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The Cat Goddess
2011-10-12, 12:13 PM
http://www.examiner.com/rpg-in-national/is-monte-cook-working-on-5th-edition

Opinions?

Kurald Galain
2011-10-12, 12:15 PM
We were just talking about this last week: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217478

NecroRebel
2011-10-12, 12:18 PM
It was sure to happen eventually, and as far as D&D editions go 4e will probably have roughly the same runtime as the earlier editions. Besides, it's not like anyone will be forced to switch over - there's still players of OD&D, 1e, 2e, 3e, 3.5e, and there will still be players of 4e, even once 5th, 6th, and later editions emerge.

I'm mostly interested in seeing what they do with it. 4e was intentionally fairly gamist in nature, but I understand that 3e was more gamist than 2e which was more gamist than 1e, so if that trend continues presumably 5e will be the most gamist of them all. I'm not sure how they'll pull that off, though. How the system works, how the fluff changes... What occurs remains to be seen.

Yora
2011-10-12, 12:31 PM
If they continue in that direction, it would be Warhammer with a different brand name.

As I see it, the problems of 3rd Ed, and everything that's wrong with 4th Ed are mostly results of wizards busines model, so I don't have any high hopes for a 5th Edition.

gkathellar
2011-10-12, 12:44 PM
It could* be a good step. Maybe. Monte has a very different take on the game than 4E does, and in a way he almost exemplifies everything that 4E excised (good and bad). So if he's really back to work on 5E they may be looking to do something with more 3E influence.

*Could be. It probably won't be, but that's a different story.

Tanuki Tales
2011-10-12, 03:22 PM
All I'll say is that it'll have to be a better game system than Pathfinder to get even a cent out of me.

Blisstake
2011-10-12, 03:41 PM
Yeah, I'm not really sure what would convince me to buy this. I'm in love with 3.5 and now especially Pathfinder, and there are a number of gaming systems out there that satisfy me if I want a more niche game system. It'll have to be pretty spectacular to get me interested :smallconfused:

Tanuki Tales
2011-10-12, 03:45 PM
Yeah, I'm not really sure what would convince me to buy this. I'm in love with 3.5 and now especially Pathfinder, and there are a number of gaming systems out there that satisfy me if I want a more niche game system. It'll have to be pretty spectacular to get me interested :smallconfused:

This, so much this.

WoTC really dealt me a grievous wound with 4th edition. I don't think I could ever forgive/stomach them unless they gave me an offer I can't refuse.

Yora
2011-10-12, 03:51 PM
I think for my personal needs, Pathfinder could be surpassed very easily.

But that would be a game with 3 rulebooks and a library of fluff with one race, one alternate class feature, and 4 spells per book at the most. And I don't see wizards doing such a thing.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-12, 03:56 PM
I predict that WOTC is putting a team together consisting of 3E and 4E designers, and will market this as combining the best parts of both editions, whatever they perceive those to be.

I predict furthermore that many current fans of these earlier editions will instead see it as combining the worst parts of both editions, and keep playing whatever their current favorite is. Not that WOTC will care, because they'll be aiming it for new players, not current ones.

Finally, I predict that 5E will be widely derided as "gamist", "dumbing down", "like a video game", and "ruined forever", just like every edition since the second was. Because hey, a new edition of anything wouldn't be complete without a flame war. :smallamused:

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/standards.png

NecroRebel
2011-10-12, 04:15 PM
All I'll say is that it'll have to be a better game system than Pathfinder to get even a cent out of me.

By what standards are you measuring, though? I'd say that 4e is a "better game system than Pathfinder," myself, but I'm fully cognizant that that's because I know it better and I find a mechanically balanced system to be of high import (and AFAIK Pathfinder is only somewhat more balanced than the grossly-imbalanced 3.x system).

Basically, if you look at it that way, an objectively-better game system than a decent one is impossible. Systems have differences in their goals and that changes how they're made and scored. Some systems surely are better than others, like D&D as a system family is better than I hear FATAL or Synibarr are, but I don't think most of the main professional systems are objectively better or worse than each other.

Kaun
2011-10-12, 04:21 PM
Meh i will give anything a shot, the players make the game not the system anyway.

I don't envy him trying to do a new DnD ed its like trying to re write the bible, with all the baggage attached no matter how many people he pleases he is going to upset just as many. And upset people are always far more vocal then happy ones.

Howler Dagger
2011-10-12, 04:23 PM
Honestly, I liked fourth edition, and felt that people calling it video-gamey wasnt neccasarily bad, I like video games. IMO, 4e was a step in the right direction for
WotC, at least the balance part of it was. People shouldnt say they should disregard anything they learned while making 4e, and make it stem directly from 3.5, because they learned a lot while making both.

Radar
2011-10-12, 04:32 PM
I don't think I would buy any new edition of D&D anytime soon. It's just that I can do anything I need with 3.5, so there's not much incentive to change. Ammount of free (or cheap) roleplaying systems around makes the sale even harder. 5e might become a great system, but it still wouldn't change much.

Also: The Cycle (http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/08/23) continues.

Dr.Epic
2011-10-12, 04:36 PM
http://www.examiner.com/rpg-in-national/is-monte-cook-working-on-5th-edition

Opinions?

4e just came out a few years ago. We've still got some time with it before the next edition.

JadedDM
2011-10-12, 05:09 PM
Margaret Weis (of Dragonlance) confirmed that Monte Cook was working on 5E, over on the official Dragonlance (http://www.dragonlanceforums.com/forums/showthread.php?21813-Interview-with-WoTC-CEO&p=491745#post491745) forums.

I think the main reason for the backlash against 4E was expectations. The consumers were expecting a more streamlined 3E with some rule fixes and minor modifications. Instead, they got an entirely different game and felt betrayed.

Odds are, 5E will be an entirely different game, too. That way, Wizards of the Coast can justify releasing a ton of new splatbooks to go with it, as that's how they make their money.

So it's important to keep that in mind.

Anderlith
2011-10-12, 05:56 PM
I didn't like 4e because every class felt the same. At Will's, Encounter, Dailies were really annoying. "I can only swing my sword like this once an episode?" Made me really not like it. I liked that melee was able to do more tactical things rather than "I swing again" but the power/exploit system really just stacked on more damage (instead of adding a more tactical aspect) making it feel like an MMO when attacking.

Also the magic items were incredibly gamist, It's like playing WoW or Diablo (nothing against either of them, I just don't want my RPG's to be like it lootwise) I wish they would have a loot system more like Warhammer Fantasy or Shadowrun (less +1's yet still a lot of options) I would like to see much more nifty wondrous items & less magic swords. (Magic should be rare & powerful, in my opinion)

Well there is my mini-rant. I don't hope to cause any flames

stabbitty death
2011-10-12, 06:34 PM
well, in my opinion it would be hard pressed to do worse than 4e I really hope Monte makes a great game.

starwoof
2011-10-12, 06:39 PM
Here's to hoping that Monte Cook tricks Wizards into releasing 3.5 again.

Cheers.

Shpadoinkle
2011-10-12, 06:40 PM
4e just came out a few years ago. We've still got some time with it before the next edition.

That's what people said about 3e when WotC was working on 4e.

Tengu_temp
2011-10-12, 07:07 PM
If 5e is to 4e what 4e is to 3e and 3e is to AD&D, then maybe it will be a game I'll actually like instead of just finding passable!

Weezer
2011-10-12, 07:10 PM
If they continue in that direction, it would be Warhammer with a different brand name.


Then they would've come full circle, starting with making an RPG from a war game and ending with making a war game out of an RPG. Has a nice pattern to it if nothing else.

Kaun
2011-10-12, 07:18 PM
Here's to hoping that Monte Cook tricks Wizards into releasing 3.5 again.

Cheers.

Why would you want more of the same tho?

I can understand you like 3.5 but you already have it what would re-releasing it do?

If they re-released they would have to come up with new stuff for it which would ultimately change the game and these changes would probably not be liked by a fair portion of the community, as not liking change is a fairly common frame of mind.

Curious
2011-10-12, 07:57 PM
If they released a game with less segregation between story and gameplay, more interesting options for combat, abolished the daily/encounter/at-will system (at least for non-magical characters), the same rules governing both players and monsters and NPCs, then I might, just might, buy it. Otherwise, Pathfinder it is for me.

Sorcerer Blob
2011-10-12, 08:07 PM
{{scrubbed}}

WitchSlayer
2011-10-12, 08:14 PM
Kind of hope Monte Cook makes a post about how he is going to try to add his own personal flair and the like to 4th Edition and that he's not working on a new Edition.

Just so I will stop seeing all these threads.

mootoall
2011-10-12, 08:16 PM
Why would you want more of the same tho?

I can understand you like 3.5 but you already have it what would re-releasing it do?

If they re-released they would have to come up with new stuff for it which would ultimately change the game and these changes would probably not be liked by a fair portion of the community, as not liking change is a fairly common frame of mind.

More splatbooks. You'll notice that the later books WotC produced were much more cognisant of the balance issues 3.5 had, and went very far to provide ways to play without them. ToB, Magic of Incarnum, That Book with the Factotum*, the various specialized caster classes, all of them are decent T3 options that are clearly alternatives for the previously inbalanced classes. So if WotC wants to make more 3.5 splats following the later books' templates, more power to them.

*Dungeonscape, I know, but seriously, Factotum was the best thing in there.

starwoof
2011-10-12, 08:18 PM
EDIT: Haha, I got ninja'd by someone who expressed my opinion better than I did. I just want to play pathfinder I guess.

erikun
2011-10-12, 08:46 PM
First, I note that working on a new edition shouldn't be too surprising. I mean, 4e sales aren't going to last forever, and the longer they have to develop the new system, the less time they spend between lagging 4e sales and the new release. They make money off new book sales, after all.

One thing I'd like to say is that, despite 4e being "designed with video games/MMOs in mind", the system ends up remarkably poor as a video game. I mean, there is only one current 4e video game that I am familiar with, and it doesn't even work like the actual 4e system (from what I have heard). Didn't they get a video game designer on-board with this idea, or did they just hand out a survey to WoW subscribers and figure that was it?

What little we've heard from WotC about the new system isn't very inspiring, either. They spoke of making the game more modular, where you could pick and choose your power level and such for the system. My thought was great; this would allow for low-magic games or high-magic dimensional travel, depending on what you wanted, and accounted for the difference in the system! Unfortunately, what they ended up talking about was basically "modular splatbooks" where you could choose to either use or not use the content in the book. Isn't that always an option? :smallannoyed:

I haven't been impressed with Monte Cook's resume, either. He's made some good design decisions, but he's made far more bad ones, and it is hard to see how he reflects back on them all. I'm also not familiar with anything he's done outside the "d20 System", so it is hard to say how he would treat an entirely new system.

Okay, rant over for now.

Kaun
2011-10-12, 08:56 PM
Kind of hope Monte Cook makes a post about how he is going to try to add his own personal flair and the like to 4th Edition and that he's not working on a new Edition.

Just so I will stop seeing all these threads.

Why would they bother bringing him back to add anything to 4e?

The people who are 4e fans would buy the books regardless of him being involved or not.

I doubt him becoming involved would win over any of the 3.5/pathfinder fanatics.

And new players to DnD who are just taking the hobby up probably have no idea who he is anyway, so it makes no difference.


Splat books will never sell as much as core books so it wouldn't be surprising if future editions got closer and closer together as time goes on.

Curious
2011-10-12, 08:59 PM
Why would they bother bringing him back to add anything to 4e?

The people who are 4e fans would buy the books regardless of him being involved or not.

I doubt him becoming involved would win over any of the 3.5/pathfinder fanatics.

And new players to DnD who are just taking the hobby up probably have no idea who he is anyway, so it makes no difference.


Splat books will never sell as much as core books so it wouldn't be surprising if future editions got closer and closer together as time goes on.

While your post is reasonable, for the most part, I find your description of 3.5/PF players as 'fanatics' and 4e players as 'fans' laughable. There has been plenty of conflict between both sides of the edition war, and 4e players acquitted themselves no better than did 3.P players.

El Dorado
2011-10-12, 09:08 PM
5e? Brain asplodes.

Treblain
2011-10-12, 09:23 PM
I'm not interested in speculating on content, but I'm concerned about what form(s) 5e will take. Will WotC finally start using .pdfs or something similar? I'm sure they'd love to try a subscription model, but that's going to go to hell once they abandon 4th. At that point, everyone using D&D Insider discovers that the initial convenience of it runs out once the edition is dead, which will alienate yet another fanbase.

And in this era, there's going to be an expectation of an online table interface. I'd like to know where they're going with that.

Kaun
2011-10-12, 09:34 PM
While your post is reasonable, for the most part, I find your description of 3.5/PF players as 'fanatics' and 4e players as 'fans' laughable. There has been plenty of conflict between both sides of the edition war, and 4e players acquitted themselves no better than did 3.P players.

My apologies, please feel free to swap the two as you please or alter them to how ever takes your fancy.

I am not in either camp when it comes down to the edition war and in hind site the choice of "fanatics" may have been poor. My point loses nothing from it being changed to "fans" in both cases.

erikun
2011-10-12, 10:03 PM
At that point, everyone using D&D Insider discovers that the initial convenience of it runs out once the edition is dead, which will alienate yet another fanbase.
The canniest thing that they can do would be to keep all the 4e material with D&DI, and just start adding the 5e material to it. That way, older 4e subscribers still have all their previous material and can easily be transitioned into the new edition, while they can add new 5e subscribers at the same time.

That said, Wizards hasn't shown itself to be all that canny in the realm of online subscriptions.

Vknight
2011-10-12, 10:07 PM
{{scrubbed}}

Gadora
2011-10-13, 12:59 AM
My thoughts on that article? Weiss is likely not getting told things anymore.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-13, 02:48 AM
My thoughts on that article? Weiss is likely not getting told things anymore.

Of course she is. It's probably an intentional leak, as the best thing that can happen to WOTC is lots of speculation and buzz all over the internet. It's like free marketing.

gkathellar
2011-10-13, 04:50 AM
I really hope they keep Monte under control, in any case. He really likes the "all-powerful wizard," and was one of the big reasons that magic got as bloated as it did in 3.5's run. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail.


My thoughts on that article? Weiss is likely not getting told things anymore.

I doubt Weiss has been "getting told things" for a long time, considering how much marketing Dragonlance has gotten lately. But from what she indicated on her forum, it was more a question of her being friends with Monte and her hearing about the whole affair second-hand, rather than any kind of official leak.


-snip-

Seriously? You're telling people to be more receptive to something by insulting them, calling them childish, and telling them they should sit in a corner and not participate in the conversation for calmly expressing opinions on what they would like out of a new edition?

Kurald Galain
2011-10-13, 04:55 AM
I really hope they keep Monte under control, in any case. He really likes the "all-powerful wizard,"
Well, so does the current 4E team. Wizards get lots of new powers and options in almost every single splatbook, and most other classes get zilch.

GoblinArchmage
2011-10-13, 05:27 AM
Eh, I don't really care. I have quite a bit of money's worth of 3/3.5 material, and I don't want it to go to waste.

gkathellar
2011-10-13, 05:37 AM
Well, so does the current 4E team. Wizards get lots of new powers and options in almost every single splatbook, and most other classes get zilch.

Which ... wait, what? I've followed 4E fairly closely, and I've never seen the phenomena you're describing. Which splatbooks are you talking about?

stainboy
2011-10-13, 05:42 AM
The Legends & Lore columns over the last few months seem like deliberate hinting. Mearls starts talking about rebuilding the game from scratch, and then Monte comes on to, um, putter around the office on this and that. These guys aren't idiots, they knew all this would start rumors. Either it's a calculated move to generate buzz for a 5e announcement, or it's just trolling 4e fans for no reason (which seems like really bad business).

What I hope they're doing is using the core of 4e to build a casual dungeoncrawler/skirmish game (with an optional roleplaying/excuse-plot component) and working on a deeper less dissociated game to market simultaneously. Hopefully around the same math, so players can move easily from one to the other. Imagine the transition from pre-Cyclopedia Basic to AD&D or vice versa, if that had actually worked. And I hope they've noticed that Paizo is doing fine with the Ryan Dancey business model (more or less) and get over their fear of omgpiracy.

What I think they're doing is... probably none of that.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-13, 05:47 AM
Which ... wait, what? I've followed 4E fairly closely, and I've never seen the phenomena you're describing. Which splatbooks are you talking about?


The wizard has had more Dragon articles covering it than any other class
HOFL gives us four new builds that are mostly incompatible with older builds, three new wizard builds, and a lot of new wizard powers
HOS gives us a few new classes, some cleric and warlock material, two new wizard builds, and a lot of new wizard powers
The Red Box contains very little new material, but does contain a few new wizard powers
Neverwinter gives us a bunch of backgrounds, and a new wizard build, but no new powers
HOF isn't out yet, but is confirmed to contain a new wizard build and powers


Gee, I wonder why the company isn't called Clerics Of The Coast.

gkathellar
2011-10-13, 06:32 AM
Most of those Dragon articles were just trying to capture old wizard archetypes that had been rendered impossible, if I remember right. Not many of the powers presented therein were particularly good, either.

Most of the other stuff you're pointing out has shown up relatively late in 4E's run, too we'll have to wait and see whether it remains a trend. Besides "new options in 4E" is nothing like "new options in 3E." None of this presents a very compelling case, to be honest.

Eldan
2011-10-13, 09:05 AM
Monte Cook lead designer for 5E! Ptolus, Planescape and Ghostwalk become the three default settings! First Splatbook is Fiendish Codex III: Schemers of Hades! First Adventure Path is The Even Greater Modron March!

Yeah, don't hope too much, people. :smalltongue:

Irish Musician
2011-10-13, 10:18 AM
If, in fact, they are gathering designers from both 3.5 and 4e, hopefully these collective minds will be able to have a good, hard look at everything in both editions and bring the best of both worlds to the new 5e. As much as some people claim to hate it, 4e is a much more user-friendly edition, accept for some of the wording in the rules which tends to confuse people and contradict itself. It really kind of lets you not have to worry about the technical aspect of having a character and lets you role-play a LOT more with the characters you make. For me role-playing is kind of the whole point of it and for the most part is the most important thing. Sure it is fun to have a power character every now and again, but the RP part of D&D is the most fun, in my humble opinion anyway. Do I think 4e is perfect? No, it has problems that do anger me, but in general, it is a fairly good edition.

I think all this hate and rage towards a new ed is people just being scared to actually try new things and being old, grumpy people stuck in their ways. If you play one campign in a certain edition and then claim you don't like said Ed, you haven't really given it a chance and are just turtling back into what you think is comfortable, instead of striking out and trying something new.

Now, is 4e perfect? No, not by any measure. Will 5e be perfect? Again, no. BUT, hopefully WoTC will work on it enough that gamers will give it a chance, and it will be an awesome new edition that we should have had with 4e. So all we can do is try and open our minds to new things and try and accept this new Ed and give it a chance. So...yeah. Don't flame me up too bad.:smallwink:

Kurald Galain
2011-10-13, 10:37 AM
Most of those Dragon articles were just trying to capture old wizard archetypes that had been rendered impossible, if I remember right. Not many of the powers presented therein were particularly good, either.

Most of the other stuff you're pointing out has shown up relatively late in 4E's run, too we'll have to wait and see whether it remains a trend. Besides "new options in 4E" is nothing like "new options in 3E." None of this presents a very compelling case, to be honest.
I have no idea what you mean. I was pointing out that WOTC prints more powers or builds for wizards than for any other class, and your counterargument is that yes they do but you would like it to be more powerful? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.



4e is a much more user-friendly edition, accept for some of the wording in the rules which tends to confuse people and contradict itself. It really kind of lets you not have to worry about the technical aspect of having a character and lets you role-play a LOT more with the characters you make.
Let's just say that claims such as these are heavily controversial.

Mark Hall
2011-10-13, 10:48 AM
The Mod Wonder: Thread closed for review.

Thread reopened. Please stop threadcrapping and edition warring. Opinions are fine; insulting other's opinions are not.

Anderlith
2011-10-13, 11:09 AM
Do you think they will abolish the class system if they do a 5 edition? I would probably get it if they did

Eldan
2011-10-13, 11:18 AM
Unlikely. The class system is one of the few things that D&D has always had and still has, and one of the few things really everyone knows about it. Plus, it's deeply, deeply embedded in pretty much everything D&D.

Plus, there's tons of classless systems out there. D&D needs to stick to its core ideas.

Vknight
2011-10-13, 11:20 AM
Seriously? You're telling people to be more receptive to something by insulting them, calling them childish, and telling them they should sit in a corner and not participate in the conversation for calmly expressing opinions on what they would like out of a new edition?

I was saying that either be more receptive or don't say anything. An open mind willing to learn is better then a closed mind unwilling to compromise.

gkathellar
2011-10-13, 11:21 AM
Do you think they will abolish the class system if they do a 5 edition? I would probably get it if they did

I want to say they can't, and that class and level are far too much an inherent part of D&D ... but they threw a lot of legacy baggage out with 4E, so it's hard to say.

I'm not sure how I would feel about it if they did, honestly. On the one hand, I feel like class and level and experience points are an important part of the D&D experience. On the other hand, I think 3E and 4E may have perfected the two different ways to approach that model, and keeping it for a third go-around might lead to sameyness. Maybe it would be better if they moved on from classes for any potential 5th edition.


I have no idea what you mean. I was pointing out that WOTC prints more powers or builds for wizards than for any other class, and your counterargument is that yes they do but you would like it to be more powerful? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

I don't want them to be more powerful. But in 4E, adding a few more options doesn't actually provide versatility in the way it does in 3E especially if those options just duplicate what existing options do, but with spooky illusionist flavor. And to be fair, I remember plenty of fighter and rogue powers in Dragon. I'm saying the difference isn't really startling enough to make a conclusive judgment that 4E wizards are somehow favored or better-supported in the way 3E wizards seemed to be.

hamlet
2011-10-13, 11:26 AM
Wait, hang on.

I thought Cook was out of the RPG business and onto other projects, like novel writing again?

Did this change somewhere down the line?



Humph.



In any case, it'll be interesting to see what 5e is like since when I hold up my original copies of D&D next to 4e, they really are vastly different games, the same in brand name and possibly spirit only. Even the spirit part is arguable.

Yora
2011-10-13, 11:36 AM
Did this change somewhere down the line?

Probably when someone called him and said "Hey, we have a job for you that pays well. Do you want it?"

Starbuck_II
2011-10-13, 11:43 AM
I think they will make 3.5 but with ToB maneuves (at will, encounter, Daily).
Healing will be the 3.5 values but modified to make healing worth it.
CLW 1d8+1/lv (max +5), CMW (2d8+2/lv (mas +20), CSW 3d8 + 3/lv (Max 45), CCW 4d8 + 4/lv (Max +80), Heal (as is).

So healing scales with damage to a degree. Healing becomes an efficient move.
Inflict spells are modified the same but can't bring you below 1 hp. They combo well though.
Wands of CLW stay competitive, but actual slots are better due to increased caster benefits.

Each class has 3-4 schools of maneuvers they can choose; archery/ranged maneuvers are invented.

The question is if they will show an optional rule for low magic world as article hint.

Seerow
2011-10-13, 11:54 AM
The Mod Wonder: Thread closed for review.

Thread reopened. Please stop threadcrapping and edition warring. Opinions are fine; insulting other's opinions are not.

Just curious, when did threadcrapping become a technical term? :P







Okay, now seriously on topic, WotC has basically shut down their 4e projects. The splats have been pretty thin recently, and the upcoming lineup is thinner. While they definitely needed to slow down the pace from the first year or so (where they were rushing to get out updates of all the popular classes and races everyone was upset didn't make it into PHB1), this seems to be too much of a slowdown, and nothing of real value is being made. So 5e going into development wasn't really much of a surprise. At least they aren't trying to make late-game 4e books beta tests for 5e.

That said, I really do hope that they are able to get the best of both worlds from 3.5 and 4e. 4e gets a lot of flak it doesn't deserve, because it failed in a few key areas, so people deride the whole system, and blame everything new in it for the failings, rather than the failings themselves. Things from 4e I want to see stay:

-Healing surges. They may change in nature or frequency, but the surges themselves make for a great resource, and allow for healing to be more worthwhile (that low level healing spell may still be x+1d8, but that x is now 1/4th of your hit points rather than 5, which is a pretty big difference)

-The HP model. Starting with a higher hit point total and lowering the end game hit point total is great. It makes characters less squishy at the start, and more vulnerable to HP damage at the end, both of which are important. Past a point in 3.5, you either need to cheese out damage so you can deal enough in one round to kill someone, or you don't bother with HP damage, and that's boring.

-Roles. Having different roles for different classes was a great start. As long as the roles aren't "Can do cool things" then it's good, because it makes sure everyone in the party can do something, as opposed to one class doing everything and another doing nothing.

-Power Sources. I love the concept of power sources, 4e's problem is they introduce them, then do nothing with them. A Martial Character plays the same as a Arcane Character, and that is wrong. I want the concept of power sources, but with different mechanics for power sources a la 3e's various subsystems.

-Everybody has powers. Yes some of the powers in 4e are bland, and epic characters don't feel nearly as epic and world shattering as 3rd edition characters. But powers for everyone was a huge step in the right direction. Now if they introduce some of the major effects from 3.5 back into higher level powers, then you'd have something really nice.

-Encounter balance. In 4e, the ability to just grab X monsters of about the party's level, where X is the number of party members, and toss them at the PCs and have a relatively well balanced encounter is amazing. I love it. I want that to continue. High level monster HP should probably be a little lower, and monsters may need to be a bit more threatening, but the core concept of 4e encounter design is a solid one that I want to stay. I definitely do not want to see a shift back to the old 3.5 CR system, which was a joke at best.

-Feats are not powers. A lot of people in 4e cry about their favorite feats not being there or being nerfed, but honestly most of peoples' favorite feats either should have been class features or powers. I mean Whirlwind attack isn't a feat, it's a power. Even Power Attack/Leap Attack is closer to what I see as a low level power option than a feat. I like that 4e restricts feats to basically little bonuses here and there that don't matter a whole lot but allow for some customization. If anything I'd go a step further and rename feats to something else, and name Martial Powers feats, which would probably make people happy (now martial characters get their awesome feats like they want, and everyone gets minor bonuses in the form of talents or whatever)




Things I'd like to see brought back from 3.5:
-Class features. Powers are a great customization tool, but making every individual class have a unique list of powers is part of what made them all feel so bland. Giving a set of powers that most Arcane Classes tap into, then giving class features that alter how those powers may be used would help make characters feel different, and reduce the amount of work that's required to introduce new classes.

-High level effects. Everything from economy breakers like Fabricate to world changers like Wish and Genesis, should be included. These sorts of things add feel to the setting. Most 4e powers fit into what would be appropriate for a Heroic tier character, even at epic tier. When you are literally fighting toe to toe with gods at level 30, you should be capable of world changing epic feats. While coming back from the dead once per day and never running out of encounter powers is cool, it's not particularly world changing stuff. The trick is reintroducing it while simultaneously not upsetting game balance to the degree that it does in 3.5. This means people with power sources other than Arcane and Divine should have some really crazy logic breaking abilities.

-Different sub systems. Already mentioned above under power sources, but worth mentioning again.

-Multiclassing. Yes, multiclassing in 3.5 could be be broken. Typically it was less broken than just being a single class, unless the new class was a prestige class that gave you everything from the old class and then some. The 4e multiclassing system was bland and doesn't give you anywhere near the diversity that 3.5 does, and that lack of flexibility is a weakness.

