vault 2. :)


I admit there are exceptions; I was speaking of most rituals, not all of them. Yes, some rituals are very good, and that includes teleportation rituals, remove affliction, and magic circle (among others). But on the other hand we get silly stuff like scrying rituals that take an hour to cast and last for fifteen seconds. Several rituals require highly contrived situations, that boil down to DM fiat that "you must use the ritual now", before they're useful.


Which actual fiction would that be?

Earthsea, The Belgariad, Discworld, just off the top of my head. :)

Kaiyanwang
2009-11-12, 11:06 AM
So, the Silence ritual lasts 24 hours, but you'd prefer a permentantly silence-warded war room, right? Possibly with a command word to drop or raise the effect?
840gp, adventurers vault 2. :)

I think you miss my point. Reread the post please.

See, even if magic in 3.5 needed to be reworked and I'm pretty sure that one of the way should have been casting time, IMHO the designers overreacted.

As KG pointed out above, there are things that NEED DM fiat. This, IMHO, screams railroading.

I see that "the spell that ends all" must be avoided. But this could be done in several ways. Examples:

- Reasonable casting time leghtening. 5 rounds of uberspell X means that the party will organize an interesting battle around the wiz allowing him to relase "the big one".

- AD&D spell slots number. When choose what spell study was a deal.

I think one could built a whole thread around the concept.

Dekkah
2009-11-12, 11:06 AM
Personnaly, i see 4E as a different game than the previous versions.
Sure, it is called DND, and i beleive rightly so since the basics are the same : it is a fantasy Roleplay game, the core basics are the same (work with D20 dice system), the elements within world are the same (races, monsters, gods, etc.).
But it is a new system. They changed the rules of the game. Doing that, they sure altered the way it is played.



Don't try to transfer a character from 3.5 to 4e
I completly agree with this. The biggest problem i see is that people want to play their 3.5 characters within a 4E game. To me it is like trying to play bridge with pokers rules (my royal flush should win this game!).


neither should you come up with a concept and then make a character
This is disagree with. You can make a character concept and build the character afterward just fine.
I'll use Daxar bard as exemple (dont take offense please).
Daxar concept is :

The character is all about manipulation, about talking people into being scared, about talking them into doing what he wants, and so forth.

The addition of a spiked chain to this is purely an act of whimsy; he can't use it particularly well, and it's mostly there because spiked chains look badass, as a friend put it. It makes him look scary in combat, but he's got middle BAB + 2 dex for his attack, no strength bonus, and no combat buffs no inspire courage even.

This is quite possible to make. You use bard. You will focus with the skills (bluff, diplomacy, insight, perception, and some knowledge appropriate). You spread your stat more for the skills youll need than for combat (take wis, and Cha, int, instead of maxin CHA, wich will make you weaker in combat). Your feats goes to help your skills, rituals, etc. You pick ritual accordingly to your goals. You take utility powers that helps your skills instead than combat ones.

The danger here is to want to build a 3.5 character within a 4E game :

Can a bard-esque character in 4E do the following at a speed and ease to make it practical?

Read minds. Actually read them, not 'guess what he's thinking with a good diplomacy roll'.
Make someone forget something, or otherwise alter their memory
Suddenly discovering the people he's trying to persuade not to kill him don't speak his language, be able to converse with them somehow
General purpose telekinesis
Telekinetic force butler.
Lasting mental influence (a la Suggestion, or Geas on the blunter side)
Use magic to aid his use of skills
Walk through a wall
Cover up his scent, and tracks
Cheat at cards
Communicate quietly over distance with allies with some duration
Make someone want, fear, hate, or otherwise deeply affect their emotions about a given thing that isn't neccessarily you
Detect particular items
Make others invisible
Determine a creatures strengths or weaknesses
Use other creatures senses
Temporaarily or permanently create mundane useful objects that are needed for a particular task.
Fly for more than 2 rounds at once
Determine what magic is currently active in an area or on a creature
Walk on walls

Not everything within the list can be done, but most of it do. It does not work like you WANT because what you want is a 3.5 Character.

Honestly, in the end, it all comes down to what you want to play. It is all about your taste and opinion. Playing any game isnt madatory.

jseah
2009-11-12, 11:06 AM
To be honest, Discworld doesn't operate anything like 4E magic. The main form of magic in Discworld is not using it.

That's... quite a bit different from 4E's flashy fireball.

The last time someone pulled fireballs, creating pies out of nothing, turning people into lizards, the world nearly broke. Sourcery (or REAL magic) is practically a banned subject in Discworld.

EDIT: it very nearly went into Tippyverse actually. one wonders where the idea came from. ;)

Jayabalard
2009-11-12, 11:13 AM
Earthsea, The Belgariad, Discworld, just off the top of my head. :)I'm not sure how you're seeing the belgariad as an example of magic like that; with the exception of summoning demons, none of the magic portrayed required rituals. Certainly the examples involved: teleport across a plane, seal away a defeated villain for all eternity, send messages instantly across the world, create powerful magical items of your choice, were all done without rituals.

In discworld, the Rite of Ashk'Ente doesn't require expensive components, so that doesn't really match very well.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-12, 11:18 AM
Personally, I have taken to waving the cost requirements of Rituals, admittedly. This isn't entirely because of the cost being too high however. Rather, high cost or not, my players seemed to simply forget they could cast rituals. Plus, something to do with psychology no doubt, the idea of spending money to use them is irrationally offputting I find.

How is that irrational? Money is a finite resource. If I can accomplish the task in a way that doesn't consume money instead, it's blatantly obvious that it's the better option.


Length-wise, I really don't see a valid argument against their casting times. If you can't find 5 minutes to sit down and make with the candles, then clearly your DM wants you to hurry, rather than witter about sending messages or some so on.
I personally find the flavour of magic actually taking some effort (And not being an economy destroying shortcut that always trumps everything) to make much more sense narratively speaking, and generally match up much better with magic in actual fiction.

Matching up with magic in fiction is an unacheivable goal. It's power, as well as the way in which it works varies wildly. I could make an argument for each individual magic system in 3.5 being supported by a certain subset of fiction, but frankly...I don't care if it matches up with book x or y. I care if it works and contributes to gameplay.

In the case of rituals, they generally dont.

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-12, 11:20 AM
I'm not sure how you're seeing the belgariad as an example of magic like that; with the exception of summoning demons, none of the magic portrayed required rituals. Certainly the examples involved: teleport across a plane, seal away a defeated villain for all eternity, send messages instantly across the world, create powerful magical items of your choice, were all done without rituals.

In discworld, the Rite of Ashk'Ente doesn't require expensive components, so that doesn't really match very well.

More about magic having costs and requiring effort. For example, Belgarian trying to lift a boulder and instead burying himself in the mud.

