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View Full Version : What is the Difference between 3.5 & 4 editions of D&D



Sir Rigel
2012-02-14, 07:29 PM
One of the members of my group Plays forth edition, so I figured I might as well read up on it... and from what I can tell the only major two differences with forth edition D&D and 3.5... which are they "Kinda" fixed spell casting (as in made it less broken in a sense, but might of gone too far) and they Screwed up the Alignment system (Turned it into a linear system)... So, I am wondering, what differences have you guys found between 3.5 & 4th?

erikun
2012-02-14, 08:01 PM
Quite a bit, actually.

You still have the core mechanic of d20 + bonuses vs difficulty. You still have levels and races and classes. You still have feats, skills, and +1 equipment.

However, beyond the general ideas, a lot has changed. All classes use attack rolls to hit, even spells. Higher level abilities do multiples of damage - such as 4x the weapon base damage - rather than large static bonuses. Almost all abilities hit for damage along with a side effect, rather than some that damage and some that create effects.

All classes have use-anytime abilities, once-per-encounter abilities, and once-per-day abilities. This includes classes like the fighter and rogue. Everyone gains new abilities at the same rate and same level; a fighter will get a new once-daily ability at 5th level, just as a wizard will get a new one-use daily spell at 5th level. (Note: Essentials has variants of these that apparently did away with that, so a 4.E game may not see this.)

Weapons add a bonus to hit and damage. Spellcasters have implements that do the same to powers. Armor adds a bonus to AC, while neck-slot items (i.e. cloaks) add a bonus to Fort/Reflex/Will. Other items, such as shields, do not add additional +1s to AC or anything else.

On that thought, Fort/Reflex/Will are now flat defenses that spells are rolled against to see if they still hit. There is still something called a "saving throw", but it is just a d20 with roughly a 50% chance of success.

HP is a flat number, and no longer rolled. At first level, you get the class's base HP plus your Constitution score, but CON doesn't get you any more HP than that. The game works off of "healing surges", where you have a set amount of maximum HP but can spend a surge to regain 25% of that value. It means that a character can start off reasonably healthy in most fights, but running out of surges would mean you can't be healed any more.

Skills are determined by 1/2 level + ability score modifier, +5 if trained. The list has been greatly reduced, so even fighters are compotent in a number of things. They can work out well, but Skill Challanges (as written in the DMG) don't work well.

Sir Rigel
2012-02-14, 10:09 PM
Ah, so basically they made fighters, and fighter-like classes More powerful overall, but spellcasters Significantly less Powerful at later levels?

erikun
2012-02-14, 11:37 PM
Pretty much. Fighters play much more like Tome of Battle, while wizards play more like... well, wizard spells with Tome of Battle mechanics.

They also more clearly defined "roles" for the party. Fighters get up on the front lines and hamper opponents, not letting them move around freely. Wizards drop area effects and stuff like stunning opponents. Swordmages (basically a gish) act like fighters, fighting up front with weapons, but can also teleport around and throw around magical area-spells. Warlords are something like 3.5e Marshalls, rallying allies with bonuses and actually handing out healing doing so.

Oh, and no more save-or-die. Most effects only last a single turn, or require making that 50% saving throw to shake off. This means that your wizard could put a group to sleep, but can't automatically guarantee they'll still be unconcious five rounds later.

Binks
2012-02-14, 11:38 PM
Ah, so basically they made fighters, and fighter-like classes More powerful overall, but spellcasters Significantly less Powerful at later levels?

That's...maybe 1/10 of the differences from 3.5 to 4E. 4E is a lot like everyone having ToB maneuvers. It's actually reasonably hard to explain 4E in terms of 3.5 ruleset as the entire game is based around powers, which are basically things like 'Magic Missile', 'Fireball' but also 'Stab a guy in retaliation for him hitting your buddy' and 'Take 10 on a diplomacy check'.

Everyone gets different powers and they're what really makes your class. Feats skills and attributes are still there, of course, but most are there to modify your powers. When fighting you pretty much are maneuvering to gain a tactical advantage and then choosing a power to use in the current situation.

As someone who has played and enjoyed both systems, they are very different at a core level. Comparing them is hard, because it's not just mechanics that changed but core ideas. 3.5 is basically 'build a character using these frameworks' while 4E is 'pick a framework then pick powers for it to build a character'. Not sure if that's a good way to express it, but it really switches the order of importance of classes vs. everything else.

I've heard a lot of people talk about 4E being very MMO-like. I don't get that impression myself (but then again I never played WoW) but it might be a useful analogy for you.

Mark Hall
2012-02-14, 11:44 PM
The short version? Do not think of them as different editions of the same game, but as separate games that share a name. While they share some vague generalities (d20+mods v. difficulty, same basic 6 ability scores), pretty much everything has changed. The changes are more akin to the changes between Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy V than between editions of the same game.

Sir Rigel
2012-02-14, 11:46 PM
Ah, ok then, I guess I won't be picking up 4th edition anytime soon then, I really like the level of customization you get with 3.5 (With the shear number of spells, feats, and other things); But out of curiosity how does multiclassing work in 4th?

Sir Rigel
2012-02-14, 11:47 PM
The short version? Do not think of them as different editions of the same game, but as separate games that share a name.

Ok, I will keep that in mind then! Thank you!

Manateee
2012-02-15, 12:15 AM
Ah, ok then, I guess I won't be picking up 4th edition anytime soon then, I really like the level of customization you get with 3.5 (With the shear number of spells, feats, and other things); But out of curiosity how does multiclassing work in 4th?

There are two basic ways of doing it.

The basic multiclassing is done by using feats to access powers from other classes. This makes a Rogue/Sorcerer a more single-sided unit. This might seem kind of lame because it doesn't actually splice the classes, but what it does do is give the Rogue/Sorcerer level-appropriate abilities in each (contrast with the 3e Rogue 7/Sorcerer 1's woefully underdeveloped spells).

The hybrid classing mechanism allows both classes to progress simultaneously. You have access to powers from both classes, but there some limitations on which powers you can use and how they stack with each other.