Mark Hall
2011-10-13, 11:57 AM
Just curious, when did threadcrapping become a technical term? :P


The Mod Wonder: It's in the rules under "Things that piss off Mark" :smallbiggrin:








More seriously, it's under Trolling.




Things I'd like to see brought back from 3.5:
-Class features. Powers are a great customization tool, but making every individual class have a unique list of powers is part of what made them all feel so bland. Giving a set of powers that most Arcane Classes tap into, then giving class features that alter how those powers may be used would help make characters feel different, and reduce the amount of work that's required to introduce new classes.

While 4e did have class features, I DO like the idea of a pool of powers that are available, either for free or as part of level up, to everyone in a given power source.


-Multiclassing. Yes, multiclassing in 3.5 could be be broken. Typically it was less broken than just being a single class, unless the new class was a prestige class that gave you everything from the old class and then some. The 4e multiclassing system was bland and doesn't give you anywhere near the diversity that 3.5 does, and that lack of flexibility is a weakness.

Ok, running to lunch, so I'll develop a response to this later.

Seerow
2011-10-13, 11:59 AM
The Mod Wonder: It's in the rules under "Things that piss off Mark" :smallbiggrin:








More seriously, it's under Trolling.

Holy crap it really is there. Here I thought you were just making a term up.


Now back to your regularly scheduled 5e thread.

Sipex
2011-10-13, 12:05 PM
Okay, now seriously on topic, WotC has basically shut down their 4e projects. The splats have been pretty thin recently, and the upcoming lineup is thinner. While they definitely needed to slow down the pace from the first year or so (where they were rushing to get out updates of all the popular classes and races everyone was upset didn't make it into PHB1), this seems to be too much of a slowdown, and nothing of real value is being made. So 5e going into development wasn't really much of a surprise. At least they aren't trying to make late-game 4e books beta tests for 5e.

That said, I really do hope that they are able to get the best of both worlds from 3.5 and 4e. 4e gets a lot of flak it doesn't deserve, because it failed in a few key areas, so people deride the whole system, and blame everything new in it for the failings, rather than the failings themselves. Things from 4e I want to see stay:

-Healing surges. They may change in nature or frequency, but the surges themselves make for a great resource, and allow for healing to be more worthwhile (that low level healing spell may still be x+1d8, but that x is now 1/4th of your hit points rather than 5, which is a pretty big difference)

-The HP model. Starting with a higher hit point total and lowering the end game hit point total is great. It makes characters less squishy at the start, and more vulnerable to HP damage at the end, both of which are important. Past a point in 3.5, you either need to cheese out damage so you can deal enough in one round to kill someone, or you don't bother with HP damage, and that's boring.

-Roles. Having different roles for different classes was a great start. As long as the roles aren't "Can do cool things" then it's good, because it makes sure everyone in the party can do something, as opposed to one class doing everything and another doing nothing.

-Power Sources. I love the concept of power sources, 4e's problem is they introduce them, then do nothing with them. A Martial Character plays the same as a Arcane Character, and that is wrong. I want the concept of power sources, but with different mechanics for power sources a la 3e's various subsystems.

-Everybody has powers. Yes some of the powers in 4e are bland, and epic characters don't feel nearly as epic and world shattering as 3rd edition characters. But powers for everyone was a huge step in the right direction. Now if they introduce some of the major effects from 3.5 back into higher level powers, then you'd have something really nice.

-Encounter balance. In 4e, the ability to just grab X monsters of about the party's level, where X is the number of party members, and toss them at the PCs and have a relatively well balanced encounter is amazing. I love it. I want that to continue. High level monster HP should probably be a little lower, and monsters may need to be a bit more threatening, but the core concept of 4e encounter design is a solid one that I want to stay. I definitely do not want to see a shift back to the old 3.5 CR system, which was a joke at best.

-Feats are not powers. A lot of people in 4e cry about their favorite feats not being there or being nerfed, but honestly most of peoples' favorite feats either should have been class features or powers. I mean Whirlwind attack isn't a feat, it's a power. Even Power Attack/Leap Attack is closer to what I see as a low level power option than a feat. I like that 4e restricts feats to basically little bonuses here and there that don't matter a whole lot but allow for some customization. If anything I'd go a step further and rename feats to something else, and name Martial Powers feats, which would probably make people happy (now martial characters get their awesome feats like they want, and everyone gets minor bonuses in the form of talents or whatever)




Things I'd like to see brought back from 3.5:
-Class features. Powers are a great customization tool, but making every individual class have a unique list of powers is part of what made them all feel so bland. Giving a set of powers that most Arcane Classes tap into, then giving class features that alter how those powers may be used would help make characters feel different, and reduce the amount of work that's required to introduce new classes.

-High level effects. Everything from economy breakers like Fabricate to world changers like Wish and Genesis, should be included. These sorts of things add feel to the setting. Most 4e powers fit into what would be appropriate for a Heroic tier character, even at epic tier. When you are literally fighting toe to toe with gods at level 30, you should be capable of world changing epic feats. While coming back from the dead once per day and never running out of encounter powers is cool, it's not particularly world changing stuff. The trick is reintroducing it while simultaneously not upsetting game balance to the degree that it does in 3.5. This means people with power sources other than Arcane and Divine should have some really crazy logic breaking abilities.

-Different sub systems. Already mentioned above under power sources, but worth mentioning again.

-Multiclassing. Yes, multiclassing in 3.5 could be be broken. Typically it was less broken than just being a single class, unless the new class was a prestige class that gave you everything from the old class and then some. The 4e multiclassing system was bland and doesn't give you anywhere near the diversity that 3.5 does, and that lack of flexibility is a weakness.

I think you have highlighted a lot of the things that 4e did well and a lot of places where it's shortcomings were. I especially agree with the whole 'power sources' thing which they barely did anything with (except powersource specific feats, but most of the time those specified a CLASS and a RACE as well). I think your idea to allow one power source to pick from a pool of powers (but each class works differently) would be wonderous.

gkathellar
2011-10-13, 12:22 PM
-snip-

This is an absolutely fantastic summary of everything we could hope for from 5th edition. I think the one thing that neither edition has had, though, which another one would certainly need, is a way for martial characters to keep up with their magical counterparts out of combat. It's not an easy question to answer, but it's one that needs answering: how can a fighter be as relevant as a wizard to the setting they occupy outside of ability to kill things.

Anderlith
2011-10-13, 12:27 PM
I just got to ask. How is a greatsword a power? How is being trained in parkour a power? Get rid of "powers", not sources of power, not maneuvers & exploits, but get rid of "powers" in the sense of the Cleric has the power of the gods! the Wizard has the power over arcane energies! the fighter has the power of a... sword?...um his strength?... no wait, that's a stat not a power, well f*ck it, he has the power!

Replace it with tutelage or training, something other than "power"


Oh, & instead of making fighters do way too reality bending attacks, why not just make magic useage a risky venture, yes you can cast that spell, but it just might hurt you too much to withstand an attack from the angry goblin over there.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-13, 12:33 PM
By what standards are you measuring, though? I'd say that 4e is a "better game system than Pathfinder," myself, but I'm fully cognizant that that's because I know it better and I find a mechanically balanced system to be of high import (and AFAIK Pathfinder is only somewhat more balanced than the grossly-imbalanced 3.x system).

Here's the issue. I both disagree that pf is more balanced at all than 3.x...and also disagree that 3.x is grossly imbalanced. I feel that the exploits in 3.x mostly stem from the sheer volume of people playing it...the things broken in it are well known. I mean, try to find a 7th Sea optimization site. It doesn't really exist. Yet I and other long time players can utterly break the game in half(and even new players routinely end up with chars with wildly different power levels).

Lastly, balance is far less of a problem than the internet makes it out to be. Balance problems are incredibly frequent in RPGs, including very successful RPGs. It is not a significant impediment to use. Things like a boring setting, on the other hand, can kill an RPG dead.

I am curious about a 5th ed, and, like almost all new popular game systems, will certainly give it a try. Hopefully it'll be good enough to join the stable of frequently played games.

Honestly, I'd be happier if they split the product line in two, with a 3.5 based line of gaming, and a very gamist oriented 4e inspired line of gaming. I'm not fussed about which one gets what name, but they two systems are terribly different, and I worry that one that tries to be half of each might end up hated by both camps.

Seerow
2011-10-13, 06:22 PM
While 4e did have class features, I DO like the idea of a pool of powers that are available, either for free or as part of level up, to everyone in a given power source.


4e had class features... but all of them came at level 1, and for the most part they didn't scale pretty well. You have to admit 4e relied heavily on powers to diversify their classes.

But yeah, the way I see it working is that power sources share a mechanic. Just like in 3.5 all of the Incarnum classes share the Incarnum mechanic, but use it differently, or spellcasters share the spellcasting mechanic, Psionic characters share the power point mechanic, etc. Then the powers work more like 3.5 spells, where you have a list of all Arcane Spells, not all classes get all of those spells, but most of the spells are shared by at least a couple classes. So you don't have that issue of nobody but a wizard has this power or that power, which was fricken retarded.


I just got to ask. How is a greatsword a power? How is being trained in parkour a power? Get rid of "powers", not sources of power, not maneuvers & exploits, but get rid of "powers" in the sense of the Cleric has the power of the gods! the Wizard has the power over arcane energies! the fighter has the power of a... sword?...um his strength?... no wait, that's a stat not a power, well f*ck it, he has the power!

Replace it with tutelage or training, something other than "power"


That's why in my WoT thing I suggested making Martial powers feats.

The word power is just pretty generic and refers to Feats/Spells/Prayers/Invocations etc.

NecroRebel
2011-10-13, 06:38 PM
-snip-

My apologies, but I think you missed my point. My point wasn't "4e is better because it's balanced," but rather "the parameters that you use to judge a game determine which are better than others." All the things you said might be true or false, but they are irrelevant, just as my mention of 4e was merely intended as an example of this principle.

Oftentimes, it seems that what people look for in a game is influenced by what is present in a game they like, and if that's true in your case, it implies that what you like about PF is, obviously, present in PF, and if that's what makes a game great for you, any system that isn't PF-without-certain-flaws will be inferior by your parameters. 4e isn't that, certainly, but then again, there's not likely to be a system of that description until there's a new edition of Pathfinder that emerges to fix any flaws that might have been identified, which might never happen.

Kaun
2011-10-13, 06:57 PM
The main thing i would want in 5e would be faster combats.

I streamlined the poop out of my 4e games to get the combats as fast as i could but they still took for ever.

It got to the point where i stopped putting anything but major plot important encounters because even small fights would eat up a couple hours of game time with out trying.

My party learned that they could do things like saving time on a trip with impromptu crossings of the "dangerous swap" with out worrying be cause i was always reluctant to throw unnecessary combat at them.

MagnusExultatio
2011-10-13, 07:10 PM
I just got to ask. How is a greatsword a power? How is being trained in parkour a power? Get rid of "powers", not sources of power, not maneuvers & exploits, but get rid of "powers" in the sense of the Cleric has the power of the gods! the Wizard has the power over arcane energies! the fighter has the power of a... sword?...um his strength?... no wait, that's a stat not a power, well f*ck it, he has the power!
Does the word "fighting style" mean nothing to do? Actual melee combat involves a lot more than "dur i sweng sord 2 kill oponent".


Replace it with tutelage or training, something other than "power"
Martial powers are called "Exploits".


Oh, & instead of making fighters do way too reality bending attacks, why not just make magic useage a risky venture, yes you can cast that spell, but it just might hurt you too much to withstand an attack from the angry goblin over there.

Why don't you name a reality bending attack that Fighters have instead of pulling something from thin air? Also what does magic have to do with Fighters, beyond the fact that you think anything more complicated than "swing sword the exact same way" is magic?

Kurald Galain
2011-10-13, 07:11 PM
Lastly, balance is far less of a problem than the internet makes it out to be. Balance problems are incredibly frequent in RPGs, including very successful RPGs. It is not a significant impediment to use. Things like a boring setting, on the other hand, can kill an RPG dead.
This bears repeating. There are hundreds of RPGs on the marketplace and other than D&D, none of them require "game balance" to be a design priority.


The main thing i would want in 5e would be faster combats.
This, oh so very much.

Kaun
2011-10-13, 07:30 PM
why not just make magic useage a risky venture, yes you can cast that spell, but it just might hurt you too much to withstand an attack from the angry goblin over there.

Yeah i would like to see a risk vs reward system for magic. I'm more then happy to see it return to the world shaping power of 3x but i would like to see magic be a bit more of a gamble. A lot of systems do this and i have always really enjoyed it.

Anderlith
2011-10-13, 08:06 PM
Does the word "fighting style" mean nothing to do? Actual melee combat involves a lot more than "dur i sweng sord 2 kill oponent".

Yes, as I have actually practiced with longswords in the Zornhou style (no real mastery though). It's kind of like a rolling attack style, you force your enemy to block & become off balance/expose himself, or die (take a hit). & you just roll from one swing to another because it doesn't really matter what your opponent does they will have to react to what you are doing, you do not need to react to your opponent. (If you are good enough)

If anything attacks/"exploits" should give bonuses to attack/damage/bull rush/disarm/AC/to move the opponent, etc. NOT to give you 3 [W] damage & such.


Martial powers are called "Exploits".

Yes martial powers are called exploits. They are still "powers"


Why don't you name a reality bending attack that Fighters have instead of pulling something from thin air? Also what does magic have to do with Fighters, beyond the fact that you think anything more complicated than "swing sword the exact same way" is magic?
I seem to have gotten rid of my 4th Editions (needed the space), so I can't give you a name of any specific power.

Treblain
2011-10-13, 08:07 PM
This bears repeating. There are hundreds of RPGs on the marketplace and other than D&D, none of them require "game balance" to be a design priority.

Game balance became a design priority in 4e because 3e was so notorious for being imbalanced. (How imbalanced it actually was isn't worth arguing, but there was a perception that it was.) If other games were as widely known as D&D and were widely perceived as imbalanced, you don't think the designers would try to fix it?

Seerow
2011-10-13, 08:11 PM
If anything attacks/"exploits" should give bonuses to attack/damage/bull rush/disarm/AC/to move the opponent, etc. NOT to give you 3 [W] damage & such.

What's wrong with a martial power giving you extra damage, or allowing an extra attack, or attacking an area, or inflicting a penalty on your target?


Yes martial powers are called exploits. They are still "powers"

They're powers in that they are special abilities that are more than a basic attack. Funny thing? 3.5 fighters have that. Power Attack is basically a power. Dungeoncrashing is a power. Bullrushing/Tripping/Disarming/etc are basically universal powers.


I seem to have gotten rid of my 4th Editions (needed the space), so I can't give you a name of any specific power.

How convenient.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-13, 08:17 PM
Does the word "fighting style" mean nothing to do? Actual melee combat involves a lot more than "dur i sweng sord 2 kill oponent".
But unfortunately, most of the fluff writers for martial powers are unaware of that: most such powers do in fact have mad libs flavor text like "you <adverbly> swing your blade or axe, causing your <enemy> to <verb> in reaction".


Why don't you name a reality bending attack that Fighters have instead of pulling something from thin air?
That's easy enough. Try explaining how a fighter mark supersedes a paladin mark. Heck, try explaining how a fighter mark gives its target -2 to hit anyone else, regardless of where (or if!) the fighter is on the battlefield.

Some other examples: Pinning Smash (your enemy is not grabbed, but he is no longer capable of moving away from you), No Room To Breathe (your enemy deals half damage with his magical, divine, and psionic attacks), or Line In The Sand (you draw a circle on the ground, which causes enemies that enter it to grant combat advantage). The classic example, of course, is pre-errata Come And Get It (which caused all nearby enemies to automatically engage you in melee, no roll needed).

Martial characters do plenty of things that have nonsensical fluff.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2011-10-13, 08:35 PM
Also, Warlords. And healing surges in general. But that doesn't necessarily make for a bad system.

As little as I benefit from this personally, in principle I do like how 4e's optimization emphasis was often rooted in teamwork instead of individual builds. Not everyone has the right set of players for this, but it makes it so sharing the spotlight is tactically optimal. In 3e it was more about a caster, by himself, setting up combat in a way that the party could mop up. That allowed me to save the party's ass more than once due to their (legitimate but irritating) disregard of mechanics, but it's not necessarily a good design principle.

So, more of that in 5e. I hope they can find a way to encourage teamwork while giving more substantive build flexibility.

UrsielHauke
2011-10-13, 09:08 PM
I may be wrong, but I think nobody has brought this up yet.

Pathfinder.

I think one of the big prompts for 5E is the fact that D&D has to compete with Pathfinder; and there's a reason many people are calling it 3.75. The group I regularly game with plays exclusively 3.5 and PF, and we are happy with it. And I think that nobody is buying 4E sourcebooks is because they would rather buy PF sourcebooks.

In my opinion, PF is 3.5 with a different collection of character options (Not going to say less or more here because it's really up for debate; There are fewer classes and prestige classes, but single-classing is more rewarding and there are more varient class features; and lets face it, there are a positively TITANIC number of feats in both, and many of them can be transposed between 3.5 and PF with a little basic math and a word with your DM), a handful fewer campaign settings, but a huge number of balance fixes. And yes, I know there are no specific rules for epic in PF. I know there aren't monster classes. But honestly, these things can be worked out for oneself if they are really wanted (although I'm not looking at an Epic PF game in the near future, though I'm currently in a 3.5 campaign making the long journey from 1st to Epic).

Again IMO, 4E plays like a video game. Most everything is just point and shoot, and there's not a whole lot of variety or room for creativity, either in character classes, skillmonkeying, "spells", or class features.

I see 5E coming back with a lot of what 3.5 was and PF is. Lots of options for character creation, world-shaking epic abilties (probably not coming out in core, of course, but come on. Laws of thermodynamics? Feh! I can create an epic level spell called "Absolute Zero" and I damn well intend to!), lots of character classes and prestige classes, some new stuff, and a lot of the tried and true that got taken out in 4th (See also: Non-combat spellcasting).

I don't just want to point and shoot. I want to think.

I think there are a lot of people who agree with me.

But that's just my opinion.

Kaun
2011-10-13, 09:20 PM
I see 5E coming back with a lot of what 3.5 was and PF is. Lots of options for character creation, world-shaking epic abilties (probably not coming out in core, of course, but come on. Laws of thermodynamics? Feh! I can create an epic level spell called "Absolute Zero" and I damn well intend to!), lots of character classes and prestige classes, some new stuff, and a lot of the tried and true that got taken out in 4th (See also: Non-combat spellcasting).

But why take it back to something that is already here?

Why do you want 5e to be Pathfinder when you have Pathfinder already?



I don't just want to point and shoot. I want to think.

If your not thinking in a game that is a user fault not a system fault IMHO.

Curious
2011-10-13, 09:25 PM
But why take it back to something that is already here?

Why do you want 5e to be Pathfinder when you have Pathfinder already?



Honestly? What I want is basically Pathfinder with balanced classes in core. That's it.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-14, 04:52 AM
Game balance became a design priority in 4e because 3e was so notorious for being imbalanced. (How imbalanced it actually was isn't worth arguing, but there was a perception that it was.) If other games were as widely known as D&D and were widely perceived as imbalanced, you don't think the designers would try to fix it?

Probably. And there's nothing wrong with adding balance, just like there's nothing wrong with adding awesome artwork. But the problem is always what, if anything, you're sacrificing to allow you to fit that in. It's pretty clear that perfect balance is essentially impossible without shredding a game pretty hard(4e doesn't have it, certainly...I'd argue that basically no popular games do). So, the tradeoff is a pretty significant one in this instance.

I do really feel that whatever 5th ed does, they can't just ignore pathfinder. I'm not a particular pathfinder fan, but I can't deny that a LOT of people saw it as the heir to 3.5, and started buying their stuff. Pathfinder books are popular now. I can buy them at actual bookstores instead of game shops. For Wotc, this HAS to be something that concerns them.

So, while just cloning pathfinder is probably not a winning strategy, they most certainly need to provide people into pathfinder with a reasonable temptation back to D&D.

Yora
2011-10-14, 05:14 AM
They have to consider Pathfinder in the way that their product has to be meaningfully different and offer something Pathfinder doesn't.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-14, 06:17 AM
But why take it back to something that is already here?

Why do you want 5e to be Pathfinder when you have Pathfinder already?
It's not that I particularly want this, but WOTC may decide that it's the easiest way to sell rulebooks (just like how the best-selling Hollywood movies tend to be very derivative).

Tyndmyr
2011-10-14, 06:30 AM
It's not that I particularly want this, but WOTC may decide that it's the easiest way to sell rulebooks (just like how the best-selling Hollywood movies tend to be very derivative).

They may not even be wrong. Sure, I may not care about Transformers 3, but it's not like they're losing money on it.

Certainly, it's been shown to be profitable for WoTC to toss out a lot of splatbooks with derivative material. It's not a huge stretch to believe that changing system only a little bit will work.

Personally, though, I really hope they don't go to the warhammer model. I quit that a coupla years back because I was frigging sick of the constant changes invalidating all my stuff.

stainboy
2011-10-14, 07:02 AM
They have to consider Pathfinder in the way that their product has to be meaningfully different and offer something Pathfinder doesn't.

They could offer better math and a more streamlined system. 4e's core "engine" is stronger than d20's already:


Standardized core mechanic
All base bonuses scale with level at the same rate
Standard + Move + Minor is consistent, Standard + Move + Swift isn't
Flat-footed/flanked/denied Dex bonus streamlined into Combat Advantage
Touch AC folded into Reflex
Healing effects automatically scale to the target's max HP
Save mechanic reduces the need to track random durations
Negative HP threshold scales with level


WotC's combat engine is already one iteration ahead of Paizo's, and I don't have any doubts about WotC's ability to improve on the engine again. 5e may be a complete pile of fail in every other way but its its basic combat rules will be solid. Paizo can't say that. They'll be stuck with d20 for at least a few more years and when they do eventually have to write PF2e they'll be in completely new territory.

gkathellar
2011-10-14, 07:15 AM
Standardized core mechanic
All base bonuses scale with level at the same rate
Standard + Move + Minor is consistent, Standard + Move + Swift isn't
Flat-footed/flanked/denied Dex bonus streamlined into Combat Advantage
Touch AC folded into Reflex
Healing effects automatically scale to the target's max HP
Save mechanic reduces the need to track random durations
Negative HP threshold scales with level


Point. For all of 4E's potential faults, this an incredibly solid list of improvements, ones which will hopefully translate into any potential 5th edition. In general, 4E's consciousness that it is an "engine" in addition to a game has been very good for its ability to produce solid, balanced mechanics.


(See also: Non-combat spellcasting).

Rituals called. They were just saying hello.

Yora
2011-10-14, 07:18 AM
Maybe take a look at the Star Wars Saga system and turn it into a fantasy game. I always found saga to be much superior to 3.5e and the best d20 system ever made. Creating a lot of new Talents and a new magic system (or just plain 3.5e psionics) and you'd probably end up with the best d20 game to date.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-14, 07:21 AM
They could offer better math and a more streamlined system. 4e's core "engine" is stronger than d20's already:

Streamlined is different from "better math" or "stronger".


[list]
Standardized core mechanic

d20 + modifier. Same, same. Not seeing big diff here.


All base bonuses scale with level at the same rate

That's a feature. Not necessarily a good or bad one.


Standard + Move + Minor is consistent, Standard + Move + Swift isn't

They are essentially the same thing. The later 3.x stuff basically all utilizes standard/move/swift. 4e basically just continued this. I would not expect this to go away in 5.


Flat-footed/flanked/denied Dex bonus streamlined into Combat Advantage

Eh...see, there's a notable lack of precision involved in this streamlining. That said, both 3.5 and 4e have a rather crazy number of possible statuses to track. 4e likely involves more actual tracking due to short duration bonuses, which could be viewed as LESS streamlined.


Touch AC folded into Reflex

These are highly related in 3.5 as well. The big difference is the class influence on reflex, but not touch AC. Good, bad...meh. It really depends, I guess, but this is very poor evidence for 4e being stronger.


Healing effects automatically scale to the target's max HP

This isn't necessarily good at all. Certainly a realism hit. Not necessarily a gameplay bonus.


Save mechanic reduces the need to track random durations

4e has a lot of durations to track. Status indicators seem to be even more important than in 3.5, where there tended to be few durations that are necessary to track in combat. Also, durations in 3.5 are mostly fairly standardized to rounds/level, minutes/level, 10 minutes/level, hour/level, day/level. I wouldn't describe them as random.


Negative HP threshold scales with level


Variants existed for that in 3.5. It will likely not be a problem in 5e, regardless of what model they go with, since it's easily changed by itself.


WotC's combat engine is already one iteration ahead of Paizo's, and I don't have any doubts about WotC's ability to improve on the engine again. 5e may be a complete pile of fail in every other way but its its basic combat rules will be solid. Paizo can't say that. They'll be stuck with d20 for at least a few more years and when they do eventually have to write PF2e they'll be in completely new territory.

Newer /= better. I don't think you've justified adequately than the 4e core ruleset is inherently superior to the 3.5/pf one.

HunterOfJello
2011-10-14, 07:25 AM
In many of the threads I've seen before about 5e (with significantly less solid information in them than this), people often mention the number of years between each of the editions.


AD&D 2e came out in 1989
AD&D 2e revised 1993
D&D 3e 2000
D&D 3.5e 2003
D&D 4e 2008
D&D 4e Essentials 2010


A revised version of each edition seems to come out a few years after each new edition. Going from 2nd to 3rd edition took 11 years, but the game gained a larger following in that time. Going from 3rd to 4th was 8 years and 3.5e had a pretty good run for a while there.

