5e wishlisting : 4e's hits and misses

With the official announcement of 5e I want to bring to the front many of the aspects of 4e that worked (for me) and didn't work (for me) and what I hope to see coming in the future.

edit note: my computer went wonky while typing this and decided to publish this thread  before I was done typing the first sentence. x.x;

So here we go!

Hits


  • Flexible races without stat penalties.

  • More than 1 type of healer.

  • Attempt to normalize power between classes across levels. Also called Attempt to Balance the Everythings.

  • Easy monster stat blocks

  • Easier to run a game than other editions for the DM

  • Character builder / fast character generation. Lets get right into playing

  • System mastery not required to make a good, effective character

  • Simple skills tree / training

  • Themes and backgrounds!!!


Misses



  • Feat tax feats due to poor math in monster design.

  • Classes that use non STR stat for all their melee attacks having to take a feat to make that stat work for MBAs (fixed with essentials classes, but should have been erratta for all previous classes using this mechanic.)

  • Lack of support for some classes compared to others, leading some classes to feel woefully incomplete compared to others (Vampires and Seekers I'm looking at you)

  • Multiple iterations of the same class using different mechanics in different books without compatability between the 2 versions. Pre-essentials / post essentials rogues, fighters, paladins I'm looking at you. Compare to the Barbarian in Fey Wild. which did this much better.

  • Feat bloat - Some feats no longer useful compared to new feats which do the same thing (weapon expertise feat set I'm looking at you) or feats that are just bad in general. (specific examples escape me at this time). Leads to too many choices to go through in order to make a character, choice paralysis.


Other ideas



  • Languages should be able to be learned without taking a feat. Perhaps a bonus based on wis or int so that characters can start with more than 1 language depending on stats / background / theme.

  • Similar idea for skills. Open up actual "you get this skill" instead of you get access to the skill or a bonus in it for your background.


Just some thoughts and some opinions. I hope 5e is better than and more fun than 4e.


I hope.

I_Roll_20s @twitter. Not always SFW. I may prefer 4e, but I will play and enjoy almost any edition, and indeed almost any table top RPG, with my friends. Down with Edition Wars. Shut up and roll your dice. :P
With the official announcement of 5e I want to bring to the front many of the aspects of



Unfortunately hits and misses depend on who you ask.


For example, someone who prefered older editions will harp on the Wizard not being "magical", the game being too balanced, and the like.


Someone who prefered 4e before essentials will probably complain bout anything essentials did differently.


Someone who prefered essentials will probably say 4e "had too many options". 

And then you get the whole debate over whether expertise was a good idea or not.
I actually just had a thought the other day about how it would be interesting if 5E didn't have attack rolls at all. It'll never happen, of course, but I think it'd be a fun thought experiment to design a system where "accuracy" wasn't a factor, or was bundled with the damage roll.

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

With the official announcement of 5e I want to bring to the front many of the aspects of



Unfortunately hits and misses depend on who you ask.


Which is the entire point behind asking a lot of people and generating a discussion.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
first post edited since computer went wonky on me. x.x;
I_Roll_20s @twitter. Not always SFW. I may prefer 4e, but I will play and enjoy almost any edition, and indeed almost any table top RPG, with my friends. Down with Edition Wars. Shut up and roll your dice. :P
5e needs to be fun to DM, and by fun I don't mean easy, but things actually have to have a chance of effecting the characters.  4e is so heavily player-centric that they shouldn't have even bothered giving monsters powers with rider effects.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

Here's what I would like (assuming some of the 4e chasis will still be around).


  • Power Sources are more important. One big list of powers/abilities/whatever that most classes of its type can pull from. Classes from different power sources will be built differently (like the contrast between standard 4e classes, psionic classes, and Essential martial classes).

  • Magical gear is not assumed as part of the inherent game math. As 5e sounds modular in focus, this could be an optional add-on for those who like this aspect of the game.

  • No 'grid-filling' or 'legacy-based inclusions.' There should be a better reason why we have to have two divinely-powered, heavily armored melee warriors who can magically heal others.

  • Fewer interations of the same magic item. 12 versions of one type of alchemical item, with the more expensive versions being slightly better than the last makes me irrate for some reason.

  • Feat have one purpose, and one purpose only. They are in limited supply per character, and should not be the bin in which new concept and patches should be dumped into. The new modular focus should fascilitate this concept.


There's probably more, but all I can think of off-hand.

4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.

In 4th and previous editions you're forced to make a choice between being optimized for combat or actually taking interesting RP feats and powers. The problem is, with death around always around the corner it's difficult to justify a bonus to bluff or the ability to use history instead of arcana over something that makes you more effective in battle. It would be nice if the two sides of the house were completely separate.


A clean way to handle this dilemma is to have two completely distinct “classes.” Combat class like fighter, wizard, etc.., and non-combat classes like face-man, scholar, or thug. A player would choose one of each, with the second list being the home of skills like diplomacy and bluff and knowledge whatever. As long as the non-combat classes never had abilities that could be used effectively inside a battle there would be no need to sacrifice RP choices for combat ones.

I loved the basic premise of 4E, which in my eyes was to make the game more easy to play, more accessible for beginners, and eliminate the rules-bloat that 3.5 had become.

The action cards are brilliant, and eliminate the need to reference the rules so much. Likewise, At-Will/Enounter/Daily powers made it so no one would ever be left with no options at all.

However, that last point is also part of the problem. Resources should be able to be depleted from time to time, and by making everything so uniforn, it homogenized the classes in ways that I didn't care for.

Roles (Striker, Wall, Leader, etc.) almost became straightjackets rather than options, and a lot of character flavor seemed to go away.