Anxe
2012-02-15, 12:29 AM
The multiclassing system in 4E is a lot more cumbersome than it was in 3.5.
You can only multiclass into one other class. There are two exceptions. If Bard is your base class then you can multiclass as many times as you want. If you are a Hybrid base class like Paladin/Warlord you can then take a multiclass feat and be a Paladin/Warlord/Psion (which sounds pretty awesome).
There are no prestige classes. Instead there are paragon paths. The only prerequisite is being a certain class or race. The Paladin/Warlord/Psion qualifies for all the Paladin, Warlord, and Psion paragon paths (Plus his race paragon path). Everyone must take a paragon path. They become available at level 11, but you can delay taking them as long as you wish. Once you enter you retroactively gain all bonuses the path would've given you. At 21st level you pick an Epic Destiny which works pretty much the same way.

So... multiclassing between base classes is difficult compared to 3.5 Multiclassing between prestige classes is much easier.

Binks
2012-02-15, 10:44 AM
Ah, ok then, I guess I won't be picking up 4th edition anytime soon then, I really like the level of customization you get with 3.5 (With the shear number of spells, feats, and other things); But out of curiosity how does multiclassing work in 4th?
There is still a lot of customization in 4E. It's just customization of a different kind. Rather than trying to figure out which series of classes to chain in order to build your concept you figure out which series of powers/feats to chain to create your character.

If you want proof of the level of customization, well, I've got a Captain America Swordmage I would like to show you :smalltongue:. Throwing around his spiked shield and bashing faces all the while being a fantastic tank, and built without a single multiclass feat (though one of the warlord ones would certainly fit).

Hybrid is something I have little experience with. In my experience it's generally not worth the bother. Multiclassing is done by taking a feat that grants you some benefits of a second class, then you can take other feats to get more benefits from that class at the cost of some of your original class's benefits.

It's less of a 'build a character from these set-in-stone classes' and more of a 'here's a framework, you can only use this one, but there are a bunch of options within the framework for you to use' system. Rather than picking, say, 2 levels of rogue to get Evasion (or whatever, it's been a while since I built a 3.5 character) you would instead grab a feat or power that gave you a similar power from your class.

Personally I think it's at least worth a look. Not everyone's cup of tea I understand but I like 4E's system better than 3.5 (which isn't to say I don't enjoy 3.5 :smalltongue:)

tl;dr Yes, multiclassing is more cumbersome in 4E. It's also far less important and can generally be ignored entirely without consequence. It's possible to build a character like Captain America (which in 3.5 would require at least 1 PrC and probably 2 base classes) using only a single class with the proper selection of feats/powers. Classes are a lot more flexible in 4E, which means they don't need to be combined.

Eldan
2012-02-15, 11:18 AM
One thing I really missed in 4E (the parts i read, which was the PHB 1, really) was open-ended abilities. Things that didn't have just a few defined possible uses, but just had a general description and left the application open to you. The Silent Images of 4E, really.

Binks
2012-02-15, 11:38 AM
One thing I really missed in 4E (the parts i read, which was the PHB 1, really) was open-ended abilities. Things that didn't have just a few defined possible uses, but just had a general description and left the application open to you. The Silent Images of 4E, really.

Like Deceitful Image (Heavenly Deceiver Paragon Path feature), Psionic Image (Wild Talent at-will power), Ghost Sound (Wizard at-will), Distracting Illusion (assassin utility), Glimmering Forms (Drow at-will), or Spectral Image (Wizard Utility) :smallamused: Less easily accessible, yes. Missing? Far from it.

Eldan
2012-02-15, 12:25 PM
You'll notice that very few of those are in the PHB, I'm guessing form the sources given :smalltongue:

Tyndmyr
2012-02-15, 12:52 PM
One of the members of my group Plays forth edition, so I figured I might as well read up on it... and from what I can tell the only major two differences with forth edition D&D and 3.5... which are they "Kinda" fixed spell casting (as in made it less broken in a sense, but might of gone too far) and they Screwed up the Alignment system (Turned it into a linear system)... So, I am wondering, what differences have you guys found between 3.5 & 4th?

They are basically not the same game.

You can no more port over a 3.5 char to 4e than you could port him over to say, gurps. As such, the differences are extreme. It's best not to think of 4e as the same game at all.

Das Platyvark
2012-02-15, 10:51 PM
The difference between them is as great as the difference between Good.... and Evil!




Alright, I'm just biased. 4e is certainly a decent game on it's own, but it really depends on your taste. 3.5 is easier to customize because it looks like you can–4 is equally customizable, but it's better hidden. 3.5 is a lot trickier to get the hang of, but I think it's definitely worth it over 4.

Kurald Galain
2012-02-16, 05:51 AM
Like Deceitful Image (Heavenly Deceiver Paragon Path feature), Psionic Image (Wild Talent at-will power), Ghost Sound (Wizard at-will), Distracting Illusion (assassin utility), Glimmering Forms (Drow at-will), or Spectral Image (Wizard Utility) :smallamused: Less easily accessible, yes. Missing? Far from it.

You'll also notice that while those are technically illusions, none of them do even remotely what Silent Image does. For example, Spectral Image creates an illusion of one creature in a square, that cannot move and that immediately disappears if touched or attacked; whereas Psionic Image can only create a small object, and lasts for six seconds.

4E is quite good at "technically but not really" effects, such as the Finger Of Death spell (which is really "Finger of standard damage that isn't any more or less lethal than any other attack of that level").

Leolo
2012-02-16, 09:16 AM
Well...it is not as if silent image has no restrictions in 3.5

For example "can't be moved" sounds very familar (in fact some of the 4E versions of this can move freely) and of course silent images in 3.5 can be discovered as illusions, too.

It is clear that the rules does not exactly match. But wasn't the point "open ended"?

Because you can create whatever you like with some of those spells.

Sebastrd
2012-02-16, 09:24 AM
I wouldn't bother coming here to get an unbiased, informed opinion on 4E. Most message boards have an edition bias. The Paizo and GitP boards, for example, have a pretty extreme 3E bias, while the WotC boards are pretty much 4E only. ENWorld.org is probably the most civil board I know of, and even they have a slight 4E bias.

