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    Lightbulb Magic Sword: Fourth Edition Reborn

    Currently, the fifth Edition of D&D is in development. It looks good, and I'm looking forward to it. However, the fourth Edition will be sorely missed, and I'm not ready to stop playing it any time soon.

    Enter Magic Sword: Fourth Edition Reborn - my attempt to continue supporting the game long after it is abandoned by its creators. Magic Sword will be a sort of "sequel" to Fourth Edition, meaning that it will take the Fourth Edition rules, improve on them, describe them in a whole new way, rebuild the content from the ground up, create a whole new implied setting, and present them as a new game that gives proper credit to its roots.

    Why am I doing this? Because ...
    • Fourth Edition was a solid game filled with great ideas and concepts, but it was also deeply flawed. Magic Sword will iron out many of the kinks, making the game better all round.
    • Fourth Edition will soon no longer be supported. Magic Sword will allow people to easily play the game - and new people to get into the game - long after it goes out of print.
    • Fourth Edition was expensive, and only available in hardcover format. Magic Sword will be free and digitally distributed, which will make it more accessible.
    • Fourth Edition was hard on third party publishers, making them pay royalties to produce Fourth Edition content. Magic Sword will be completely open, so third parties can make content for it as they wish.
    • Fourth Edition was incomplete: there were many gaps which needed to be filled in. Magic Sword will fill these gaps.


    See what I have so fare Here.
    Last edited by Chainsaw Hobbit; 2012-06-23 at 08:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    I created a Google Doc containing notes and such. It will be the main construction area for the game. Note that everything is subject to change.

    It can be found Here.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    I'm an artist, and am willing to lend my support, as well as insight when I can! I admit I did not get to play a lot of 4.0, as many of the people I'd normally played with did not own any of the books, and had no desire to buy them, but I at least own a few and liked a lot of the innovations.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    I'm an artist, and am willing to lend my support, as well as insight when I can! I admit I did not get to play a lot of 4.0, as many of the people I'd normally played with did not own any of the books, and had no desire to buy them, but I at least own a few and liked a lot of the innovations.
    Thank you, sir! I would love for you to help illustrate the game. Can you post some of your art?

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw Hobbit View Post
    Thank you, sir! I would love for you to help illustrate the game. Can you post some of your art?
    I'll pm you some soon.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    I'll pm you some soon.
    Please don't. There is limited space in my inbox. Can you email (joshapetronisakins at gmail.com) or post it on the thread?

    Also, I updated the doc quite a bit. Its worth checking out.
    Last edited by Chainsaw Hobbit; 2012-05-30 at 03:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    I'd also be willing to lend a hand. While I am no artist, I know people who know artists, though they won't work for free. As where I can lend a hand, I can help with the fluff and mechanical sides and even the business side, if you plan on actually deciding to go down that route. Personally, if you do, kickstarter is always a fine place to start as far as getting funds are concerned. Also, while I am not the best homebrewer, I know 4e well enough to know what works and what dose not, and I also would LOVE to make a GOOD Necromancer for this game. Anyway, I'd love to lend my hand in this as I too was sad to see 4e go.

    As far as fluff goes, there is a lot that can be done. However, while the base setting should be traditional fantasy, I would LOVE to one-day create a magi-tech based setting. The one thing I loved about 4es rules where that they where easily refluffed into whatever you want. Because of that I can see this branching out into other genras(such as sci-fi) in later expansions.

    Looked over the google doc and I like your direction so far. One thing I will suggest right out of the gate is re-naming the "leader' roll to the "supporter' roll or something else that gets the same message across. I NEVER liked how 4e used the term "leader' since it implies that mechanics determine who should be the party leader, which is something that, to me, should be totally RP dependent. While wizards did make a big effort to say leader role =/= party leader, just the use of the term can get confusing and lead some people to believe that whoever is in the leader roll should always be the party leader in RP.
    Last edited by Giegue; 2012-05-30 at 04:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    I'd be willing to lend my hand. I don't know much balance and mechanically about 4e but I can do fluff and I love to write.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    I cannot help, but I support this endeavor wholeheartedly. Good luck! I wish you well in this, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with someday.
    Monkey Playwright of the Improbability Drive Fan Club, Regardless, orcs should be people.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    I like what I'm seeing, even though I didn't play 4e at all.

    My I suggest Magic Sword as a name for the game? It comes from a thread where some-one pointed out that 4e probably wouldn't have caused as bad a fanbase split if it had just been called Magic Sword or something like that.

    To make the dwarves distinctive, just do what Sword of Shanara did; make them racially claustrophobic. Of course, in that setting, dwarves still look like Tolkein dwarves, due to having to survive in deep underground tunnels in their backstory for generations...