...and 4E just seemed a bit too combat-centric to me - where were the action cards for social encounters or other roleplaying opportunities?

I'm looking forward to providing some input and seeing what comes of it.
I actually just had a thought the other day about how it would be interesting if 5E didn't have attack rolls at all. It'll never happen, of course, but I think it'd be a fun thought experiment to design a system where "accuracy" wasn't a factor, or was bundled with the damage roll.



Its a natural implication of the Hitpoint abstraction.(the idea has been around since way back but you know). You could still have damage thresholds governing special hits to regulate  conditions associated with attacks.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I quit playing 4e almost two years ago, switching completely to Pathfinder.  I can tell you exactly the reasons why I left.

First, a non-related complaint:
What happened to these forums?  I swear I've been a member here for over a decade, but logging in for the first time in years, I had to reset things and the like. 

1.  Poor math in design, forcing a feat tax.  House rules had to fix it. 

2.  Monsters and NPCs did not follow the same rules as PCs.  Monsters had an AC based on role, not on actual, measurable statistics.

3.  Magic items and loot didn't make sense.  It was hard to roleplay.  If the monster had a magic item, he'd act like a higher level monster, but if he didn't have it, the PCs could never get treasure.  NPC's seemed to be just as powerful as same level characters without using magic items. 

4.  All the classes seemed to be the same.  Classes were too balanced in their powers.  At the same time, some classes were outright better than others.  Rangers could out strike all the other strikers.  And some powers for specific classes were better than others.  This created a problem.  If you play a dwarven fighter, and then six months later another player plays a dwarven fighter, these two dwarven fighters are probably 75% the same because at certain levels some powers were almost must have.

5.  NOTHING COULD BE PLAYED FROM THE BOOK!  The massive amount of erratta made it impossible to actually use the books.  We got to the point where my group used the character generator for everything.  Everything from feats to powers changed over time. 

6.  Fundamental changes to the game.  This wasn't just a new edition, but an entirely new game.  You had elves, and then you had eladrin.  And all of a sudden you have dragonborn, and goliaths, and shifters.  In 3 ed elves had a poor Con.  In 4th ed half-elves had bonuses to Con.  Didn't make sense.  Worlds that I have enjoyed since the late 80's, like the FR, were completely destroyed.  Spells worked differently.  Characters that transitioned without too much hassle from 2nd to 3rd edition became entirely new entities translated into 4th. 

7.  Poor module writing.  No support products for FR or Eberron or other worlds.  Looking at the 3rd edition version of FR campaign setting, and the 4th edition version.  Ugh!  Half the 4th edition book was a resource for a single starting point for the campaign, complete with adventure.  Waste of space!  This would have been better as a module.  It was a one time use item in a source book that would be constantly referred to by players in a FR campaign.  The H, P, and E modules were a perfect example of awful quest writing.  No NPCs of any note.  Poor background information.  Plots that didn't make sense. 

8.  Limited combat options.  At least in my groups.  If it wasn't a power, it wasn't worth doing.  You didn't have any mechanisms for disarming, tripping, etc that weren't power specific.  Swinging across a room on a chandelier, bullrushing someone off a cliff, etc  Players in my group stuck entirely to their powers and never deviated from using them, often times in the same order, every combat.  And then combat would again degrade into using the same at-will power, turn after turn, which was the entire reason we were given powers in 4th edition in the first place.  And all these at-will powers at some extra stat you had to keep track of, like bonuses to one character, or a penalty to a monster.  Lots of bookkeeping for a game that was supposed to have been simplified.

9.  Multiclassing.  Poorly handled.  Rarely implemented.  And when they came out with the new rules for mixing two classes, there were too many ways to make broken characters by taking advantage of rules loop holes that the developers did not anticipate.

I did enjoy 4th edition while I played it, and to end on a positive, here are things that were good steps in the right direction.

1.  Powers.  I didn't like the way they were implemented, but the idea behind them was fun, and the first several rounds of combat were exciting for all characters.

2.  All classes had a role to play.  I'm not talking about the assigned roles of Defender, etc, which I thought were forced and disallowed a group of four to have the variety they desired (we don't have a defender, so we'll all die, so someone needs to play one, or we don't have a striker, so we'll never do enough damage, etc).  I'm saying that all the classes were viable in all the combats.  Everyone had something to contribute. 

3.  Online support.  Character builder was awesome. 

4.  The release of products to support various builds.  I was worried at first that I wouldn't be able to play the type of rogue I wanted to, or the type of fighter, but additional products released opened up a wide variety of character builds.  And new material came out at a great rate during the first several years of the edition.

5.  Self-healing.  I didn't like that healing always required surges, but I liked that characters could survive endless onslaughts of enemies without needing a cleric, as long as they could make it past the current wave and had a few minutes to rest.

6.  Scaling abilities with level.  I liked the half level mechanic.  Or at least the idea behind it.  Didn't  really work out the way it was supposed to, I think, mathematically.

7.  Daily powers that lasted entire encounters, hit-or-miss.  Or did half damage.

8.  Magic items did a specific static bonus, plus an additional effect.  And they had a level that made it easy for DMs to insert them appropriately into their home written stuff.  And these effects were transferrable via cheap rituals.

9.  Rituals themselves were a neat idea.  Allowed a wizard to prepare certain spells for combat, but have another set of spells for utility.  Didn't like the casting time of rituals (especially ones like Knock or Comprehend Languages) but the idea was sound.

None of this really has any bearing on where I want to see 5 ed go, though.  But that's a subject for another thread.
My personal lists, here.

Things that need to be done: 


  • Combat just chugs slowly in 4e. Whatever they do in 5e, they need to have some options or ideas to keep combat quick, fast, and exciting.