Tyndmyr
2012-02-16, 09:59 AM
Well...it is not as if silent image has no restrictions in 3.5

For example "can't be moved" sounds very familar ...

From silent image: "You can move the image within the limits of the size of the effect."

"Effect: Visual figment that cannot extend beyond four 10-ft. cubes + one 10-ft. cube/level (S)"

So...yeah, the area in which you can move it is pretty large. It STARTS at 500 square feet. And the image can consist of literally anything you can imagine. 4e doesn't touch this for open endedness.

INDYSTAR188
2012-02-16, 10:33 AM
I think that 4e (and this is just in my own experience) is much more of a 'team' game. Everyone picks a role and they all compliment each other on the battlefield. Also, I like that in 4e it seems like there is a lot less arguing about the vagueness of a rule or feat or power. There's not really a huge difference in classes like tier 1 - tier 5 or whatever 3.5 has. Everyone has a way to contribute with cool stuff to do. At the end of the day, I prefer 4e to 3.5 but would play either if that's the direction my group was going.

Kurald Galain
2012-02-16, 10:37 AM
I think that 4e (and this is just in my own experience) is much more of a 'team' game. Everyone picks a role and they all compliment each other on the battlefield.

"Wow, Fighter, you're looking so chivalric today!"
"Thank you wizard, I admire your arcane knowledge."

(I love it when people make that typo :) )

Leolo
2012-02-16, 10:49 AM
From silent image: "You can move the image within the limits of the size of the effect."

"Effect: Visual figment that cannot extend beyond four 10-ft. cubes + one 10-ft. cube/level (S)"

So...yeah, the area in which you can move it is pretty large. It STARTS at 500 square feet. And the image can consist of literally anything you can imagine. 4e doesn't touch this for open endedness.

Well...500sq feet sounds good, but in practice it means you can let the illusion walk from here to the next house at the end of a small street, but not let it enter the next side alley if you have not specified it before.

The silent image ritual of 4E technically does the same in fact. Without the range limit. And a duration of 1 hour.

The Distracting Illusion power can even let you take the illusionary creature with you. No range limit. You want to have a big armored soldier walking next to you while you go through the city? No Problem. Entering a building? Sure, feel free. You can move it as a minor action.

There are similar 3.5 spells, too. And this is fine, in fact every edition should have this. But silent image has restrictions and it is not very helpfull to claim that only other spells have those restrictions.

Tyndmyr
2012-02-16, 11:39 AM
Well...500sq feet sounds good, but in practice it means you can let the illusion walk from here to the next house at the end of a small street, but not let it enter the next side alley if you have not specified it before.

At CL 1. This is quite literally the most limited it can ever be. It is remarkably open ended.


The silent image ritual of 4E technically does the same in fact. Without the range limit. And a duration of 1 hour.

Silent Image, in 3.5, is a level 1 spell. Or, in some cases, a cantrip. It is trivial, and available to many without investment of gold, etc per casting.

Rituals are not like that at all. In fact, they're basically never used because of the inconvenience.

Oh, the spell is also concentration based. So, no duration limit. Hell, you can permanency it.

To illustrate just how ignored the 4e version is...the first hit on "silent image 4e ritual" is this thread. The second hit is for something entirely different. The third hit is the 3.5 Silent Image. Nobody uses the 4e version at all. Nobody even talks about it except for right here. It does not exist in actual play.


The Distracting Illusion power can even let you take the illusionary creature with you. No range limit. You want to have a big armored soldier walking next to you while you go through the city? No Problem. Entering a building? Sure, feel free. You can move it as a minor action.

There are similar 3.5 spells, too. And this is fine, in fact every edition should have this. But silent image has restrictions and it is not very helpfull to claim that only other spells have those restrictions.

Silent Image, the 3.5 version, is less restricted than any similar spell from 4e.

You cannot compare a single trivial 3.5 spell to a wide variety of powers from 4e that aren't even from the same power source.

Greenish
2012-02-16, 12:01 PM
4e stuff is less open-ended on purpose, because when there's a Green Lantern in the party, Aquaman will be superfluous.

It's an actual design goal of the system, not a value judgement or criticism. You do not have to "defend" 4e from the "accusation" that it lacks a part of what makes 3.5 so unbalanced.

Kurald Galain
2012-02-16, 12:08 PM
4e stuff is less open-ended on purpose, because when there's a Green Lantern in the party, Aquaman will be superfluous.

While certain wizard builds using certain spells in 3E are overpowered (a point that gets vastly exaggerated in forums), this really does not apply to a level-1 wizard casting Silent Image.

But yes, this purpose is a major difference between 3E and 4E. 4E shies away from effects requiring DM interpretation, effects lasting longer than a few seconds, and effects that cannot be summarized as "X damage + Y condition". Note that "shies away" does not mean "completely avoids".

Tyndmyr
2012-02-16, 12:18 PM
It's an actual design goal of the system, not a value judgement or criticism. You do not have to "defend" 4e from the "accusation" that it lacks a part of what makes 3.5 so unbalanced.

Precisely.

It's part of a tradeoff they made. They killed a lot of open ended things to create a better balance. If this is good or bad mostly depends on how much you value flexibility compared to balance. I prefer the former, so I play 3.5.

That said, silent image is not generally considered overpowered in 3.5. While it's a reasonably good example of an open ended thing that went away, there is a reasonable argument that this specific thing was not an instance of open endedness that 4e needed to kill.

Leolo
2012-02-16, 12:41 PM
To illustrate just how ignored the 4e version is...the first hit on "silent image 4e ritual" is this thread. The second hit is for something entirely different. The third hit is the 3.5 Silent Image. Nobody uses the 4e version at all. Nobody even talks about it except for right here. It does not exist in actual play.


Well i know at least one round (here on the board) where it exists in actual play, but what is your point? 4E has no such options or Google finds no such options? Or that your google foo is not good enough to find the (existing) discussions about the silent image ritual in 4E?