Plus, as far as the 'Rite of Ashk'Ente' goes, it IS a ritual and is lengthy, components or not, so I'd say it matches pretty well actually. But it also does in other flavour ways, reguarding whether magic can be the solution to every problem, etc etc.

let me see...ah, here we go, straight from the wiki -

"The act of performing magic is, essentially, telling the universe what you want it to be like, in terms it can't ignore. This is very draining, due to the Law of Conservation of Reality (which states it takes the same effort to do something with magic as it would to do it mundanely). This is why most wizards store magic in a staff (with a knob on the end)."

hamishspence
2009-11-12, 11:22 AM
there are ones that take some time in the Belgariad- increasing the intelligence of the swamp creatures, for example.

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-12, 11:24 AM
How is that irrational? Money is a finite resource. If I can accomplish the task in a way that doesn't consume money instead, it's blatantly obvious that it's the better option.

Well, let's put it this way; I found my players not using rituals, and can tell I'd also be hesitant to use them, even to perform useful things that CAN'T be performed otherwise. There's no real logic to that, other than an innate stingyness on my part, perhaps, hence irrational.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-12, 11:27 AM
"The act of performing magic is, essentially, telling the universe what you want it to be like, in terms it can't ignore. This is very draining, due to the Law of Conservation of Reality (which states it takes the same effort to do something with magic as it would to do it mundanely). This is why most wizards store magic in a staff (with a knob on the end)."

You sir, are taking something terribly seriously that was clearly not meant to be.

This is a world in which a magic artificial intelligence was brewed up by apprentice wizards in their spare time, where the entire worlds monetary supply can be controlled by a tinker and an assistant due to magic(note that neither of these two are even casters), wizards are so ridiculously powerful that great care is taken to minimize the use of their powers, and a single sorcerer can end the world. Magical creatures breed and reproduce(the luggage is one such type), and routinely use magical abilities without the slightest hint at rituals.

It's not a low magic world, and magic is ridiculously powerful. Ritual like things only get brought up when some low-powered chump is doing something world altering. This has absolutely no resemblance to the need to chant for ten minutes and sacrifice valuable components to summon a bowl of food.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-12, 11:37 AM
Earthsea, The Belgariad, Discworld, just off the top of my head. :)
Considering the Rite of Ashk'Ente only requires three small sticks and 4 cc of mouse blood (or even two small sticks and a fresh egg) DiscWorld magic really doesn't fit the idea of "rituals can be performed by anyone but take lots of money and time".

Likewise, neither the Belgariad nor Earthsea (nor, indeed, any fantasy novel I can think of) has magic that works remotely like 4E rituals.

Yes, magic having costs and limitations is common in fantasy (although "a boatload of money" is not a common cost). And yes, magic having costs and limitations is desirable in game design. Nobody's disagreeing with that. But none of that addresses the issue that most rituals simply are severely overcosted, or do things that can be done cheaper and faster without the ritual, or require highly contrived DM Fiat to be useful.

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-12, 11:42 AM
You sir, are taking something terribly seriously that was clearly not meant to be.

This is a world in which a magic artificial intelligence was brewed up by apprentice wizards in their spare time, where the entire worlds monetary supply can be controlled by a tinker and an assistant due to magic(note that neither of these two are even casters), wizards are so ridiculously powerful that great care is taken to minimize the use of their powers, and a single sorcerer can end the world. Magical creatures breed and reproduce(the luggage is one such type), and routinely use magical abilities without the slightest hint at rituals.

It's not a low magic world, and magic is ridiculously powerful. Ritual like things only get brought up when some low-powered chump is doing something world altering. This has absolutely no resemblance to the need to chant for ten minutes and sacrifice valuable components to summon a bowl of food.

Correct; Not all magic on the disc is ritual magic.
Correct; People who are not wizards are also capable of doing some magically related things. (Just as a 4e fighter can, with the right feats, cast his own rituals.)
Correct; Magic is very powerful on the discworld, though it varies in places.

You are, however, incorrect on the previously quoted line being irrelevant, however. As the whole 'law of conservation of reality' is indeed a major and underlying theme and flavour across the series, especially in reguards to wizardly magic.
Given that it was this flavour I was originally talking about, I say my point stands. :)

[edit] I never claimed that magic in those works functioned in the exact same way. I claimed that the idea of magic sometimes taking time and usually involving real effort and so on fit better with various works of fiction, including those.

FOR EXAMPLE; the afformentioned 'Law of Conservation of Reality'.
There is, in the Earthsea trilogy, a moment when (Someone) asks Ged why he doesn't just make some food by magic, and he explains that it doesn't work that way (Something about magic being words and there being no sustenance in words?) Mirrors the 'create food is too expensive!' thing, to me
And Belgariad has a clear history of magic being best for things that can't be done by hand, in general, as well as the specific idea that the energy and force has to come from somewhere, and various other things that the 4e system reminds me of better than 3e magic.

Starsinger
2009-11-12, 11:47 AM
Yep, rituals are totally a construct of 4e and never existed anywhere else before. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/incantations.htm)

Kurald Galain
2009-11-12, 11:50 AM
Yep, rituals are totally a construct of 4e and never existed anywhere else before. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/incantations.htm)
Since nobody in this thread has so far argued that rituals "never existed anywhere else before", your post would seem to be the kind of argument commonly referred to as a "straw man".

Tyndmyr
2009-11-12, 11:54 AM
[edit] I never claimed that magic in those works functioned in the exact same way. I claimed that the idea of magic sometimes taking time and usually involving real effort and so on fit better with various works of fiction, including those.

The idea that magic takes effort, and sometimes, time, in fiction is sufficiently broad enough to be a trivial discovery. In fact, it also would apply to 3.5.

In your effort to broaden it enough to be "right", you've made the statement entirely useless.

Starsinger
2009-11-12, 12:08 PM
Since nobody in this thread has so far argued that rituals "never existed anywhere else before", your post would seem to be the kind of argument commonly referred to as a "straw man".

Really? I'm pretty sure the point of the thread was to discuss misconceptions about 4e, not necessary to discuss other people's posts.

Eorran
2009-11-12, 01:16 PM
Diverting away from rituals, I've noticed several comments on the thread expressing their dislike for HP damage being the only way to kill monsters.

I know 3.X had lots of ways to defeat / kill monsters, such as ability score damage, level drain, save-or-die, or permanent afflictions like blindness or insanity.

Do lots of people miss this? I've played far more 2e than 3 or 4, and so I was happy to see fewer end-runs around HP in 4th. If HP are an abstraction meant to represent your ability to keep fighting, why shouldn't attacks wear down HP? Besides, the fact that all these options were available by magic but not mundane means bothered me when I thought about it. (Why shouldn't the Fighter be able to do ability damage? Bashing a guys' wrist, knees, hamstringing, stunning?)