  • Less decision between taking feats for roleplaying, and taking them for utility. Perhaps divide feats into two mechanics, with feats you choose for combat, another set of things you choose primarily for roleplaying that only carry the minorest of statistical bonuses, and never the twain shall meet and have to be chosen from opposite each other.

  • Longer lifespan. It hurts me a little to see 4e thrown by the wayside so soon.

  • Less splitting of the game line, like in Essentials. I respect what Wizards was trying to do, but changing the rules and the classes about mid-edition made the game even more arcane and inaccessable, not less so. Imagine the new player who picked up Heroes of the Lost Kingdoms when it came out, looked it over, and then said, "Well, I kind of want to play a bard."

  • Support ALL released material. Don't push out rules for making a kobold or goblin character and then NEVER support them, and give them ZERO feats. Likewise with certain classes like Vampire - feat choice for the vampire is rediculously slim, and ability choice is even slimmer. 

  • Better character builder updating. Seriously, are Hengeyokai even in there yet? And I had to wait HALF a YEAR for the vampire hybrid option to show up. As a rule, don't release an article for new, non-demoed material until it is supported in the builder.

  • Rather than release the PHB's one after the other, release a collection of them altogether, with supplemental handbooks for the more diverse classes such as Battlemind or Vampire later on. That way we don't have to wait years for a mainstay like the monk, and feel that 5e is any lesser than its counterparts.


Things that were done well:


  • Initial simplicity. Simpler is better. 

  • Themes, somewhat. Needed better balance, but the idea behind them was right. Condense backgrounds into themes.

  • Balance. Admittedly, not spot-on, but I could at least decide to play a fighter and actually be useful in the endgame.

  • Communication. Love it or hate it, we all knew what was going on with 4e and its community all the time. 

  • Rituals, somewhat. Costing a feat to cast them is a little... meh, but they were incredibly worthwhile.

  • Evolving the game. Well, the idea of it, the execution was a little shakey. 

  • DMG1 and 2. Incredibly good advice, incredibly well-written books. I picked up the Book of Vile Darkness hoping for more, and all I got was cheesey villain quotes. So, more DM advice books, please.

  • PHB1 was fantastic. If you're looking at races and classes you HAVE to include at the start of 5e, definitely don't drop anything from PHB1.

  • Power sources. Not enough was done with them, but they were a solid idea that could've had some serious potential. 



Looking back on this, it looks like it's hard for me to give a non-backhand complement. Ah well. For what it's worth, I do enjoy 4e, and honestly wish it was given as much time as 3.5 to grow and breathe.
5e needs to be fun to DM, and by fun I don't mean easy, but things actually have to have a chance of effecting the characters.  4e is so heavily player-centric that they shouldn't have even bothered giving monsters powers with rider effects.

Sounds to me like you are suffering from a "DM-vs-players" mentality.  DMing is not a competition, and you should not derive your fun from beating them up.  The fun of DMing comes from providing reasonable challenges and an interesting story.

That said, if your players are not being affected by your monsters' special stuff AT ALL, you may be doing something wrong.  If, on the other hand, they are using the resources available to them to counter those ill effects ... well, that's exactly what is supposed to be happening.  Congrats!  You've just made your players happy by justifying their character-building decisions.
If your position is that the official rules don't matter, or that house rules can fix everything, please don't bother posting in forums about the official rules. To do so is a waste of everyone's time.
5e needs to be fun to DM, and by fun I don't mean easy, but things actually have to have a chance of effecting the characters.  4e is so heavily player-centric that they shouldn't have even bothered giving monsters powers with rider effects.

Sounds to me like you are suffering from a "DM-vs-players" mentality.  DMing is not a competition, and you should not derive your fun from beating them up.  The fun of DMing comes from providing reasonable challenges and an interesting story.

That said, if your players are not being affected by your monsters' special stuff AT ALL, you may be doing something wrong.  If, on the other hand, they are using the resources available to them to counter those ill effects ... well, that's exactly what is supposed to be happening.  Congrats!  You've just made your players happy by justifying their character-building decisions.



No, I'm not.  I just think 4e isn't challenging in the least.  It's like if I put together an adult hockey team and we only played 6 year olds.  We would always win, but it wouldn't be very much fun.  For success to be meaningful there has to be a real chance of failure which 4e lacks.  It can seem tough at times, but the cards are stacked.  Success becomes meaningless.

Fun for me is seeing how players use their heads, not the inate math of the game to overcome challenges.  When they don't have to think and the math works out so they succeed anyway that is not fun for me, and ultimately it isn't fun for me when I am on the other side of the screen either.

4e had a mentality that anything at all that challeneges the player is bad for the fun of the game.  I couldn't disagree more, or more vehemently.      

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.


A clean way to handle this dilemma is to have two completely distinct “classes.” Combat class like fighter, wizard, etc.., and non-combat classes like face-man, scholar, or thug. A player would choose one of each, with the second list being the home of skills like diplomacy and bluff and knowledge whatever. As long as the non-combat classes never had abilities that could be used effectively inside a battle there would be no need to sacrifice RP choices for combat ones.



I kinda like this idea, actually.
5e needs to be fun to DM, and by fun I don't mean easy, but things actually have to have a chance of effecting the characters.  4e is so heavily player-centric that they shouldn't have even bothered giving monsters powers with rider effects.

Sounds to me like you are suffering from a "DM-vs-players" mentality.  DMing is not a competition, and you should not derive your fun from beating them up.  The fun of DMing comes from providing reasonable challenges and an interesting story.

That said, if your players are not being affected by your monsters' special stuff AT ALL, you may be doing something wrong.  If, on the other hand, they are using the resources available to them to counter those ill effects ... well, that's exactly what is supposed to be happening.  Congrats!  You've just made your players happy by justifying their character-building decisions.