In fact it is a pretty new ritual - so maybe we could even ignore it for not being in the php. Although there are similar rituals that are in the php.


At CL 1. This is quite literally the most limited it can ever be. It is remarkably open ended.


Well, even a level 20 wizard could not use it to let a creature walk at his side through the town. It would just increase the maximum distance by 200 additional feet (assuming the image walks on a 10ft path without leaving the way)



Silent Image, the 3.5 version, is less restricted than any similar spell from 4e.


Let's make a small test:

The group kills the guard they have encountered and hides him in a dark corner. Now they want a similar looking guard stand at the door so that no one noticed the guard has left while the group searches the building for whatever macguffin they are searching.

Can they do it? Not if the wizard who casts the spell does not stay at this place, because the duration is concentration.

Can 4E silent image do it? Sure. Can 4E Hallucinatory Creature from the PHP do it? Sure. It could even tell someone to go away. Or patrol. And it lasts 24 hours. Well, but this is not fair - it is a higher level spell.

I don't want to say that wizards in 4E have no restrictions or even less restrictons. They have not (ok, silent image is a bad example because this ritual has in fact much to few restrictions for my taste in 4E. Less than it's 3.5 version - having no size or range limit and being able to create even the illusion of effects without concentration as a lvl 1 ritual is far to powerfull and open ended for a 4E option and ends with DMs simple judging what it does. Or to say it different: Players don't knowing what it does.)

But it is important to understand that restrictions where always part of the game. There are things silent image can not do, and this is fine.

Manateee
2012-02-16, 12:49 PM
That's an incredibly nitpicky example. The specificity makes it seem a bit disingenuous as a counter-illustration.
4e is much more specific in its abilities. This is limiting.

And as has been mentioned already, the limitations aren't a bad thing.

While I was playing 3e, the heavier restrictions, more rigidly structured classes and more limited multiclassing of 4e were exactly what I wanted from the game.

Leolo
2012-02-16, 12:57 PM
That's an incredibly nitpicky example. The specificity seems a bit disingenuous.

Sure, but there are many of those examples. Imagine i'd be a level 20 wizard.

Can let a illusory dragon pop up with silent image? 3.5 yes and it will be gargantuan. 4E? yes but it can not be that huge. (EDIT: Ok, 4E silent image is simple stupid. No size restriction....)

Can i let him fly from a larger distance to here to make it more plausible? 3.5 no. 4E maybe, it does not states a maximum distance or size. But 4E silent image is not a good example, as it is no PHP spell, pretty new and not good designed.

But speeking about the 3.5 version. 240feet are about 80 meters (or 72 in D&D). I could not even let some illusionary creature walk from my house to the end of the street (well, i could metamagic it and i believe it would surely work with some adjustment so don't misunderstand this). I could not let it talk.

It is open ended regarding what i could create (at least a little open ended, because i am limited to objects, creatures or force effects. I can not create other effects with it RAW). But other than this it has many restrictions and this is actually a good thing. It is just bad arguing if you ignore them or claim that other spells are limited for having similar restrictions.

Tyndmyr
2012-02-16, 12:57 PM
Well i know at least one round (here on the board) where it exists in actual play, but what is your point? 4E has no such options or Google finds no such options? Or that your google foo is not good enough to find the (existing) discussions about the silent image ritual in 4E?

Ah yes, take the insults personal. It's not about google fu. I gave you the search string. Is "silent image 4e ritual" not a perfectly reasonable search?


In fact it is a pretty new ritual - so maybe we could even ignore it for not being in the php. Although there are similar rituals that are in the php.

Silent Image is core in 3.5. If there is a better example in 4e, feel free to bring it up.


Well, even a level 20 wizard could not use it to let a creature walk at his side through the town. It would just increase the maximum distance by 200 additional feet (assuming the image walks on a 10ft path without leaving the way)

A level 20 wizard can make basically any illusion he desires. My third level illusionist that I'm currently playing has CL 5 for illusion spells, and frankly, silent image limitations just are not a problem for me.


Let's make a small test:

The group kills the guard they have encountered and hides him in a dark corner. Now they want a similar looking guard stand at the door so that no one noticed the guard has left while the group searches the building for whatever macguffin they are searching.

Can they do it? Not if the wizard who casts the spell does not stay at this place, because the duration is concentration.

Moving does not break concentration. It takes standard actions only. Cast it, walk away. This works beautifully in 3.5. This can be done by any first level wizard who knows the spell. Or sorcerer. Or Bard.


Can 4E silent image do it? Sure. Can 4E Hallucinatory Creature from the PHP do it? Sure. It could even tell someone to go away. Or patrol. And it lasts 24 hours. Well, but this is not fair - it is a higher level spell.

Exactly. It also only does creatures.

Oh, no, wait, that's not a spell, that's a ritual again. Not the same thing at all. Rituals have a LOT of drawbacks in addition to coming online later.


I don't want to say that wizards in 4E have no restrictions or even less restrictons. They have not (ok, silent image is a bad example because this ritual has in fact much to few restrictions for my taste in 4E. Less than it's 3.5 version - having no size or range limit and being able to create even the illusion of effects without concentration as a lvl 1 ritual is far to powerfull and open ended for a 4E option and ends with DMs simple judging what it does. Or to say it different: Players don't knowing what it does.)

But it is important to understand that restrictions where always part of the game. There are things silent image can not do, and this is fine.

What? Nobody was ever trying to say that silent image can literally do everything ever. That's a bit of a strawman, there.

The point is that the 3.5 silent image is open ended, and 4e does not preserve this.

Edit: For further fun, illusion based examples, I give you the core spell Project Image, which makes an illusory duplicate of you who can cast spells as you do. Note that as he can further illusion himself, he will, in practice, look like whoever you want.

This is, in practice, like Hallucinatory Creature, except that it's, again, much more open ended.