Based on the time differences, it wouldn't look like a 5th edition would come out after 4e only being out for 4 years. However, if the sales for 4e are low because of their pricing model then it could be realistic. There is definitely a larger demand for tabletop rpgs currently present than what WotC is actually capitalizing on. The fact that other companies like Paizo are taking up the same market share and making money on Pathfinder products means that WotC should start working on alternate products.

~~~~~~

Out of all the possible things that WotC may or may not be working on right now, I just hope their product turns out to be fun. Also, I look forward to not seeing everyone on the forums going crazy if WotC announces a new D&D 3.8e Essentials game.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-14, 07:29 AM
Personally, though, I really hope they don't go to the warhammer model. I quit that a coupla years back because I was frigging sick of the constant changes invalidating all my stuff.
Actually this is a pretty good description of 4E as it stands now. I'm getting tired of the constant errata to everything, and now there's a huge reclassification of item rarity levels coming up (which would have been less of a problem if they did it a year ago, when they first introduced rarity). And they haven't finished errata'ing the original classes yet, which is mostly needed because they won't errata the RC.


They could offer better math and a more streamlined system. 4e's core "engine" is stronger than d20's already:
On the other hand, it has a few obvious flaws. For example, save-ends effects are easier to get rid of than EONT effects. All tactics that grant you CA become irrelevant once you already have CA, because they don't stack (e.g. rogues have dozens of CA-granting utilities that they simply never need). The mechanics for dual-typed damage and resistance/vuln are clunky, and it took them over two years to get the basic math straightened out on PC attacks, monster damage, and SCs.

So maybe 5E is just a good excuse to start from a blank slate and change a few underlying assumptions without requiring dozens of pages of errata.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-14, 07:31 AM
Keep in mind that 5e is probably going to take a minute to design and build. Just 'cause they're starting on it now doesn't mean 4e is dead yet or anything.

I would presume that this is a highly planned thing, and they'll probably keep putting out 4e books until fairly close to the 5e release.

Seerow
2011-10-14, 07:45 AM
The mechanics for dual-typed damage and resistance/vuln are clunky

It's been a while, but I was under the impression with dual typed damage, it just always applied what was best for the attacker. So if you have a Frostfire Bolt, and the target has 10 Cold Resist, and 5 Fire Weakness, the enemy has weakness 5 to the whole thing.

If this isn't how it works, it is how it should work. Dual typed damage is supposed to be a benefit.


So maybe 5E is just a good excuse to start from a blank slate and change a few underlying assumptions without requiring dozens of pages of errata.


That sounds like more of a 4e thing.



Streamlined is different from "better math" or "stronger".


Most things using the core +1/2 level rather than having different scaling for everybody is a pretty big deal. It makes those fiddly +1 or +2 bonuses matter more, rather than balancing monsters around the middle or even lower end, and having the people with high progression just auto-hit/succeed/whatever.


This isn't necessarily good at all. Certainly a realism hit. Not necessarily a gameplay bonus.


You're right, 3.5's version where healing in combat was a total waste of time because of the numbers involved was far superior :smallconfused:


They are essentially the same thing. The later 3.x stuff basically all utilizes standard/move/swift. 4e basically just continued this. I would not expect this to go away in 5.


I agree this wasn't really a change. But I do believe that 4e's interrupt actions aren't related to minor actions, which is a minor upgrade from 3.5. Also the opportunity action was changed from once per turn to once per enemy, which meant keeping track of if you could actually take your AoO was easier.


Eh...see, there's a notable lack of precision involved in this streamlining. That said, both 3.5 and 4e have a rather crazy number of possible statuses to track. 4e likely involves more actual tracking due to short duration bonuses, which could be viewed as LESS streamlined.


Well the specific point you were responding to was saying nothing about duration of bonuses so that seems like a non-sequitur, but really 3.5 wasn't any better about tracking durations of status. Remembering "This lasts until the end of my next turn" is typically easier than "This lasts for 3 rounds", because the amount of time you need to remember and track it are shorter. Ideally I'd like to see something like:

Duration-1 Round (until end of next turn)
Duration-1 Encounter (until end of the encounter)
Duration-1 Day (until you take an extended rest)


And have saving throws only come in when you or an ally uses a power/ability to make a saving throw to shake it off early (Solos would have something like this on a easy recharge), or if the power specifically allows one.

Mind you this is clearly not the 4e system (where most effects are either 1 turn or save ends), but it's where I'd ideally like to see the system head with 5e.

The Reverend
2011-10-14, 07:45 AM
The most important thing to remember about designing games is: Players play the game you make.


For example, when playing monopoly I may keep referring to my self as Rufus Maxamillian T. Weatherbotton the 3rd of the Rhode Island Weatherbottoms, but no one else does and no one else creates alter egos as the game has no structure to support it, let alone reward it. Another example, in Conan based games I have never played a magic user. Why? Because its basically all ritual magic and you'll get your throat slit before you finish your incantation.

4E is a fantasy tactical skirmish game , for an RPG just add role-playing!!! True that is an over generalization to be sure, but how many classes in 4e have non combat powers or even encourage anything but hacky slashy? 3.5 definitely, I've played at least one campaign without barely stabbing hardly anyone. I was the party face.

If you dont create it they won't play it is the second lesson of game design

Seerow
2011-10-14, 07:47 AM
4E is a fantasy tactical skirmish game , for an RPG just add role-playing!!! True that is an over generalization to be sure, but how many classes in 4e have non combat powers or even encourage anything but hacky slashy? 3.5 definitely, I've played at least one campaign without barely stabbing hardly anyone. I was the party face.


Don't basically all classes have utility powers that can be used out of combat?

I know that 4e also included a few combat options on the utility powers list, which was pretty stupid, but there are non-combat options on those lists I'm pretty sure.

Sipex
2011-10-14, 07:51 AM
I'm an avid 4e player (as I say time and time again) so I can tell you that the game is more than 'point and shoot' unless you're prejudging from no experience or you're playing a bad module. Combat can get incredibly complex and tactical (ask any 4e player worth their salt) just by RAW and the fact that it's still a D&D game, under the right DM following good old page 42 of the DMG, still encourages players to think up creative solutions and uses for their many abilities.

That said 4e has done things wrong and things I'd like to see fixed.

1) More out of battle utility for ALL classes.

In 4e this technically exists in the form of utility powers and rituals but both these carry heavy faults which prevent them from being useful outside battle.

Almost 100% of the time, when you're asked to take a Utility power there's a combat specefic utility power (heal your allies, buff someone, etc) which is infinitely better than the non-combat powers available. Not that the non-combat powers suck, but they tend to solve situations which can be resolved with player ingenuity or situations which aren't threatening to kill you on their next initiative.

Rituals are closer to the idea of 'reality bending magic' that so many people wish 4e had. While none compare to the high level 3.5 stuff it's still fairly useful except...

Time and cost. These things take more time and more gold than they tend to be worth casting. Nearly nobody uses them because money can be better spent elsewhere and time tends not to be available when they're needed.

2) The aforementioned different mechanics

Nearly every class has the same mechanics with different class features. I thought this was fine until Psionics were released and completely turned this thinking on it's edge.

While psonics were still built along the same baseline as other classes the power source played completely differently, making...well...powersource actually MEAN something for once.

This doesn't mean 'martial' characters should simply 'Swing their weapons and be happy with it' but each power source should have a unique way of working which makes it a different experience to play.

Unfortunately Psionics came out right before Essentials so no more changes were made towards this area of play.

3) Less power creep, more options

To clarify, 4e has many many options, so many options does it have, this isn't about having MORE options, despite the title. This is about the fact that most of the new options tend to be far better than the options presented making past options moot. (See the PHB Paladin vs Divine Power for example).

This isn't specific to 4e either, in fact it happens so often it might as well be a WoTC design philosophy (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised it it were. Making new stuff better tends to make the new material less dispensible).

Also, new options should be VASTLY different than the old options. Opening up completely new avenues of play for player classes. Some options did this...some did not.

4)Non combat challenges suck the big one

Now, this isn't for their lack of trying and this is unfortunate because Non-Combat challenges would probably be much easier to run if WoTC didn't try at all and just gave us skills.

As it is, the Skill Challenges system tends to confuse most new DMs to the system and muck everything up for the first little while until they realise "Oh hey, it's easier just to approach things however I'm most comfortable."

Not that I wouldn't like some solid, flexible, workable guidelines to divising non-combat challenges. You know...rules which were actually tested? Well...tested as much as the combat rules at least.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-14, 08:02 AM
Don't basically all classes have utility powers that can be used out of combat?

I know that 4e also included a few combat options on the utility powers list, which was pretty stupid, but there are non-combat options on those lists I'm pretty sure.

In theory, yes. Realistically, the amount of actual non combat options is fairly trivial, and the game is clearly focused on tactical skirmish gameplay. Even 3.5 is pretty combat heavy, mind you, but 4e took it to a new level.


Most things using the core +1/2 level rather than having different scaling for everybody is a pretty big deal. It makes those fiddly +1 or +2 bonuses matter more, rather than balancing monsters around the middle or even lower end, and having the people with high progression just auto-hit/succeed/whatever.

Very marginally. Unless you're in auto success/fail territory, a +1 is always a 5% success rate modifier.

And I would not claim that feats/buffs/etc matter more overall in 4e. Most numbers have been made fairly trivial.


You're right, 3.5's version where healing in combat was a total waste of time because of the numbers involved was far superior :smallconfused:

That's an optimization myth. Yes, bad in combat healing is possible. Healing along the level of "everyone in the party is now fixed of essentially everything" is also possible. A single action used to save a teammate/keep them operating is rarely a poor use of action economy.


I agree this wasn't really a change. But I do believe that 4e's interrupt actions aren't related to minor actions, which is a minor upgrade from 3.5. Also the opportunity action was changed from once per turn to once per enemy, which meant keeping track of if you could actually take your AoO was easier.

I disagree that the disconnect is superior. It removes the tactical choices inherent in "do I want to use this action now, or use it later to say, do a quickened spell?" Decisions like that are important.

And 1/turn was always easy to track AoOs for. 1/enemy requires MORE tracking.


Well the specific point you were responding to was saying nothing about duration of bonuses so that seems like a non-sequitur, but really 3.5 wasn't any better about tracking durations of status. Remembering "This lasts until the end of my next turn" is typically easier than "This lasts for 3 rounds", because the amount of time you need to remember and track it are shorter. Ideally I'd like to see something like:

Not all effects in 4e last until the end of your next turn. However, there are far more status changes in a 4e combat than a 3.5 one. 3.5 durations are very frequently in the flavors of "will not expire before combat is over" and "rounds/level". And at high levels, those are basically the same thing.

Therefore, it is arguably NOT more streamlined in it's handling of status effects than 3.5.

Morph Bark
2011-10-14, 08:04 AM
Cue Monte putting out a message that WotC decided to go back to 3.5 and fix it, making 3.75, allowing compatibility with most later 3.5 books (ToB, Dragon Magic, MiC) and updated versions of the PHB, DMG, Complete Warrior, ToM, and so on.

Kaervaslol
2011-10-14, 08:08 AM
I really like how 4e turned out. It's not my thing, but its a thing on its own.

What would be perfect for me in 5e:


1) Drop the ever raising stats, and add a cap to them.
2) Drop the skill system, and bring back something more broad like proficiencies.
3) Drop the focus on encounter design, focus on dungeon design. The fun for me in an RPG is exploring ruins and cool locales with no set order. The five room dungeon philosophy sucks.
4) Keep the power structure, present it to the player in other way. I like to play adventurers, not fantasy superheroes. But the at-will and daily thing is cool. Encounter thing not so much.
5) Make feats part of "paths" for core classes. Customization to the point of 3.5 and current 4.0 is ridiculous and promotes system mastery and metagaming.
6) Less races and classes please. It has become idiotic when the only difference between a dude made of crystals and a human is a +bonus and a power.
7) Bring back level limits and enforce archetypes. Have a tight focus on what the game is about and reinforce the concept, do not try to please everyone.
8) Drop system mastery, drop circumstancial bonuses and for the love of god drop counting squares. Feels like I'm playing a boardgame.
9) Bring back the fragile wizard.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-14, 08:16 AM
3) Drop the focus on encounter design, focus on dungeon design. The fun for me in an RPG is exploring ruins and cool locales with no set order. The five room dungeon philosophy sucks.
9) Bring back the fragile wizard.

These things especially. I've been recently digging out the old, old classic dungeons I never got to play and running those. It's a blast. It ain't D&D without awesome dungeons.

And playing a glass cannon is always fun. It's a pretty frequent archtype that people enjoy...the relative lack of this also is a problem with PF, of course.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-14, 08:23 AM
It's been a while, but I was under the impression with dual typed damage, it just always applied what was best for the attacker. So if you have a Frostfire Bolt, and the target has 10 Cold Resist, and 5 Fire Weakness, the enemy has weakness 5 to the whole thing.
Okay, now throw in resistance to all, effects that add a damage type vs effects that replace a damage type, and the difference between fire immunity and immunity to the effects of fire attacks, and it becomes really weird. Sure, you can figure it out given sufficient examples, but it's really not necessary to have such clunky rules.


That sounds like more of a 4e thing.
No, I mean like how 2E was to 1E.


Most things using the core +1/2 level rather than having different scaling for everybody is a pretty big deal. It makes those fiddly +1 or +2 bonuses matter more,
Rather, it makes people think those fiddly +1 bonuses matter more, when in fact they actually don't. It's basic math.


I agree this wasn't really a change. But I do believe that 4e's interrupt actions aren't related to minor actions, which is a minor upgrade from 3.5. Also the opportunity action was changed from once per turn to once per enemy, which meant keeping track of if you could actually take your AoO was easier.
Speaking of clunkiness: it would certainly more elegant if they combined a few out of the list of free action, no action, II, IR, and OA.
Or if they removed the different durations like "until start of your next turn" and "until the end of the enemy's next turn.


Don't basically all classes have utility powers that can be used out of combat?
Not really, and by taking them you tend to directly reduce your combat effectiveness (which is something 4E wanted to take a stand against).

Seerow
2011-10-14, 08:23 AM
Very marginally. Unless you're in auto success/fail territory, a +1 is always a 5% success rate modifier.

And I would not claim that feats/buffs/etc matter more overall in 4e. Most numbers have been made fairly trivial.


In a system where RNG is tighter buffs actually matter more. If you're in a situation where you hit 100% of the time, you don't care about to hit buffs regardless. If you hit your target 60% of the time, getting combat advantage reduces your miss rate by 25%, which is a bigger deal than you give it credit for.

I dunno about how feats are currently because there has been so much errata and reprinting and ****, I know when I played though that class specific feats were typically pretty good, and feats that gave like a +2 bonus to damage actually seemed like they were worth taking because you weren't taking that instead of the feat that lets you take 5 extra AoOs in a round, like in 3.5.


That's an optimization myth. Yes, bad in combat healing is possible. Healing along the level of "everyone in the party is now fixed of essentially everything" is also possible. A single action used to save a teammate/keep them operating is rarely a poor use of action economy.


The thing is in 3.5 at low levels healing was low enough it didn't matter much (1d8+1, woo I spent 1 of my 3 1st level spell slots to heal you for 2 hp!), and at high levels combat healing simply wasn't needed because people have enough hp to live through stuff, and kill the monsters before it's needed. In the rare case a combat heal is needed, about the only heal that's actually used is the Heal spell, because it's the only one with an actually viable amount of health restored relative to damage at upper levels.

Also healing is completely separate from status affliction removal, for this purpose. We're talking about the benefit of healing surges, not helping someone shake off paralysis or whatever.


I disagree that the disconnect is superior. It removes the tactical choices inherent in "do I want to use this action now, or use it later to say, do a quickened spell?" Decisions like that are important.

And 1/turn was always easy to track AoOs for. 1/enemy requires MORE tracking.


It has more things to track, but is easier to track. Because you only have to remember it for that one enemy's turn. Say you have a 5 vs 5 fight. In 3.5, you use your AoO against the first enemy acting after you. Everyone else goes, then 9 action phases later, the 5th enemy goes and provokes... do you remember that you already took an AoO that many turns back? In 4e you don't need to, you know you haven't taken one against this enemy because his turn just started, so you're good.


As for swift/immediate, it comes back to that same issue. Do you remember who used their immediate actions for what? How many times has a player used a swift action only to remember after "Oh wait I couldn't have done that..."

Typically remembering more things for a shorter period of time is easier than remembering fewer things for a longer period of time.



Not all effects in 4e last until the end of your next turn.

Most of those that don't are "Take a saving throw at the end of each turn", with a rare few lasting a whole encounter.


However, there are far more status changes in a 4e combat than a 3.5 one. 3.5 durations are very frequently in the flavors of "will not expire before combat is over" and "rounds/level". And at high levels, those are basically the same thing.

At high level they are. But at low-mid levels? Most in combat use stuff is rounds per level. 3 rounds into combat you may have a few abilities up that are going to last for 1 more round, a few others for 2 more rounds, a few more for 3 more rounds, and so on. Tracking which round each is going to expire is more intensive than remembering an effect lasting for 1 round.

I will give you that in 3.5 at high levels you can pretty much sum up any round/level effect as "until the end of the encounter", but you can't always do that, and when you can't the various buffs and debuffs of varying durations are usually harder to track than 4e's stuff.


As to 4e having more status changes, that's because everyone is capable of contributing rather than just one or two party members. If you have a optimized 3.5 party consisting of all spellcasters (with a Cleric or a Gish or a Druid as your melee guy) then you will have just as many if not more status changes in 3.5 as in 4e. 3.5 having half the classes not actually being capable of buffing or debuffing, and being stuck just hitting stuff is actually a weakness of 3.5, not a strength.

Kaervaslol
2011-10-14, 08:31 AM
These things especially. I've been recently digging out the old, old classic dungeons I never got to play and running those. It's a blast. It ain't D&D without awesome dungeons.

And playing a glass cannon is always fun. It's a pretty frequent archtype that people enjoy...the relative lack of this also is a problem with PF, of course.

Its actually a fantastic balancing mechanic and enforces real teamplay. Not "if we don't work together I don't get combat advantage", more like "if the priest loses the spell we are toast, protect the priest!".

And is not about caster dependency, but if you are in a flooding chamber with no means to breathe underwater you realize the role of the caster in the game.

Also remember, with the big dungeons comes tight time keeping and wandering monsters. There is no 15 minute working day because checking for a random encounter each turn for 8 hours ensures that the party will not nova all the time.

Seerow
2011-10-14, 08:37 AM
1) Drop the ever raising stats, and add a cap to them.

I kind of liked how 4e handled this, taking out stat boosting items and giving more stat boosters inherently with gaining levels. The cap is basically "How high can I boost my stat by max level?" which is base stat + 8. (incidentally this ends up as typically between 24 and 28, which is a pretty good fit with old AD&D attributes)



3) Drop the focus on encounter design, focus on dungeon design. The fun for me in an RPG is exploring ruins and cool locales with no set order. The five room dungeon philosophy sucks.

I'd like a combination. I do think that dungeon delving should be a central part of the game, but individual encounters being able to be balanced easily by dropping in X even level monsters was a great thing that 4e brought in to play I don't want to see go away.


4) Keep the power structure, present it to the player in other way. I like to play adventurers, not fantasy superheroes. But the at-will and daily thing is cool. Encounter thing not so much.

Really? Dailies always bugged me far more than encounters. "I can only do this special move once per day or x per day" bugs me more than "I need a couple of minutes of rest before I can manage to do that again".

Though for encounter powers I'd rather see a stamina system. You get a pool of points that you refresh with a few minutes of rest that can be used to fuel various powers. So your Fighter can do that move several times back to back, but he's tired afterwards and needs to rest.


9) Bring back the fragile wizard.


Depends what you mean by fragile. I'm fine with a wizard having like half the hp of the equivalent fighty type. But I'm pretty sure by mid-high levels this actually happens in 4e. Note: I don't actually remember what the level hp bonuses are in 4e, so I could be wrong on this point. But if a Wizard gains 3-4 hp per level while a Fighter gains 6-7, that Fighter is going to end up with close to double the Wizard's hit points eventually... 4e just starts everyone off with a slightly higher amount of hit points so they don't die to a single axe swing, which is good.


Okay, now throw in resistance to all, effects that add a damage type vs effects that replace a damage type, and the difference between fire immunity and immunity to the effects of fire attacks, and it becomes really weird. Sure, you can figure it out given sufficient examples, but it's really not necessary to have such clunky rules.


In every case it's "Best applies". If they're immune to fire but not frost, they take the full damage. If they have resist to both, then it has resist.

Unless I am actually wrong about how it's handled, dual type damage is actually pretty simple and I don't understand the complaint. If I am wrong about how it is handled, it would have been more useful for you to explain that rather than give more examples.


Rather, it makes people think those fiddly +1 bonuses matter more, when in fact they actually don't. It's basic math.


If I'm going to hit anyway, a +1 bonus to hit doesn't matter at all. If I have only a 60% chance of hitting, that +1 bonus to hit reduces my miss chance from 40% to 35%, which is a notable increase in accuracy.

Yes every +1 is +5% on the roll, but that doesn't matter if the bonuses either aren't enough to put you on the RNG, or they're so high they push you past the RNG.


Speaking of clunkiness: it would certainly more elegant if they combined a few out of the list of free action, no action, II, IR, and OA.
Or if they removed the different durations like "until start of your next turn" and "until the end of the enemy's next turn.


I can get behind this. I wouldn't mind interrupt actions being removed, and just getting an opportunity action that usually needs to be provoked but have a few powers that let you use it yourself. Or if you get rid of "Until the end of the enemy's next turn" in favor of 1 round durations always being "Until the start of your next turn", since 90% of the time those are going to have essentially the same effect.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-14, 08:56 AM
In a system where RNG is tighter buffs actually matter more. If you're in a situation where you hit 100% of the time, you don't care about to hit buffs regardless. If you hit your target 60% of the time, getting combat advantage reduces your miss rate by 25%, which is a bigger deal than you give it credit for.

Yeah, numbers always work that way. +1 is still always a 5% increase to your hit ratio. Trying to play tricks with the numbers is irrelevant.

Note also that combat advantage, unlike most 3.5 things, doesn't stack. So...yeah. That means that 3.5 bonuses tend to matter more.


I dunno about how feats are currently because there has been so much errata and reprinting and ****, I know when I played though that class specific feats were typically pretty good, and feats that gave like a +2 bonus to damage actually seemed like they were worth taking because you weren't taking that instead of the feat that lets you take 5 extra AoOs in a round, like in 3.5.

So then yes, feats matter less than in 3.5.


The thing is in 3.5 at low levels healing was low enough it didn't matter much (1d8+1, woo I spent 1 of my 3 1st level spell slots to heal you for 2 hp!), and at high levels combat healing simply wasn't needed because people have enough hp to live through stuff, and kill the monsters before it's needed. In the rare case a combat heal is needed, about the only heal that's actually used is the Heal spell, because it's the only one with an actually viable amount of health restored relative to damage at upper levels.

Oh, if you're going to assume minimum rolls...sure. But that's just bad luck. 5.5 hp is average. This is a notable amount of hp at level 1. This is without any optimization whatsoever, even the very minimal core option of grabbing the healing domain.

Keeping a party member up is always a good use of an action, for the same reason that incapacitating an enemy is, or summoning a new ally is. Action economy. Yes, healing is not always the optimal choice, and a pure healing only cleric without being optimized for healing is a poor choice...but why wouldn't you expect that?

Healing, even in combat, is a pretty solid move for anyone who doesn't want to pay for rezzes.


Also healing is completely separate from status affliction removal, for this purpose. We're talking about the benefit of healing surges, not helping someone shake off paralysis or whatever.

3.5 healers filled both roles and they overlapped substantially. Healing surges likewise have many roles besides just refilling hp...if you play 4e at all, you know that.


It has more things to track, but is easier to track. Because you only have to remember it for that one enemy's turn. Say you have a 5 vs 5 fight. In 3.5, you use your AoO against the first enemy acting after you. Everyone else goes, then 9 action phases later, the 5th enemy goes and provokes... do you remember that you already took an AoO that many turns back? In 4e you don't need to, you know you haven't taken one against this enemy because his turn just started, so you're good.

I've not really had a lot of trouble with people remembering this. If you've forgotten what happened earlier in the same round in a binary yes/no fashion...it doesn't really get easier than this. Combat is probably moving far too slowly in either system if this is a problem.


As for swift/immediate, it comes back to that same issue. Do you remember who used their immediate actions for what? How many times has a player used a swift action only to remember after "Oh wait I couldn't have done that..."

Typically remembering more things for a shorter period of time is easier than remembering fewer things for a longer period of time.

So...you believe people have trouble remembering if they have used their single AoO or swift action, but do not believe they have trouble remembering half a dozen buff/debuffs in 4e?


Most of those that don't are "Take a saving throw at the end of each turn", with a rare few lasting a whole encounter.

End of enemy's turn or yours? This can be relevant, and IIRC, does vary among the 4e powers. A lot.


At high level they are. But at low-mid levels? Most in combat use stuff is rounds per level. 3 rounds into combat you may have a few abilities up that are going to last for 1 more round, a few others for 2 more rounds, a few more for 3 more rounds, and so on. Tracking which round each is going to expire is more intensive than remembering an effect lasting for 1 round.

Assuming the target is still alive, yes. But low level 3.5 is pretty rocket tag-like. You don't tend to have long combats. Mid levels? At level 10, a rounds/level spell lasts 10 rounds. That IS the entire combat.

A very few spells in 3.5 have short static durations, and those are almost invariably 1 round. So, no different than 4e, except that they always end at the same time.


As to 4e having more status changes, that's because everyone is capable of contributing rather than just one or two party members. If you have a optimized 3.5 party consisting of all spellcasters (with a Cleric or a Gish or a Druid as your melee guy) then you will have just as many if not more status changes in 3.5 as in 4e. 3.5 having half the classes not actually being capable of buffing or debuffing, and being stuck just hitting stuff is actually a weakness of 3.5, not a strength.

Nope. I've played in a campaign with nine arcanists. Combat was epic, and everyone WAS hypercompetent, yes. We didn't even have a melee guy. However, there was essentially no risk of things being alive at the end of any status effect longer than one round.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-14, 08:59 AM
In every case it's "Best applies". If they're immune to fire but not frost, they take the full damage. If they have resist to both, then it has resist.
For example, if an attack is "fire+cold+daze", then fire immunity won't protect you from the damage, but immunity to the effects of fire powers will protect you from the daze.

If against that attack you have vulnerable 4 fire, vulnerable 3 cold, and vulnerable 2 all, then it's not defined by the rules how much damage you actually take. And of course there are builds that try to (ab)use this.


If I'm going to hit anyway, a +1 bonus to hit doesn't matter at all.
Sure, but that's not a realistic scenario anyway.

Actually, this leads to another fundamental issue with 4E rules, and that is stacking. The rules are pretty clear, but they are problematic: the game is full of little +1 bonuses that have such a tiny impact they're not actually worth the bookkeeping, but conversely if you compile enough of these on one character, it becomes game-breaking (e.g. if you can give a monster -10 to saves, or yourself +10 to defense until you're hit for the first time).

And have you ever seen one of those characters in action that do +2 damage on a charge, +1 if they move at least three squares, +3 if bloodied, +2 if the target is bloodied, +1 if they haven't bathed recently, and +2 if the moon is full? These are a major factor to 4E's excessive combat length, and I think 5E may be based on a computer program to streamline all the little fiddly bonuses.

Sipex
2011-10-14, 09:02 AM
While comparing our two editions to figure out who is better by continually discrediting each others posts is an amazing fun time I would like to remind you guys that it's one of the reasons this thread was locked before.

Yora
2011-10-14, 09:10 AM