Tyndmyr
2009-11-12, 01:22 PM
Really? I'm pretty sure the point of the thread was to discuss misconceptions about 4e, not necessary to discuss other people's posts.

It's pretty pointless to "disprove" misconceptions that nobody actually has.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-12, 01:27 PM
Diverting away from rituals, I've noticed several comments on the thread expressing their dislike for HP damage being the only way to kill monsters.

I know 3.X had lots of ways to defeat / kill monsters, such as ability score damage, level drain, save-or-die, or permanent afflictions like blindness or insanity.

Do lots of people miss this? I've played far more 2e than 3 or 4, and so I was happy to see fewer end-runs around HP in 4th. If HP are an abstraction meant to represent your ability to keep fighting, why shouldn't attacks wear down HP? Besides, the fact that all these options were available by magic but not mundane means bothered me when I thought about it. (Why shouldn't the Fighter be able to do ability damage? Bashing a guys' wrist, knees, hamstringing, stunning?)

Because different means of death give further mechanical variety in attacks. Also, while it may be more common for these tactics to be available via magical means, they were not forbidden for melee use. Poisons, for example, are clearly meant to be applied to weapons in many cases, and tend to target ability damage. There are a variety of weapon enchantments with affects that target things other than HP. Feats also...I know of at least one that can apply negative levels via melee swings.

So while perhaps melee didn't have as much variety as it should have in some classes(fighter), it's ridiculous to pretend that the fighter CANT do ability damage in 3.5.

A big misconception about 4e appears to be that all it's haters really are just greedy casters who hate melee.

Theodoric
2009-11-12, 01:30 PM
Since nobody in this thread has so far argued that rituals "never existed anywhere else before", your post would seem to be the kind of argument commonly referred to as a "straw man".
I think he was using "hyperbole", with a slight amount of non-hostile "sarcasm".:smallwink:

Starsinger
2009-11-12, 01:54 PM
It's pretty pointless to "disprove" misconceptions that nobody actually has.

Really? I don't necessary consider everyone who actually posted in this thread to be the entirety of "anybody" let alone the people reading this thread. Maybe I'm just not egotistical enough...

SmartAlec
2009-11-12, 01:54 PM
If a fighter uses a ritual, it's martial magic?

Arcane, one assumes. The beauty of the premise of Rituals being safe ways to channel energy into useful effects means you don't necessarily have to be a wizard to use them. (You would have to be a wizard to use a combat power, but that's because combat powers are more spontaneous, they don't have the safety attached to rituals.)

This is just 5 minutes sitting down and extrapolating or inferring ideas from what's laid down in the rulebook, of course. Someone spoke about how the wizard fluff in 4th Ed could make sense, and this is what some people came up with. Nothing's changed, nothing's tweaked, it's just taking what's there 'as-is' and making some sense of it. If you want to wilfully insist that an exception disproves a rule, then go ahead; but seeing as we're not dealing with physics or mathmatics here, I don't think that's justified, as magic is not a science.


Anyway, this is irrelevant. Rituals can't justify their high cost (in time and money) because "they're long-distance" or "they're delicate" because many powers exist that are equally or moreso long-distance or delicate, that don't cost any time. Rituals also can't justify their high cost because "they're powerful", because many of them are not. Since the high cost isn't justified, it is a design flaw (for many but not all rituals).

The vibe I'm getting here, really, is that you're just trying to poke holes; first by putting all rituals together and claiming that they can't all justify themselves by one criteria because some rituals can't; and then you pick on the percieved flaws of individual rituals. You can't seem to decide whether it's rituals as a whole that's the problem, or individual flaws.

Your first approach just doesn't make sense, as what applies to one ritual will obviously not apply to another. Some are low or high level, some have longer casting times, some have long-lasting effects, etc etc. I've said all that before; you haven't really addressed it so much as just plain deny it. And the second approach, well; I don't think you've managed to come up with any flaws that stand up.

Some powers, of course, duplicate the effects of rituals. But those powers tend to be daily utilities, and are class-specific. That's their cost, and that's what balances them against the rituals.


Regardless of whether it's a flaw or a feature, it does answer your question of "how is this not powerful". This is how.

As far as I can tell, you're saying, "If the DM goes against Rules as Written AND Rules as Intended, it's useless." Yeah, I agree! If your DM does that, no wonder you think 4th Ed's got problems.


Again, this clearly isn't true. Rituals like Fastidiousness or Endure Elements clearly are conveniences, and not at all emergency measures or backups.

What, you don't think having to travel into freezing climes and scorching deserts constitutes an emergency? I do.


And that's good, because most rituals would fail as emergency measures. First, the word "emergency" generally implies that you don't have one to eight hours to spare to cast a ritual. Second, "things you pull out when there's no other option", are moot as long as there is another option. And the rules ascertain that as long as there is another option, it will be faster and cheaper than a ritual.

True, you can use divination ritual if you get stuck and you need the DM to give you a hint. However, you can also make a skill check to get a hint (e.g. streetwise, or history, or whatever). That means we have another option, which is both faster and cheaper.

See below, when I make the point that a ritual's components are only used up at the end of the casting time. And sometimes, of course, there is genuinely no other option - it's the ritual or you back off.

As for your definition of an emergency, it's wilfilly small-minded. It's an emergency that the party's without food in a hostile landscape. It's an emergency that the party has to fly or travel across long distances in a hurry to prevent an assassination. It's an emergency when an army is about to descend upon the castle in one day's time.


A party in any wilderness environment can hunt, which is faster and cheaper. A party that is undersupplied is more likely to have food than ritual components. Also, a low-level magical item produces free food every day, and certain races don't eat in the first place. To top it off, by the rules the entire party can go without food for several days.

Essentially, that means that the ritual is only useful if the DM decrees the party needs food now, and the DM disallows hunting, gathering, or eating the monsters you just killed, and the party has more expensive ritual components than cheap actual food, and the party wizard prepared a substantial amount of resources (that he could have spent on more useful stuff) in advance for this unlikely situation. That's pretty contrived, to say the least.

Well... if you're going to ignore the example I gave, fair enough. What more can I say? Sometimes, the food spoils. Sometimes, pixies eat it all. Sometimes, the creatures or monsters are inedible, or carry a plague. Sometimes, you just underestimated how long the trip would take, or you get caught in freak weather, and you can't hunt. Sometimes, you're in a desert, or the Hells, or Mordor. Sometimes, being in these places is a surprise. These doesn't seem particularly contrived to me.

The great thing about ritual components is that they don't go 'off'. Buy them once, you've got a backup day's food in case the worst happens all the way to level 30. I don't think that's to be sniffed at, myself. It's quite possible to find yourself undersupplied in terms of food and water but to have those handy components that you bought three months ago.


In what emergency would you use Gentle Repose? Or Leomund's Secret Chest? How contrived must the circumstances be before Eye of Warding becomes more useful than simply setting a guard?