No, I'm not.  I just think 4e isn't challenging in the least.  It's like if I put together an adult hockey team and we only played 6 year olds.  We would always win, but it wouldn't be very much fun.  For success to be meaningful there has to be a real chance of failure which 4e lacks.  It can seem tough at times, but the cards are stacked.  Success becomes meaningless.

Fun for me is seeing how players use their heads, not the inate math of the game to overcome challenges.  When they don't have to think and the math works out so they succeed anyway that is not fun for me, and ultimately it isn't fun for me when I am on the other side of the screen either.

4e had a mentality that anything at all that challeneges the player is bad for the fun of the game.  I couldn't disagree more, or more vehemently.      



I agree. The risk\reward scale has been diminished, which is a shame. I have epic tales of previous editions of triumph in the face of all, very deadly, odds. I find I have very few epic tales with this ed. Too easy to bring back the dead. Personally... make death permanent, then you might get the players thinking with their heads and not their power cards.
With the official announcement of 5e I want to bring to the front many of the aspects of 4e that worked (for me) and didn't work (for me) and what I hope to see coming in the future.

edit note: my computer went wonky while typing this and decided to publish this thread  before I was done typing the first sentence. x.x;

So here we go!

Hits


  • Flexible races without stat penalties.

  • More than 1 type of healer.

  • Attempt to normalize power between classes across levels. Also called Attempt to Balance the Everythings.

  • Easy monster stat blocks

  • Easier to run a game than other editions for the DM

  • Character builder / fast character generation. Lets get right into playing

  • System mastery not required to make a good, effective character

  • Simple skills tree / training

  • Themes and backgrounds!!!


Misses



  • Feat tax feats due to poor math in monster design.

  • Classes that use non STR stat for all their melee attacks having to take a feat to make that stat work for MBAs (fixed with essentials classes, but should have been erratta for all previous classes using this mechanic.)

  • Lack of support for some classes compared to others, leading some classes to feel woefully incomplete compared to others (Vampires and Seekers I'm looking at you)

  • Multiple iterations of the same class using different mechanics in different books without compatability between the 2 versions. Pre-essentials / post essentials rogues, fighters, paladins I'm looking at you. Compare to the Barbarian in Fey Wild. which did this much better.

  • Feat bloat - Some feats no longer useful compared to new feats which do the same thing (weapon expertise feat set I'm looking at you) or feats that are just bad in general. (specific examples escape me at this time). Leads to too many choices to go through in order to make a character, choice paralysis.


Other ideas



  • Languages should be able to be learned without taking a feat. Perhaps a bonus based on wis or int so that characters can start with more than 1 language depending on stats / background / theme.

  • Similar idea for skills. Open up actual "you get this skill" instead of you get access to the skill or a bonus in it for your background.


Just some thoughts and some opinions. I hope 5e is better than and more fun than 4e.


I hope.


IMHO feats should simply not have anything to do with combat. They should be a pure character customization resource. Even if that doesn't get rid of bloat in the sense of being few feats it does mean nobody needs to wade through them all to make a PC, and you can just pick and choose feats that relate to how you want to RP your character. Given that, things like feats being used for skill training and languages and such are not really an issue. That's what they're supposed to be for and you aren't being rooked on combat effectiveness when you use them for that.

There should be only a few power lists. One main list per 'source' (however this is going to be termed in 5e, maybe they're 'base classes', whatever). This simplifies and makes much more maintainable the whole design of the game. It removes the other major point of bloat. The whole game really should boil down to no more than a few 100 powers. I'd have scaling powers, which cuts down the numbers further, and keep each list tightly focused. There can be various ways to pull in parts of different lists for a given PC, so you can make a 'swordmage' or a 'paladin' by combining elements from different lists. MANY powers could also be e-style "add some sauce to this attack" style powers. This would facilitate cross-source characters as well, since a paladin or swordmage could use a melee attack and drop some divine or arcane 'sauce' on top of it.

Making builds can be much easier too, with each character being able to pick up some sort of 'package' of things that are geared towards giving you a specific flavor. In 4e you need to select something like 6 different feats, at least, to implement "Big bad axe wielding guy". That should be a single choice you make once (it can have say some power swaps associated with it to let you tweak it and combine with other things in various ways so you can use it in a bunch of ways).
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Back to the Great Wheel please, that's all I am asking
5e needs to be fun to DM, and by fun I don't mean easy, but things actually have to have a chance of effecting the characters.  4e is so heavily player-centric that they shouldn't have even bothered giving monsters powers with rider effects.

Sounds to me like you are suffering from a "DM-vs-players" mentality.  DMing is not a competition, and you should not derive your fun from beating them up.  The fun of DMing comes from providing reasonable challenges and an interesting story.

That said, if your players are not being affected by your monsters' special stuff AT ALL, you may be doing something wrong.  If, on the other hand, they are using the resources available to them to counter those ill effects ... well, that's exactly what is supposed to be happening.  Congrats!  You've just made your players happy by justifying their character-building decisions.



No, I'm not.  I just think 4e isn't challenging in the least.  It's like if I put together an adult hockey team and we only played 6 year olds.  We would always win, but it wouldn't be very much fun.  For success to be meaningful there has to be a real chance of failure which 4e lacks.  It can seem tough at times, but the cards are stacked.  Success becomes meaningless.

Fun for me is seeing how players use their heads, not the inate math of the game to overcome challenges.  When they don't have to think and the math works out so they succeed anyway that is not fun for me, and ultimately it isn't fun for me when I am on the other side of the screen either.

4e had a mentality that anything at all that challeneges the player is bad for the fun of the game.  I couldn't disagree more, or more vehemently.      