    Goblins need to be a player race; few things would make the game as distinctive as having Goblins be an actual politically strong entity in their own rights. I do have a Goblin empire write-up for a game I was going to run, where they revere necromancy as an artform, worship their Barghest ancestors as god-kings, and have no afterlife, thus making number one make a lot more sense.

    I like the idea of adjusting the number of powers that you end up getting; I would like to have at-Wills be spread out more often, perhaps with some of the weaker Encounterly powers allowing you to take them as at-Wills when you are X levels higher? (So a Wizard gets Fireball as an Encounterly power at 7th, say, but if they wait for, say, 14th level, they can learn it as an at-Will power; doing this allows them to replace Fireball as an Encounterly with another one they could have taken at the same level.)

    I love you so much for hitting upon reducing HP and healing surges; I would like to see something that makes whittling down HP cool, like benchmarks that make some of your powers better (like, I don't know, Death Spiral deals 2[W] damage normally, but 3[W] if the enemy is below 1/2 HP, with later Powers giving you the ability to modify this?)

    I would also like to see each class getting some mechanical thematics added into their make-up, as well, like a Fighter's powers mostly dealing damage in terms of [W], while, I don't know, Rogues could gain some defensive abilities that allow them to reroll both their defenses and those of their enemies?

    On that note, why not work it out so that the players roll all the dice? So every monster entry, once you adjust for the random abilities that some monsters will have, will be a set of static numbers? This might already be how 4e worked, so excuse me if this is not a change.

    On the subject of monsters... I think adopting a more 3e approach to monsters might be a good idea... or at least make some extra "power sets" you can throw onto monsters if you want them to have a more distinctive feel (want that dragon to be a spellcaster? Toss the Wizard power-set on it. Want it to be a warrior? Toss on the Fighter power-set. Want it to be a mix? Toss on "half" of both!) Of course, these power-sets would have to be adjusted by each tier (which there should be 6 of, if we are keeping the same general sense of "weak monsters are 5 levels below, normal monsters are equal level, and strong monsters are 5 levels above" that I've heard was present in 4e.) Of course, all of these would be divorced from fluff, so that you can fit them in more easily and so that new DMs don't have the problem of "but this doesn't fit the fluff of what I want!"

    On a similar note, you could approach the paths at the higher levels in a similar way; just make it so that if a Wizard wants to develop more of a Rogue-ish outlook on life, he takes a Rogue path, while another could take a Fighter path, or whatever. If they wanted to be more specialized, you could just throw descriptors on everything a la 3e (but less of them, a lot less), and then make some generic paths that grant more of that type and buff them up, while decreasing the power of other descriptors (So a Wizard selecting what they want to call the Necromancer path would be focusing on [Death] powers, just like a Fighter who wants to be a Fleshripper (also focuses on [Death] powers, is the exact same path, just with a different name.)). Of course, this would need a lot of balance, to stop the Wizard who has the Fighter path 5 times from being a better Fighter than a Fighter, but in the end I think it would be worth it.

    Anyway, I could help with fluff or mechanics, either one.

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    Post Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    I'll lend a hand where I can, although my experience has largely been 4e independent.

    I'd also like to raise the legal question. 4e's SRD was much more restricted than 3.5's, so a lot of basic mechanics might have to be redesigned (or at the very least renamed) in the interest of copyright.
    Extended Signature here.

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    Save the cheerleader, save the world.
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    Hasta la vista, baby.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by Vilpich View Post
    I'll lend a hand where I can, although my experience has largely been 4e independent.

    I'd also like to raise the legal question. 4e's SRD was much more restricted than 3.5's, so a lot of basic mechanics might have to be redesigned (or at the very least renamed) in the interest of copyright.
    The game will not be a carbon copy of Fourth Edition, but a loving imitation with many differences. Not Fourth Edition's "Pathfinder", but Fourth Edition's "True20".

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw Hobbit View Post
    Please don't. There is limited space in my inbox. Can you email (joshapetronisakins at gmail.com) or post it on the thread?

    Also, I updated the doc quite a bit. Its worth checking out.
    Then I'm listed as WillowTheWombie on DeviantArt. I try not to post pictures on forums if I can help it. On deviant, i have a few earlier examples of dragons and some various things, but i've matured a bit since then. Sample none the less!

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    I'm uh.. an artist. I would be willing to draw some stuff for you.
    Spoiler
    Show
    This is the thief who likes to hoard,
    That loves the bard with the puppet Lord
    That admires the fighter with the green-hilted sword,
    That employs the Wizard, whose bird is ignored,
    That has the gender unexplored
    That intrigues the Halfling, usually bored,
    That slew a mountain of the goblin horde,
    That follows the cleric,
    That serves the lich,
    That seeks the gate,
    That guards the snarl,
    That lives in the prison the gods built.


    guess what I was gone but now I'm back

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    Then I'm listed as WillowTheWombie on DeviantArt. I try not to post pictures on forums if I can help it. On deviant, i have a few earlier examples of dragons and some various things, but i've matured a bit since then. Sample none the less!
    You're not bad at all! I would be honoured if you could help with the project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Elf Bard View Post
    I'm uh.. an artist. I would be willing to draw some stuff for you.
    Thanks! Could you show me some work?