As I said before: When you break up other posts into individual lines and respond to each one seperately, it's a very strong sign that you're no longer leading a discussion, but but only trying to show that your oppinion is right and that of someone else is wrong.

Seerow
2011-10-14, 09:12 AM
Yeah, numbers always work that way. +1 is still always a 5% increase to your hit ratio. Trying to play tricks with the numbers is irrelevant.

Note also that combat advantage, unlike most 3.5 things, doesn't stack. So...yeah. That means that 3.5 bonuses tend to matter more.


Except you're missing the point that in 3.5 unless the GM is fudging enemy numbers, PCs are frequently off the RNG. By high level the Fighter isn't going to miss, so he doesn't care about getting another +1


So then yes, feats matter less than in 3.5.


I never argued that. I argued that the minor bonuses can matter more. Feats in 4th edition are more "minor bonus" than "Huge new character defining option", and that's -good-. Character defining options should be either powers or class features. Feats should be minor bonuses used to flesh out your character

The 4e designers realized this. But people went into 4e expecting the feats to be 3e feats, which were balanced under a totally different pretense (that feats could be used in place of class features), so feats had to be able to give more. When making 4e they realized that sort of balance didn't work (see: Fighter. see: Wizards caring more about prestige classes than their bonus feats), so put feats back into the minor thing category. This was a good move, not a bad one.


Oh, if you're going to assume minimum rolls...sure. But that's just bad luck. 5.5 hp is average. This is a notable amount of hp at level 1. This is without any optimization whatsoever, even the very minimal core option of grabbing the healing domain.


Point is you get only a few of these per day, and there is a very real chance of you getting only 2 or 3 hp. Also as you later note, any attack is likely to drop a level 1 character because hp values are so low, so healing him up 2-3 hp will still leave him in a danger zone, except now when he gets hit again, instead of just dropping back down, he's got a very real chance of just outright being dead.

Also the Healing Domain is terrible because it doesn't give you any new spells that you don't have already, or any spells earlier than normal, so its only benefit is the +1 caster level... so congrats your minimum heal is now 3 hp instead of 2. It's still pretty terrible. Yes, 1st and 2nd level characters have pretty low health to start with, but as noted that low level rocket tag is a part of the problem.

4e addressed both of these at once, both by upping the minimum values of healing, and increasing level 1 hit points. Healing Surges made the role of "Guy who wants to get hit by things so his allies don't have to" viable, because that guy can now be healed more often, and each heal heals more hit points, so if he's doing his job right, it is more efficient to heal him than to heal the Wizard. This gives parties incentives for wanting the guy along as long as he actually is capable of being successful at getting himself hit instead of his allies.

Healing Surges are one of the best things that came out of 4e for a number of reasons. The only real downside is that it can more strictly limit you to a 4 encounter work day, if all encounters are significant. But then, in a dungeon you're more likely to have a lot of little encounters, so you can last through many more of them.


I've not really had a lot of trouble with people remembering this. If you've forgotten what happened earlier in the same round in a binary yes/no fashion...it doesn't really get easier than this. Combat is probably moving far too slowly in either system if this is a problem.


Whether you've had a problem with it or not isn't as relevant as can it be more of a problem than the 4e solution. And the answer is yes. Especially in the case of the guy with combat reflexes who can take like 6 AoOs per round, which is still more tracking ("Was that last attack number 4 or number 5?" "Huh I thought it was 6!")


End of enemy's turn or yours? This can be relevant, and IIRC, does vary among the 4e powers. A lot.


I've already agreed streamlining it to one or the other would be acceptable. But in the case of saving throw effects, which is what you were responding to, the saving throw is always made on the afflicted creatures turn...

Seerow
2011-10-14, 09:16 AM
For example, if an attack is "fire+cold+daze", then fire immunity won't protect you from the damage, but immunity to the effects of fire powers will protect you from the daze.

Okay in this case to my understanding it would be the daze would still effect, because the attack is both cold and fire, it's immune to the effect of fire powers, but not to cold powers, so the status effect still goes off. It's really not hard unless again there's something specific you haven't shown saying that's not how it works. In which case that looks like a great place to streamline things, as opposed to getting rid of dual effect powrs.


If against that attack you have vulnerable 4 fire, vulnerable 3 cold, and vulnerable 2 all, then it's not defined by the rules how much damage you actually take. And of course there are builds that try to (ab)use this.

You take the highest, so vulnerability 4. Vulnerability to everything else literally doesn't matter, you don't add them together or anything, you just always take the one choice that is most beneficial to you.



Sure, but that's not a realistic scenario anyway.


Actually in 3.5 it happens a lot. You have people with saving throws high enough they auto save against even a hard DC for their level. Skill checks high enough they can't possibly fail. Attack bonuses high enough they always hit. This literally happens all the time in 3.5. It happens less in 4e, which is what makes those little bonuses matter more.


And have you ever seen one of those characters in action that do +2 damage on a charge, +1 if they move at least three squares, +3 if bloodied, +2 if the target is bloodied, +1 if they haven't bathed recently, and +2 if the moon is full? These are a major factor to 4E's excessive combat length, and I think 5E may be based on a computer program to streamline all the little fiddly bonuses.

I dunno but I'd love to see the ability that gives someone a bonus for not bathing :p

Eldan
2011-10-14, 09:18 AM
I never argued that. I argued that the minor bonuses can matter more. Feats in 4th edition are more "minor bonus" than "Huge new character defining option", and that's -good-. Character defining options should be either powers or class features. Feats should be minor bonuses used to flesh out your character

Can I just interject here and ask: Why?
Why do you even have to take options that give a +1? Sure, there's some mathematical differences, but I just find those so terribly boring. Yay, now my character has a +4.5% chance of doing something he can already do slightly better, but not in a way that actually looks different. These, I think, could just be either automatic from level scaling, or just removed entirely from the game math.
I want my character options to be actual options. If I have to spend time to think about what I want, I want something that actually has tangible benefits on how my character looks and acts, not just a slight performance upgrade. Those bore me.

I mainly see the difference between feats and class powers in their availability. Everyone can take a feat (or should be able to, there's still prerequisites), while class powers, well, require a class.

Seerow
2011-10-14, 09:19 AM
While comparing our two editions to figure out who is better by continually discrediting each others posts is an amazing fun time I would like to remind you guys that it's one of the reasons this thread was locked before.

b-b-b-but

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png






But seriously, I'm really pretty moderate on this topic. I personally prefer 3.5, I just think that 4e gets a lot of flak for stuff that it doesn't deserve, and believe 4e did a lot of stuff right that should be taken into account. Trying to say 4e didn't streamline anything and that healing surges are bad for the game makes me say 'buh? :smallconfused:'

Yora
2011-10-14, 09:28 AM
But this isn't really a conversation anymore, but much more about some people defending why they think their earlier statements are true and that the oppinions they had before the discussion where 100% right.

Does anyone who is not involved in these quoting matches actually read the posts?

Eldan
2011-10-14, 09:29 AM
I do, but I'm weird. I then go on to ignore most of the arguments.

Seerow
2011-10-14, 09:32 AM
I do, but I'm weird. I then go on to ignore most of the arguments.

I do as well. Obviously not this topic, because I'm participating, but I lurk a lot, and there's a lot of topics that I watch to read the back and forth without actually posting anything meaningful. It may not change anybody's mind about anything, but frequently the discussion is if nothing else an interesting way to pass time, and occasionally gives some new idea or insight into something.



Can I just interject here and ask: Why?
Why do you even have to take options that give a +1? Sure, there's some mathematical differences, but I just find those so terribly boring. Yay, now my character has a +4.5% chance of doing something he can already do slightly better, but not in a way that actually looks different. These, I think, could just be either automatic from level scaling, or just removed entirely from the game math.
I want my character options to be actual options. If I have to spend time to think about what I want, I want something that actually has tangible benefits on how my character looks and acts, not just a slight performance upgrade. Those bore me.

Well for one, because developing hundreds or thousands of balanced interesting unique effects simply isn't going to happen. Ever. People expect this out of designers, but it is frankly never going to happen.

Second, you have to remember these are things that you get very few of. You get like 7-10 throughout your career. If you make them character defining, then you are waiting until mid levels to be able to do what you want. This is bad. Then when you add on people want to be able to be diverse with their feats as well, you're looking at making hundreds of feats that scale with level, which is even harder to create and balance than the previous.

Third, we already have something to represent cool things your character can do: Powers. If you want to do a whirlwind attack, then pick that up as a power. You want a leap attack, pick it up as a power. As long as there is a sufficiently deep pool of powers, people can have their options for these sorts of things without needing feats. Since powers typically come with some sort of limiter on them, it is far easier to balance them.

Seriously, what people who like 3e think of as good feat choices are in fact generally either powers or class features. Something like a metamagic feat should be a class feature. Magic Item crafting is literally just a skill. Things like Whirlwind Attack, Spring Attack, Karmic Strike, these are powers.

After you're done getting rid of all those interesting effects, you can just get rid of feats altogether. You're right that they aren't particularly needed. But some people still like that minor class independent bonuses, so why not leave those in the game? I've advocating changing the name of feats to something like talents just because feats have a lot of baggage attached from 3rd edition, but that's ultimately what they are.

Eldan
2011-10-14, 09:39 AM
The problem with making them class powers, as I've mentioned is this:

If Whirlwind Attack is a Fighter class power, my rogue can't learn it. If Quicken Spell is a Wizard power, my, say, Paladin can't learn it. At least not without multiclassing, which has problems all on it's own.

My idea, as mentioned above:
Two sets of powers. One for classes, one for everyone. Things that everyone can learn. Perhaps, yes, Whirlwind Attack is an incredibly powerful, difficult to learn technique that only true fighters can learn. Fair enough. But why, say, Power Attack? I hit it harder. There isn't much more to it.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-14, 09:39 AM
To the people calling edition war. I never stated that 3.5 was superior. I merely pointed out that Seerow's assumption of 4e superiority was unwarranted, and unjustified by his statements.


Except you're missing the point that in 3.5 unless the GM is fudging enemy numbers, PCs are frequently off the RNG. By high level the Fighter isn't going to miss, so he doesn't care about getting another +1

Oddly enough, pumping attack bonus and doing straight melee damage is one of the more reliable ways to kill things in epic, when they're immune to a wild array of caster tricks.

And also, power attack.

A +1 might become a poor choice because it's a small numerical bonus compared to other, better options, but it's not actually irrelevant.


I never argued that. I argued that the minor bonuses can matter more. Feats in 4th edition are more "minor bonus" than "Huge new character defining option", and that's -good-. Character defining options should be either powers or class features. Feats should be minor bonuses used to flesh out your character

The 4e designers realized this. But people went into 4e expecting the feats to be 3e feats, which were balanced under a totally different pretense (that feats could be used in place of class features), so feats had to be able to give more. When making 4e they realized that sort of balance didn't work (see: Fighter. see: Wizards caring more about prestige classes than their bonus feats), so put feats back into the minor thing category. This was a good move, not a bad one.

What a feat "should be" is a HIGHLY subjective thing. You can't use this to justify 4e being a better system. They're certainly more major in 3.5, but why, precisely, is that a bad thing? Why must a class be so dominant in defining roles, as opposed to other means?


Point is you get only a few of these per day, and there is a very real chance of you getting only 2 or 3 hp. Also as you later note, any attack is likely to drop a level 1 character because hp values are so low, so healing him up 2-3 hp will still leave him in a danger zone, except now when he gets hit again, instead of just dropping back down, he's got a very real chance of just outright being dead.

And nuking the opponent instead and only doing 2-3 damage means that you probably still have something killing your wounded friend. You've got to play the odds. Sometimes healing is the right call, sometimes it's not. And that's fine.


Also the Healing Domain is terrible because it doesn't give you any new spells that you don't have already, or any spells earlier than normal, so its only benefit is the +1 caster level... so congrats your minimum heal is now 3 hp instead of 2. It's still pretty terrible. Yes, 1st and 2nd level characters have pretty low health to start with, but as noted that low level rocket tag is a part of the problem.

It is by far not the most high op option, no. Im just pointing out that there are very easy, very available ways to make healing more useful.

Note that at level one, blowing a cantrip to stabilize someone is something I see in play a LOT, even at very high op play.


Whether you've had a problem with it or not isn't as relevant as can it be more of a problem than the 4e solution. And the answer is yes. Especially in the case of the guy with combat reflexes who can take like 6 AoOs per round, which is still more tracking ("Was that last attack number 4 or number 5?" "Huh I thought it was 6!")

The guy who can take ridiculous amounts of AoOs tends to be paying attention to that, as that is his shtick. He doesn't care about how many AoOs others have taken, or debuff durations of what other people have done. He just gleefully mashes everyone who provokes. The few times he actually gets to max out his AoOs are notable, and is not a frequent problem.


I've already agreed streamlining it to one or the other would be acceptable. But in the case of saving throw effects, which is what you were responding to, the saving throw is always made on the afflicted creatures turn...

Nope. Was speaking generally about when status effects end. And that varies.

Seerow
2011-10-14, 09:46 AM
The problem with making them class powers, as I've mentioned is this:

If Whirlwind Attack is a Fighter class power, my rogue can't learn it. If Quicken Spell is a Wizard power, my, say, Paladin can't learn it. At least not without multiclassing, which has problems all on it's own.


That's why I mentioned way back earlier in the thread that in 5e I want to see power source powers rather than class powers. So if whirlwind attack is a power, then all martial classes can get it. If quicken spell is a arcane power, then the Paladin can't get it, but he probably can get Quicken Prayer or the equivalent for his divine powers.

You'd could also possibly have hybrid power sources. So you have the Paladin who is Martial/Divine, so he can pick up both Martial and Divine Powers that are appropriate to him, but with a more limited selection out of each than say a Fighter or a Cleric, who would have a much broader selection of powers from their source.

Eldan
2011-10-14, 09:49 AM
That's why I mentioned way back earlier in the thread that in 5e I want to see power source powers rather than class powers. So if whirlwind attack is a power, then all martial classes can get it. If quicken spell is a arcane power, then the Paladin can't get it, but he probably can get Quicken Prayer or the equivalent for his divine powers.

You'd could also possibly have hybrid power sources. So you have the Paladin who is Martial/Divine, so he can pick up both Martial and Divine Powers that are appropriate to him, but with a more limited selection out of each than say a Fighter or a Cleric, who would have a much broader selection of powers from their source.

Hmm. Yes, that sounds like a fine solution. Maybe even give everyone a role, and a primary and a secondary power source.

I.e. the Ranger is a Martial/Primal Striker, to use 4E terminology, while the Paladin is a Divine/Martial Defender.

Really, I don't think the 4E system is all that bad, at the basis. I disagree with what powers do, not the power system. And the lack of proper class features, they would still have to exist.

Seerow
2011-10-14, 09:55 AM
Hmm. Yes, that sounds like a fine solution. Maybe even give everyone a role, and a primary and a secondary power source.

I.e. the Ranger is a Martial/Primal Striker, to use 4E terminology, while the Paladin is a Divine/Martial Defender.

I consider secondary power sources optional. No need for a secondary source for a Cleric or a Wizard. But a Swordmage would totally be Arcane/Martial, a Archivist would totally be Arcane/Divine, etc.

Also, one power source I'd like to see is Summoning/Invoking. Like not have that as a part of either Arcane or Divine, but you have different takes on summoning various creatures. You could have the class that has a couple powerful summons they bring out regularly, another class that can summon just about anything and uses the powers of the summoned creatures. Like the Wizard of summoner types, who uses his summon's powers rather than his own, but summons things constantly. Then a guy who summons spirits he uses to posses himself and/or his gear to beat **** up martially.

Just a random thought I'd been chewing on lately I thought I'd throw out there. I'd probably roll with the sources as: Martial, Arcane, Divine, Psionic, and Summoning. No need for a "Shadow" power source or "Primal", as those can be mimiced with other sources.



Really, I don't think the 4E system is all that bad, at the basis. I disagree with what powers do, not the power system. And the lack of proper class features, they would still have to exist.


Agreed with this. I said pretty much the same thing in my first post here when outlining what I like about 4e and 3e respectively that I'd like to see make it to 5e.

Eldan
2011-10-14, 10:21 AM
I would, in this case, see Primal as the nature power source, which I think has a place, just for the tons of fluff out there. Shapeshifting has to go somewhere.

Mark Hall
2011-10-14, 10:31 AM
AD&D 2e came out in 1989
AD&D 2e revised 1993
D&D 3e 2000
D&D 3.5e 2003
D&D 4e 2008
D&D 4e Essentials 2010

Common misconception... there was no 2e revised. In 1995 they did publish another set of books, with different graphic design (i.e. covers, interior art, fonts), but everything else was identical; the inflated page count (256 to 320) was a result of those choices, not because of changes in material. It's not remotely comparable to the difference between 3.5.

Closer, but still not really, would be the Player's Option books that came out. I say "Not really" because few subsequent products made use of things listed in there, and usually as an option among many (q.v. the Monk class in Faiths and Avatars; it lists what to do if you're using Combat and Tactics unarmed rules... but also lists what to do if you're using the PH or Complete line of books Martial Arts rules).

Anyway, back to something I mentioned (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=12020140&postcount=58), but didn't get a chance to return to. 4e Multiclassing.

Quite frankly, I loved 4e multiclassing, especially compared to the mess that was 3e. I think it could've used some more flexibility (i.e. "It is low-margin for an Arcane character to take most Arcane multiclass feats, since it will train him in Arcana, which he already has."). I found 3e multiclassing to be a hassle, and frequently low-margin, as you heavily sacrificed in your own class to get some minor abilities from another class... or you had to take two classes that had good synergy, of which there was a limited list.

EDIT: Another point, on Ritual Magic. I loved the idea of ritual magic but, with the layout of 4e, I would remove the Ritual Caster feat. EVERYONE can ritual cast and maintain a ritual book, without needing a feat to do it. They may suck (because they've not trained the skill for that ritual), but everyone can do it.

Personally, I also really liked Healing Surges, and Warlords. Healing Surges were the epitome of making healing "worth it", and Warlords were just a great class.

Seerow
2011-10-14, 10:43 AM
Anyway, back to something I mentioned (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=12020140&postcount=58), but didn't get a chance to return to. 4e Multiclassing.

Quite frankly, I loved 4e multiclassing, especially compared to the mess that was 3e. I think it could've used some more flexibility (i.e. "It is low-margin for an Arcane character to take most Arcane multiclass feats, since it will train him in Arcana, which he already has."). I found 3e multiclassing to be a hassle, and frequently low-margin, as you heavily sacrificed in your own class to get some minor abilities from another class... or you had to take two classes that had good synergy, of which there was a limited list.

Well ideally the way I'd see it work is that all classes continue to get class features at a relatively constant rate as they leveled, but the features scale with character level. So if you dip into a class at mid levels, the features you get are still relevant, but you're giving up the higher end features of both classes to get it.

Take that and add on synergy between same power source powers and I think it could work pretty well. I'm not sure on details offhand, but I'm pretty sure it could work, allowing for slightly more versatility in exchange for some power.


4e multiclassing works for the 4e system, where all of your differentiation comes via powers and class specific feats. Even though it works, it is kind of boring, which leads to a lot of people complaining about it anyway. But in a system where there are higher level class features, and feats/powers are sorted more by power source than by class, that style of multiclassing doesn't work so well to begin with.

There were problems with 3.5s multiclassing, but it also allowed for a lot of flexibility that made it popular. I'd rather have that flexibility in exchange for a bit more complexity than eliminate it entirely.

Dsurion
2011-10-14, 12:39 PM
But this isn't really a conversation anymore, but much more about some people defending why they think their earlier statements are true and that the oppinions they had before the discussion where 100% right.

Does anyone who is not involved in these quoting matches actually read the posts?Only occasionally when a thread I'm subscribed to devolves into one. I'm actually enjoying some civil discussion regarding 5th edition since your thread on it.

EDIT: That's what I get for reading two threads simultaneously :smallsigh:

erikun
2011-10-14, 01:30 PM
One thing I would like to see back from 3.5e was how they handled the PC/NPC difference. The ability to create a character using PC rules and then run them as an NPC (or vice versa) was very nice. It allowed the DM to tweak an opponent to give them the desired abilities, or boost them up a few levels with some interesting abilities rather than just a handful of +1's in various places.

That doesn't work in 4e, mainly because the HP/weapon damage for PCs is largely different than those for monsters. And while having the monster creation rules right there - with expected HP and damage already figured out - was excellent, it didn't help much if you weren't looking at creating a creature from scratch.

Eldan
2011-10-14, 02:03 PM
I liked the idea of Paragon paths as introduced in 4E. I even thought about using as a house rule in 3.5: you choose a prestige class on level 6 (almost everyone does that anyway) and continue to advance a base class along with it. Would also help a bit with the balance, I think, rewarding classes with actual features.

Yora
2011-10-14, 03:14 PM
One thing I would like to see back from 3.5e was how they handled the PC/NPC difference. The ability to create a character using PC rules and then run them as an NPC (or vice versa) was very nice. It allowed the DM to tweak an opponent to give them the desired abilities, or boost them up a few levels with some interesting abilities rather than just a handful of +1's in various places.
On the downside, when you wanted to create an NPC, you had to go through the entire character creation and level advancement process each and every time.

I think an optimal solution would be somewhere in between. For example have skill points for PCs, and fixed level-dependant skill bonuses for NPCs, plus maybe three or four specialization skills, that get a +3 bonus each.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-14, 03:29 PM
Okay in this case to my understanding it would be the daze would still effect, because the attack is both cold and fire, it's immune to the effect of fire powers, but not to cold powers, so the status effect still goes off. It's really not hard unless again there's something specific you haven't shown saying that's not how it works.
Ah, but in this case your understanding is wrong (likewise, your response on the mixed vulnerabilies is not actually RAW). But that's not the point anyway. I never said it was "hard", because whether you find something hard really depends on what kind of player you are (there are numerous players who find all of 4E hard to learn). I said it was clunky. It's an unnecessary rule, and also an inconsistent one.


Can I just interject here and ask: Why?
Why do you even have to take options that give a +1? Sure, there's some mathematical differences, but I just find those so terribly boring.
I'm not sure why, but in 3E a +1 bonus on 1d20 is generally found to be boring and uninteresting, whereas in 4E such a bonus is commonly called "incredible", "huge", "mandatory", "ridiculous", or similar terms.

So anyway. It's a good point that 3E has lots of bad feats and a few career defining options like Shock Trooper, but it's likewise true that 4E has lots of bad feats and a few career defining options like Polearm Momentum. WOTC should indeed pick one consistent approach to feats and stick with it, but so far they haven't done that.

erikun
2011-10-14, 03:43 PM
On the downside, when you wanted to create an NPC, you had to go through the entire character creation and level advancement process each and every time.

I think an optimal solution would be somewhere in between. For example have skill points for PCs, and fixed level-dependant skill bonuses for NPCs, plus maybe three or four specialization skills, that get a +3 bonus each.
Actually, I would prefer to see both. 4e is already set up so that all PCs of a certain level will have roughly equilivant abilities, so it shouldn't be any more difficult to produce a "stock" monster in that system than to do the same where PCs and NPCs are equal.

Heck, you could even use the rules to produce a "stock" NPC on the player's side, rather than going through all the work of statting them up.


Of course, perhaps I have the idea of tossing all abilities into a classless skill system, with the option between pre-build "class packages" for traditional rolls or simply making whatever you'd like with whichever abilities you want. It would certainly make it easier to translate a stock NPC into something with class levels, as well...

Sebastrd
2011-10-14, 04:03 PM
All base bonuses scale with level at the same rate.

That's a feature. Not necessarily a good or bad one.

I can't fathom how anyone could possibly believe that. It's, in my opinion, the most important and best change they made in 4E.



Healing effects automatically scale to the target's max HPThis isn't necessarily good at all. Certainly a realism hit. Not necessarily a gameplay bonus.

In what possible sense is this a "realism hit"? We're talking about a magical effect. Is an arbitrary die size more "realistic" in some way?


Newer /= better. I don't think you've justified adequately than the 4e core ruleset is inherently superior to the 3.5/pf one.

The core ruleset might not be, but that's a subjective matter. However, the engine, the mathematics behind the game, are absolutely superior. In just 20 levels, the 3.5 engine breaks down as the disparity between attack bonus, saves, and AC increases to the point they no longer function.

stainboy
2011-10-14, 04:13 PM
Core Mechanic:

d20 + modifier. Same, same. Not seeing big diff here.

Pretty much any contest between two creatures in 4e will be resolved by d20+ halflevel + attribute vs 10 + halflevel vs attribute. D20 doesn't standardize level scaling. Some things go up by level, some half level, some one third level, some not at all, which is how we get stuff like touch attacks that only miss on a 1.

Combat Advantage:

Eh...see, there's a notable lack of precision involved in this streamlining. That said, both 3.5 and 4e have a rather crazy number of possible statuses to track. 4e likely involves more actual tracking due to short duration bonuses, which could be viewed as LESS streamlined.


The fact that 3e's own writers couldn't keep track of the distinction between "flat footed" and "denied Dex bonus" means the distinction shouldn't be there. Regardless, combat advantage ("you're at -2") is more elegant and makes more sense than "if you lose your dex bonus to AC because you can't dodge, but if you have a dex penalty you keep that because you can still be bad at dodging." What?

----

I'm right with you on 4e having way too many fiddly short-duration bonuses though. I'm just talking about the core engine, not the power lists. 4e did add a crapton of inconsistency in the power mechanics. But for very simple stuff - the fighter makes basic attacks, the wizard shoots Scorching Rays every round, the cleric heals, the rogue stabs and uses simple sneak attack setups - 4e's math is better.

That doesn't matter if you build lots of inconsistent crap on top of it (Kurald's "Immunity to Fire" vs "Immunity to Fire Based Effects," uuugggghh) but it's at least a foundation for a stronger system.

EccentricCircle
2011-10-14, 04:27 PM
I should hope that they are working on designing fifth edition well in advance of any plans to release it. even if they still plan to release fourth edition material for the next couple of years it would make sense to be thinking to the future.
I hope that someone at Wizards has the job of reading forum threads like this one. it strikes me that finding out what vocal players of the game think of the pros and cons of various aspects of it would be a good first step in any design process. of course finding out what the less vocal players think would be equally important and significantly harder.

I don't want them to scrap 4th edition any time soon, but few of the books they've released lately have interested me that much, so I won't be sorry to see a new edition, although whether i'll actually buy into it or not will depend.

erikun
2011-10-14, 04:31 PM
I will say that one thing 4e lost with the Combat Advantage mechanic is that a character could no longer grant themselves heavy advantages due to stacking multiple bonuses. In 3.5e, if a character was presented with a very difficult opponent to hit, they could take up a flanking position... along with knocking them prone, restraining them to deny their Dex bonus, and attacking while invisible. Putting them all together pretty much guaranteed that you would get a hit with your attack, which is about what you would expect in such a situation.

In 4e, though, the bonuses don't stack so the same thing doesn't happen. Being invisible or attacking downed opponents isn't any better than standing opposite of an ally, so there is little desire to do so - much less try to do it all in hopes of landing a bit strike on an otherwise tough-to-hit opponent. Heck, a silent/invisible/undetectable assassin trying to slit the throat of a sleeping guard will still miss around a third of the time.

It's a break from realism* that does allow the system to run smoother and simplify things, but it is a break from realism, and it does influence how players play the game.

* By "break from realism" I mean that the results of an action are not what a person unfamiliar with the system would expect.

Jayabalard
2011-10-14, 04:39 PM
4e just came out a few years ago. We've still got some time with it before the next edition.Not necessarily. It wouldn't be the first time that we had 2 competing versions of D&D at the same time

maybe he's working on 4e AD&D.

Jayabalard
2011-10-14, 04:46 PM
I can't fathom how anyone could possibly believe that. It's, in my opinion, the most important and best change they made in 4E.Seems pretty straight-forward to me: it results in a lack of granularity which some people find distasteful.