Gentle Repose: Someone dies, and you don't have the time to get them to someone who can Raise Dead.

Leomund's Secret Chest: Excellent way to get useful but bulky equipment or weapons past guards or other security measures, if you know you're definitely going to need them.

Eye of Warning: Too many of the party are dead or otherwise incapacitated to be able to set a workable watch rota; or one of the party is alone, but still needs to rest.

These are all situations that can feasibly crop up in adventures, and they're just off the top of my head.


No, it's not. Detect Object doesn't tell you if you're in the right room, and neither does it distinguish between "it's not here" or "it's here but we rolled too low". If after making skill checks you haven't found the object, then making more skill checks is always still a better option than casting DO.

Granted, you'd have to extrapolate the answers to my questions from the result of the ritual. But again, that's not hard. You'll have direction and distance.

You might note that you don't expend any components or costs until the ritual is complete. Hence, nothing's stopping the wizard getting down and making with the DO while the other party members make another attempt to search. If after 10 minutes they haven't found anything, it's probably time for DO.

If you do play 4th Ed, Kurald, I get the impression that many of your problems here are coming from your DM not taking rituals into account when designing adventures. Not using situations when they'd be useful, or not preparing for them (how hard is it to pre-write some things to say if the party uses one of those oracle spells?).

Tyndmyr
2009-11-12, 02:05 PM
Really? I don't necessary consider everyone who actually posted in this thread to be the entirety of "anybody" let alone the people reading this thread. Maybe I'm just not egotistical enough...

I would like to disprove the following misconceptions.

That 4e players ritualistically sacrifice kittens before playing. Definitely not true. It's catgirls, which is proper and just.

That anyone who does not play 4e is doomed to eternal damnation.

That the rules of 4e are handed down to us from Thor himself.



See how silly it is when you "disprove" things that are purely invented?

Myshlaevsky
2009-11-12, 02:12 PM
I would like to disprove the following misconceptions.

That 4e players ritualistically sacrifice kittens before playing. Definitely not true. It's catgirls, which is proper and just.

That anyone who does not play 4e is doomed to eternal damnation.

That the rules of 4e are handed down to us from Thor himself.



See how silly it is when you "disprove" things that are purely invented?

Oh god. That's not true? I've been... I've been lied to!

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 02:16 PM
That 4e players ritualistically sacrifice kittens before playing. Definitely not true. It's catgirls, which is proper and just.
But only when we cannot find Chromatic (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ColourCodedForYourConvenience) Dragons to kill, and only catgirls whose hair and/or fur is colored red, white, green, blue, or black. Those with shinier colorations are safe so long as they don't like things with five heads.

That anyone who does not play 4e is doomed to eternal damnation.
Of course not. Bahamut would never betray those who follow his path. :smalltongue:

That the rules of 4e are handed down to us from Thor himself.
Obviously not. They were given to us by Our Lord Bahamut, God of Crystal Dragon Jesus (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrystalDragonJesus)-es, who will descend upon us on this coming Tuesday, November the 17th, in statblock form as the most powerful single monster written for 4e yet, and whose most devoted acolytes have been promoted to the PHB from their former position in a splatbook. :smalltongue:

Starsinger
2009-11-12, 02:17 PM
See how silly it is when you "disprove" things that are purely invented?

So, back when 4e came out and they introduced rituals, I was imagining people who were all like "Rituals? WTF did those come from?" That's pretty good to know.

The New Bruceski
2009-11-12, 02:23 PM
You sir, are taking something terribly seriously that was clearly not meant to be.

That's a pretty apt summary of the entire thread.

Jayabalard
2009-11-12, 02:57 PM
More about magic having costs and requiring effort. For example, Belgarian trying to lift a boulder and instead burying himself in the mud. That's really only because he was only starting out, and applied the force in the wrong direction. Compare that to where-in the next book where Garion is flinging much larger boulders over his head without raising a sweat
-Blowing Rak Cthol off of the mountain
-Weather control (both with and without using the orb)
-Garion reviving the dead Horse; which while draining, he was recovered from in very short order. The length of time to accomplish could have been measured in minutes.
-Sealing up Zedar for all Eternity
-Blowing the entire wall apart at Jarviksholm in Guardians of the West


Personally, I think that the Belgariad/Mallorian are very bad examples of magic having costs/requiring effort. The players in those books have near unlimited power. Certainly, there is some cost but is seems rather ludicrous to me to argue that it's any more than 1/2/3e D&D has.


Plus, as far as the 'Rite of Ashk'Ente' goes, it IS a ritual and is lengthyI don't recall it being portrayed as especially lengthy; in soul music the implied time sequence from the concert/exploding cofee shop until Susan is summoned is fairly short. Certainly, it's much less effort, cost(three small sticks and 4 cc of mouse blood or even with a fresh egg and two small sticks), etc than doing a divination ritual in D&D that takes 8 hours of ritual for 15 seconds of divination; really it seems like a really bad example of magic having a cost to me.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 03:00 PM
I'm pretty sure that most "utility" rituals only take around 10 minutes at most, with the ones that you'd probably cast at the end of the day anyway taking an hour (with the exception of Raise Dead, where you spend a day working on bringing your buddy back unless you've got a power or Epic Destiny that does so without the ritual), and scroll-castings take half that time (though scrolls are around five times as expensive as a normal single-use item...).

Kesnit
2009-11-12, 03:47 PM
That and 4e combat isn't very engaging to me. I end up being just as effective reading a book as paying attention to the other players turns, and more entertained.

Wait, you are blaming the system because YOU can't be bothered to actually pay attention?

Draxar
2009-11-12, 03:49 PM
This is quite possible to make. You use bard. You will focus with the skills (bluff, diplomacy, insight, perception, and some knowledge appropriate). You spread your stat more for the skills youll need than for combat (take wis, and Cha, int, instead of maxin CHA, wich will make you weaker in combat). Your feats goes to help your skills, rituals, etc. You pick ritual accordingly to your goals. You take utility powers that helps your skills instead than combat ones.

The problem is, as I said in a post after the one you've quoted, that the concept is also about reflexive and casual use of magic outside of combat.

Which 4E is not about.


The danger here is to want to build a 3.5 character within a 4E game :

Not everything within the list can be done, but most of it do. It does not work like you WANT because what you want is a 3.5 Character.

Honestly, in the end, it all comes down to what you want to play. It is all about your taste and opinion. Playing any game isnt madatory.

Indeed. And as I've said, I don't want to play 4E.

As a point of criticism, I find the whole 'you can do vast amounts of magical whoosit in relation to combat, but non-combat whoosit is generally far harder and more restricted.