Kurald Galain
2012-02-16, 01:12 PM
Hallucinatory Creature also has the drawbacks of (a) taking ten minutes to cast, (b) costing a whopping 500 gp in materials, (c) being unavailable until level 12, which according to WOTC is higher than most campaigns ever get, (d) being strictly limited to 2-6 actions specified at casting time, (e) granting a rather easy disbelief check each time the illusion is interacted with, in addition to when it's first seen, and (f) immediately disappearing when touched.

3E Silent Image has none of those drawbacks. Yeah, that's a pretty big difference.

Leolo
2012-02-16, 01:16 PM
What? Nobody was ever trying to say that silent image can literally do everything ever. That's a bit of a strawman, there.

Well, the discussion started when i stated: "Well...it is not as if silent image has no restrictions in 3.5", so it is no strawman but the core of the argument.

But i don't think that our opinions are that different. Nobody denies that 4E has a much lower power level. And therefore illusion spells are of a lower power level, too. The silent image spell mentioned before might be a stupid exception but the general argument is still true.

This just does not mean the spells are not open ended. They can be used in many creative ways and are not limited to predefined effects. Yes there are restrictions with some of them. But this is true for many spells in every edition and does not make them not open ended.

Binks
2012-02-16, 01:35 PM
You'll also notice that while those are technically illusions, none of them do even remotely what Silent Image does. For example, Spectral Image creates an illusion of one creature in a square, that cannot move and that immediately disappears if touched or attacked; whereas Psionic Image can only create a small object, and lasts for six seconds.
Deceitful Image does pretty much exactly what Silent Image does (it's even a 500cu ft area for crying out loud). It's effectively higher level (paragon feature), but it does replicate Silent Image near perfectly.


Oh, no, wait, that's not a spell, that's a ritual again. Not the same thing at all. Rituals have a LOT of drawbacks in addition to coming online later.
Meh. I always hear people talking about how terrible rituals are, and how they're never used. My group uses them. Regularly, at least once a session or so. We've never had a problem with them.

The silent image ritual takes 1 minute and costs 10gp (or takes a standard action and 50gp if you use it from a scroll). Is that worse than 3.5's silent image? Yes. Is it significantly worse? No. It has its own advantages (no concentration required) and disadvantages (an almost trivial gold cost, longer casting time if not using a scroll, and the image can't be ordered around).

Just for my own curiosity can you give me a reasonable example of something you can do with silent image in 3.5 that the ritual can't do? I'm having trouble coming up with an example, as everything I can think of is doable. Fake monster talking for you? 'I use the ritual to create the illusion of monster X and have it mimic my actions including lipsync'. Fake wall? Done.

What is it you want to do that 4E won't let you?

Also, thank you very much for introducing me to the silent image ritual, as that thing is awesome now that I've actually read it and I will be showing my PCs it. I'm sure they'll want to add it to their books :smallbiggrin:.

Leolo
2012-02-16, 01:45 PM
In fact the silent image ritual does not states that the creature is stationary...it's up to the DM. It can move, the DM has just to decide how far.

And yes, that's pretty awesome for a simple ritual in 4E and from my opinion: It is even to good and not well designed. But i like the hallu creature and some other illusion spells with a good mix of restrictions and freedom.

My favourite illusion spell in 4E is distracting illusion. It is an low level encounter, sustain minor (cast minor) power so you can hold it the whole day and run with your image as long as you want. It does not disappear if someone interacts with it. It is as good as your bluff check and bluff can be easily buffed to regions no monster can beat it with sense motive. You can move it freely.

Simple a very cool spell. Get ghost sound to let it talk.

Kurald Galain
2012-02-16, 01:51 PM
Meh. I always hear people talking about how terrible rituals are, and how they're never used. My group uses them. Regularly, at least once a session or so. We've never had a problem with them.
For what it's worth, the developers have admitted that there problems with them and that they tend to go unused. Silent Image is a very late addition to the game that attempts to fix these problems, basically added as an afterthought while they were already working on 5E. A 2011 Dragon article with a few decent rituals doesn't excuse three years of crappily designed ones.

Binks
2012-02-16, 01:58 PM
A 2011 Dragon article with a few decent rituals doesn't excuse three years of crappily designed ones.
*Shrug*. We use a lot of rituals, walk on water, undead ward or something, fluid funds, and a bunch of others I can't remember (2 players have 2-3 page long ritual books, and my GMPC knows the ones related to the Mark of Warding and uses them regularly). They're far from perfect, but even as written in the PHB they're hardly useless.

Leolo
2012-02-16, 02:02 PM
Even older rituals have very cool effects and can be very powerfull. Sure - there are players who don't use it. Some of them i had have in one of my groups and most have changed their opinion after this, seeing them in play.

But it depends on the playstyle. You can perfectly work without them, there are many solutions to problems. (Even if they might have drawbacks that are larger than rituals drawbacks)

Tyndmyr
2012-02-16, 02:17 PM
Deceitful Image does pretty much exactly what Silent Image does (it's even a 500cu ft area for crying out loud). It's effectively higher level (paragon feature), but it does replicate Silent Image near perfectly.

That's kind of a big deal. Silent Image is kind of the entry level of illusions, scaling up to minor, major, etc. The fact that it's so easily accessible is kind of the point.


The silent image ritual takes 1 minute and costs 10gp (or takes a standard action and 50gp if you use it from a scroll). Is that worse than 3.5's silent image? Yes. Is it significantly worse? No. It has its own advantages (no concentration required) and disadvantages (an almost trivial gold cost, longer casting time if not using a scroll, and the image can't be ordered around).

Just for my own curiosity can you give me a reasonable example of something you can do with silent image in 3.5 that the ritual can't do? I'm having trouble coming up with an example, as everything I can think of is doable. Fake monster talking for you? 'I use the ritual to create the illusion of monster X and have it mimic my actions including lipsync'. Fake wall? Done.

Behold, I am a powerful wizard, watch me cast this spell! Remarkably convincing if it takes you the same time to cast as it actually does to normally cast that spell. Rather less convincing when it takes ten times as long.

Or, yknow, I want the image to change. Sometimes the situation changes, and you want the image to shift as appropriate. That's kind of a big deal.


In fact the silent image ritual does not states that the creature is stationary...it's up to the DM. It can move, the DM has just to decide how far.