In what possible sense is this a "realism hit"? We're talking about a magical effect. Is an arbitrary die size more "realistic" in some way?When people use the word "realism" they actually mean "verisimilitude" ... if the same effect works differently on different people for no reason, it's a "realism hit"


The core ruleset might not be, but that's a subjective matter. The text you quoted is talking about the fact that it hasn't been shown inherently better. Nothing you argue after shows anything but a purely subjective opinion on which is better; you do not, in any way, show that it is inherently better.


However, the engine, the mathematics behind the game, are absolutely superior.Not at all. You could say simpler. But superior is a totally subjective label.

Yora
2011-10-14, 04:46 PM
That one was called Essentials.

No brains
2011-10-14, 04:51 PM
I will withhold my damns and rat's cabooses on any of this edition business.

What I want from Wizards are the miniatures back. The plastic, non-shatterable, pre-painted minis lazy table-toppers love to collect.

Starbuck_II
2011-10-14, 04:57 PM
Not necessarily. It wouldn't be the first time that we had 2 competing versions of D&D at the same time

maybe he's working on 4e AD&D.

Wouldn't that just be Hackmaster Basic (the new Hackmaster game)? It is basically AD&D with different stats (added back Looks). Only classes are Thief, Fighter, Mage, and Cleric. No racial limits, but you use build points so certain classes are cheaper.

Anderlith
2011-10-14, 05:03 PM
I think that in 5th Edition getting hit at any level should be a serious thing. If you take an axe to the face, you should feel it, you shouldn't srug it off as -12hp. I also want the fragile mage back. Yes, you have walls of force & can deter my arrows with wind, but if I get at you, you are dead.

Jayabalard
2011-10-14, 05:08 PM
Wouldn't that just be Hackmaster Basic (the new Hackmaster game)? It is basically AD&D with different stats (added back Looks). Only classes are Thief, Fighter, Mage, and Cleric. No racial limits, but you use build points so certain classes are cheaper.that's kind of the opposite... you'd need to be more complex, and have more options to justify adding the "A"

Anderlith
2011-10-14, 06:14 PM
& it should support more play styles than running around in dark cramped spaces. I like running around above ground

stainboy
2011-10-15, 02:24 PM
When people use the word "realism" they actually mean "verisimilitude" ... if the same effect works differently on different people for no reason, it's a "realism hit"


To me percentage-based healing is more realistic (or more, uh, verisimilitudinous, whatever). If CLW always heals you about 10 HP whether you have 5 max HP or 200, then either:

-HP don't represent an absolute amount of injury, and CLW heals less physical injury the higher level you are. That doesn't make sense.

-Or, you try to make sense of CLW by saying HP do represent an absolute amount of injury. Then either you have to accept that 1st level characters die to papercuts or that high level characters end fights as animate clouds of red mist.


There are things I'd change about 4e's healing mechanics before porting them to another game, but percentage-based healing is a good idea.

Mr. Hat
2011-10-15, 03:53 PM
The thing that I would like to see in a 5th edition is a workable system that will let me play as monstrous races. 3.P had the level adjustment and racial hit dice thing which had variable success and was overall a clunky system at best. 4th ed, on the other hand, made a pretty big point of separating what was a playable race versus what was a monster, which rubbed me very much the wrong way.

The essential problem they would need to tackle is how to differentiate the advantages a monster gives you and how much of an effect they have on whatever class/concept you are playing. For example, If I want to play a fighter type the massive physical bonuses I would get from playing as an ogre or something would need to be balanced out somehow. But if I wanted to play an ogre wizard those physical bonuses, while still nice, would mean a lot less to me and I shouldn't have to pay as much for them as the fighter would.

Really I wouldn't mind seeing variable xp costs for leveling in different classes, like back in 2nd ed AD&D (and maybe earlier editions? I don't know. I haven't played anything earlier than 2nd ed AD&D) but I know many people would find that obnoxious.

Gamgee
2011-10-15, 08:20 PM
Saga system with tweaks was amazing and would work with DnD very well.

Starbuck_II
2011-10-15, 08:31 PM
The thing that I would like to see in a 5th edition is a workable system that will let me play as monstrous races. 3.P had the level adjustment and racial hit dice thing which had variable success and was overall a clunky system at best. 4th ed, on the other hand, made a pretty big point of separating what was a playable race versus what was a monster, which rubbed me very much the wrong way.

The essential problem they would need to tackle is how to differentiate the advantages a monster gives you and how much of an effect they have on whatever class/concept you are playing. For example, If I want to play a fighter type the massive physical bonuses I would get from playing as an ogre or something would need to be balanced out somehow. But if I wanted to play an ogre wizard those physical bonuses, while still nice, would mean a lot less to me and I shouldn't have to pay as much for them as the fighter would.

Really I wouldn't mind seeing variable xp costs for leveling in different classes, like back in 2nd ed AD&D (and maybe earlier editions? I don't know. I haven't played anything earlier than 2nd ed AD&D) but I know many people would find that obnoxious.

AD&D didn't have any rules for playing monsters. They even removed 1/2 Orc.

Mr. Hat
2011-10-15, 08:51 PM
I meant how in 2nd ed AD&D there were different xp tables for each class. Something like that could be repurposed for balancing out monstrous races.

erikun
2011-10-15, 10:40 PM
Really I wouldn't mind seeing variable xp costs for leveling in different classes, like back in 2nd ed AD&D (and maybe earlier editions? I don't know. I haven't played anything earlier than 2nd ed AD&D) but I know many people would find that obnoxious.
If you are doing this by creating monster "classes", then you could just balance the monster abilities with what a class would have at that level and you wouldn't need different XP tables.

If you mean "Orcs get a 5% XP penality, Medusas get a 30% penality", then you run into the big problem that 3.5e had where multiclassing was worthless because you were stuck with a bunch of low-level abilities that were basically useless against the challanges you faced.

NecroRebel
2011-10-15, 11:29 PM
If you mean "Orcs get a 5% XP penality, Medusas get a 30% penality", then you run into the big problem that 3.5e had where multiclassing was worthless because you were stuck with a bunch of low-level abilities that were basically useless against the challanges you faced.

...Unless of course low-level abilities weren't useless against high-level challenges. If the basic Magic Missile or similar skill is viable and useful from level 1 to level 1000, then it's not really a problem if you don't get high-level abilities. I'm thinking of Guild Wars's skills; many of the staple skills that were used throughout a player's career were among the first acquired, and the later ones were niche powers which were entirely possible to build without.

Velaryon
2011-10-16, 01:38 AM
I don't think making a new edition is a very good idea, regardless of the actual content of said edition. No matter what they do, they can't please everybody, and many people will stick with their current edition of choice. And what's more, they will further cement their reputation for churning out new editions at an ever-increasing pace, which I believe will hurt sales. Why should I buy 5th edition when it will probably be obsolete in another 3 years?



Honestly, I'd be happier if they split the product line in two, with a 3.5 based line of gaming, and a very gamist oriented 4e inspired line of gaming. I'm not fussed about which one gets what name, but they two systems are terribly different, and I worry that one that tries to be half of each might end up hated by both camps.

This right here is what I would like to see. If WotC wants my money, then they should support my already existing edition of choice. Give us an official 3.75 that fixes the more glaring problems with 3.5, instead of putting out a completely different game with the same name and telling me to play that instead. And then give the 4th edition players whatever will make them happy too. Heck, they can even both keep the D&D name as long as they label them clearly.

NecroRebel
2011-10-16, 01:57 AM
I don't think competing with themselves is a good business plan. If WotC puts out 2 completely different games at the same time, marketed, ultimately, to the same people, they have to have twice as many designers, editors, etc. to actually make the books, which probably means more than 1 1/2 times the costs. Frankly, old players don't matter. For the most part, we won't be buying whole sets of books like newbies will, especially if the "new" editions are just "fixed" versions of older ones, as the 3.5 and 4.0 players will mostly look at the 3.75 and 4.5 books, look at what they've got, and just take the most important stuff and do the conversions themselves. Again, the old players won't buy all the books if there's any compatibility between what they've already got and what's new, so it's more profitable for them to make a completely new system.

Also, the editions haven't been coming out at an increasing rate. 3 years between 3.0 and 3.5, 5 between 3.5 and 4, 5 between 4 and 5. Essentials isn't to 4e what 3.5 was to 3.0; they're just low-quality sourcebooks for 4e, not a rewrite. Calling it a new edition is like calling Tome of Magic and Tome of Battle a new edition; they're very different from the original system, but by no means overwrite the old one.

Snowbluff
2011-10-16, 01:59 AM
Imo, 4e just sucked. Regardless of whether or not Power Attack is a power, or whatever, 3.x had an incredible amount of depth to it. The customization and silly things you could do with it are what make it appealing, as opposed to shallow systems such as DC Heroes.

Game balance does not have to be enforced by the books anyway. That's what DMs are for.

Eric Tolle
2011-10-16, 02:12 AM
Two sets of powers. One for classes, one for everyone. Things that everyone can learn. Perhaps, yes, Whirlwind Attack is an incredibly powerful, difficult to learn technique that only true fighters can learn. Fair enough. But why, say, Power Attack? I hit it harder. There isn't much more to it.

The problem with that is that as it was with 3.X, feat-based abilities are in no way balanced with magical powers and spells. Given a choice between learning the ability to do extra damage with a sword hit, or the ability to go invisible, levitate, or summon monsters, what character would be stupid enough to choose the former?



I think that in 5th Edition getting hit at any level should be a serious thing. If you take an axe to the face, you should feel it, you shouldn't srug it off as -12hp. I also want the fragile mage back. Yes, you have walls of force & can deter my arrows with wind, but if I get at you, you are dead.

If you want fragile mages, then you're going to have to remove about half the spells mages have access to. Because by about fifth level in 3.X edition, actually getting to a mage is problematic, and by 12 level, there's pretty much no reason a mage should ever be threatened.

Now as for me, I want hit points to be explicitly defined as defensive luck- you die whan you "run out of luck", and there is no more detailed definition of where or if the person is hit. There is no "hitting in the face" outside of specific combat powers. That's the only way that hit points make any sort of sense, as people (and other animals) are not logs to be chipped away at until they fall. Wounds simply don't work that way.

Frankly, if you want a "a hit in the face matters" system, then you shouldn't go with hit points at all- use a damage save combined with a hit location table, similar to what the games Traveller 2300 or Albedo had. Toss in blood loss and shock mechanics, and you'll be set, especially if you rig the tables so that it's possible for someone to take 10 bullets in the chest and walk away, or die from being stabbed in the foot with a penknife.

But that's really getting away from D&D, even further away than True20 took it.

NecroRebel
2011-10-16, 02:24 AM
Imo, 4e just sucked. Regardless of whether or not Power Attack is a power, or whatever, 3.x had an incredible amount of depth to it. The customization and silly things you could do with it are what make it appealing, as opposed to shallow systems such as DC Heroes.

Something tells me you either have other reasons for disliking 4e, you dislike it despite never having tried it, or you tried it when there was only one book out and then dismissed it. 4e has a great deal of depth and customization to it, probably as much per book as 3.x (try building a deep character with only the first Player's Handbook in both editions; you'll see fairly sparse real options). As such, I can't help but see your statement as non sequitur.


Game balance does not have to be enforced by the books anyway. That's what DMs are for.

Oberoni Fallacy!

The fact that a DM can avoid a problem with proper rulings does not mean a problem does not exist. If the DM has to enforce balance because the game doesn't, that just means that the game doesn't enforce balance.

Curious
2011-10-16, 02:42 AM
Something tells me you either have other reasons for disliking 4e, you dislike it despite never having tried it, or you tried it when there was only one book out and then dismissed it. 4e has a great deal of depth and customization to it, probably as much per book as 3.x (try building a deep character with only the first Player's Handbook in both editions; you'll see fairly sparse real options). As such, I can't help but see your statement as non sequitur.




You know, I see this attitude quite frequently among 4e players. When someone says they have played the game and found it lacking, the inevitable response is that you must be lying, or you didn't play it enough, because anyone who has 'really' played 4e couldn't possibly find it to be anything less than revolutionary and nigh-perfect. :smallsigh:

NecroRebel
2011-10-16, 03:51 AM
You know, I see this attitude quite frequently among 4e players. When someone says they have played the game and found it lacking, the inevitable response is that you must be lying, or you didn't play it enough, because anyone who has 'really' played 4e couldn't possibly find it to be anything less than revolutionary and nigh-perfect. :smallsigh:

If he had had actual reasons for disliking the game, I wouldn't have made the accusation. The fact that he just stated that he disliked it, then went onto talking about something about 3.x that is also true of 4e, as if it's a reason to dislike 4e, is problematic.

Also, many 3.5 players want to see 4e as terrible, no matter what, and will not accept any evidence to the contrary that it's anything more than crap with no redeeming qualities. Finally, he didn't say that he had played the game; if he had and disliked it, my response would've been very different. Someone who plays and dislikes is perfectly reasonable, though I might've suggested that the lack of depth was due to lack of sources. Someone who says it sucks without any supporting evidence or apparent experience, though...

RedWarlock
2011-10-16, 04:21 AM
You know, I see this attitude quite frequently among 4e players. When someone says they have played the game and found it lacking, the inevitable response is that you must be lying, or you didn't play it enough, because anyone who has 'really' played 4e couldn't possibly find it to be anything less than revolutionary and nigh-perfect. :smallsigh:

Yes and no. See, I've come across a lot of people who did exactly what he mentions, who have played 3.5 for years, are used to creating character using no less than five books, who then took one look at 4e back when the core box set was the only thing out, and said 'it's too limited!'. They keep repeating that to themselves, and it'll take years for them to come around to the idea that it took 3e just as long to build up a wide range of options.

(It doesn't help that the first round of classes WERE very similar, but honestly, I take it all into account now by explaining that things did get a lot more varied in later books as the designers learned to stretch their limits. Psionics is my poster child example. And, much as I dislike the conceptual changes in character construction, the Essentials versions of the Fighter, Rogue, and other classes and so forth are probably exactly the kind of varied and mechanically distinct characters that help set them up differently from the Wizard, Cleric, etc in the eyes of a new-to-4e player. I'd love to see more interoperability between the Essentials fighter and the PHB1 fighter, but I really haven't checked in depth to see if and how the two sets of exploits, feats, and so forth interact with one another.)

And just to add some fuel to the fire, I'm very much enjoying the discussion of the differences between systems, in part because I've done much of the same arguments with my own players, and tried to push 3e classes towards 4e mechanics. I like the 3e multiclassing system, I like monster characters, but I love the more distinct mechanics for powers. (I love ToB, but my players never even really tried it! 4e's powers as built-in to the basic classes is an easier pill to swallow, I guess.)

Do you guys remember the dhampir multiclass-only powers/etc? Did anyone else think that could have been a perfect avenue for expanding character races into monstrous options?

stainboy
2011-10-16, 04:45 AM
You know, I see this attitude quite frequently among 4e players. When someone says they have played the game and found it lacking, the inevitable response is that you must be lying, or you didn't play it enough, because anyone who has 'really' played 4e couldn't possibly find it to be anything less than revolutionary and nigh-perfect. :smallsigh:

You forgot afraid of change, unwilling to play any game but 3.5, and don't want fighters to have nice things. If it's any consolation the fanboys act the same way when a more reasonable 4e player tries to discuss a flaw in the game.

To some degree WotC encouraged this attitude with their initial marketing push. Rob Heinsoo (back when he still worked for WotC) displayed about the same attitude in interviews. You may remember the "I grapple the troll" commercial that strawmanned every previous edition of the game to show how hopelessly flawed it was. And they wonder why so many people want nothing to do with 4e.

bloodtide
2011-10-16, 04:55 AM
I don't think making a new edition is a very good idea, regardless of the actual content of said edition. No matter what they do, they can't please everybody, and many people will stick with their current edition of choice. And what's more, they will further cement their reputation for churning out new editions at an ever-increasing pace, which I believe will hurt sales. Why should I buy 5th edition when it will probably be obsolete in another 3 years?

I also think a new edition is a bad idea. I remember the 2E days(the 90's) when every other game system was going through 4th and 5th and such editions and I could sit back and say 'my game is just fine with 2 editions'.

The idea of near $100 for three core books, plus other add on things, is just ridiculous. Plus more money for the 'source books' they forgot to put in the core rules(like 4E and the lame dragon trick). All that for a system I might not even like....





This right here is what I would like to see. If WotC wants my money, then they should support my already existing edition of choice. Give us an official 3.75 that fixes the more glaring problems with 3.5, instead of putting out a completely different game with the same name and telling me to play that instead. And then give the 4th edition players whatever will make them happy too. Heck, they can even both keep the D&D name as long as they label them clearly.

I wonder why WotC does not do this. If they want to make sales, why do they forget they have a huge fan base already? Why are they so focused on new sales?

Lets see there are, eh, a couple thousand 3E gamers and thousands of just normal folk. So WotC tries to focus on the normal folk and somehow 'draw them into' the role-playing hobby and some how make them buy tons of stuff. OR WotC could make 'classic' D&D stuff. I think it's more then safe to say that a good half of the 3e(or 2e or 1e) gamers would buy something like that. So that would be an automatic couple thousand sales, not a 'cross your fingers and hope someone new randomly buys our stuff'.

A 3E 'Fix' book is a great idea. Just think of the thousands of sales that would be...almost automatically. WotC could even spread it over 3-5 books. I'd pay for a nice hardcover 'D&D economics' book, for example, with a nice workable system

Curious
2011-10-16, 04:57 AM
Huh, more responses than I expected.

Okay, it's late, and I'm too damn tired to respond to all of you, so I'll just leave these convenient articles here to explain my problems with 4e.

Dissociated Mechanics (http://thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/dissociated-mechanics.html).
General (http://thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/playtesting-4th.html).
PF vs 4e (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/2734/roleplaying-games/pathfinder-vs-4th-edition-grrr).

There, read those if you care enough about it.

EDIT: Also, sometimes people don't like a system because they don't like a system. Really, it does happen.

NecroRebel
2011-10-16, 05:38 AM
Huh, more responses than I expected.

Okay, it's late, and I'm too damn tired to respond to all of you, so I'll just leave these convenient articles here to explain my problems with 4e.

Dissociated Mechanics (http://thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/dissociated-mechanics.html).
General (http://thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/playtesting-4th.html).
PF vs 4e (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/2734/roleplaying-games/pathfinder-vs-4th-edition-grrr).

There, read those if you care enough about it.

EDIT: Also, sometimes people don't like a system because they don't like a system. Really, it does happen.

Read the articles, disagree with most of what was said in the first two, and find the third mostly irrelevant. The "dissociated mechanics" problem is bull****; if one cared to look, one would find just as many, if not more, such little issues in the older editions, and the claim that it spawns thousands of houserules is also complete crap, as the circumstances in which things do and don't work are explicit. The problems raised in the "general" article are based entirely on thealexandrian's own playstyle, which is fairly unusual (reverse Oberoni perhaps? "Just because your DM causes problems with improper rulings doesn't mean the problems exist in the system"). And the PFvs4e article is about the business end of things, not the games themselves. They're unconvincing to me, in other words, though I can see how you may find them moving.

Disliking a system is perfectly alright, even if you have no reason for it, as long as you're willing to admit that it's you who is doing the disliking. Saying "I dislike the taste of peanuts, but I can't say why" is kosher, but saying "I think peanuts are evil because you can make a tasty spread out of hazelnuts!" isn't. More relevantly, neither is saying
Imo, 4e just sucked. Regardless of whether or not Power Attack is a power, or whatever, 3.x had an incredible amount of depth to it. The customization and silly things you could do with it are what make it appealing, as opposed to shallow systems such as DC Heroes.

Trog
2011-10-16, 07:20 AM
Well apparently I'm in the minority here because I actually found 4th edition to be a big improvement on the game mechanics-wise. The defining of terms for power descriptions and the strict use thereof makes interpreting the effects of powers considerably more clear than any of the past editions which were frought with vague language in spell descriptions sometimes that often resulted in lots of rules arguing at the table. Now that has pretty much disappeared at my gaming table anyway. And I do like the way the classes have been attempted to come into balance via the powers system.

But there's things I do NOT like about 4th edition.

For one thing I actually find 4th edition, with all its claims to NOT indicating a world that you need to run the system in what with no world map or default setting or what have you, to be very limiting.

My players love playing in what they feel is the sweet spot for character advancement. In previous editions that started around 7th level. In 4th it's 9-16 or so. The levels where players get the most powers. Myself, I enjoy low level play but we rarely play that anymore as I am the minority. I, as a DM, have often runs stories that are concerned with the prime material and powers therein - traditional D&D stories, imo. But now with 4th edition Prime Material play is regarded as a Heroic Tier thing. The result is that I have custom mod anything I want or change my way of play in order to accomodate this.

Also in regard to level limitations:

Why isn't every monster in the MM set at level 5, 15, and 25? Think about it. You can bump a monster up or down 5 levels using the monster modification system in 4e, right? Beyond that they do not recommend it. Making the same monster (an orc shaman, say) at 5, 15, and 25 would allow a DM to run that monster at ALL levels of play with minor modifications. This way no matter how you as a DM like to mix your stories and your power levels the game accommodates you. Not the other way around. Plus by making sure a monster is correctly balanced for only three levels initially (with an accompanying easy system for bump-ups/bump-downs) WotC can, I would hope, make more balanced monsters. There's a good deal of discrepancy there I feel, as always. And this would streamline the balancing act there and cut down on playtesting time I would imagine. Win/win.

So doing this monster thing will allow for more DM freedom for stories because he can mix and match the different things as s/he wishes and not be stuck with at-this-level-you-should-be-adventuring-in-the-underdark or in the Astral Sea or... wherever. In short:

Please don't make another system that dictates what stories I make for my players based on your arbitrary decisions, WotC. It's MUCH more limiting than a world map, believe me.

The balance of the system of 4e is good but getting rid of some of the more gameist ideas or modifying them to be a bit more like how older editions functioned would help. I'm one of those supposedly rare players that like to run clerics and bards and the like because I like to help the group so I like that the clerics have been freed up a bit more from their walking bandage factory roots. 3e did some of that and 4e has done more with the concept of healing surges and a second wind and all - concepts my group was developing and using in 3e anyway (we called it "scene healing"). But ideas like a fighter can only do this fighting trick once per day seems odd to me. In older editions fighters could fight all day long so long as they kept getting healed up. As I've mentioned my players like to have their PCs at levels where they have the most powers and choices in-game. They also enjoy having those dailies as often as they can get it. The concept of taking an extended rest as often as possible in order to keep their dailies charged up happens all the time. But in older editions the whole party didn't rest if the magic using classes were running low on spells for some reason. I'm not sure what exactly changed the mindset there but something did. So something needs to be done there to stop that rest all the time trend because it's a bit irksome.

Finally a pet peeve from the past two editions:
Can we please finally get rid of the multitude of separate feats that bump up a skill or minor stat? Or at least consolidate them into one feat: Bump Up Something +2 and save WotC all the lame filler material? I mean who doesn't see the general mechanic behind these bumps? Really, whenever I see a new book come out with "a new feat" that is basically just "bump up your X +2" with some lame description tacked on I just think "filler". :smalltongue:

EDIT: Oh... and one more thing:
Banshraes: Mouthless.
Main weapon: Blowgun.

I sent a note on that to WotC loooong ago and I still don't see it being fixed. :smalltongue:

Eldan
2011-10-16, 07:21 AM
You forgot afraid of change, unwilling to play any game but 3.5, and don't want fighters to have nice things. If it's any consolation the fanboys act the same way when a more reasonable 4e player tries to discuss a flaw in the game.


That? That is simply wrong. I don't just play 3.5. I have played Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, FATE (several versions of it, in fact), Gamma World, Mutants and Masterminds, Burning Wheel, Exalted, Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Vampire: the Masquerade and a few minimalistic systems that only needed one page of rules. Probably a few more, too, if I spend some time thinking on it.

My finding? I like at least part of all of them. But there are exactly two systems out there I wouldh't play again because I find them mechanically boring: d20 modern, and 4E.

Mark Hall
2011-10-16, 10:14 AM
AD&D didn't have any rules for playing monsters. They even removed 1/2 Orc.

Complete Book of Humanoids and Skills and Powers would beg to differ with you. Not to mention the Dark Sun campaign, which started with Thrikreen and half-giants and eventually included aarakocra and pterrans. Oh, and the DMG had explicit rules for converting monsters to PC races, including some guidelines as to what shouldn't be allowed.

Oh! And the Council of Wyrms setting. And the Requiem supplement for Ravenloft. And the guidelines in Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts. Of course, Dragonlance always included minotaurs, and the Time of the Dragon boxed set included Bakali and Goblins. Maybe Planescape, if you count baiaur. And that doesn't count the possibility to become an awnshegh in Birthright, or some sort of monster through repeated failing of powers checks in Ravenloft.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-16, 11:15 AM
Dissociated Mechanics (http://thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/dissociated-mechanics.html).
General (http://thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/playtesting-4th.html).
PF vs 4e (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/2734/roleplaying-games/pathfinder-vs-4th-edition-grrr).
Well, this has caused me to revise my opinion on the Alexandrian. I used to think he only wrote ill-researched tripe, but this is very insightful on the flaws of 4E. And mind you, being aware of the flaws of a game in no way means you dislike that game.

His story about how skill challenges are "disassociated mechanics" is dead on the money. I've found that any moderately rules-minded player will clue in sooner or later that the way to win a skill challenge is not to roleplay or find a solution to the problem you're facing, but instead to simply use your best skill over and over again; and such players tend to encourage others to do the same. And this does work, even if you may have to bluff the DM into believing your best skill applies when it really shouldn't.
That's a pretty obvious example of a mechanic that penalizes (and, arguably, discourages) roleplaying.


Essentials isn't to 4e what 3.5 was to 3.0; they're just low-quality sourcebooks for 4e, not a rewrite.
Let's just say that numerous people disagree with that opinion. WOTC has clearly stated that the starting point used to be PHB1, but the new starting point is HOFL.

Valameer
2011-10-16, 01:22 PM
I hope when they make 5e they look back at all the editions of D&D, instead of building off 4e like 4e built off 3e. There were a lot of fun things happening back in basic and advanced and I think the game would gain back some of it's traditional flavour if they incorporated some of it.

D&D isn't supposed to be a universal fantasy simulator. It's supposed to be D&D. Wizards, clerics, fighters, thieves, beholders, a rainbow of dragons, and a plethora of dungeons for no reason, all that good stuff. If I want to run A Game of Thrones I'm not going to use D&D. So the designers shouldn't shy away from these sacred cows, they should embrace them.

I want to see fluff tied to crunch, and vise versa. I don't want a bland, generic setting at launch. Launch the game with a new setting, or a reintroduction of an old setting. Make the setting book part of core, and get some dollars! I'd buy 4 core books if they were done well.

I also want WotC to find a fun way to add collectible cards to the game. Let's face it, they are going to do it anyway. My hope is that it's done well instead of done poorly. They should plan for this right from the get-go instead of shovelling it in 2 years after the product launches.

Again, reach out to the previous editions in a variety of ways. The goal of 5e shouldn't be forging a new playerbase out of nothing, it should be in converting a portion of diehards from older editions. Instead of saying "4e was wrong, so we had to start over," make the dialogue more like "if you like this and that about 4e, check out how we grew that idea with 5e."

Make the game because you honestly feel that the world deserves an updated version of D&D. Don't make it cause you think you can sell X copies. People can tell when a movie is made to milk a franchise, and when one is made because someone had an awesome story to tell. You have to be the latter. The latter sells. A majority of Star Wars fans love The Empire Strikes Back and dislike The Phantom Menace. Why? Quality. Clear goals and inspiration beget quality. Quantity does not.

Instead of splat books with a glut of options, release a glut of modules. Yes, you will sell less modules than splat books - but, without a stupid power creep, and without fumbling up your game into an indistinguishable mess. The game will remain quality, yet adventuring options will be prolific. Help DMs, and the quality of your games becomes apparent to new players. Then the money you lose in the smaller sales of modules, you make up for in selling your 4 (or 5) core rules books. Don't aim to make the most money out of every book printed, just use each book to increase the value of your core books to people.