But that's a side thing. I accept 4E works well for many people, just not for me. And I've found this thread useful, as it's answered the quesstion "Has 4E become something I want to play"

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 04:15 PM
The problem is, as I said in a post after the one you've quoted, that the concept is also about reflexive and casual use of magic outside of combat.

Which 4E is not about.

The power system in 4e is not about reflexive, casual use of magic, since the power system was developed to organize a character's repertoire of in-combat capabilities. With that in mind, a good DM (or at least a few DMs, myself included) will allow you to perform most magical tricks, perhaps with an appropriate skill roll.

In general, to me, Arcana is the skill of knowing and using magic (and possibly Primordials), Religion is the skill of knowing and channeling the will of the divine, and Nature is knowledge of and occasionally channeling the power of the Primal spirits. Thus, if you're an arcanist, and you want to do some kind of magic trick that isn't specifically covered by a power or ritual, I'd usually let you do it.

For example, I would allow an Arcana-trained character conjure up a hologram-like miniature display when not actively fighting, like what Gobwin Knob's caster linkup did in Erfworld. A roll for Arcana, Religion, or Nature (power source-appropriate) might be allowed to grant a +2 bonus to a more relevant roll that a Martial character is more likely to have trained, or might substitute for another skill entirely in certain situations (Religion to convince a priest to aid you, perhaps).

Chrono22
2009-11-12, 04:19 PM
What's that fallacy called, where you propose a houserule as a solution to a problem, and then claim the problem doesn't exist because you can houserule it?
Oh right, I remember now. It's called the Oberoni fallacy.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 04:46 PM
What's that fallacy called, where you propose a houserule as a solution to a problem, and then claim the problem doesn't exist because you can houserule it?
Oh right, I remember now. It's called the Oberoni fallacy.

This case isn't the Oberoni fallacy. It's a clear case of 4e DMG page 42: Actions the Rules Don't Cover. Sing a spell that will make the tied up guard tell you everything he knows? Well, the rules don't have a ritual or power for you to use, so go ahead and roll Arcana or Diplomacy and we'll see if you're successful. Want to slide down the banister and leap into the giant's foot? Roll Acrobatics, and I'll see whether you catch him by surprise.

If there isn't a rule written down for it, the written rule is "DM, try to make the idea work, and give it a bonus if it's a really good idea."

Chrono22
2009-11-12, 04:51 PM
This case isn't the Oberoni fallacy. It's a clear case of 4e DMG page 42: Actions the Rules Don't Cover. Sing a spell that will make the tied up guard tell you everything he knows? Well, the rules don't have a ritual or power for you to use, so go ahead and roll Arcana or Diplomacy and we'll see if you're successful. Want to slide down the banister and leap into the giant's foot? Roll Acrobatics, and I'll see whether you catch him by surprise.
Actually it still falls under the Oberani fallacy- do yourself a favor and read the fallacy in full.

Oberoni Fallacy: The statement that there are no problematic or broken rules, as any identified as such can simply be corrected by application of Rule 0. A fallacy as having another overarching rule allowing for corrective action to be taken does not mean that there were not problems in the first place. Formally identified as a logical fallacy by WotC forum member Oberoni.
Page 42 is rule 0.

Draxar
2009-11-12, 04:51 PM
What's that fallacy called, where you propose a houserule as a solution to a problem, and then claim the problem doesn't exist because you can houserule it?
Oh right, I remember now. It's called the Oberoni fallacy.

This.

There's nothing in the description of the skill Arcana that suggests it can be used to do that sort of thing. Detecting magic, sure, doing magic? No.

Yes, it can be used for rituals that do stuff, but so can Religion and Nature.

Plus, beyond that, you then need to work out a system to make such use of magic. Which will either get complicated, or be very much a 'make it up each time you use it', which makes it hard as a player to actually know what you can reliably do.

I think I'll pass.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 05:00 PM
Actually it still falls under the Oberani fallacy- do yourself a favor and read the fallacy in full.

That's not the definition given there. The fallacy, as given in the quote, states that broken or problematic rules are not a problem due to Rule 0. In this case, there aren't rules written down specifically governing the action, so the action lies outside of the realm of the rules themselves.

The problem is not that the rules governing the action are bad, it's that the rules as written are not defined in the region of the action given. In this case, the rule, as written, is "Arbitrate fairly as you will, since we can't reasonably write rules that will fairly cover every situation." There is still a problem (that not every DM can or will arbitrate these rules fairly and consistently), but it's a guideline for a patch to make the game enjoyable.

Chrono22
2009-11-12, 05:08 PM
The problem is not that the rules governing the action are bad, it's that the rules as written are not defined in the region of the action given. In this case, the rule, as written, is "Arbitrate fairly as you will, since we can't reasonably write rules that will fairly cover every situation."
Then let me propose another fallacy on the grounds that your stance is a logical fallacy. Let's call it the Mando Fallacy, after the poster who made it.

Mando Fallacy
If a rule doesn't exist, it cannot be considered part of a rules system. Therefore, "arbitrary discretion" or common sense cannot logically be included as part of any value judgment of an RPG, system, or game.

Hashmir
2009-11-12, 05:20 PM
This.

There's nothing in the description of the skill Arcana that suggests it can be used to do that sort of thing. Detecting magic, sure, doing magic? No.

Yes, it can be used for rituals that do stuff, but so can Religion and Nature.

Plus, beyond that, you then need to work out a system to make such use of magic. Which will either get complicated, or be very much a 'make it up each time you use it', which makes it hard as a player to actually know what you can reliably do.

I think I'll pass.

That's a perfectly valid reason to prefer another system, but it doesn't make 4e objectively inferior. Think about it this way:

3.5e has rules for falling damage. The rules max out at 20d6 -- which is to say, they do not account for the massive damage an orbital drop would cause.

In the strictest sense, this makes the rules "incomplete," but outside of some very strange niche builds (most of which are thought experiments), this will never, ever come up. When designing the system, they made a conscious choice that there was no point in making rules for this, because they would never be used and probably just clog up the game.

Similarly, 3.5e has no rules for poking. Not a non-lethal attack, but poking. You could come up with something extremely simple to simulate it, but by RAW, there is no such thing as poking.

Again, this would be stupid and time-wastey, both for the designers and the players. We're certainly better off without poking rules, or nose-picking rules, or rules establishing the increased difficulty of carrying a bunch of light swords rather than a single heavy box.

Now, 4e takes this a bit farther. Some of the most notable examples are the elimination of Craft and Profession, and the inability to put points in Hide but not Move Silently. The reasoning behind this is perfectly sound: 4e players, by and large, do not want to bother with these things.

This is the reason that the absence of such mechanics are considered features, not bugs. A bug would be a mechanic that is broken, and must be houseruled out. Such bugs are the subject of Oberoni's Fallacy. 4e's preference for parity is simply an aspect of the system, which some prefer and others do not.