The 3.5 silent image does not say that it doesn't give you a giant pile of gold every time its cast.

That's a ridiculous argument. Things can do what the rules say they can do. If the rules don't say it can do X, then no, it can't do X.

Kurald Galain
2012-02-16, 02:19 PM
*Shrug*. We use a lot of rituals, walk on water, undead ward or something, fluid funds, and a bunch of others I can't remember

Sure, and a lot of players play 3E monks. That doesn't mean it's a well-designed class, though.

A relevant post on the matter (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7860326&postcount=46) says, "It's the fact that in just about any conceivable situation, it's easier to figure out a way to solve the problem non-magically than it is to figure out a way to solve the problem using a ritual. And since the non-ritual approach is generally faster, cheaper, and doesn't require you to have bought the ritual beforehand . . . well, it's not hard to figure out why I've gotten to the point where I've basically forgotten my character even CAN cast rituals."

Tvtyrant
2012-02-16, 02:31 PM
Sure, and a lot of players play 3E monks. That doesn't mean it's a well-designed class, though.

A relevant post on the matter (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7860326&postcount=46) says, "It's the fact that in just about any conceivable situation, it's easier to figure out a way to solve the problem non-magically than it is to figure out a way to solve the problem using a ritual. And since the non-ritual approach is generally faster, cheaper, and doesn't require you to have bought the ritual beforehand . . . well, it's not hard to figure out why I've gotten to the point where I've basically forgotten my character even CAN cast rituals."

Unless you are a Bard, right? Because they get theirs for free (well, okay, only Bard ones, but still).

Binks
2012-02-16, 03:14 PM
The 3.5 silent image does not say that it doesn't give you a giant pile of gold every time its cast.

That's a ridiculous argument. Things can do what the rules say they can do. If the rules don't say it can do X, then no, it can't do X.
Well that's an interesting theory that renders 3.5's silent image completely useless. After all, it never says it can affect other creatures does it?

4E's silent image ritual says it creates an illusion of an object, creature, or effect within a certain area. It doesn't say the creature can move, but it doesn't say the creature can't move either. It's a blank spot in the rules, and since the rules allow fire (something that has to be moving) and require a check to figure out if the illusion is real or not ('Hmm. I wonder if that completely unmoving creature over there is real or not...') it's reasonable to assume that you can have the creature move around within the space just as it was in 3.5.

But really if you want to get into a RAW vs. RAI argument this is not the place or the time. The rules do not saw if the creature can move or not, therefore it's up to the GM. If you believe your GM would not allow it to move then fine, it's far less useful.

navar100
2012-02-16, 03:40 PM
Just for my own curiosity can you give me a reasonable example of something you can do with silent image in 3.5 that the ritual can't do? I'm having trouble coming up with an example, as everything I can think of is doable. Fake monster talking for you? 'I use the ritual to create the illusion of monster X and have it mimic my actions including lipsync'. Fake wall? Done.

What is it you want to do that 4E won't let you?



Create the illusion I want when I want it at the moment I want it right now, and I don't want to use a scroll. However, that's part of my issue with the Ritual system in general rather than this one particular Ritual.

kyoryu
2012-02-16, 03:55 PM
Create the illusion I want when I want it at the moment I want it right now, and I don't want to use a scroll. However, that's part of my issue with the Ritual system in general rather than this one particular Ritual.

So, basically, your point is that all spells should be insta-cast, and have no cost, penalties, or risks.

DeltaEmil
2012-02-16, 04:12 PM
What is the Difference between 3.5 & 4 editions of D&D?

D&D 3.5 is a game about powerful individuals (and their sidekicks) banding together to fight evil, and pulverizing it.
D&D 4th edition is a game about a team of heroes playing combat rugby with swords and wands against the other team that consists of devils, dragons and demons.

Play D&D 3.5 if:
- you want tons of options till your ears bleed (feats and spells galore)
- you like the absolute customization of your characters (even the fighter and the monk have lots of alternative class abilities)
- you do believe that you can handle the inherent problems of the linear fighter-quadratic wizard in a way that satisfies your group
- you want to tinker with the hundreds of subsystems the game is build with
- you want a game where miniatures are the best way to use all the interesting doodads like Attacks of Opportunity, reach and interactive terrain effects
- you want the core rules for free (see the SRD)

Play D&D 4th edition if:
- you want your character to be a part of a greater sum
- you dislike the linear fighter-quadratic wizard and don't want to waste your time trying to fix that problem
- you want a game where miniatures are the best way to use all the interesting doodads like Opportunity Attacks, where being able to shift to and interactive terrain effects
- you want to be able to prepare your gaming sessions in less than 10 minutes by not having to look on how the different subsystems interact
- you might be interested in using the D&D Insider feature that Wizards of the Coast offers with all the rules, all monsters and a character builder as part of the package

Kurald Galain
2012-02-16, 04:12 PM
So, basically, your point is that all spells should be insta-cast, and have no cost, penalties, or risks.

At a wild guess that's probably not his point.

Still, most rituals do the same thing as skills. And skills are in fact insta-cast, and have no cost, penalties, or risks. So since rituals aren't instant, and do have costs and limitations, it shouldn't be surprising that many people avoid using them.

You could either spend 15 minutes and 200 gold pieces on a searching ritual, or you could simply roll a perception check in one round and for free. Heck, roll a hundred perception checks, and it's still faster and for free, and now it has a higher success rate too!

Leolo
2012-02-16, 06:14 PM
That's a ridiculous argument. Things can do what the rules say they can do. If the rules don't say it can do X, then no, it can't do X.

Ok. The rules say: You create an illusion. What kind of illusion? Creature, object or effect.

There are no more restrictions. Other spells do have this restrictions, this one not.

I'd say it is up to the DM to say "stop - no your creature can not be Xfadjaldfa the world eater whose size tops the moon".

But there is no RAW restriction in it. As said above this is precisely why i believe the spell is bad designed, although this open ended feeling might be intended.