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Races could be like themes, providing alternate utility powers at various levels, and granting more and more racial powers as character level up. I would also like to make them more flexible. Perhaps each one could have a dozen or so racial traits, and players could choose two at first level, and then another every five levels?

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Calmate, tio, todavia tienes tiempo.

    Anyway, what do you think about my wall-o'-text post?

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    If you are interested in the project, you should check out its thread at rpg.net. There is a lot more discussion going on there.

    Also, I have an idea for the setting:

    The world is littered with massive broken ruins left behind by some mysterious ancient civilization. They make up much of the landscape. Some contain broken down, impossibly advanced machinery. Many have villages built inside them, using their structure to their advantage. A few contain passageways, leading deep underground to places filled with glittering treasures and unspeakable horrors.

    In the night, goblins crawl through windows and snatch up babies. Shadows thicken, and whisper to each other. The cruel fae lure lost travellers into the dark place between worlds. Deranged cults gather and summon eldritch horrors from the endless, maddening void.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    But why do the Goblins steal babies? It is hardly an effective source of food.

    No, it is because Goblins cannot have offspring; they are dead, soulless things (that should be playable, natch) that have an inkling of what they need to do to bring themselves to "life"...

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    But why do the Goblins steal babies? It is hardly an effective source of food.

    No, it is because Goblins cannot have offspring; they are dead, soulless things (that should be playable, natch) that have an inkling of what they need to do to bring themselves to "life"...
    I was thinking more they they are servants of the fae, and are bringing them slaves, but that is even better.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Would absolutely love to help with this, with regards to mechanics, design and balancing.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    I'm giving the game a Google+ page, so I think now would be a good time to decide on a name. I like Magic Sword, but Orcus and Going Fourth are also good. Feel free to suggest something.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    So the goblins turn these stolen babies into baby goblins. Sounds awesome. Elf's should be the result of a mating of a fae and a human. This would make them the children of slaves which could easily give them that cruel personality and the self righteousness of the fae. If you like it I'll write the idea out. It'll just be the fluff until we figure out how were going to do the races.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Actually, to put a more unique twist on the Fey attacking travellers bit...

    Maybe when someone is slain by a Fey, they are taken back to the Fey's burrow, where sinister machinery and magic converts them into a living elf; elves, though long lived, have no childhoods and are slaves to their Fey masters.

    Using Virdish's idea as well, you could make it so that elves are a result of both processes, with Half-Born elves thinking themselves superior (a rigid caste system for players to free themselves and others from, perhaps? With Fey treating both groups as slaves, with the Dead-Born being the slaves of the Half-Born?)

    Maybe there could be a squatter-empire of elves somewhere, where, though the idealistic elf that codified the laws there (fey are ultra-lawful, if you look at the stories; they follow their laws to the letter, and the punishment is... harsh) decreed an end to slavery, old habits die hard...

    As for what happens when a Fey sleeps with an elf... who knows? Monsters could come out, or maybe it even cancels out their fey nature, resulting in a human child...

    And I still like Magic Sword, though, of course, we could mix them up, like, I don't know, Sword of Orcus?

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Half-born elves should be able to mate and produce more elven offspring whereas dead born elves should not be able to mate since they're ability to mate died with their initial bodies.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish View Post
    Half-born elves should be able to mate and produce more elven offspring whereas dead born elves should not be able to mate since they're ability to mate died with their initial bodies.
    Good thought; that could totally be one of the things that the Half-Born point to when explaining their superiority.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    There should be some physical difference between the two subspecies as well with one of them (probably half-born) looking more like fae whilst the others look more like their human side.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish View Post
    There should be some physical difference between the two subspecies as well with one of them (probably half-born) looking more like fae whilst the others look more like their human side.
    Well, if by "human", you meant former race...

    All differences should be fluff-or-appearance based, though; no dramatically separate elf subraces here!

    I just thought of something... HB Elves can be "demoted" if they are killed. Just a thought.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Yeah I was thinking just minor differences. And yeah I meant original race. That would be epic though. I really like this idea, hopefully chainsaw buys off on it.

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    Default Re: Fourth Edition Retro Clone

    Any setting ideas should be put in the comments section of the doc.

    I think that before the full game is released, we should put out a decent sized adventure that contains rules and pre-gen characters, so people can try out the game. Think "Keep on the Shadowfell" for Magic Sword.

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