tl;dr: Make a good game, that aggressively attacks the interest of people playing older editions of D&D, people playing GURPS, people playing White Wolf. Don't do this by making a universal ruleset to appease everyone. Do this by making the funnest, most enduring version of D&D yet. Help DMs of D&D run the game better than GMs of other games. Help them make your game shine. Keep enough material out there that people always have new stuff to do, and you've created an edition that will continue selling copies long into the days of 7th edition.

Tvtyrant
2011-10-16, 02:47 PM
Complete Book of Humanoids and Skills and Powers would beg to differ with you. Not to mention the Dark Sun campaign, which started with Thrikreen and half-giants and eventually included aarakocra and pterrans. Oh, and the DMG had explicit rules for converting monsters to PC races, including some guidelines as to what shouldn't be allowed.

Oh! And the Council of Wyrms setting. And the Requiem supplement for Ravenloft. And the guidelines in Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts. Of course, Dragonlance always included minotaurs, and the Time of the Dragon boxed set included Bakali and Goblins. Maybe Planescape, if you count baiaur. And that doesn't count the possibility to become an awnshegh in Birthright, or some sort of monster through repeated failing of powers checks in Ravenloft.

Or two seperate Spelljammer books, which had Dracotaur characters and another one (Giffs?) that I don't remember.

stainboy
2011-10-16, 04:18 PM
My players love playing in what they feel is the sweet spot for character advancement. In previous editions that started around 7th level. In 4th it's 9-16 or so. The levels where players get the most powers. Myself, I enjoy low level play but we rarely play that anymore as I am the minority. I, as a DM, have often runs stories that are concerned with the prime material and powers therein - traditional D&D stories, imo. But now with 4th edition Prime Material play is regarded as a Heroic Tier thing. The result is that I have custom mod anything I want or change my way of play in order to accomodate this.

Also in regard to level limitations:

Why isn't every monster in the MM set at level 5, 15, and 25? Think about it. You can bump a monster up or down 5 levels using the monster modification system in 4e, right? Beyond that they do not recommend it. Making the same monster (an orc shaman, say) at 5, 15, and 25 would allow a DM to run that monster at ALL levels of play with minor modifications. This way no matter how you as a DM like to mix your stories and your power levels the game accommodates you. Not the other way around. Plus by making sure a monster is correctly balanced for only three levels initially (with an accompanying easy system for bump-ups/bump-downs) WotC can, I would hope, make more balanced monsters. There's a good deal of discrepancy there I feel, as always. And this would streamline the balancing act there and cut down on playtesting time I would imagine. Win/win.


I think 4e trying to stretch 3e's "sweet spot" over 30 levels was a mistake. Almost nobody plays games that last 30 levels. In my experience a good long campaign runs about 10 levels and a year to 18 months of real time. 99% of players will only use one "tier" worth of content and that means 2/3 of the printed powers and monsters aren't useful to them. Wizards still get Fly, but Joe the level 1 wizard doesn't care because it's at level 16 where he'll never see it.

Before this turns into just being about 4e, most of 3e's balance problems come from pushing into levels the game was never built for. Old-school D&D pretty much assumed you were done after ten. The original Fiend Folio had Lolth or Orcus at around level 10. The original Forgotten Realms box caps most of the actual gods at mid-level spells. At about level 10 you've won D&D, you get your stronghold and your 2d6 bears and you retire or play Chainmail.

Adventuring as a mode of play just has a limited level span. Trying to support it for more than 10 levels produces either a leveling treadmill and lots of content you can't use (4e), gigantic class imbalances (3e), or broken math at high levels (both). I'd like to see a level progression like this:

Level 1: Mook. Suck at life and die to sickly goblins with sticks. This only here so we can make orc marauders and town guards. Basically don't play at this level unless you're a grognard who hates fun.
Level 3: Starting PC. Beat up organized goblin raiders, maybe pull together and drop a troll. Your class chart in the PHB starts here; don't make DMs figure out for themselves that level 1s are super squishy.
Level 6: Take on undead lords and dragons that are actually bigger than you.
Level 9: Take on an Aspect of Orcus.
Level 12: Kill Orcus in his throne room.
Level ++: That's it, there aren't any more levels. Rule a nation or lock yourself in your wizard tower to do research. If you want to keep the game going, pick up some low/mid-level backup characters (you probably have a few by now) and play like West Marches/Ars Magica. There should be rules to support this.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-16, 07:24 PM
I think 4e trying to stretch 3e's "sweet spot" over 30 levels was a mistake. Almost nobody plays games that last 30 levels. In my experience a good long campaign runs about 10 levels and a year to 18 months of real time. 99% of players will only use one "tier" worth of content and that means 2/3 of the printed powers and monsters aren't useful to them.

That's a good point. Ironically, 4E also turns out having a "sweet spot", which I believe to be approx level 5-12. Also, WOTC appears to have realized this, and for the past year and a half has focused almost all their material on the heroic tier.

Kaun
2011-10-16, 07:49 PM
That's a good point. Ironically, 4E also turns out having a "sweet spot", which I believe to be approx level 5-12. Also, WOTC appears to have realized this, and for the past year and a half has focused almost all their material on the heroic tier.

Yeah i found this "sweet spot" so be the case as well. I think the problem all so stems from the monster design for the paragon tear, the monsters hp and defenses quickly escalates up while their damage out put stays static. This causes the fights to be longer and more boring in a lot of cases due to PC's having to relying on at-wills.

I all so found that as players get to deep into paragon levels the mobility and damage out put of strikers can make combat boring. This is mainly due to their ability to quickly remove controller and leader type enemies from a fight with their main abilities and then being left to slogging it out with the high def high hit point brutes for the remainder.

Knaight
2011-10-16, 08:59 PM
Yeah, numbers always work that way. +1 is still always a 5% increase to your hit ratio. Trying to play tricks with the numbers is irrelevant.

I'm just going to butt in here and point out that while it is a 5% increase in your to hit ratio, to hit ratio is far less significant than chance to hit, and chance to hit varies highly. If you only hit on a 20, and now hit on a 19 and 20, your chance to hit just doubled. If you hit on a 16, its a 20% increase, on an 11, a 10% increase, on a 2 a 5% increase.

Now, as to the whole "flaws in both systems" argument: The existence of a flaw in system X does not render irrelevant the existence of a flaw in system Y. It doesn't matter if there is a flaw in 4e or 3.5 that also exists in the other, its still a flaw in both. If they were the only two games in existence that might be relevant, but they aren't. Even if there is a flaw in every edition of D&D, it doesn't somehow cancel out, as GURPS might not have it, or Burning Wheel might not have it, and Fiasco and Lacuna most certainly don't have it. A flaw in the system is always relevant to evaluating the system, and all that really changes is how relevant it is to any individual player.

Now, the personal aspect: I'm not a fan of 4e, and I'm not a fan of 3.5. I've yet to find an edition of D&D I actually like, and 5e is in direct competition with Warrior Rogue and Mage - I'd argue it does D&D better than D&D ever does, and by a healthy margin at that.

Mark Hall
2011-10-16, 09:11 PM
Now, the personal aspect: I'm not a fan of 4e, and I'm not a fan of 3.5. I've yet to find an edition of D&D I actually like, and 5e is in direct competition with Warrior Rogue and Mage - I'd argue it does D&D better than D&D ever does, and by a healthy margin at that.

That's much where I am, though with C&C... though our Learn to Hack for Hackmaster went well last night.

There were a number of laudable things about 4e. I liked how they did healing surges, for example, and I've imported their "every square is 5', even diagonally" (it takes a little bit to get used to) into other games. But by and large, the most fun I've had with the system has been in Fourthcore stuff... low level, time limited, and occasionally full of arbitrary death.

Knaight
2011-10-16, 09:48 PM
There were a number of laudable things about 4e. I liked how they did healing surges, for example, and I've imported their "every square is 5', even diagonally" (it takes a little bit to get used to) into other games. But by and large, the most fun I've had with the system has been in Fourthcore stuff... low level, time limited, and occasionally full of arbitrary death.

I agree entirely, sans the every square is 5' bit and Fourthcore. The at will/encounter/daily system could easily be switched to at will/per scene/per chapter, healing surges work beautifully within the flow of major important combats (see: per chapter) when it comes to simulating genre fiction, and the broad basis of skills everyone gets does the same, though I have a lot of quibbles with the skill system. 4e had some good ideas in it, but I'm less than willing to wade through the rest of the system. And besides, WR&M does most of that already, and what it doesn't can be added easily.

OracleofWuffing
2011-10-16, 11:37 PM
What I'm wondering about as far as 5e guessing goes, is if the biggest change is actually going to be on the magic item aspect of the game. Saying that 4e has struggled with magic items is, perhaps, going a bit too far, but it's something that has been continuously "getting tweaked" since the system was announced and into the present time. I mean, magic items in the dragon's horde is a staple of D&D, so I can't imagine Wizards switching to a default Inherent Bonus system, but the nature of "streamlining" choices as their design MO really makes me feel that, if trends continue, the variety of magic items and enchantments for them is the next elephant in the room to look at. Maybe they'll make it so that default armor and weapons act similar to artifacts, and have them gain powers and "not-feats" as your "heroics" awaken their inner power.

...Or maybe they'll just ignore that aspect and instead switch the definition of "Burst" and "Blast" around just to mess with my head. :smalltongue:

Knaight
2011-10-16, 11:57 PM
What I'm wondering about as far as 5e guessing goes, is if the biggest change is actually going to be on the magic item aspect of the game. Saying that 4e has struggled with magic items is, perhaps, going a bit too far, but it's something that has been continuously "getting tweaked" since the system was announced and into the present time. I mean, magic items in the dragon's horde is a staple of D&D, so I can't imagine Wizards switching to a default Inherent Bonus system, but the nature of "streamlining" choices as their design MO really makes me feel that, if trends continue, the variety of magic items and enchantments for them is the next elephant in the room to look at. Maybe they'll make it so that default armor and weapons act similar to artifacts, and have them gain powers and "not-feats" as your "heroics" awaken their inner power.
I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped the whole +x to y magic items entirely. I'd also say good riddance, as a +5 sword or similar really isn't that interesting, and say, a flaming sword or magic spear or whatever is simpler, more streamlined, and probably better mechanically, provided each does something that is exceptional, and not just adds more of the same.

stainboy
2011-10-17, 12:20 AM
Monte Cook's thing from L&L is encouraging. "Wouldn't it be cool if there were no magic marts, monsters were tuned for PCs in mundane gear, and your magic items let you fight stuff above your level?" Yes, that would in fact be pretty cool.

Constraining level progression would really help with making magic items less of a necessary part of advancement. The game can handle the difference between a fighter with a regular sword and a +1 sword or a +2 sword. But at high levels after lots of incremental upgrades we're talking about a regular sword vs a +5 sword. If the fighter hits 50% of his attacks that +5 accounts for over half his damage.

Also yeah "+5 sword" is conceptually lame.

Knaight
2011-10-17, 12:38 AM
Also yeah "+5 sword" is conceptually lame.

And it was basically worthless in 3.x, which I suspect is a detail that the designers missed.

NecroRebel
2011-10-17, 12:48 AM
If you look at most legends, magic weapons weren't anywhere close to how "+1 swords" work. A sword might be unusually keen, but it wouldn't make up for a lack of skill; legendary warriors tend to be legendary without their equipment. I'd like a system where mundane gear, or no gear at all, was assumed for balance. Magic items should be rare, but have really cool properties; even a flaming sword is a little dull, I want a spear that can be released and fights for its owner, a huge axe that can chop down a whole forest in a single swing, a sword that cleaves the tops off hills! Crazy badass stuff!

This can... sort of be done in 4e with the inherent bonuses variant, but most of the item properties just aren't that impressive. Same with 3.x, from what I've seen, though there at least you could, in theory, give a sword the ability to cast Earthquake or something like that. A system built with the assumption that any magic items will be really amazing would probably be better, though.

Conners
2011-10-17, 01:23 AM
A new one being planned already? How long does it usually take before these things are released?

NecroRebel
2011-10-17, 01:25 AM
A new one being planned already? How long does it usually take before these things are released?

Apparently, a year and a half or so, so a release sometime in 2013 is likely. Early 2014 probably at the latest.

Conners
2011-10-17, 01:46 AM
Isn't 2014 a bit soon to release a new edition? 3rd edition seems to be around for ages.

NecroRebel
2011-10-17, 01:57 AM
Isn't 2014 a bit soon to release a new edition? 3rd edition seems to be around for ages.

3e was around for about 3 years before 3.5 came out, and 3.5 was out for about 5 years when 4e came out. It just seems like forever because they happen to have been around while the internet was becoming mainstream, so the vast majority of discussion about D&D on the internet has been about 3e and 3.5. 2013-2014 would give a life cycle of about 5 years for 4e.

Conners
2011-10-17, 02:24 AM
That is a point. It, "feels like just yesterday", that I was hearing about the 4E release...

Telok
2011-10-17, 05:08 AM
Are there any rules yet for tying someone up in 4e? The last time I looked it was still DM fiat.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-17, 05:48 AM
What I'm wondering about as far as 5e guessing goes, is if the biggest change is actually going to be on the magic item aspect of the game. Saying that 4e has struggled with magic items is, perhaps, going a bit too far, but it's something that has been continuously "getting tweaked" since the system was announced and into the present time.

There are a number of fundamental design flaws in the magic item system, and as a result, a large majority of items are extremely useless. What WOTC consistently seems to be missing is that always-on properties are much better than once-per-day powers (this is also why common items tend to be better than uncommons).
Another is that WOTC assumes that low-level gear does nothing for high-level adventurers, but it clearly does - and a flaw of the wealth system is that any high level character can buy or craft all the low level stuff he wants for pocket change. The "magic item uses per day" system is a kludge to counteract this, but it misses the earlier point that properties are better than powers. Using inherent bonuses actually makes this worse, because you can pick the best +1 weapon for cheap and stick with it forever.

So yeah. That alexandrian guy points out that often, WOTC wants X to happen by design, and then designs something that results in the opposite of X? This is a good example. One of the promotional bits was that 4E would avoid the "christmas tree effect", but by its core rules it quite obviously encourages going christmas tree (and carrying a bag full of secondary weapons or implements to swap with).

hewhosaysfish
2011-10-17, 07:04 AM
Monte Cook's thing from L&L is encouraging. "Wouldn't it be cool if there were no magic marts, monsters were tuned for PCs in mundane gear, and your magic items let you fight stuff above your level?" Yes, that would in fact be pretty cool.

Constraining level progression would really help with making magic items less of a necessary part of advancement. The game can handle the difference between a fighter with a regular sword and a +1 sword or a +2 sword. But at high levels after lots of incremental upgrades we're talking about a regular sword vs a +5 sword. If the fighter hits 50% of his attacks that +5 accounts for over half his damage.

Maybe a "Gear Level" calculated from the total GP spent on stuff in a similar manner to calculating character level from XP.
The DM uses the combination of Character Level and Gear Level to determine whether a given encounter is easy, challenging, overwhelming, etc perhaps by calculating some sort of "Total Ass-Kicking Level".

Since it would only really be consulted during prep-time, the "Total Ass-Kicking Level" calculation could be as complicated as need be and you just put a table in the DMG. (This approach might make it harder for an improvising GM to work out the TAKL in the middle of a session... but they would probably just eyeball it anyway.)

But what do you do about consumables? The only fair system I can see would be to count their value towards Gear Level when bought, then subtract them from the gp total when used. Unless your Gear Level really close to a threshhold value then it shouldn't matter but rules like this could turn your game of D&D into Adventures In SpreadSheets (tm).


Also yeah "+5 sword" is conceptually lame.

It may be lame but there are still people who will drool over getting it. And as long as people will drool over getting it, WotC will put a way of getting it in the game.

OracleofWuffing
2011-10-17, 01:58 PM
The "magic item uses per day" system is a kludge to counteract this, but it misses the earlier point that properties are better than powers.
:smallconfused: Didn't they get rid of that? Or did they just bring it back and I haven't heard of it?

Kurald Galain
2011-10-17, 02:10 PM
:smallconfused: Didn't they get rid of that? Or did they just bring it back and I haven't heard of it?

Yes they did, but fundamentally the rarity system is also a kludge to counteract hoarding low-level items with daily powers.

Somebloke
2011-10-19, 05:41 AM
Meh. For me, magic items have been something I've despised for years. I abandoned them in 3.5, and replaced them in 4e with 'character aspects as daily abilities' based on acheivements, roleplaying and tactical style- worked really well. About the only game where I was willing to allow magic items would be in Ebberron, and even then it's because of the nature of the setting- furthermore, they would be a lot more standardised and commonplace, essentially repesenting 'top-professional grade' or 'military grade' items.

The magic item Christmas tree was never a part of any world I have built, and I really doubt that it ever will be.

People. It should be about the swordsman, not the sword.

(YMMV of course).

Regarding 3.5 and 4 as a whole, both had strengths and weaknesses; but at the end of the day neither really does what I want them to do as a system. I had to homebrew the hell out of 3.5 to make it fit my world, and 4e became unenjoyable for my players at around level 10, mostly due to choice paralysis and overly-long battles. I think I'll stick to FATE or Savage Worlds, which have a much more enjoyable 'toolkit' approach for my homebrews.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-19, 08:18 AM
I can't fathom how anyone could possibly believe that. It's, in my opinion, the most important and best change they made in 4E.

If the only difference in leveling up is that the numbers are bigger, why bother with leveling up at all?


In what possible sense is this a "realism hit"? We're talking about a magical effect. Is an arbitrary die size more "realistic" in some way?

Just because it's magical doesn't mean that arbitrary is desirable. Die size is not arbitrary, it is by class, with the sorts of people you would expect to be big and beefy having larger hit die. This is reasonably realistic, as a guy who swings a sword is expected to be a bit tougher physically than a guy who studies books.

Healing effects autoscaling to chars is pretty arbitrary, though, and smacks of video game rules. It's balanced, it's pretty...but in a way that doesn't accurately reflect real life or traditional fiction. The dude who just took fifty sword hits requires more healing than the guy who took three, even if the guy who took three is kind of a wuss.


The core ruleset might not be, but that's a subjective matter. However, the engine, the mathematics behind the game, are absolutely superior. In just 20 levels, the 3.5 engine breaks down as the disparity between attack bonus, saves, and AC increases to the point they no longer function.

Not at all. I've played epic campaigns, and they do work. They're no longer the same time of game that you were playing 20 levels before, certainly...but why should they be? Why should a battle against a god be just like a battle against a kobold a bunch of levels before?

Eldan
2011-10-19, 08:36 AM
I can see the argument for percentage healing, and I think I'd even prefer it, though.

The barbarian and the wizard both take a life-threatening wound (reducing them to 0 HP). The wizard is fine again (at max HP) after a cure light wounds spell, while the barbarian is still battered all over, requiring Cure Serious Wounds instead. That's just as strange.

Yora
2011-10-19, 08:40 AM
Percentages are always more complicated than just straight numbers.

And yes, you can do the calculations in your head. But lots of people don't want to.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-19, 08:48 AM
I don't think competing with themselves is a good business plan. If WotC puts out 2 completely different games at the same time, marketed, ultimately, to the same people, they have to have twice as many designers, editors, etc. to actually make the books, which probably means more than 1 1/2 times the costs. Frankly, old players don't matter. For the most part, we won't be buying whole sets of books like newbies will, especially if the "new" editions are just "fixed" versions of older ones, as the 3.5 and 4.0 players will mostly look at the 3.75 and 4.5 books, look at what they've got, and just take the most important stuff and do the conversions themselves. Again, the old players won't buy all the books if there's any compatibility between what they've already got and what's new, so it's more profitable for them to make a completely new system.

I disagree. I have a bunch of 2e books(my initial edition). When 3.0 came out, I was a poor airman with crap for disposable income. Several of us pooled our money to buy all the core books. Later, when 3.5 came out, I was unimpressed with the changes...they seemed nice but minor, and I didn't bother upgrading my core books for years, because there were more 3.0 and 3.5 splatbooks to buy. Now, I have all 3.x books, including new and shiny 3.5 core books. Pathfinder? All those too, even though I mainly play 3.5

See, us somewhat older players have money. If I like a game system, I will buy the entire thing just to have around for the bits I like. I play many game systems as well, like most older players.

You don't NEED to alienate the older players to appeal to new ones...and you probably shouldn't. Multiple lines can appeal to different audiences, and a few people might buy both. It's a helluva lot better to end up "competing with yourself" than to end up competing with Pazio, right?


Well, this has caused me to revise my opinion on the Alexandrian. I used to think he only wrote ill-researched tripe, but this is very insightful on the flaws of 4E. And mind you, being aware of the flaws of a game in no way means you dislike that game.

His story about how skill challenges are "disassociated mechanics" is dead on the money. I've found that any moderately rules-minded player will clue in sooner or later that the way to win a skill challenge is not to roleplay or find a solution to the problem you're facing, but instead to simply use your best skill over and over again; and such players tend to encourage others to do the same. And this does work, even if you may have to bluff the DM into believing your best skill applies when it really shouldn't.
That's a pretty obvious example of a mechanic that penalizes (and, arguably, discourages) roleplaying.

I agree. The only point on which I disagreed with him(and it's a minor one), was about the formatting of the books. I found the 4e books fairly clean and easy to read. Granted, at this point, I've played and learned enough RPGs that I may not be a good guide for say, how well a new player would pick it up...but I don't feel like the information presentation was a notable problem for 4e. Hell, some of the 3.x books lacked sufficient indices, etc in my opinion as well. SpC should have had a master spells by caster list/level index, for example.

But...it was a minor point, among many excellent major ones. Definitely improved my opinion of his writings.

Seerow
2011-10-19, 08:51 AM
Percentages are always more complicated than just straight numbers.

And yes, you can do the calculations in your head. But lots of people don't want to.


The nice thing about percentage based healing in the context of healing surges is that your healing surge value is sitting on your character sheet. So you're not doing the percentage every time you get healed, you're taking that base value and adding it to whatever bonus healing the ability grants.

Reverent-One
2011-10-19, 02:14 PM
Well, this has caused me to revise my opinion on the Alexandrian. I used to think he only wrote ill-researched tripe, but this is very insightful on the flaws of 4E. And mind you, being aware of the flaws of a game in no way means you dislike that game.

His story about how skill challenges are "disassociated mechanics" is dead on the money. I've found that any moderately rules-minded player will clue in sooner or later that the way to win a skill challenge is not to roleplay or find a solution to the problem you're facing, but instead to simply use your best skill over and over again; and such players tend to encourage others to do the same. And this does work, even if you may have to bluff the DM into believing your best skill applies when it really shouldn't.
That's a pretty obvious example of a mechanic that penalizes (and, arguably, discourages) roleplaying.

On the other hand, if the skill challenge can be solved by rolling the same skill over and over, it's probably a poor skill challenge.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-19, 02:36 PM
On the other hand, if the skill challenge can be solved by rolling the same skill over and over, it's probably a poor skill challenge.

Probably. But the same principle exists. You find out who has the highest modifiers and find some way to talk the GM into saying they're applicable. The x successes/y failures is not always logical. Now, this may sometimes be the case in earlier uses of skills...but not always. For trapfinding, sure you have the best trapfinder do the job...but for social stuff, you might have multiple people talking, and say, doing research beforehand was a much more logical thing(as failing it wouldn't actually worsen your odds of success).

Read the Alexandrian post. Interesting stuff like how for certain skill mods, making it a more complex skill challenge actually increases the probability of success. It's a solid analysis of exactly how the skill challenge system is broken.

Reverent-One
2011-10-19, 03:01 PM
Probably. But the same principle exists. You find out who has the highest modifiers and find some way to talk the GM into saying they're applicable. The x successes/y failures is not always logical. Now, this may sometimes be the case in earlier uses of skills...but not always. For trapfinding, sure you have the best trapfinder do the job...but for social stuff, you might have multiple people talking, and say, doing research beforehand was a much more logical thing(as failing it wouldn't actually worsen your odds of success).

Even without the skill challenge system, players will try to do what their characters are best at, because that's the sensible thing to do. What happens if you put a door in front a stereotypical rogue? He'll try to pick it. A big strong fighter? He'll try to break it (or beat-up/kill someone with a key). A wizard? Magic will generally be their first recourse.

You're right that the x successes/y failures is not always logical, which is why WoTC suggested that if the players come up with solution that should solve the whole thing, you should go with that.


Read the Alexandrian post. Interesting stuff like how for certain skill mods, making it a more complex skill challenge actually increases the probability of success. It's a solid analysis of exactly how the skill challenge system is broken.

I have, it's not a new post on the matter. In fact, as the writer notes, it's out of date with some of the errata they've put out. He even says "The errata corrected the most egregious and obvious of the probability problems with skill challenges. Notably, more complex skill challenges no longer become easier for people with higher skill modifiers.". Perhaps you're the one who should read it. :smalltongue:

NecroRebel
2011-10-19, 03:21 PM
Even with the errata, the skill challenge system is still unsatisfactory at best. I'm not sure I've seen even the most die-hard 4e fans praising it, and most people seem to have nothing but criticism for it. It was a nice enough idea, but the execution still sucks.


I disagree. I have a bunch of 2e books(my initial edition). When 3.0 came out, I was a poor airman with crap for disposable income. Several of us pooled our money to buy all the core books. Later, when 3.5 came out, I was unimpressed with the changes...they seemed nice but minor, and I didn't bother upgrading my core books for years, because there were more 3.0 and 3.5 splatbooks to buy. Now, I have all 3.x books, including new and shiny 3.5 core books. Pathfinder? All those too, even though I mainly play 3.5

See, us somewhat older players have money. If I like a game system, I will buy the entire thing just to have around for the bits I like. I play many game systems as well, like most older players.

You don't NEED to alienate the older players to appeal to new ones...and you probably shouldn't. Multiple lines can appeal to different audiences, and a few people might buy both. It's a helluva lot better to end up "competing with yourself" than to end up competing with Pazio, right?

I used the term "old," but perhaps I should've used the term "veteran." I didn't mean old in terms of age, but rather old in terms of people who already have most of the books.

Still, you make a good point. Veteran players naturally tend to be older as well, and older people tend to have more disposable income. I still think my point stands, however; if you're marketing people who have never played a tabletop RPG, or even if such are a significant part of your market, you probably can't expect them to buy multiple systems, and as such you probably can't expect the same amount of profit from developing, printing, and selling two systems as you could from one. 2 systems would cost more to produce but (I suspect) wouldn't bring in enough new players to justify both.

I guess the question would be whether it's rookie players or veterans who give WotC the majority of their business. Probably veterans, actually, thinking a bit.

Reverent-One
2011-10-19, 03:32 PM
Even with the errata, the skill challenge system is still unsatisfactory at best. I'm not sure I've seen even the most die-hard 4e fans praising it, and most people seem to have nothing but criticism for it. It was a nice enough idea, but the execution still sucks.


I do think the errata and the further discussion of the matter in the DMG2 has progressed skill challenges from "Pretty much Unusable" to "Clunky to design but usable", which, yes, still isn't entirely satisfactory. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that the idea of the Skill Challenge mechanic is to provide structure to an inherently unstructured activity. You'd have to move skills in the opposite direction that 4e did, make them more precise and controlled rather than more abstract and open-ended, to deal with that issue. For 4e purposes, the skill challenge system really should be less structured to match it's skill system.

gkathellar
2011-10-19, 04:12 PM
Healing effects autoscaling to chars is pretty arbitrary, though, and smacks of video game rules. It's balanced, it's pretty...but in a way that doesn't accurately reflect real life or traditional fiction. The dude who just took fifty sword hits requires more healing than the guy who took three, even if the guy who took three is kind of a wuss.

Emphasis mine. I don't know why you're talking about real life and traditional fiction, when in both of those either of those guys are dead.

stainboy
2011-10-20, 07:03 AM
Even with the errata, the skill challenge system is still unsatisfactory at best. I'm not sure I've seen even the most die-hard 4e fans praising it, and most people seem to have nothing but criticism for it. It was a nice enough idea, but the execution still sucks.