@Kurald: Even if this would be true rituals would be a valid option for someone who wants to do things he is not good in. For example someone who is not good in thievery could still think it is a good idea to buy a knock scroll or learn the ritual. The point that knock can open locks the rogue could not open or that you get a bonus is just a little benefit.

And there are rituals that grant you things skills could not. For example there is no "fly" skill. There are flying mounts and flying equipment - but those things have costs as well. There is no teleport skill. No "you rest faster" skill. To stay in topic: No "i create an illusionary creature" skill. And no "i see through the eyes of this dead guy and view who has killed him skill".

It just depends on the adventure you are doing. For example in most adventures it is not relevant if you see who has killed the guy. You will find some kind of hints anyway. You are supposed to find them, the story has to go on. Maybe the ritual can give you the information more easy or faster and probably it is more information, but in fact both does not matter if you have neither time pressure nor similar problems. Same thing with other cool rituals like magic map or something like this. Yes it is a good thing to find the evil guy within some minutes, but it works the same way if you spend some hours in the taverns have a skill challenge or whatever. You will find him.

Making better (but more expensive) options viable depends on the level of effectivness you expect from your characters. If it is ok to ask in a tavern for something illegal a streetwise check might be fine. If not - hey there is a ritual to get the information without asking anyone.

If it is ok to travel 2 hours longer to the village that had called for help a ritual that let you travel faster makes no sense. Only if you gave such options a meaning within your story - if it is better that the players are faster there - they will use rituals.

LudiDrizzt
2012-02-16, 06:15 PM
{{scrubbed}}

kyoryu
2012-02-16, 06:38 PM
Play 4e if you want a balanced game. Play 3.5 if you want to get away with literally anything short of rocks fall, everyone dies.

Your statement does little except to incite an edition war. Characterizing one group of people that has a preference as "wanting to get away with literally anything short of rocks fall, everyone dies," does *not* advance any dialogue, is a strawman, and only serves to demonize those that hold an opinion contrary to yours.

BTW: I'm a 4e player myself. I apologize if that came across overly harsh, but I'm sick to death of the edition wars, especially the constant arguments I see from the 3.x side that 4e is a "video game" or you "can't roleplay with it" or whatever. I really don't want to see this turn into an edition war, especially by someone on "my" side - especially given that this conversation has been relatively polite and non-judgemental so far.

Leolo
2012-02-16, 06:58 PM
Plus it suggests something that is not really true. 4E still contains most of the "a wizard can do anything" spells. Open a Lock? Works without the rogue. Better than the rogue.

Diplomacy? Hey, there you go, i can use my magic for it. Maybe i should charm this guy? Or let him forget something? Simple use arcana instead of diplomacy? Anything goes, heck i could cast a spell and create money to buy him.

(and yes, this might not be a smart solution, childish behaviour and so on - but it works the same way it has before)

4E Balance has nothing to do with deleting options. But with adjusting those options so that they are on par with different options.

navar100
2012-02-16, 08:09 PM
So, basically, your point is that all spells should be insta-cast, and have no cost, penalties, or risks.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Vercingex
2012-02-16, 09:02 PM
I think I can best sum up my thoughts on 3e and 4e by talking about two classes that exist in both editions- the Fighter and the Cleric.

I am not a fan at all of the 3e Fighter. He has a boring class progression and is at his best specializing in doing one extremely specific thing every fight(Tripping, for instance). I would never, ever play a straight 3e Fighter because I find rolling a d20 and seeing whether I roll high enough every single round is boring to me.

The 4e Fighter is a whole different animal. The 4e fighter's powers give him a much broader array of options besides "hit things" (or even "hit things" AND "trip things"). FIghters have abilities that can force opponents to engage them, move enemies around the battlefield, and make himself a constant threat- in other words, a 4e Fighter can control the battlefield in ways the 3e fighter can only dream of.

Which brings us to the Cleric. Cleric is my favorite 3e class. They possess a huge spell list that gives them unprecedented versatility and utility. A cleric can be dropping Flame Strikes one moment, switching to Prayer to buff his allies, and then buffing himself with Divine Power to show those fighters how melee combat is done. And that doesn't begin to cover the cleric's usefulness outside of combat. From Neutralize Poison to Water Breathing to Raise Dead, a 3e cleric is a Swiss Army knife of versatility and power.

The 4e cleric is- less so. Every class in 4e fits into a neat little role, and Cleric is a Leader- aka a support character. Which is fine. But the abilities the 4e cleric are so narrow and unimpressive next to the 3e cleric's, I have to wonder. Incremental buffs and heals whoopee. And considering how this thread has already been derailed by rituals, I won't even go there. If I had to play a 4e Leader, I'd play a Warlord instead- at least they get to move people around.

So 4e is a superb system for running exciting combats where everyone contributes equally- but it lacks 3e's breadth and texture. If I were running a game for new players, or we just wanted to kill monsters and nothing else, I would choose 4e, and everyone would probably have fun. For anything really beyond that though, I'd stick with 3e.

Leolo
2012-02-17, 03:37 AM
Just to question this:

Is it the power of those options that is important to you, or the existence?

Because flame strikes from above, healing someone, ressurrecting someone, neutralize someones poison, fighting with a weapon, pray to your god that he helps you or your allies and let them breath water sounds pretty much like things a 4E cleric can do as well. You know, plus the "i summon angels to help me" things and much more.

He just don't show fighters how combat works because (as you have already mentioned) they already know it. And while some of those things do still the same thing they are doing it less effective. The flame strike for example is still not a bad option, but it does less damage than before and has a smaller range.

Not that less damage, but less damage nevertheless...

3.5 Version casted by a lvl 10 cleric causes ~35 damage, 4E Version cast by a level 10 cleric, Wis 20 causes ~26 damage, plus 10 damage every round the target fails its save. It is easier to raise those values so that they would top the 3.5 standard version, but 4E monsters have often higher hitpoint values, so the 4E version is still less effective.

Is this what makes the difference for you?

Vercingex
2012-02-17, 09:30 AM
Just to question this:

Is it the power of those options that is important to you, or the existence?