EDIT:


Then let me propose another fallacy on the grounds that your stance is a logical fallacy. Let's call it the Mando Fallacy, after the poster who made it.

Mando Fallacy
If a rule doesn't exist, it cannot be considered part of a rules system. Therefore, "arbitrary discretion" or common sense cannot logically be included as part of any value judgment of an RPG, system, or game.

The Chrono Fallacy
All systems that simulate reality are incomplete. Therefore, arbitrary discretion and common sense (and the ease with which they can be applied) must necessarily be included in any value judgment of an RPG, system, or game.

That said, surely we don't have to resort to making personal attacks for the rest of this thread, do we?

Argentum74
2009-11-12, 05:33 PM
There are many complaints about the new system, some of which are valid in a way:

"The classes all follow the same basic structure and action economy"

True...but those of us who prefer 4E see this as a feature of the system, not a bug. It may be fun for some people to godmode through the game as a caster. It may be fun for some people to have their characters polish their swords while the casters completely invalidate them.

But for some of us, the disparity between classes was a major flaw of the previous system.

I'm sorry, but if any players feel their characters are being invalidated by other characters during the course of a D&D game, it's not usually due to a major flaw in the game system, it's due to a major flaw in the DM, the players, or all of the above. This holds true whether it's AD&D, 2nd Edition AD&D, 3.0, 3.5 or 4th Edition. It's up to the DM to keep the game fun and engaging for all of the PCs, and if that means coming up with ways to crimp the casters every so often, then so be it. It's also up to the players to take advantage of their characters' abilities and let the DM know when they feel left out.

I grew up with AD&D and the old basic D&D boxed sets (got my first on my 11th birthday, back in 1985), played 2nd Edition throughout college, and have played 3.0/3.5 since 2003. The group I'm in now (and was in during college) has been meeting every Sunday for about 20 years... they were playing 1st Edition in college when I got that first boxed set in '85. Our current DM bought everyone a copy the 4E Player's Handbook for Yule last year, hoping (I believe) that we would make the switch. No dice (pun intended). It's partially a matter of expense, but I've read the 4E rules, and it's just not D&D to me. Hasbro (oops, I mean WotC) should have named it something else... it's just too dissimilar to previous editions for my taste, even moreso than 3rd Edition was to 1st or 2nd Edition. I still think 3.5 is the pinnacle of development for the game.

That being said, I realize that my attitiude toward 4E may well be driven by my age and experience with previous editions D&D. I'm curious as to the percentage of players on this forum that share my perspective, and the effect that it has on this type of thread. I know there are plenty of posters who never played D&D prior to 3rd Edition, and some who never played prior to 4th... that's got to color their perspective.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 05:35 PM
Therefore, "arbitrary discretion" or common sense cannot logically be included as part of any value judgment of an RPG, system, or game.

Huh. We have to include every player's ability to arbitrate (I'm not saying "arbitrary," I'm saying arbitrate) rules when we're analyzing a system now? So is the system only good if it has rules for every situation, or is it good if it has rules covering most situations, and guidelines for arbitrating those the development team didn't write for, as well?

Might it be... pragmatism? Or does a system have to have rules for things that its development team specifically stated are beyond the scope of the system as they developed it?

Does D&D have to have rules for governing the orbit of a small body around a large point mass? How about a multi-dimensional polynomial regression for damage dealt by the environment based on atmospheric speed and composition, current radius of the being with respect to a solar body, ambient temperature, composition of the being's body, age, and how long it slept last night? How about for contraction of common microbial diseases? Or for the progression of the area's socio-economics with respect to the number of adventurers in the land? Or for how often your player characters need to use the utilities? Most dungeon designs (regardless of edition) don't have a garderobe or something similar...

D&D 4e isn't a bad system because it lacks rules for performing magic tricks that aren't related directly to adventuring or combat, because the system's rules aren't for those situations. It doesn't have a total lack of rules for those situations, either, since page 42 of the DMG (and elsewhere, where appropriate in the book) has a table (with numbers!) giving suggested fair DCs for actions, and resulting damage if the action is expected to harm someone/something. If the game presented itself as a fantasy world simulator, and failed to present the rules for such situations, then it would be a bad system. However, what it does present itself as is a system for fighting fantastic beings in a fantastic setting. It will have its shortcomings when it's not used as it's meant to be used, but the system is a good system if it does its intended job well.

Chrono22
2009-11-12, 05:36 PM
So, now saying someone has made a logical fallacy is an insult? Well, that would mean you just insulted me. Which makes you a hypocrite, and invalidates your opinion of me or my arguments.

The absense of a mechanic/feature/rule cannot be considered an aspect of a system. The implication of such a statement is that the fewer rules a system has, the more rules it has.
That's a logical contradiction.

Are you guys done doing logical limbo yet? Or are you going to continue to claim page 42 is not just 4e's rendition of rule 0?

Hashmir
2009-11-12, 05:40 PM
I'm sorry, but if any players feel their characters are being invalidated by other characters during the course of a D&D game, it's not usually due to a major flaw in the game system, it's due to a major flaw in the DM, the players, or all of the above. This holds true whether it's AD&D, 2nd Edition AD&D, 3.0, 3.5 or 4th Edition. It's up to the DM to keep the game fun and engaging for all of the PCs, and if that means coming up with ways to crimp the casters every so often, then so be it. It's also up to the players to take advantage of their characters' abilities and let the DM know when they feel left out.

Isn't that pretty much the definition of Oberoni's Fallacy? That it's the DM's job to compensate for huge disparities in power anyway, so it's not a problem if certain classes are almost infinitely more powerful than others?

Not that this inherently makes 3.5e bad. I'm just saying that if a cleric can do everything a fighter can but better (thus invalidating the fighter), then even if it isn't a flaw, you must at least admit that it is a product of the game's design, and not a failing on the DM's part.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 05:47 PM
The absense of a mechanic/feature/rule cannot be considered an aspect of a system. The implication of such a statement is that the fewer rules a system has, the more rules it has.

Say what? No, the fewer rules a system has, the fewer things it covers. Because the system covers fewer things, it tells you to rely on other things (your own common sense) to deal with those things that it doesn't cover. 4e does that, and then it goes ahead and gives you several tables as guidelines for extrapolating the rules given into new rules for you to use for things that the given rules don't do.

Furthermore, I do not see what fallacy I have made that you are referring to. I hold that until you prove that what you believe to be fallacy is such, you can't declare my reasoning via that proposed fallacy invalid by reason of that proposed fallacy.

Chrono22
2009-11-12, 05:54 PM
Say what? No, the fewer rules a system has, the fewer things it covers. Because the system covers fewer things, it tells you to rely on other things (your own common sense) to deal with those things that it doesn't cover. 4e does that, and then it goes ahead and gives you several tables as guidelines for extrapolating the rules given into new rules for you to use for things that the given rules don't do.
Nonetheless, the extrapolations are house rules, in the same way that the 3.5 DMG2's tables for creating new classes are guidelines for creating new rules.
And my first point stands. You can't consider houserules to be part of an RPG, when assessing an RPG. It's fallacious, because the houserules are not part of the RPG.