I didn't get THAT out of 4e at all. Heck, my adventures are TOUGH and there's no assurance of victory. What DID happen with 4e is that OOTB there was a very strong strain of "you've got all the tools to succeed" and there was a real lack of emphasis on both strategic planning and 'plot elements' that factor into the challenge. You can do both quite effectively but it just wasn't the default or really emphasized. Tactics were given center place and a lot of the tactics devolved down to "combine these 3 character resources and something awesome happens" which lead to a lot of player mental bandwidth being dedicated to searching for more clever tricks in the character building options vs in-game problem solving. I think making build options less 'fiddly' and more direct, so you don't spend your brainpower on figuring out which 5 feats and 3 powers combine to make you awesome and instead spend that time on figuring out what plan you can put together to beat the big bad dragon before you go tangle with him. Presentation is the other half of that. The DMGs and PHB should focus more on how plot elements get used within the story and how the story should drive the action to a greater degree. Players should get more emphasis on powers being just the beginning of the story and that going outside the character sheet is a necessary aspect of good play.

I think doing this correctly, even without any substantial mechanical changes to the game rules themselves, would give the game a much more old-school flavor.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Back to the Great Wheel please, that's all I am asking

I personally thought the World Axis has been a really nice and successful aspect of 4e's fluff. I call it a positive. GW was too rigid. Of course it is fine if there's a more in-depth presentation of how GW concepts can map into WA concepts. There's plenty of old fluff that was good that can be brought back without needing to go backwards there. Of course if enough people want a GW supplement, go for it. I know it wouldn't likely be my cup of tea though.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
my list of hits:
class builds( ie bladesinger)
swordmage

no racial or alignment deal on paladin other than the onestep deal from deity.

the classes were somewhat interesting though a bit confusing to look at


the majority of the paragon paths did not suck( champion of corellon larethian for example)


the epic destinies were decent


drow had racial write up in a players book.
encounter abilities

utilitie abilities 


miss

they really should have gotten rid of the dalies and instead make them useable twice a day. vancian spellsystem sucks and anything that reminds of it needs to go.

the point buy sucks as the main character deal, stat arrays are not much better   

I could go on, but it's going to require thought and I'm supposed to be doing my laundry
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....

A clean way to handle this dilemma is to have two completely distinct “classes.” Combat class like fighter, wizard, etc.., and non-combat classes like face-man, scholar, or thug. A player would choose one of each, with the second list being the home of skills like diplomacy and bluff and knowledge whatever. As long as the non-combat classes never had abilities that could be used effectively inside a battle there would be no need to sacrifice RP choices for combat ones.



I kinda like this idea, actually.



maybe turn the themes/background into the out of combat side of the chracter for the lower levels ( heroic tier if there would still be tiers)
as this tells part of the story where / how your character was raised.

i also liked the signs of influence introduced with the skald as bard optional rule.
maybe gain 3 benefits simular to those during the 2nd tier.
the players are becoming well known in the comunities they often visit.

Epic would have things based on your epic desteny ( if they still exist)
sombody folowing the dimigod epic desteny might get worshippers.



 

A clean way to handle this dilemma is to have two completely distinct “classes.” Combat class like fighter, wizard, etc.., and non-combat classes like face-man, scholar, or thug. A player would choose one of each, with the second list being the home of skills like diplomacy and bluff and knowledge whatever. As long as the non-combat classes never had abilities that could be used effectively inside a battle there would be no need to sacrifice RP choices for combat ones.



I kinda like this idea, actually.


Seconded. It reminds me of the D20 Modern classes, which I liked from a design aesthetic standpoint.

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

I didn't get THAT out of 4e at all. Heck, my adventures are TOUGH and there's no assurance of victory. What DID happen with 4e is that OOTB there was a very strong strain of "you've got all the tools to succeed" and there was a real lack of emphasis on both strategic planning and 'plot elements' that factor into the challenge. You can do both quite effectively but it just wasn't the default or really emphasized. Tactics were given center place and a lot of the tactics devolved down to "combine these 3 character resources and something awesome happens" which lead to a lot of player mental bandwidth being dedicated to searching for more clever tricks in the character building options vs in-game problem solving. I think making build options less 'fiddly' and more direct, so you don't spend your brainpower on figuring out which 5 feats and 3 powers combine to make you awesome and instead spend that time on figuring out what plan you can put together to beat the big bad dragon before you go tangle with him. Presentation is the other half of that. The DMGs and PHB should focus more on how plot elements get used within the story and how the story should drive the action to a greater degree. Players should get more emphasis on powers being just the beginning of the story and that going outside the character sheet is a necessary aspect of good play.

I think doing this correctly, even without any substantial mechanical changes to the game rules themselves, would give the game a much more old-school flavor.



If you follow the guidelines in the rules your adventures have the illusion of being tough, but everyone at the table knows the outcome.  I want both sides of the screen to be balanced in all areas.  If players can take monsters out of a fight by locking them down, then I should be able to put in the same effort and achieve the same results.  How I want the players (and characters) to achieve success against me (and my monsters, traps and terrain) is to think their way out, not be able to rely on the math to see them through.  I think of encounter design as creating a puzzle for the players to solve.  If the rules of the game allow them to solve it without any effort then I am not having fun.  4e was all about making sure the players were having fun, and ignored wether or not the DM was having any fun.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

Utility Feats.