I think even the idea was overly ambitious. Even if the math worked it would still be one universal minigame that tries to cover everything. Nobody on earth could write satisfactory rules for that.

There's no reason for SCs to try to cover everything though. The noncombat encounters that will come up over and over mostly fall into a few categories:


Environmental hazards, including traps.
Chases.
Stealth.
Searching.
Information Gathering.
Social Persuasion.


The first three should be handled through the combat engine. Players are going to want to teleport past traps or turn invisible to sneak past guards, and DMs are going to want to have orcs chuck spears at the party while they swim across the river. So any acceptable rules must be 100% integrated with the system that handles powers and angry orcs. That's half my list, all things SCs shouldn't try to do even the rules were good.

Monte and Mearls have both done articles proposing Search rules that aren't even remotely like a SC, so searching is probably irrelevant. Down to two.

All that leaves is social stuff, but that's fine. Writing a good subsystem just for team persuasion is actually a realistic and attainable goal. If 5e wanted to salvage any part of SCs that might be the place to do it. (And even still all I think might be worth salvaging is the idea that the whole party participates and can synergize different skills. The mathfail needs to go obviously, so does the dissociation. It shouldn't even be called a Skill Challenge because that name has a lot of negative baggage. Just call the whole thing Persuasion or Social Combat or whatever.)

Tyndmyr
2011-10-20, 07:18 AM
I have, it's not a new post on the matter. In fact, as the writer notes, it's out of date with some of the errata they've put out. He even says "The errata corrected the most egregious and obvious of the probability problems with skill challenges. Notably, more complex skill challenges no longer become easier for people with higher skill modifiers.". Perhaps you're the one who should read it. :smalltongue:

Er, his post errata summary is that they're still terrible.

And pre-errata mistakes are still a valid complaint. Lots of people play with books, and looking up errata is kind of annoying. I mean, sure, it's better to fix something with errata than to not fix it at all...but when it's still pretty weak post errata...it's not really worth bothering with as a positive. A fair bit of work for a subsystem that still sucks.

I suspect a lot of people just chuck it and use skills in a more 3.x fashion. It's not an uncommon practice in my area, but then again, 3.x is still vastly more popular here.


Emphasis mine. I don't know why you're talking about real life and traditional fiction, when in both of those either of those guys are dead.

I point you towards conan, who manages to spend most of his time covered in blood and mud. Not all his blood, granted, but dude can take a beating. Hyperbole aside, the idea of the tough melee guys taking more punishment is extremely common in fantasy.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-20, 07:31 AM
I suspect a lot of people just chuck it and use skills in a more 3.x fashion. It's not an uncommon practice in my area, but then again, 3.x is still vastly more popular here.

This. I've found that a lot of suggestions for improving SCs, as well as gush stories about great SCs, consist mostly of ditching all the SC rules except for the name and the appropriate XP value and playing it out like regular skill checks. That's not just 3.x either; most RPGs do it that way, and it works.

Aside from the "spam your best skill" issues, SCs have problems if the PCs try to do anything that's not a skill, such as using items, paying money to get information, or particularly using their powers. Suppose the SC is about a chase, and I have a "cha vs will" power that immobilizes somebody. The rules say nothing about how this should work.

Nor is it easy to come up with a ruling that makes sense in context; "just make an arcana check" doesn't cut it, and neither does "you can't use powers in an SC".

Reverent-One
2011-10-20, 09:47 AM
Er, his post errata summary is that they're still terrible.

And he's free to his opinion.


And pre-errata mistakes are still a valid complaint. Lots of people play with books, and looking up errata is kind of annoying. I mean, sure, it's better to fix something with errata than to not fix it at all...but when it's still pretty weak post errata...it's not really worth bothering with as a positive. A fair bit of work for a subsystem that still sucks.

Like I said, it's still a bit clunky, but I wouldn't say it sucks as is.


I suspect a lot of people just chuck it and use skills in a more 3.x fashion. It's not an uncommon practice in my area, but then again, 3.x is still vastly more popular here.

It's not an either/or proposition though. It's not assumed in 4e that anytime you roll a skill, it's going to be part of a skill challenge, other uses for less complex tasks would follow the "one roll, succeed or fail" method.


Aside from the "spam your best skill" issues, SCs have problems if the PCs try to do anything that's not a skill, such as using items, paying money to get information, or particularly using their powers. Suppose the SC is about a chase, and I have a "cha vs will" power that immobilizes somebody. The rules say nothing about how this should work.

Nor is it easy to come up with a ruling that makes sense in context; "just make an arcana check" doesn't cut it, and neither does "you can't use powers in an SC".

This is simply incorrect, the rules do talk about non-skill use actions that either count for a success or solve the challenge even if the number of successes hasn't been met.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-20, 10:15 AM
The rules talk about the issue, but they don't solve it. If you use an immobilize power in a chase scene, then having it count as a success doesn't make sense; and having it count as winning the SC, people would call it overpowered. The fundamental problem is that these are two different abstract systems that aren't designed to work together.

Reverent-One
2011-10-20, 10:30 AM
The rules talk about the issue, but they don't solve it. If you use an immobilize power in a chase scene, then having it count as a success doesn't make sense; and having it count as winning the SC, people would call it overpowered. The fundamental problem is that these are two different abstract systems that aren't designed to work together.

If any player would call logically solving the problem overpowered, that's a problem with the player, not with the rules. The rules solve the issue, but they can't make players do anything they don't want to. If simply the possiblity of a player, ANY player, complaining about a rule based on personal preference, not some objective fact, makes the rule flawed, then every single rule for every single RPG is equally flawed. How many threads do we see where the poster or the poster's DM thinks ToB is overpowered? Do these complaints somehow change the fact that the ToB melee classes are more useful, flexible, and more balanced than the core ones? We're the discussing the rules here, non-rules related hypothetical situtations add nothing to it.

JohnnyCancer
2011-10-20, 10:43 AM
I think the main reason for the backlash against 4E was expectations. The consumers were expecting a more streamlined 3E with some rule fixes and minor modifications. Instead, they got an entirely different game and felt betrayed.

Perhaps I didn't keep up with the development or failed to read between the lines, but this was my experience. Anyways, it seems like the cycle is getting shorter. We got a decade with 2nd edition and a bit less than that with 3rd edition. Assuming they're working on it right now it would take time, but I wouldn't be surprised if 4th edition didn't get more than 6 years.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-20, 10:46 AM
If any player would call logically solving the problem overpowered, that's a problem with the player, not with the rules. The rules solve the issue, but they can't make players do anything they don't want to. If simply the possiblity of a player, ANY player, complaining about a rule based on personal preference, not some objective fact, makes the rule flawed, then every single rule for every single RPG is equally flawed. How many threads do we see where the poster or the poster's DM thinks ToB is overpowered? Do these complaints somehow change the fact that the ToB melee classes are more useful, flexible, and more balanced than the core ones? We're the discussing the rules here, non-rules related hypothetical situtations add nothing to it.

Equally? No. People don't claim about rules equally at all.

And the fact that powers could negate skills entirely is a legitimate complaint from skillmonkey types.

After all, there really is no reason the fly power couldn't negate a climb check(other than railroading, etc)...but if you allow it, then any climb check in a SC becomes a free autosuccess forevermore. This points out a fundamental vulnerability in skill checks to exploitation.

Reverent-One
2011-10-20, 10:54 AM
Equally? No. People don't claim about rules equally at all.

And the fact that powers could negate skills entirely is a legitimate complaint from skillmonkey types.

After all, there really is no reason the fly power couldn't negate a climb check(other than railroading, etc)...but if you allow it, then any climb check in a SC becomes a free autosuccess forevermore. This points out a fundamental vulnerability in skill checks to exploitation.

No, it points out the lack of challenge a climb check is if the party has flight. Does the fact that the DM could throw a rice paper door as an obstacle, rending the rogue's lickpicking skills unnecessary since even the weak wizard can break through, point out the fundemental vulnerability in skill checks to exploitation in any other edition of D&D?

Tyndmyr
2011-10-20, 11:13 AM
No, it points out the lack of challenge a climb check is if the party has flight. Does the fact that the DM could throw a rice paper door as an obstacle, rending the rogue's lickpicking skills unnecessary since even the weak wizard can break through, point out the fundemental vulnerability in skill checks to exploitation in any other edition of D&D?

A stun/immobilize power will negate any chase scene, fly will negate any climb check...but see, the problem is, you collect enough of these things, and skill checks stop working, or very clearly end up being "the skills the party hasn't figured out how to negate yet".

Sure, in ANY edition of D&D, some things could avoid certain skills...but there wasn't a success/fail based metric. Nobody cared how you all crossed the pit, just that you did. And you all had to cross the pit, not score X climb/jump successes before getting Y failures. There's no descriptive/mechanical disconnect.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-20, 11:22 AM
Sure, in ANY edition of D&D, some things could avoid certain skills...but there wasn't a success/fail based metric. Nobody cared how you all crossed the pit, just that you did. And you all had to cross the pit, not score X climb/jump successes before getting Y failures. There's no descriptive/mechanical disconnect.
Yes. That's the bottom line: other RPGs encourage people to think about how their character would get across the pit using the equipment at hand; whereas 4E encourages people to think about how they could get the most successes on their skill checks (and the math really isn't hard).

Combined with the design principle that everybody must participate, and the fact that certain characters simply don't have relevant skills to all situations, this leads directly to the kind of game where players clamor to make a Religion, Heal, or Streetwise check to cross a pit. This is not a hypothetical scenario, I've seen this happen many times in practice. I've also seen WOTC-endorsed adventures that spell out such ideas.

On the one hand, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It gives players the notion that their characters can and will succeed at everything (indeed, the most recent errata to SCs literally makes it impossible to fail at the task). This is clearly a valid playstyle. It is also clearly not a playstyle everybody enjoys, and as such a valid strike against 4E for people who don't like it.

On the other hand, once you realize that "crossing a pit" is not a scenario that benefits from an SC in the first place, you may start to realize that most other scenarios for which SCs are commonly used don't need them either.

Reverent-One
2011-10-20, 11:25 AM
A stun/immobilize power will negate any chase scene, fly will negate any climb check...but see, the problem is, you collect enough of these things, and skill checks stop working, or very clearly end up being "the skills the party hasn't figured out how to negate yet".

Sure, in ANY edition of D&D, some things could avoid certain skills...but there wasn't a success/fail based metric. Nobody cared how you all crossed the pit, just that you did. And you all had to cross the pit, not score X climb/jump successes before getting Y failures. There's no descriptive/mechanical disconnect.

Such simplistic "challenges" aren't challenges, and thus shouldn't be the main focus of a SC. A chase in which you're close enough to use stun/immoblize powers isn't a skill challenge, it's a combat. A big wall after the party has flight isn't a climbing challenge, it's scenery. You're not going to care about X successes before Y failures in any of those either. Is there a "Reverse Oberoni Fallacy"? Because if so, you're falling into it. That a DM can screw up the game by improperly following/ignoring the rules doesn't mean the rules are flawed.

EDIT:

Yes. That's the bottom line: other RPGs encourage people to think about how their character would get across the pit using the equipment at hand; whereas 4E encourages people to think about how they could get the most successes on their skill checks (and the math really isn't hard).

Because characters wouldn't normally try to use what they're best with when facing an obstacle? A weak rogue would try to break down the door in previous editions, not try to pick it?


Combined with the design principle that everybody must participate, and the fact that certain characters simply don't have relevant skills to all situations, this leads directly to the kind of game where players clamor to make a Religion, Heal, or Streetwise check to cross a pit. This is not a hypothetical scenario, I've seen this happen many times in practice. I've also seen WOTC-endorsed adventures that spell out such ideas.

Which is still a poorly written skill challenge, and poor writting is not uncommon in an officially written adventure.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-20, 11:33 AM
Such simplistic "challenges" aren't challenges, and thus shouldn't be the main focus of a SC. A chase in which you're close enough to use stun/immoblize powers isn't a skill challenge, it's a combat. A big wall after the party has flight isn't a climbing challenge, it's scenery. You're not going to care about X successes before Y failures in any of those either. Is there a "Reverse Oberoni Fallacy"? Because if so, you're falling into it. That a DM can screw up the game by improperly following/ignoring the rules doesn't mean the rules are flawed.

There is no such fallacy. If the rules routinely lead to DMs screwing up games....the rules ARE flawed.

Since I'm unable to determine exactly what is a valid skill check, and you're using alternative solutions to retroactively invalidate skill checks...do you anticipate the DM predicting every possible solution before making skill checks, or do you want him to rewind time to resolve something differently before declaring a skill check?

For that matter, what DOES benefit from the skill check rules?

Kurald Galain
2011-10-20, 11:57 AM
Let's get some concrete examples out here. For each of them - is it a valid SC or not, and why not? Does it actually follow the SC rules as written? Should the DM enumerate what the valid skills are beforehand? What should the DM do if any PC attempts to use an unlisted skill? Or would this work better under a traditional skill system, or as a pure roleplaying encounter?


The party finds an good-aligned undead knight in a tomb, and has to convince him that they're also good. The DM decides that everybody must participate, and only social checks are allowed, with the exception of Streetwise (which is not allowed) and Arcana (which is). 4 successes makes the knight friendly, 3 failures makes him attack.
The party attempts to close a portal. Not everybody needs to participate, but the DM decides that only Arcana and Religion checks apply to closing the portal, plus (for some reason) Heal. Additionally, a character can use Endurance to help another character. 8 successes closes the portal, 3 failures means everybody loses a healing surge and that the party failed in their adventure.
The party travels through a harsh environment. The party must make four (endurance or heal) checks, four (perception or nature) checks, and four (stealth or bluff) checks. These are all group checks: that is, if half the party makes the check, it counts as a success; if not, it counts as a failure, and all failing characters catch a disease. The PCs will arrive at their destination regardless of how well they roll, but they face an additional combat encounter if they fail.

Reverent-One
2011-10-20, 12:10 PM
There is no such fallacy. If the rules routinely lead to DMs screwing up games....the rules ARE flawed.

If they routinely mostly follow the rules and still screw up the game, sure, there's a rule issue there, but if the DM either doesn't follow most of the rules or even does the opposite of what the rules suggest, they have no one to blame but themselves.


Since I'm unable to determine exactly what is a valid skill check, and you're using alternative solutions to retroactively invalidate skill checks...do you anticipate the DM predicting every possible solution before making skill checks, or do you want him to rewind time to resolve something differently before declaring a skill check?

I anticipate the DM being at least slightly aware of what the PCs are capable of and assessing the challenge based on that. How in the world could a DM that's aware of the PCs having flight think that a simple wall/obstacle that needs to be climbed is a challenge? If the DM somehow misses that they have flight (which would be rather difficult to do in 4e), than he should shrug, let them pass as they fairly did and take note. Same as if the DM sends a combat encounter against them and they crush it flat with little to no effort.


For that matter, what DOES benefit from the skill check rules?

The SC rules are for large, complex tasks, not something that's simply solved by performing one or two skills over and over like the examples you keep coming up with (a climbing challenge, getting over a pit, ect). Trying to find a den of theives or a specific secretive individual in a city could be well executed, allowing a number of skills/actions to be used to accomplish the goal. The writer of the alexandrian admits they have some use in solving a structured, cooperative trap. He does also say that you have to throw out most of the SC rules, but while that may have been true for the pre-errata printing, it isn't anymore.

EDIT: @Kurald Galain: Ah, solid examples that are a bit more than simply getting across the pit, very good. I'll get to those in detail later (this evening most likely) when I have time.

OracleofWuffing
2011-10-20, 12:37 PM
I don't know, it really sounds like a lot of the failing points of skill challenges being discussed here are more faults of using skills in general as opposed to any specific game's/edition's rules. If you flip it the other way around, all skill checks in previous editions were just 1 success before 1 failure skill challenges, and I really don't see how anything else tried to dissuade you from convincing the DM that a different skill or spell applied to the situation so you could use your best stuff all the time.

I mean, sure, that still means that Skill Challenges (and for that matter, skill checks) are disassociated mechanics and railroady, but if you just pin this on one aspect of one game's edition and tunnel vision yourself from anything else, you're not going to solve the actual problem.

stainboy
2011-10-20, 03:58 PM
I don't know, it really sounds like a lot of the failing points of skill challenges being discussed here are more faults of using skills in general as opposed to any specific game's/edition's rules. If you flip it the other way around, all skill checks in previous editions were just 1 success before 1 failure skill challenges, and I really don't see how anything else tried to dissuade you from convincing the DM that a different skill or spell applied to the situation so you could use your best stuff all the time.

I mean, sure, that still means that Skill Challenges (and for that matter, skill checks) are disassociated mechanics and railroady, but if you just pin this on one aspect of one game's edition and tunnel vision yourself from anything else, you're not going to solve the actual problem.

Critical differences between traditional skill checks and SCs:


Skill checks use different mechanics for different tasks, and the (hopefully) most common of those are printed in the PHB where players can learn and reference them.
Skill checks can have their uses expressed in actions or units of combat time, so they interact correctly with combat and movement and powers.
Skill checks require very little thought for the DM to "design," so they can come up organically during play and can be easily initiated by players.
Skill checks don't override or suspend other parts of the rules.
Players usually make simple skill checks by saying "I roll X to do Y"; SCs create a structure in which just "I roll X" works just as well.


I'm all for talking about ways to write better simple skill checks, but SCs have their own unique set of problems.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-20, 04:39 PM
I mean, sure, that still means that Skill Challenges (and for that matter, skill checks) are disassociated mechanics and railroady, but if you just pin this on one aspect of one game's edition and tunnel vision yourself from anything else, you're not going to solve the actual problem.

The key is the disassociation: SCs are disassociated, but regular skills are not. For example. Suppose you're trying to get inside a castle, which you could do by e.g. climbing the walls, sneaking past the guards, or finding a secret passage.

The skill check method is very easy: character A makes a climb check (or perhaps two or three, depending on the height of the wall) and if he succeeds, he is on top of the wall. During this process, it is very clear in character what the character is doing: he's climbing. As a result, it's clear what the consequence of failure is (he falls and takes damage per the normal falling rules) and how this interacts with equipment and most spells. Characters B and C also have to do something to get inside, and we have a coherent scene.

The SC method is kind of confusing actually. Character A makes a check. It doesn't really matter what check. Character B and C also make a check, any check, and everyone repeats. Once the entire party accumulates enough successes, they're suddenly all inside the castle - regardless of what the checks actually are, who succeeded at them, or how much time that would have taken. They're simply in the castle now, including the character that failed all his checks. If they accumulate enough failures, then they end up in the castle anyway, but suffer a minor setback (e.g. lose a healing surge, or get more enemies in the next combat).

During this process, it is generally not possible to explain in character what the PCs are actually doing. It frequently ends up being incoherent, as it never matters what the other PCs are doing: so A will be using Endurance to climb up the wall, while B is using Insight to bribe the guards, and C is using History to find a secret passage, and suddenly bamf they're all inside. And because of this lack of coherence, it is unclear how this interacts with e.g. spells or equipment. It's basically the MST3K mantra.

OracleofWuffing
2011-10-20, 05:43 PM
Skill checks use different mechanics for different tasks, and the (hopefully) most common of those are printed in the PHB where players can learn and reference them.
Skill checks can have their uses expressed in actions or units of combat time, so they interact correctly with combat and movement and powers.
Skill checks require very little thought for the DM to "design," so they can come up organically during play and can be easily initiated by players.
Skill checks don't override or suspend other parts of the rules.
Players usually make simple skill checks by saying "I roll X to do Y"; SCs create a structure in which just "I roll X" works just as well.

And how do those differences dissuade you from convincing the DM to use a different skill, or using a power to avoid making the skill check?


The skill check method is very easy: character A makes a climb check (or perhaps two or three, depending on the height of the wall) and if he succeeds, he is on top of the wall. During this process, it is very clear in character what the character is doing: he's climbing. As a result, it's clear what the consequence of failure is (he falls and takes damage per the normal falling rules) and how this interacts with equipment and most spells. Characters B and C also have to do something to get inside, and we have a coherent scene.
So, you're saying with a skill check, you have one person making one check, another person making a different check, and then another person making another check, and then if they all succeed they're in the castle, right? I maintain my previous statements.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-20, 05:48 PM
So, you're saying with a skill check, you have one person making one check, another person making a different check, and then another person making another check, and then if they all succeed they're in the castle, right? I maintain my previous statements.

You are aware that's different from an SC, yes?

stainboy
2011-10-20, 05:55 PM
OracleofWuffing: What is your position on the skill challenge system? Do you like it? Do you use it? Pre-errata or post-errata, and which errata? If you do use it, how much if any do you deviate from the actual printed rules?

Because you haven't actually stated your position, and based on this...



I mean, sure, that still means that Skill Challenges (and for that matter, skill checks) are disassociated mechanics and railroady, but if you just pin this on one aspect of one game's edition and tunnel vision yourself from anything else, you're not going to solve the actual problem.

...it looks like you're defending SCs because you see criticism of them as an attack on 4e in general.

Reverent-One
2011-10-20, 06:29 PM
Ok, now I can get to this.



The party finds an good-aligned undead knight in a tomb, and has to convince him that they're also good. The DM decides that everybody must participate, and only social checks are allowed, with the exception of Streetwise (which is not allowed) and Arcana (which is). 4 successes makes the knight friendly, 3 failures makes him attack.

Well, the narrow band of skills allowed means that it doesn't follow the SC rules as written, which suggest designing one with a variety of skills as primary/secondary skills within the challenge. Though if the party is made up of characters that are all either social trained, arcane, or both, the DM isn't necessarily making a mistake in doing so.

Depending on who this knight is, the skill list could be expanded to include History or Religion, which could tell the players where the knight is from or what deity he worships, allowing a character who can capitalize on that connection (being from the same kingdom or a fellow worshiper) a bonus in trying a social skill. It could also open up new skill use based on that knowledge, if the knight is a worshiper or Kord, a character could challenge him to a contest of strength using Athletics, ect.

In this situation, I don't think I would list every skill to the players unless I felt they needed it. The DM should certainly allow a character who comes up with a way for another skill to contribute to the challenge to use it.

As for which way is better, that's a matter of personal preference and what the DM's goal is. If the DM wants this encounter to be a big deal, making it a skill challenge makes it more significant than a simple one shot diplomacy/bluff/whatever check. The party's general feelings on determining the results of a social encounter, whether to go with the dice no matter how well roleplayed it was or to base results on the quality of the roleplaying, would decide if forgoing skill checks entirely is the way to go.


The party attempts to close a portal. Not everybody needs to participate, but the DM decides that only Arcana and Religion checks apply to closing the portal, plus (for some reason) Heal. Additionally, a character can use Endurance to help another character. 8 successes closes the portal, 3 failures means everybody loses a healing surge and that the party failed in their adventure.

The variety of skills allowed in better in this one (though I'd question the reasoning for some of them), though the skill list is rather short for a SC, especially one of it's complexity. Having less skills allowed than the number of party members is discouraged, with the rule of thumb they give being the number of party members + 2, so for a typical 5 member party, it should have more skills.

Given the specific nature of this challenge, I think it would be better to reduce the complexity of the SC and make it part of a combat encounter. In that case, you can keep the skill list short to what makes logical sense and let the party members without those skills protect the ones who have them from a being or beings from the other side.

This SC is one where I'd list the specific skills that can be used - though they'll likely be rather obvious - because of the very clear nature of the challenge. Again, allow players with a good idea to use that idea.

This is one that I think works better as a skill challenge than a more traditional skill check, since assuming you make it part of a combat encounter, it turns a simple encounter into a more unusual one.


The party travels through a harsh environment. The party must make four (endurance or heal) checks, four (perception or nature) checks, and four (stealth or bluff) checks. These are all group checks: that is, if half the party makes the check, it counts as a success; if not, it counts as a failure, and all failing characters catch a disease. The PCs will arrive at their destination regardless of how well they roll, but they face an additional combat encounter if they fail.

This one has no rules issues I can see, and is a decent, if not terribly creative, SC. I'd note that the DM should make sure to either include other events happening throughout the traveling day or make sure to bring in the consequences of each success and failure into the game rather than just tallying them (failing the bluff/stealth provoking a conflict with whatever you were bluffing or stealthing away from for example), otherwise it won't be very interesting.

I think you have to tell the PCs about the skills required, since you're calling for group skill checks each day or whatever time increment you're using.


The SC method is kind of confusing actually. Character A makes a check. It doesn't really matter what check. Character B and C also make a check, any check, and everyone repeats. Once the entire party accumulates enough successes, they're suddenly all inside the castle - regardless of what the checks actually are, who succeeded at them, or how much time that would have taken. They're simply in the castle now, including the character that failed all his checks. If they accumulate enough failures, then they end up in the castle anyway, but suffer a minor setback (e.g. lose a healing surge, or get more enemies in the next combat).

During this process, it is generally not possible to explain in character what the PCs are actually doing. It frequently ends up being incoherent, as it never matters what the other PCs are doing: so A will be using Endurance to climb up the wall, while B is using Insight to bribe the guards, and C is using History to find a secret passage, and suddenly bamf they're all inside. And because of this lack of coherence, it is unclear how this interacts with e.g. spells or equipment. It's basically the MST3K mantra.

This is a very good example...of exactly what a SC shouldn't be. One of the ground rules for a skill challenge is that each check should increment the group toward success or failure, changing the situation by introducing new options for the party to pursue, moving the challenge to a new location or stage, and generally attaching a tangible result to each success and failure. This "nothing changes until the end" idea you have is not what the rules call for at all.

OracleofWuffing
2011-10-20, 07:04 PM
You are aware that's different from an SC, yes?
I hope you understand if I refrain from answering that until you decide what a SC is.

It frequently ends up being incoherent, as it never matters what the other PCs are doing: so A will be using Endurance to climb up the wall, while B is using Insight to bribe the guards, and C is using History to find a secret passage, and suddenly bamf they're all inside.


OracleofWuffing: What is your position on the skill challenge system? Do you like it? Do you use it? Pre-errata or post-errata, and which errata? If you do use it, how much if any do you deviate from the actual printed rules?
Eh, either or. Haven't been able to DM a game yet, so I've only been on the receiving end of things, and I haven't personally witnessed such issues, but they certainly must exist due to the nature of having so many people play the game. I just roll what the DM tells me to roll, dance if I succeed and swear if I fail- just like a skill check.

The point I'm making here is that if Skill Challenges suck because of A, B, and C, and A, B, and C exist outside of Skill Challenges, the problem is not just limited to Skill Challenges, and it should be addressed as such so that speculation can be produced to remove those problems at the lowest level that they could occur, instead of allowing those issues to remain in the system elsewhere.