Furthermore, I do not see what fallacy I have made that you are referring to. I hold that until you prove that what you believe to be fallacy is such, you can't declare my reasoning via that proposed fallacy invalid by reason of that proposed fallacy.
So, in other words you say it's isn't a fallacy, because you say so. This is circular logic. I've proven that the claim that page 42 is a solution to 4e's limitations is a logical fallacy.

tcrudisi
2009-11-12, 05:58 PM
Which makes you a hypocrite, and invalidates your opinion of me or my arguments.

Please, ladies and gentlemen... can we keep this civil? I enjoy reading debates, but debates do not have to devolve into personal attacks.

I would also like to direct people to this article: http://www.salon.com/env/mind_reader/2008/09/22/voter_choice/?source=yahoo

The article deals with choices and why it is difficult for people to change their mind about something, even when all evidence points to them being wrong. It actually specifically deals with political elections, but it's very easy to reference to other things, such as "when a person feels that D&D edition X is better than edition Y, but then gets irrefutable evidence that edition Y is actually better, they will continue to believe that X is better."

Here's a paragraph from the article:
"Westen asked staunch party members from both sides to evaluate negative (defamatory) information about their 2004 presidential choice. Areas of the brain (prefrontal cortex) normally engaged during reasoning failed to show increased activation. Instead, the limbic system -- the center for emotional processing -- lit up dramatically. According to Westen, both Republicans and Democrats "reached totally biased conclusions by ignoring information that could not rationally be discounted" (cognitive dissonance)."

No, I'm not making fun of Democrats and Republicans. I happen to have an affiliation with one of them. But I think many of you might find it interesting. Perhaps you can use this to self-reflect or to better understand why other people are not changing their minds.

(edited a spelling error. I hate spelling errors. :smalltongue:)

Hashmir
2009-11-12, 06:00 PM
So, now saying someone has made a logical fallacy is an insult? Well, that would mean you just insulted me. Which makes you a hypocrite, and invalidates your opinion of me or my arguments.

Declaring that you're naming a logical fallacy specifically after your opposition is an insult, yes. This also means that my response, though sarcastic, was also an insult. This does not make me a hypocrite, nor does it mean that your original statement was not an insult.


The absense of a mechanic/feature/rule cannot be considered an aspect of a system. The implication of such a statement is that the fewer rules a system has, the more rules it has.
That's a logical contradiction.

That is not the implication. The implication is that systems often imply things that are not numerically defined, and that there is nothing wrong with DMs ruling them on the fly. Mage: the Awakening does this when it comes to improvised magic, which is assumed to be a fairly big part of the game compared to D&D.


Are you guys done doing logical limbo yet? Or are you going to continue to claim page 42 is not just 4e's rendition of rule 0?

No one has claimed that. Instead, we have claimed that relying on rule 0 for uncommon events is perfectly acceptable. If, in your campaign, something that is otherwise uncommon in 4e campaigns is in fact common, then it is quite reasonable to suggest that you should either create rules for such things or find a system that was designed to model them.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 06:02 PM
Nonetheless, the extrapolations are house rules, in the same way that the 3.5 DMG2's tables for creating new classes are guidelines for creating new rules.
And my first point stands. You can't consider houserules to be part of an RPG, when assessing an RPG. It's fallacious, because the houserules are not part of the RPG.
And thus those actions aren't covered by the rules, since they're covered by rules you make up in Actions the Rules Don't Cover. Because of that, you cannot judge the value of the system based on those actions unless those actions are a criteria for your use of the system.

So, in other words you say it's isn't a fallacy, because you say so. This is circular logic.
No, I'm saying it's not a fallacy until you show, with clear reason, that it is.

I've proven that the claim that page 42 is a solution to 4e's limitations is a logical fallacy.
Page 42 is given, in the rules, as a part of the rules, as a means of patching over situations not covered explicitly by other rules until such a time that a more formal solution can be given. If it is not thus a valid solution to overcoming the limitations the system has imposed on itself, then the criteria for finding a solution is flawed.

Argentum74
2009-11-12, 06:02 PM
Isn't that pretty much the definition of Oberoni's Fallacy? That it's the DM's job to compensate for huge disparities in power anyway, so it's not a problem if certain classes are almost infinitely more powerful than others?

Perhaps it's a matter of individual experience then. I've not experienced such disparities in most of the games I've played. Right now our group is 10 characters (4 players, 2 or 3 PCs per player) all 20th/21st level (started at 1st), getting ready for the final showdown with our archnemesis to end the campaign. Granted, our casters (2 clerics, 1 sorcerer and 1 rogue/wizard) have been very impressive, but the ranger, barbarian, fighter, monk and 2 shadowdancers have all been just as effective. I play the ranger and one of the shadowdancers, and I never felt left out, in either the homegrown or canned adventures we've played.


Not that this inherently makes 3.5e bad. I'm just saying that if a cleric can do everything a fighter can but better (thus invalidating the fighter), then even if it isn't a flaw, you must at least admit that it is a product of the game's design, and not a failing on the DM's part.

If the cleric is outclassing the fighter in melee or ranged combat, the person playing the fighter might want to seriously consider a change of career.

Hashmir
2009-11-12, 06:13 PM
Nonetheless, the extrapolations are house rules, in the same way that the 3.5 DMG2's tables for creating new classes are guidelines for creating new rules.
And my first point stands. You can't consider houserules to be part of an RPG, when assessing an RPG. It's fallacious, because the houserules are not part of the RPG.

Hold on. Are you then saying that anything not specifically defined in the manuals, with names and numbers, is nonexistent when looking at the system? This would imply that neither 4e nor 3.5e should be considered capable of allowing an iron gate with a DC 27 STR check to open it. After all, the manuals only give examples of DC 15 and DC 20 gates.

4e has a lot of non-combat situations where the designers did not feel it would be useful to have a strictly defined mechanic. This is not a problem not because it can be "fixed," but because there are general guidelines for handling many of them, and the rest are simply not concerns of the 4e world.

EDIT: @ Argentum:

Don't get me wrong; I've never played in such a group either. But that's in part because I've only played with comparative newbies (like myself), who neither know nor care about proper optimization. All I'm saying is that if a class can, with proper optimization, make another class obsolete, then that is a function of the design, not the users.

Of course, the matter of whether to optimize in such a way is entirely up to the players and DM, and that's why it's not generally a problem. I happen to quite like 3.5e; 4e just appeals to me more because it has more of what I like and less of what I don't.