It did wonders for powers, add it for feats.  Separate them into two categories, combat feats and utility feats.  Give us lots of feats.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
something else and this was a 4e miss.



making everything core. I am not sure what they were thinking when they said it... but..


if you are going to do this again, and say 4e's underdark book for an example.

the deity listed there torag or something doesnt exist in the realms or in greyhawk or even Dark Sun
.
for a 5e underark book and others like it consider this:


don't list deities in it or add its creation myth of the underdark.

desriptions of underdark, levels of underdarkadd encounters, areas of note , hazards and a short monsterdescription list with it, sttats included and myths of underdark( ie connections to shadowplane and shadowdark).

also listing infamous cities of the underdark like menzoborean, ched nessad, and the vault of the drow and a short description on them would do fine.( reall it allows for a book or article to expand on it later)
  

being that even players will buy the book too, the addition of a character's background options would not really hurt either.






and as for deities.
my biggest gripe about them, is that I see how to fit deity XYZ into another gaming world.

I really dont wish to see these threads again. so for the phb or whereever you have a deity list in the main 3( that bieing the dmg,phb and mm) for characters, instead of listing deities in the core 3 world have it say "sample deities "  and also state that the settings within dnd have tehir own deities.                               
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
This is a cool idea - one roll determining both hit or miss and damage.  Why should a super to hit roll roll result in low damage with a second roll of the dice and a roll that barely hits get lucky on role #2 and get high damage?  One roll determines if there is a hit and how critical it was.  Interesting.

I actually just had a thought the other day about how it would be interesting if 5E didn't have attack rolls at all. It'll never happen, of course, but I think it'd be a fun thought experiment to design a system where "accuracy" wasn't a factor, or was bundled with the damage roll.



Ha I've been waiting for one of these posts a long time, and didn't want to start one of my own.

Anyway following the default format

Things D&D needs to be D&D to me

Fantasy

Classes & levels

Strong emphasis on adventuring

Things that are mostly right (at least to me with the changes that I would like to see)

1. Power system - I would keep this but I would probably have a lot more overlap in terms of the powers, and allow them to scale.  Basically reduce the amount of redundant powers all across the spectrum.
      1a.  Daily attacks - I would drop but encounter powers and at wills will gain extra abilities when you spend an action point.  A random example cleave (martial at will) When you spend an action point you can hit an additional enemy adjacent to you.  

2. Roles - Same roles, but I would also go so far as to give powers roles too.  So for instance a fighter when he selects a power could choose say Shield Block a defender power and big slam a controller power.
     2a.  Classes would still have roles but you can decide if you want to specilize in them or spread out so if you go fighter you could select from common archtypes like sword and shield (defender), two-weapon (striker), etc.  Some of these would be shared across classes, so Rogue would also get two-weapon.  Archtypes would have a tree that makes you better at what you do, but you would not have to follow it.

3. Power Sources - Although I would reduce these down to two Martial (being well trained or tough) and Mystic (all things magical) they would also have a little more effect determing what powers you get and effect action points.

5.  Themes and Backgrounds - Nothing that I would really change here

6. Classes Abilities - I would give each class an ability that would mark them as that class for instance rogue would still get sneak attack, but other abilities would come from your archtype.  So each class will get an explanation of its chief ability and then point you to some archtypes.

7. Action points - You start off with one after you take an extended rest, and after every encounter (combat or social) you will get another, which go back to one when you take a full rest.
     7a.  Actions points can be spent to add damage (Martial d8, Mystical 2d4) or add an effect to a power etc.

8. Rests and Healing Surges

9. Skills - I like the basic set up.  Only thing I would change is drop dungeonering and replace it with science (not like our world science but fantasy science).  Also more skills would have over laps for instance both athletics and acrobatics could be used for jump.

10. Skill Challenges - These just need some work, I would like to turn it more into a group effort where you as a group try to come to a decision on what to do, then everyone roles that skill.

Things that need massive overhauls.

1.  Attacks - Either tie in the bonus to level or make all the classes attacks go off one ability score (I actually prefer level) same with damage.  Make bonuses to attacks and damage from tacticle choices (flanking, class abilities and powers) not from magical weapons and feats.

2. Feats - I actually like Abdul's idea take them out of the whole combat realm.

3. Class skills - Drop the idea entirely let a character either select for skills at creation (with maybe one skill from class for instance rogues can choose from thievery or stealth) or use OUcrew's idea (which I think was Wrecane orginally but maybe not).

4. Ability Scores - Drop the whole 8 to 18 thing just go with bonuses of 0 to +8 or something (I think there should be a cap but I'm not certain what it should be).

Alright that is all I can think of now. 
I didn't get THAT out of 4e at all. Heck, my adventures are TOUGH and there's no assurance of victory. What DID happen with 4e is that OOTB there was a very strong strain of "you've got all the tools to succeed" and there was a real lack of emphasis on both strategic planning and 'plot elements' that factor into the challenge. You can do both quite effectively but it just wasn't the default or really emphasized. Tactics were given center place and a lot of the tactics devolved down to "combine these 3 character resources and something awesome happens" which lead to a lot of player mental bandwidth being dedicated to searching for more clever tricks in the character building options vs in-game problem solving. I think making build options less 'fiddly' and more direct, so you don't spend your brainpower on figuring out which 5 feats and 3 powers combine to make you awesome and instead spend that time on figuring out what plan you can put together to beat the big bad dragon before you go tangle with him. Presentation is the other half of that. The DMGs and PHB should focus more on how plot elements get used within the story and how the story should drive the action to a greater degree. Players should get more emphasis on powers being just the beginning of the story and that going outside the character sheet is a necessary aspect of good play.

I think doing this correctly, even without any substantial mechanical changes to the game rules themselves, would give the game a much more old-school flavor.