Because flame strikes from above, healing someone, ressurrecting someone, neutralize someones poison, fighting with a weapon, pray to your god that he helps you or your allies and let them breath water sounds pretty much like things a 4E cleric can do as well. You know, plus the "i summon angels to help me" things and much more.

He just don't show fighters how combat works because (as you have already mentioned) they already know it. And while some of those things do still the same thing they are doing it less effective. The flame strike for example is still not a bad option, but it does less damage than before and has a smaller range.

Not that less damage, but less damage nevertheless...

3.5 Version casted by a lvl 10 cleric causes ~35 damage, 4E Version cast by a level 10 cleric, Wis 20 causes ~26 damage, plus 10 damage every round the target fails its save. It is easier to raise those values so that they would top the 3.5 standard version, but 4E monsters have often higher hitpoint values, so the 4E version is still less effective.

Is this what makes the difference for you?

Honestly, it's not a bit more damage here and there that bothers me. It's that the Cleric has a huge spell list that grants them great versatility from day to day. One day, I prepare those flame strikes and pretend I'm playing an evoker, blowing stuff up. Or maybe I prepare a bunch of buffs and play a support role, buffing the party- or just buffing myself and pretending to be a straight melee class. Or maybe a mix of everything, and vary what I'm dojng from fight to fight and even from round to round. And the best part? I can change my list of prepared spells from day to day, meaning I never have to fight the same fight twice.

In 4e- Sure, you can be a good buffer, or a melee fighter, or take a stab at being a controller. But the fact you have so few powers (At least compared to a spell list) means you lose out greatly on versatility. I prefer 3e Wizards to Sorcerers for much the same reason,

Leolo
2012-02-17, 10:26 AM
So you'd like it if (for example) the cleric could switch his powers at the start of the day like the wizard can?

I think that's a very valid point of view. I don't think that many players would use it though, maybe apart from utilities. Most non combat related things are rituals anyway and can be used freely. Sure, if you know you will encounter some kind of monster you can adjust your more combat oriented spells, but most of the time they will be the same than yesterday.

But nevertheless i can understand that those versatility loss is a problem for someone.

Mark Hall
2012-02-17, 10:36 AM
I think it interesting to note that isand's main point DID amount to versatility.

4e fighters became more versatile, so he liked them better. 4e clerics became less versatile, so he liked them less.

It goes towards 4e's design philosophy of putting everyone on a more-or-less level field... the 3e fighter didn't have much space to go anywhere but up, whereas the 3e cleric had a WHOLE lot of space to move down.

Tyndmyr
2012-02-17, 11:17 AM
Well that's an interesting theory that renders 3.5's silent image completely useless. After all, it never says it can affect other creatures does it?

It creates an image portraying whatever you want. It inherits basic illusion rules for being interacted with.

This is all well defined in written rules...so yes, it does say that.


But really if you want to get into a RAW vs. RAI argument this is not the place or the time. The rules do not saw if the creature can move or not, therefore it's up to the GM. If you believe your GM would not allow it to move then fine, it's far less useful.

If you're depending on favorable GM rulings for stuff that isn't actually written in the text of something, that means it's inferior to an option that doesn't require that.


So, basically, your point is that all spells should be insta-cast, and have no cost, penalties, or risks.

Silent Image is an open ended spell, but not a particularly game breaking one. Having additional costs, penalties and risks associated with it basically just makes people not use it. Instead, they use their encounter powers and the like, which lack those things.

It's not that all spells should be cost-free, but rather that adding those costs to Silent Image is a primary reason why people do not use it or many other rituals. Costs and risks are not inherently desirable things for every situation.


Ok. The rules say: You create an illusion. What kind of illusion? Creature, object or effect.

There are no more restrictions. Other spells do have this restrictions, this one not.

I'd say it is up to the DM to say "stop - no your creature can not be Xfadjaldfa the world eater whose size tops the moon".

Incorrect. It has area of affect limitations. Something with a size larger than the moon would not fit in there. This has already been mentioned.


I think I can best sum up my thoughts on 3e and 4e by talking about two classes that exist in both editions- the Fighter and the Cleric.

I am not a fan at all of the 3e Fighter. He has a boring class progression and is at his best specializing in doing one extremely specific thing every fight(Tripping, for instance). I would never, ever play a straight 3e Fighter because I find rolling a d20 and seeing whether I roll high enough every single round is boring to me.

I agree. I do not play fighters because I find them simplistic and boring. I tend to have wizards, and those wizards tend toward heavy complexity. I would probably enjoy the 4e fighter more than the 3.5 fighter...but having tried both wizards, I found the 4e wizard painfully dull and simplistic.

But there are those who prefer simple chars. I cannot say that their preference in this is wrong. 4e has a much narrower band of complexity for chars than 3.5 does. This is fine if your preference falls within that band, but for some people, it doesn't.

Leolo
2012-02-17, 11:38 AM
Incorrect. It has area of affect limitations. Something with a size larger than the moon would not fit in there. This has already been mentioned.

The 4E version? No, there are no size restrictions in it. (although there should probably be)

Tyndmyr
2012-02-17, 12:40 PM
The 4E version? No, there are no size restrictions in it. (although there should probably be)

The 3.5 version.

The 4e version having no size limitations whatsoever is a flaw, yes.

Eric Tolle
2012-02-17, 01:18 PM
3.5:
Play 3.5 if you want to play a spellcaster, or be the sidekick of a spellcaster that fairly quickly becomes redundant or even useless.

4,0
Play 4.0 if you want to be a valuable member of a party, whether or not you are a spellcaster.

Absol197
2012-02-17, 02:17 PM
3.5:
Play 3.5 if you want to play a spellcaster, or be the sidekick of a spellcaster that fairly quickly becomes redundant or even useless.

4,0
Play 4.0 if you want to be a valuable member of a party, whether or not you are a spellcaster.

I've never really understood this point of view. I'm a 3.5 player, and yes, I know that if you crunch the numbers, then on paper the spellcasters are omnipotent gods or whatever, but in practice, in our actual games, my group usually has the fighters and other non-caster types as the ones who are the most effective.