stainboy
2011-10-20, 07:59 PM
Eh, either or. Haven't been able to DM a game yet, so I've only been on the receiving end of things, and I haven't personally witnessed such issues, but they certainly must exist due to the nature of having so many people play the game. I just roll what the DM tells me to roll, dance if I succeed and swear if I fail- just like a skill check.


Ah ok. So you may have actually never used the SC mechanics in anything but name.

A skill challenge is a set of formal mechanics defined in the DMG and redefined in errata documents. The problems people are describing are in those mechanics. If it were just "roll a bunch of skills in an unstructured way and get XP for it" like what you're describing that would be fine (and basically just like the skill system in every other game).

Like Kurald said on the last page a lot more people use the name Skill Challenge then the actual rules, which makes SCs really hard to talk about on the internet.

Anderlith
2011-10-20, 08:07 PM
Okay, lets get of the topic of skill challenges...

What skills do you think should be in 5e?

stainboy
2011-10-20, 08:39 PM
Okay, lets get of the topic of skill challenges...

What skills do you think should be in 5e?

I'd be fine with either the 4e list + Craft or the PF list minus Fly, nothing new there. I'd like to see skills work sort of like Monte's proposed thing (http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20110816) from Legends & Lore (http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20110927), but with actual special abilities you get at each rank.

Skills should do more than they do now. A heavy investment in stealth should be comparable to invisibility (not exactly like, but equally useful), and it should be that good all by itself without feats or buffs or special rogue class features. Craft should let you make some types of magic items. Ride should give you a mount that automatically scales to your level.

To make skills good in their own right they need to work more like ability lists and less like bonuses. Monte's thing is a step towards that. I do have to pick a couple fights with it though:


-Skills still need to be tied to one attribute each because you'll never get five people to agree on what Wisdom and Charisma do.

-The auto-success/failure scheme can't handle much divergence so this system only works for a small level range. That's fine with me because I think your career as a small group of adventurers should end at level 10 or 12, but it won't work for people who want to use the same gameplay all the way up to 20 or 30.

-This system would require lots of printed difficulties for common tasks so the DM isn't tempted to set the difficulty for every task to exactly your rank.

Anderlith
2011-10-20, 09:44 PM
I'd like to see Base Attack be turned into a set of weapon skills. I really hate it.

Knaight
2011-10-20, 09:47 PM
I'd like to see Base Attack be turned into a set of weapon skills. I really hate it.

I agree entirely. That said, a small set of weapon skills is ideal. GURPS can take its separate "broadsword" and "shortsword" skills and keep them. Something like "Unarmed" "Melee" "Thrown" "Projectile" should be plenty, particularly if ways to specialize remain in place.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-21, 04:30 AM
What skills do you think should be in 5e?

4E's list is lacking Perform and Repair skills (the latter is probably the same as Craft). Mostly, though, I would like a broader explanation of what skills can do; not just a tiny list of all the combat tasks.

I would also like to have less randomness in skill resolution (e.g. situations where the mighty skilled guy rolls an 1 for athletics and the weak wimpy wizard rolls an 18, and the latter wins). The problem is that the "stat + 1d20" system can't really handle that.

Finally, I would like a way of becoming actually good at a skill. It doesn't have to be skill points, but something better than spending one of your precious combat feats on Skill Focus. "Everybody can do everything reasonably well" gets old.

turkishproverb
2011-10-21, 04:48 AM
If any player would call logically solving the problem overpowered, that's a problem with the player, not with the rules.

So then 3.5 wizards had no problems?

pasko77
2011-10-21, 05:40 AM
I agree entirely. That said, a small set of weapon skills is ideal. GURPS can take its separate "broadsword" and "shortsword" skills and keep them. Something like "Unarmed" "Melee" "Thrown" "Projectile" should be plenty, particularly if ways to specialize remain in place.

I think it is not really necessary, if the "basic attack" stays lame. I mean, a wizard can hit you with a sword, but they will deal D8, and not 3D8+Stun like a fighter. So specs stays in powers/feats/whatevs.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-21, 07:47 AM
I don't know, it really sounds like a lot of the failing points of skill challenges being discussed here are more faults of using skills in general as opposed to any specific game's/edition's rules. If you flip it the other way around, all skill checks in previous editions were just 1 success before 1 failure skill challenges, and I really don't see how anything else tried to dissuade you from convincing the DM that a different skill or spell applied to the situation so you could use your best stuff all the time.

Not entirely. For example, many, many checks have no failure penalties as such. If, before going to chat with the mayor, you decided to research his past decisions at the town library in 3.5...well, you go off and roll the appropriate check(s). If you fail them, it doesn't mean that you've failed the overall mission...you just don't get the additional info with possible numerical bonuses to your diplomacy check with the mayor.

In short, in 3.5 and earlier, you were rewarded for thinking up interesting ways to give you an advantage in a situation. In 4e, if gather information/research/whatever the appropriate skill is is low for you, then you are outright PENALIZED for trying to do that, since if it's part of the skill check, it counts as one of your failures.

Note that traditional skills DO have problems, but that skill checks introduce another set of problems in addition to those.

Edit: On the topic of 5e skills, I agree that the PF list minus fly is ideal. Fly never made sense to me. Having one form of movement be a skill and the rest of them not? That's just inconsistent and leads to confusion and unnecessary complexity. And it's easier to ditch fly than to make running, burrowing, etc all skills.

Sipex
2011-10-21, 08:05 AM
One thing I'd like to see in 5e is the return of utility abilities that last longer than a maximum of 5 minutes.

You know, like the ability to gain flight and the like.

Of course, I'd like to see them spread amongst the classes somehow instead of primarily in the hands of casters.

Reverent-One
2011-10-21, 08:35 AM
So then 3.5 wizards had no problems?

That has nothing to do with the matter at hand, we're not talking about one class (or set of classes) arbitrarily being given all sorts of abilties that other classes can't replicate and thus are able to handle pretty much any situtation, but the "ZOMG!Overpowered!"-ness of one character bribing a guard rather than making a diplomacy check.

EDIT:

Not entirely. For example, many, many checks have no failure penalties as such. If, before going to chat with the mayor, you decided to research his past decisions at the town library in 3.5...well, you go off and roll the appropriate check(s). If you fail them, it doesn't mean that you've failed the overall mission...you just don't get the additional info with possible numerical bonuses to your diplomacy check with the mayor

In short, in 3.5 and earlier, you were rewarded for thinking up interesting ways to give you an advantage in a situation. In 4e, if gather information/research/whatever the appropriate skill is is low for you, then you are outright PENALIZED for trying to do that, since if it's part of the skill check, it counts as one of your failures.

It's not different with skill challenges. If researching his past was a seperate skill challenge, failing that would work the same way as in 3.5, you merely don't get the bonus. If it's a single skill check that is part of a larger SC, it would likely not count as a failure. Secondary skills that merely give a bonus to get a bit of an advantage as you suggest generally don't count toward the number of failures.

charcoalninja
2011-10-21, 09:02 AM
I agree with a lot of what everyone's saying myself and my ideal in a 5e, and what I'm on the cusp of doing myself would be to have 3.5s various subsystems for classes with 4e's level 1 duribility and monster design. The monsters in 4e are FUN. In pathfinder/3.5 they run up and do a basic attack all day unless they've got spells or a gimmick. In 4e even kobald minions reposition themselves, orcs smack you when they die, etc. The monsters in 4th edition are incredibly well designed.

I like them so much that recently I had my pathfinder players fight a group of 4e kobalds right out of the book, it was awesome, course they were surprised when they had to deal 34 damage to a kobald to kill it but I digress.

I really hope that the newest version of D&D includes class specific sub systems to increase the difference between classes, the core of their monster design and for the love of crap buff the world magic flavour, I can't stand my epic characters feeling so mundane, the removal of flight really bugged me. I shouldn't have to spend half a million gold in order to fly.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-21, 09:02 AM
Aright, toss me up an ideal skill challenge. Something with enough complexity to actually be worthy of a skill challenge, as opposed to just rolling a die once and moving on.

I'll find the holes. In fact, I think I asked about this before, but instead, you just keep saying "that's not what a skill challenge should be".

Sipex
2011-10-21, 09:14 AM
I agree with a lot of what everyone's saying myself and my ideal in a 5e, and what I'm on the cusp of doing myself would be to have 3.5s various subsystems for classes with 4e's level 1 duribility and monster design. The monsters in 4e are FUN. In pathfinder/3.5 they run up and do a basic attack all day unless they've got spells or a gimmick. In 4e even kobald minions reposition themselves, orcs smack you when they die, etc. The monsters in 4th edition are incredibly well designed.

I like them so much that recently I had my pathfinder players fight a group of 4e kobalds right out of the book, it was awesome, course they were surprised when they had to deal 34 damage to a kobald to kill it but I digress.

I really hope that the newest version of D&D includes class specific sub systems to increase the difference between classes, the core of their monster design and for the love of crap buff the world magic flavour, I can't stand my epic characters feeling so mundane, the removal of flight really bugged me. I shouldn't have to spend half a million gold in order to fly.

I'll agree to this 100 times. 4e monsters are designed well and make battles interesting. Not that 3.5 monsters don't but the whole philosophy around 4e monsters (how each acts differently, has different unique abilities, etc) is something I'd like to see in 5e as well.

Reverent-One
2011-10-21, 09:17 AM
Aright, toss me up an ideal skill challenge. Something with enough complexity to actually be worthy of a skill challenge, as opposed to just rolling a die once and moving on.

I'll find the holes. In fact, I think I asked about this before, but instead, you just keep saying "that's not what a skill challenge should be".

When you asked about this before, I gave a couple of examples of what could be used for a skill challenge. I also discussed the 3 examples Kurald came up with, making suggestions for the ones with problems, so saying I've done nothing but say "that's not what a skill challenge should be" is inaccurate.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-21, 09:19 AM
Ok, now I can get to this.
Okay, so you have shown that the first two don't follow the SC rules as written. It's also clear that the third one doesn't, because it's just a series of group checks with the label "SC" tacked on.

It also shows that all examples contain absurd skill checks, i.e. arcana to convince a knight, heal to close a gate, or bluff to cross a desert. The first is dubious but possible, the latter two make zero sense. If you'd allow these, then you don't really have an excuse to disallow any skill at all, which means that every PC can just use his best skill, all the time (which indeed happens a lot in my experiences).

However, all of those examples are from official WOTC adventures, so apparently they don't feel the need to follow the SC rules - either because they misunderstand them, or because they feel they can do better without them. Either way, playing through these adventures will give players incorrect notions of how SCs work, and will encourage players to think up nonsensical reasons to use their best skill.

It begs the question, then, what is the point of these rules, if even WOTC either uses them incorrectly, or prefers not to use them.

Reverent-One
2011-10-21, 09:35 AM
Okay, so you have shown that the first two don't follow the SC rules as written. It's also clear that the third one doesn't, because it's just a series of group checks with the label "SC" tacked on.

Where do the rules say that you can't use group checks within an SC? Even to the extent that every check is a group check?


It also shows that all examples contain absurd skill checks, i.e. arcana to convince a knight, heal to close a gate, or bluff to cross a desert. The first is dubious but possible, the latter two make zero sense. If you'd allow these, then you don't really have an excuse to disallow any skill at all, which means that every PC can just use his best skill, all the time (which indeed happens a lot in my experiences).

*sigh* I gave you the benefit of the doubt that the DM had a reason for each of those skills, though I did note on the portal one the very strange choices anyway. And bluff honestly does make sense if the DM has them running into potential hostiles over the course of the challenge. If it's a wasteland with nothing there, obviously it doesn't have any use, but if the DM is including it I do assume there will be. Apparently you were trying to set up a trick question and I should have asked for the reasoning for each skill, next time I'll be more suspicious of you and do so.


However, all of those examples are from official WOTC adventures, so apparently they don't feel the need to follow the SC rules - either because they misunderstand them, or because they feel they can do better without them. Either way, playing through these adventures will give players incorrect notions of how SCs work, and will encourage players to think up nonsensical reasons to use their best skill.

Which is a problem with the adventures, which I have never made an attempt to defend, not the rules. I'm sorry that WoTC apparently has some poor writers, but this isn't terribly surprising. Fortunately, the examples in the actual rules sources are generally better.


It begs the question, then, what is the point of these rules, if even WOTC either uses them incorrectly, or prefers not to use them.

We're talking about the company that gave us Pelor, the Burning Hate. If they can screw up basic rules usuage, how much easier would it be to screw up designing a SC, a more complex task? The actual purpose is likely to use them properly.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-21, 09:53 AM
Which is a problem with the adventures, which I have never made an attempt to defend, not the rules. I'm sorry that WoTC apparently has some poor writers, but this isn't terribly surprising. Fortunately, the examples in the actual rules sources are generally better.

You can't really say that the rules are fine if even WoTC is repeatedly screwing them up.

The only actual "examples" I can see from you is the following sentence: "Trying to find a den of theives or a specific secretive individual in a city could be well executed, allowing a number of skills/actions to be used to accomplish the goal."

That sounds more like a rough idea, not really a SC. Please, show how the SC *should* be used, and demonstrate why this is actually the way in which the rules were intended to be used, instead of the way WoTC is actually using them.

Kurald Galain
2011-10-21, 09:58 AM
The point is that players (and DMs) base their playstyle just as much on the first adventures they play than on the rulebook. So if many of them see a first SC that (1) mandates participation, (2) mandates a subset of skills that your character may well not have, and (3) penalizes failure, then that is what people are going to expect and going to copy. Note that these are the first three SCs I could find, and in my experience (almost?) all of them in printed adventures are like that.

The bottom line is that WOTC writes books that causes people to run crappy SCs. Perhaps they shouldn't, but they do. If you think that following the rulebook more strictly will lead to better SCs, I think you'll have to provide us with an example as Tyndmyr asked.

Reverent-One
2011-10-21, 10:12 AM
You can't really say that the rules are fine if even WoTC is repeatedly screwing them up.

Sure I can. Even if some WoTC adventure writers ignore the rules, that doesn't make the rules not exist. Also, I'm not certain how "repeatedly" they're screwing up, like I said, the examples in the rule books are generally better. There's even a "Close the Portal" example that works a lot like what I suggested, it's simpler, part of a combat encounter, and doesn't have Heal on the list of allowed skills.


The only actual "examples" I can see from you is the following sentence: "Trying to find a den of theives or a specific secretive individual in a city could be well executed, allowing a number of skills/actions to be used to accomplish the goal."

That sounds more like a rough idea, not really a SC. Please, show how the SC *should* be used, and demonstrate why this is actually the way in which the rules were intended to be used, instead of the way WoTC is actually using them.

You're right, it is a rough idea, I didn't claim otherwise. For a more detailed one, look at my suggestion to the "Close the Portal" SC, though you should additionally remove Heal and Endurance from the list of skills and add Theivery for sabotaging with the runes helping to hold to the portal open. Alternatively, unless the rules do somewhere say that you can't have a SC made up of group checks (AFAIK, they don't), look at the get through the wilderness challenge. Daily group checks to stay healthy (Endurance or Heal), not get lost (perception or nature), and avoid the native hostiles or convince them you're allies, merchants working for them, or something similar (Stealth or Bluff).


The point is that players (and DMs) base their playstyle just as much on the first adventures they play than on the rulebook. So if many of them see a first SC that (1) mandates participation, (2) mandates a subset of skills that your character may well not have, and (3) penalizes failure, then that is what people are going to expect and going to copy. Note that these are the first three SCs I could find, and in my experience (almost?) all of them in printed adventures are like that.

You're assuming that most people A)start from printed adventures and B)don't pay attention to the rulebooks, including the examples within them. If they miss such basic rules as planning for a variety of skills, it's their own fault. SC's certainly take some work to design, making knowing the rules even more imporant than usual.


The bottom line is that WOTC writes books that causes people to run crappy SCs. Perhaps they shouldn't, but they do. If you think that following the rulebook more strictly will lead to better SCs, I think you'll have to provide us with an example as Tyndmyr asked.

You can see my response to him above.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-21, 10:33 AM
Sure I can. Even if some WoTC adventure writers ignore the rules, that doesn't make the rules not exist. Also, I'm not certain how "repeatedly" they're screwing up, like I said, the examples in the rule books are generally better. There's even a "Close the Portal" example that works a lot like what I suggested, it's simpler, part of a combat encounter, and doesn't have Heal on the list of allowed skills.

See, I don't understand how a knowledge check closes a portal. It might, logically, let me remember that I know a portal can be closed in such and such a way, but it shouldn't do the work, no?


You're right, it is a rough idea, I didn't claim otherwise. For a more detailed one, look at my suggestion to the "Close the Portal" SC, though you should additionally remove Heal and Endurance from the list of skills and add Theivery for sabotaging with the runes helping to hold to the portal open.

So...the same skill I use for picking pockets is the one I should use to jack up a rune?


Alternatively, unless the rules do somewhere say that you can't have a SC made up of group checks (AFAIK, they don't), look at the get through the wilderness challenge. Daily group checks to stay healthy (Endurance or Heal), not get lost (perception or nature), and avoid the native hostiles or convince them you're allies, merchants working for them, or something similar (Stealth or Bluff).

The wilderness challenge, frankly, looked really boring. It's a lot of D20 rolling.

If it's not worth actually roleplaying out(which say, dealing with the natives might be), why bother rolling for it? This is just abstracting out the roleplaying to the same level as boring stuff as "do I find lichen I can eat?"


You're assuming that most people A)start from printed adventures and B)don't pay attention to the rulebooks, including the examples within them. If they miss such basic rules as planning for a variety of skills, it's their own fault. SC's certainly take some work to design, making knowing the rules even more imporant than usual.

They pay attention to both. I buy both rulebooks and preprinted modules for a variety of games. The module is the "here's how to use these rules"...it gives you a feel for the game, and gives you a peek at designer intent for things, hopefully. The two should, ideally, be fairly consistent with each other, and both be useful tools for learning the system.

If official modules frequently contradict the rules...you have a problem. Who's fault is the problem? Well, WoTC. I dunno who else it could be.

Reverent-One
2011-10-21, 10:52 AM
See, I don't understand how a knowledge check closes a portal. It might, logically, let me remember that I know a portal can be closed in such and such a way, but it shouldn't do the work, no?

Spellcraft and the like have been subsummed into the Knowledge skills, that sort of use is just something 4e does, and is independent of the SC system.


So...the same skill I use for picking pockets is the one I should use to jack up a rune?

It is any stranger than using the same skill for jamming a wagon wheel to also defeat a magical sensor that shoots fireballs at intruders (aka a Rogue using disable device to disable a magical trap)?


The wilderness challenge, frankly, looked really boring. It's a lot of D20 rolling.

If it's not worth actually roleplaying out(which say, dealing with the natives might be), why bother rolling for it? This is just abstracting out the roleplaying to the same level as boring stuff as "do I find lichen I can eat?"

Where did I say you shouldn't roleplay out things like dealing with the natives? You don't just roll a diplomacy roll and not roleplay it out, do you? Granted, most of the wilderness challenge is just providing a structure for the checks a dm might often call for seperately, which is why I said it's not a terribly interesting one. It still shows how SCs function mechanically.


They pay attention to both. I buy both rulebooks and preprinted modules for a variety of games. The module is the "here's how to use these rules"...it gives you a feel for the game, and gives you a peek at designer intent for things, hopefully. The two should, ideally, be fairly consistent with each other, and both be useful tools for learning the system.

If official modules frequently contradict the rules...you have a problem. Who's fault is the problem? Well, WoTC. I dunno who else it could be.

Again, how frequently the modules contradict the rules is not established, and even when they do, the rules should obviously have priority. Perhaps the entirety of the WoTC's modules are worthless crap, but that doesn't change the systems rules at all.

Anderlith
2011-10-21, 04:55 PM
I think it is not really necessary, if the "basic attack" stays lame. I mean, a wizard can hit you with a sword, but they will deal D8, and not 3D8+Stun like a fighter. So specs stays in powers/feats/whatevs.

So a mage could never pull of even the most basic manuevers in combat? That just doesn't seem right. Why can't a wizard put points into swordsmenship so that he can jump into melee once he's run out of spells?

stainboy
2011-10-21, 07:19 PM
@Reverent-One: I don't even know what case you're trying to make anymore. You admitted three pages ago that SCs were "clunky to implement" even after all the errata, then picked a fight with other people for saying similar things. Now you're just redefining Skill Challenge to mean whatever suits your argument like a giant Trojan horse full of Oberoni.

You've lost this one. Let it go.

Anderlith
2011-10-21, 07:24 PM
@Reverent-One: I don't even know what case you're trying to make anymore. You admitted three pages ago that SCs were "clunky to implement" even after all the errata, then picked a fight with other people for saying similar things. Now you're just redefining Skill Challenge to mean whatever suits your argument like a giant Trojan horse full of Oberoni.

You've lost this one. Let it go.

& creating large blocks of rambling texts, don't forget that!

Dalek-K
2011-10-21, 07:32 PM
I just got to ask. How is a greatsword a power? How is being trained in parkour a power? Get rid of "powers", not sources of power, not maneuvers & exploits, but get rid of "powers" in the sense of the Cleric has the power of the gods! the Wizard has the power over arcane energies! the fighter has the power of a... sword?...um his strength?... no wait, that's a stat not a power, well f*ck it, he has the power!

Replace it with tutelage or training, something other than "power"


Oh, & instead of making fighters do way too reality bending attacks, why not just make magic usage a risky venture, yes you can cast that spell, but it just might hurt you too much to withstand an attack from the angry goblin over there.

I originally wasn't going to post in this thread but then I saw this and just has to reply before going to bed...

This is where 2e blows 3.X and 4e out of the water. Sure the magic user has arcane powers that are beyond belief BUT there is no concentration checks and no defensive casting. Mister wizard wants to cast a spell that takes 3 rounds to cast... Well he better have a meat shield or else that spell is not going to make it due to a troll flicking the wizard and causing 1hp damage and ruining the spell :)

I would love to see a combination of 2e 3.X and 4e. In 2e the paladin was an utter bada** (he got completely nerfed in 3.5 btw) and unless you was a fighter or ranger (paladin too? been a while since I played 2e) you never got more than one attack per turn. Metamagics where not feats, they were spells and if you cast Haste then you aged and yes you could die from this :P.

The reason mages in 3.X are so powerful is that they can do anything and take over for any class (there is transformation, knock, and rage *sigh* ) without giving it a check... The only class that get's SR is the monk (way to late) and we know how great a class that was. The arcane spell failure check for spell casters was a great idea, except that spell casters don't wear armor (or need) it.

I just think they took away the wrong things from 2e and I hope they bring them back. I can do without THAC0 though :P

Reverent-One
2011-10-22, 10:13 AM
@Reverent-One: I don't even know what case you're trying to make anymore. You admitted three pages ago that SCs were "clunky to implement" even after all the errata, then picked a fight with other people for saying similar things. Now you're just redefining Skill Challenge to mean whatever suits your argument like a giant Trojan horse full of Oberoni.

You've lost this one. Let it go.

I said they were a bit clunky to design, yes, but I disagreed with several of the complaints Tyndmyr and Kurald put forward. I haven't redefined an SC at all, in fact, I was the only one actually following the rules, so you can keep your Oberoni fallacy claim. Heck, Kurald explicitly said his main point was that some significant percentage of skill challenges in the modules don't follow the rules and can lead new players astray, which is an entirely separate issue. As far as "winning" and "losing" the debate goes, I'll just note that after providing examples of SC's that actually follow the rules, the only complaints with them that came up were complaints independent of the SC system. Though I guess I will end up letting it go, because the others seem to have let it go.

Anderlith
2011-10-22, 02:16 PM
I originally wasn't going to post in this thread but then I saw this and just has to reply before going to bed...

This is where 2e blows 3.X and 4e out of the water. Sure the magic user has arcane powers that are beyond belief BUT there is no concentration checks and no defensive casting. Mister wizard wants to cast a spell that takes 3 rounds to cast... Well he better have a meat shield or else that spell is not going to make it due to a troll flicking the wizard and causing 1hp damage and ruining the spell :)

I would love to see a combination of 2e 3.X and 4e. In 2e the paladin was an utter bada** (he got completely nerfed in 3.5 btw) and unless you was a fighter or ranger (paladin too? been a while since I played 2e) you never got more than one attack per turn. Metamagics where not feats, they were spells and if you cast Haste then you aged and yes you could die from this :P.

The reason mages in 3.X are so powerful is that they can do anything and take over for any class (there is transformation, knock, and rage *sigh* ) without giving it a check... The only class that get's SR is the monk (way to late) and we know how great a class that was. The arcane spell failure check for spell casters was a great idea, except that spell casters don't wear armor (or need) it.

I just think they took away the wrong things from 2e and I hope they bring them back. I can do without THAC0 though :P
^^^This sooo much, I had extra attacks & I hate that spells don't have interesting consequences. But I do hate Arcane Spell Failure. Let the wizard cast in plate, but every spell he casts could backfire & turn him into a newt!

pasko77
2011-10-22, 05:22 PM
So a mage could never pull of even the most basic manuevers in combat? That just doesn't seem right. Why can't a wizard put points into swordsmenship so that he can jump into melee once he's run out of spells?

This is a good question.
It seems to me that you are not describing a wizard but a gish, therefore someone who HAS invested in said powers. So yea, he can, if he knows powers.

Keeping the same "to hit" for various classes is, imo, a good idea for streamlining, if done right (hint: I don't think 4ed did it right :smalltongue: ).

Treblain
2011-10-22, 05:57 PM
I don't get why people dislike 4e's attack bonus system.


If a wizard attacks with a sword, he'll probably miss horribly.
If a wizard attacks with a spell, he has a good chance of hitting.
If a fighter attacks with a sword, he'll probably hit.
The fighter cannot attack with spells at all.


Those four sentences are generally true in either edition. There are ways to prove them false in either edition.

What has really changed about that specific aspect of D&D?

NecroRebel
2011-10-22, 06:44 PM
Keeping the same "to hit" for various classes is, imo, a good idea for streamlining, if done right (hint: I don't think 4ed did it right :smalltongue: ).

I guess my question to you is what would "done right" look like?

If everyone's hit chance is supposed to be within a relatively narrow range (say, 40-60% likelihood of an attack connecting), but you also want attack bonuses to increase with experience for whatever reason, as I expect D&D players typically would, the main way to accomplish both goals would be to give everyone the same basic attack bonuses as they level. 4e does that.

Or, if you're referring to the same "to hit" in the sense of targeting the same sort of defense, I think 4e does that fairly admirably as well while still allowing weak points in the form of lower defenses. In this sense, 3.x is certainly inferior; some people target AC, some touch AC (which is invariably far lower), some saving throws... Saving throws, in 3.x, are totally incomparable to AC and its derivatives, while the NADs in 4e are the same kind of thing.

stainboy
2011-10-22, 07:26 PM
Having a big range of monster defenses at a given level could help. Hypothetical example, using 4e defenses just for clarity:

Alice attacks at +15 vs Reflex. Bob can roll +10 vs either Reflex or Will. Assume all other factors are equal, damage is the same, etc.

If every monster they fight has defenses of about 22-26, then Alice is always better than Bob. On average her damage is 85% higher. Even in Bob's best case (a monster with Ref 26, Will 22) Alice does more damage. That narrow range puts pressure on players to stack every little +1 they can find.

If monsters' defenses vary over a big range, say 18-30, then Alice's advantage is much less clear.



I don't get why people dislike 4e's attack bonus system.


If a wizard attacks with a sword, he'll probably miss horribly.
If a wizard attacks with a spell, he has a good chance of hitting.
If a fighter attacks with a sword, he'll probably hit.
The fighter cannot attack with spells at all.



It helps keep bonus divergence in sane ranges. Bonus divergence still happens (the difference between a level 10 fighter's sword attack vs a wizard's is still bigger than than a level 1 fighter vs wizard) but it keeps one or the other from falling off the d20 completely after low levels.

Bonus divergence is especially important when it's attack vs defense. For example, optimizing AC in 3e is a trap because you have to keep pouring resources into it just to keep up with the attack bonus that enemies get for free.