If you follow the guidelines in the rules your adventures have the illusion of being tough, but everyone at the table knows the outcome.  I want both sides of the screen to be balanced in all areas.  If players can take monsters out of a fight by locking them down, then I should be able to put in the same effort and achieve the same results.  How I want the players (and characters) to achieve success against me (and my monsters, traps and terrain) is to think their way out, not be able to rely on the math to see them through.  I think of encounter design as creating a puzzle for the players to solve.  If the rules of the game allow them to solve it without any effort then I am not having fun.  4e was all about making sure the players were having fun, and ignored wether or not the DM was having any fun.



I also disagree, my players leave many fights feeling like they just barely won.  That is with me following the guidelines to, not an illusion.
Ditto!


A clean way to handle this dilemma is to have two completely distinct “classes.” Combat class like fighter, wizard, etc.., and non-combat classes like face-man, scholar, or thug. A player would choose one of each, with the second list being the home of skills like diplomacy and bluff and knowledge whatever. As long as the non-combat classes never had abilities that could be used effectively inside a battle there would be no need to sacrifice RP choices for combat ones.



I kinda like this idea, actually.



I didn't get THAT out of 4e at all. Heck, my adventures are TOUGH and there's no assurance of victory. What DID happen with 4e is that OOTB there was a very strong strain of "you've got all the tools to succeed" and there was a real lack of emphasis on both strategic planning and 'plot elements' that factor into the challenge. You can do both quite effectively but it just wasn't the default or really emphasized. Tactics were given center place and a lot of the tactics devolved down to "combine these 3 character resources and something awesome happens" which lead to a lot of player mental bandwidth being dedicated to searching for more clever tricks in the character building options vs in-game problem solving. I think making build options less 'fiddly' and more direct, so you don't spend your brainpower on figuring out which 5 feats and 3 powers combine to make you awesome and instead spend that time on figuring out what plan you can put together to beat the big bad dragon before you go tangle with him. Presentation is the other half of that. The DMGs and PHB should focus more on how plot elements get used within the story and how the story should drive the action to a greater degree. Players should get more emphasis on powers being just the beginning of the story and that going outside the character sheet is a necessary aspect of good play.

I think doing this correctly, even without any substantial mechanical changes to the game rules themselves, would give the game a much more old-school flavor.



If you follow the guidelines in the rules your adventures have the illusion of being tough, but everyone at the table knows the outcome.  I want both sides of the screen to be balanced in all areas.  If players can take monsters out of a fight by locking them down, then I should be able to put in the same effort and achieve the same results.  How I want the players (and characters) to achieve success against me (and my monsters, traps and terrain) is to think their way out, not be able to rely on the math to see them through.  I think of encounter design as creating a puzzle for the players to solve.  If the rules of the game allow them to solve it without any effort then I am not having fun.  4e was all about making sure the players were having fun, and ignored wether or not the DM was having any fun.

I think that was both not the intent and need not be true with 4e. I think the issue is that people have focused on monsters by themselves for so long as the primary vehicle of challenge that they've kind of forgotten about everything else. 4e presented the other options, but didn't really give them a lot of visibility.

I mean if you want to lock down a PC there are infinite options. Give your monster a lockdown power. Create a tactical situation in which the PC can't get where they want to go or do what they need to do without some forethought. Make a trap that does what you want, etc. The game is open-ended, but I think DMs have a hard time remembering that. It can be blamed partly on presentation I guess.

Honestly I have great fun with 4e, but my fun primarily revolves around making "oh wow" elements that go into my campaign. There just isn't that much focus in my style on the tactical playing out of beat down fights.

For instance I'm working on an adventure now. First there's an ambush (this is after some RP that sets up the basics of the adventure and sets it in motion). The ambush sets up a reveal of what the real situation is, followed by the PCs needing to gather more information and figure out what's going on. That leads to making contact with an information source that also provides some new goals, plus a couple minor skirmishes that will make the players think about resource management and help set up the full situation. From there the PCs will have to make contact with a major ally and/or gather some resources, make a quick entry into a guarded area (another short fight). After that they've got to negotiate through a 'lifeboat' situation dealing with a bunch of panicky people, suspicions, treachery, etc. Once they deal with that (or if they go in a different direction, they could approach the whole thing differently) then they run into a clever tactical situation, a roller coaster ride type scene riding logs down a log flume while fighting, and then getting into the big bad's HQ with a "Perils of Pauline" type damsel in distress thing, some big cinematics, the daring escape (another 'roller coaster' type sequence), and a final plot twist. After that the adventure could continue into another "bring the fight to the enemy and end the threat forever" follow on, but we'll see how the first part evolves before I nail that down. Note, ALL of this is all a sort of a slippery slope kind of setup. There are some 'recharge points' that I'll throw in, but there's NO extended rest anywhere in the whole thing. All but a couple of the individual encounters aren't SUPER tough, but the whole adventure will go badly if the players aren't clever with their resources, and I assume there's a reasonable chance of a TPK and a rather good chance of an ignominious retreat or partial victory.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Ditto!


A clean way to handle this dilemma is to have two completely distinct “classes.” Combat class like fighter, wizard, etc.., and non-combat classes like face-man, scholar, or thug. A player would choose one of each, with the second list being the home of skills like diplomacy and bluff and knowledge whatever. As long as the non-combat classes never had abilities that could be used effectively inside a battle there would be no need to sacrifice RP choices for combat ones.



I kinda like this idea, actually.






There have been discussion about non-combat roles or approaches or whatever
ie the underlying capabilities for the "classes" you are talking about so yeh me too.

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I also disagree, my players leave many fights feeling like they just barely won.  That is with me following the guidelines to, not an illusion.