Sir Homeslice
2009-11-12, 06:42 PM
Since making up fallacies is the new cool thing to do, I present you...!

Sir Homeslice Fallacy
I hate every single one of you for overabusing the word fallacy. That is all. Please stop it. You are being very silly. It makes things difficult to read.

tcrudisi
2009-11-12, 06:45 PM
Since making up fallacies is the new cool thing to do, I present you...!

Sir Homeslice Fallacy
I hate every single one of you for overabusing the word fallacy. That is all. Please stop it. You are being very silly. It makes things difficult to read.

hahahahaha. I had to post just to let you know how much I laughed (which is to say: a lot). hahahahaha. Thanks.

Zen Master
2009-11-12, 07:03 PM
Misconception: "It's just a MMOG on paper!"

It is, though. I've played roleplaying games (p&p) for a very long time, 21 years, and I've played mmo's for a long time, 10 years. I played Ultima Online. Gees :)

So yea, I'd say I can make the comparison. And yes, it's an mmo with paper and dice. What more, I think it's totally intended that way. The purpose isn't to 'dumb down' roleplaying - that never, and I do mean *never* - had anything to do with the rules anyhow.

No, the guys at WoTC looked at the internet, and they saw WoW. And they figured 'a lot of that is based on mechanics and concepts from *our* game. We want in!'

And so they made adjustments to D&D that would make the game easier to import, wholesale and with few modifications, into the mmo-realm.

And personally I think that's sound reasoning. I'm just not sure anyone anywhere has a chance of competing against WoW yet.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 07:08 PM
It is, though. I've played roleplaying games (p&p) for a very long time, 21 years, and I've played mmo's for a long time, 10 years. I played Ultima Online. Gees :)

So yea, I'd say I can make the comparison. And yes, it's an mmo with paper and dice. What more, I think it's totally intended that way. The purpose isn't to 'dumb down' roleplaying - that never, and I do mean *never* - had anything to do with the rules anyhow.

After all, what's an MMORPG when you take it offline, and make it a paper & dice game? You drop the MMO part, and you're left with the RPG. An MMORPG is simply an RPG that's been made with the intention of being played on a computer by many people connected by a series of networks.

Chrono22
2009-11-12, 07:08 PM
Hold on. Are you then saying that anything not specifically defined in the manuals, with names and numbers, is nonexistent when looking at the system? This would imply that neither 4e nor 3.5e should be considered capable of allowing an iron gate with a DC 27 STR check to open it. After all, the manuals only give examples of DC 15 and DC 20 gates.
No, a DC 27 gate would not be official. Houserules should not be included in a normative statement about a game, since they aren't officially part of the game.

Look at it this way: I plan to buy a car. I retain the option of including a CD player and surround sound with the purchase of the car. It would be invalid for me to give a good review about the car model on the basis that it has a CD player and surround sound since the standard model doesn't include it.
The same logic applies to any edition of D&D and houserules. I can't judge D&D 3.5 because it has armor as DR, or because monks have 1/1 base attack bonus progression. Those are optional elements that have nothing to do with the standard.
Using houserules to solve problems with 4e, still means the problems exist in the first place.

And to head off the inevitable "you're playing it incorrectly argument"- D&D is an RPG. 4e's being incapable of fulfilling a role that is part of the genre of adventure fantasy is a problem.

Asbestos
2009-11-12, 07:15 PM
Nonetheless, the extrapolations are house rules, in the same way that the 3.5 DMG2's tables for creating new classes are guidelines for creating new rules.
And my first point stands. You can't consider houserules to be part of an RPG, when assessing an RPG. It's fallacious, because the houserules are not part of the RPG.

Ducks do not exist in D&D worlds, they are not in the rules, therefor any ducks are houseruled creatures and do not exist within D&D as a whole!
Likewise ropes that are not made of silk or hemp do not exist in D&D. Any non-silk, non-hemp ropes are houseruled items and are non-existent.

Chrono22
2009-11-12, 07:17 PM
Ducks do not exist in D&D worlds, they are not in the rules, therefor any ducks are houseruled creatures and do not exist within D&D as a whole!
Likewise ropes that are not made of silk or hemp do not exist in D&D. Any non-silk, non-hemp ropes are houseruled items and are non-existent.
Ducks and leather ropes are automatically part of the standard rules? Nope.
They are houserules. You can't judge 3.5 or 4e on the quality of their ducks, if the ducks aren't ever listed in the game.

Even better: Do trains exist in D&D? Why not? In fact, I'd go as far to say 3.5's inclusion of trains is a defining feature of the game.
Of course, they have nothing on 4e's rocket ships.

Mando Knight
2009-11-12, 07:24 PM
And to head off the inevitable "you're playing it incorrectly argument"- D&D is an RPG. 4e's being incapable of fulfilling a role that is part of the genre of adventure fantasy is a problem.

And what part is that? What part of adventure fantasy is 4e unable to fulfill that 3.5 can? And why can it not fulfill that part? And is that an acceptable shortfalling? Is it unique in that shortfalling?

Chrono22
2009-11-12, 07:29 PM
And what part is that? What part of adventure fantasy is 4e unable to fulfill that 3.5 can? And why can it not fulfill that part? And is that an acceptable shortfalling? Is it unique in that shortfalling?
Whether it's an acceptable shortfalling depends on the players/DM, and the assumptions they make about play. Which is the problem 4e has- it makes very clear, concrete assumptions about play, the narrative of action, and the focus of the rules.
3.5 has support for everything, but doesn't try to push a playstyle (such as... hack and slash dungeon delving) on the player or DM, like 4e does.

4e can't support many of the non-combat oriented character concepts that a player can envision. At least, not without houserules.

jmbrown
2009-11-12, 07:30 PM
No, a DC 27 gate would not be official. Houserules should not be included in a normative statement about a game, since they aren't officially part of the game.

Look at it this way: I plan to buy a car. I retain the option of including a CD player and surround sound with the purchase of the car. It would be invalid for me to give a good review about the car model on the basis that it has a CD player and surround sound since the standard model doesn't include it.
The same logic applies to any edition of D&D and houserules. I can't judge D&D 3.5 because it has armor as DR, or because monks have 1/1 base attack bonus progression. Those are optional elements that have nothing to do with the standard.
Using houserules to solve problems with 4e, still means the problems exist in the first place.

And to head off the inevitable "you're playing it incorrectly argument"- D&D is an RPG. 4e's being incapable of fulfilling a role that is part of the genre of adventure fantasy is a problem.

Yes, D&D is an RPG and like every single RPG with a GM, the referee is the final arbiter of the game world and is given free reign to ad-hoc numbers. The DMG even contain DCs based on level and difficulty. A DC 27 gate might not be 'official' but a DC 30 gate certainly is (DCs increment in fives) because the rules say it's an appropriate challenge for higher level characters.