Then you must have some players who don't build optimized characters (for whatever reason).  That's cool.  I am very anti char-op.  My players build pretty optimized characters.  They never spend more than a round bloodied (as long as I am following the guidelines).  In my last campaign, no one ever died, and over the course of the entire campaign I might have had a character in death saves twice.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

This is a cool idea - one roll determining both hit or miss and damage.  Why should a super to hit roll roll result in low damage with a second roll of the dice and a roll that barely hits get lucky on role #2 and get high damage?  One roll determines if there is a hit and how critical it was.  Interesting.

I actually just had a thought the other day about how it would be interesting if 5E didn't have attack rolls at all. It'll never happen, of course, but I think it'd be a fun thought experiment to design a system where "accuracy" wasn't a factor, or was bundled with the damage roll.






simplest system for somthing like that would be a carry over system.
simplest version of this would be to add th amount by witch you beat a defence to the damage.
and to make a system like that quicker weapons and powers would do a static number of damage and al damage bonyses would be static numbers 

example:
long sword does 5 damage + 4 bonus damage from ablitty score + 2 bonus damage from feat bonus + 2 damage bonus from magic.
total damage 13

you make a attack roll vs targets AC
with your roll and it's bonuses you get 25
the creature had AC 20

13 base damage + 5 carry over is 18 damage.

if you would hit ac 29 against the same ac 20 creature
13 base damage + 9 carry over is 22 damage.
 

I also disagree, my players leave many fights feeling like they just barely won.  That is with me following the guidelines to, not an illusion.



When was the last time they lost? (had to flee/were captured/died)
"I am the seeker, I am the stalker, I am the walrus"
I also disagree, my players leave many fights feeling like they just barely won.  That is with me following the guidelines to, not an illusion.



Then you must have some players who don't build optimized characters (for whatever reason).  That's cool.  I am very anti char-op.  My players build pretty optimized characters.  They never spend more than a round bloodied (as long as I am following the guidelines).  In my last campaign, no one ever died, and over the course of the entire campaign I might have had a character in death saves twice.



Your right they don't, so the problem isn't so much the system in your case but the players.  The downside is that it is easier for players to optimize then DMs because of the resources available (this website).  This is always a problem even in 1st ed I'm certain it existed (although due to there being less choice in making your character probably nowhere near as bad).   
Hello everyone,


I am one of those 4e haters, not because 4e just sucks, but because I believed that 4e was going in a direction that was not for me.


Having said that, I don't mean that 4e didn't take some good steps in the right direction, but it also took many steps in the wrong one. More specifically:


1. Monsters: The good is the general structure of monster entries, no more we have to look in a dozen manuals to find all of a monster's abilities, but they are all there, easy to find in the critter's entry.   


The Bad: Monsters have far too many HP, killing them becomes boring as hell! Also, encounters have been designed for 5-people teams, which is pretty bad for all other types of teams. The truth is that creatures in real life are designed to be hunted down by teams of 5, and designing monsters whith that philisophy in mind makes the game much less believable.



2.  Powers: The bad:   I always here the complaint that pre-4e warriors had just one type of attack. That excuse is so indicative of someone that has the imagineation of a pigeon and that plays only for combat that I shouldn't even discuss it. In fact pre-4e  I always had a lot of fun just with the 1-attack. You know why? Because I used a little magical thing that is completely essential to play pen and paper RPGs and it's called....wait for it.....IMAGINATION!!!



3. Classes:  The bad: Using  a point'n'click MMO like WoW to design DnD completely throws out of the window character development freedom. Especially when using the Holy Trinity and when designing games around 5-players party.


The Solution:   Make classes without and "role" attached to it. You are a wizard and you want to play a defender-type character? Memorize specifi spells that allow you to fill that role. Wanna switch the next day? Have spells that allow you to be one or a hybrid of different roles, as YOU see fit. The same could be done with other classes, but with different ways.

PS: Don't tell me 4e has multi-classes and hybrid stuff, 'cause this has nothing to do with it.



4. Combat: The bad: Overcomplexity. You push this enemy here one square until the start of his turn, you pull that two squares until the end of your turn, you slide that other one that way until the end of his turn, and you move there until the end of your enemy's turn, but only as long as you stay within two squares of the aura of player X.    


Would'n it better the not use so many miniatures to play the game, but instead use what we really is necessary in this game....IMAGINATION?



5. Magical Items: The Bad: Magical Items. Why? Because we were promised that they wouldn't be necessary, and yet they are and are used like mass produced objects. What we need is magic items with character and story, and not yet another +1 dagger.


Solution 1: Use only Artefacts/Relics that scale in power as you do (A bit like Weapons of Legacy in 3.5)     

Solution 2: Make magic items OPTIONAL. Monte Cook did something wonderful called Iron Heroes (3.5e). Look at that. 


6. Magic & Psionics: These must have their own mechanics and not the standard combat mechanics. Among the best Psionics I've seen were made in 3.5e by Bruce Cordell. But, magic hasn't been done right yet. It should offer loads of freedom (that was lost in 4e) like flying, teleports, plane shifts, provide role-playing opportunities but not be uber-powerful.


Also, I think spells should scale with level, and not be set aside because a new spell is available at level 17. Let a fire bolt grow into a meteor swarm, level by level, gaining more damage, more area of effect etc (with the player gaining the ability to make his spells grow depending on how he needs them to grow) and so should psionics.


7 Artwork: The Bad: Kiddie Artwork. As a child and teenager I wanted gore, not my-little-pony style stuff. I played with Masters of the Universe where my enemies were decapitated with loads of blood, not with smiles and rainbows.  Now I want mature (not excessive nudity and unecessary violence) and COOL artwork. 

8: Last but not least: Mont3 Cook!! Finally He's back!!    
      
   
IMAGE(http://www.forum-signatures.com/wizard/Sigs/2010/final1329876348159.jpg)

I also disagree, my players leave many fights feeling like they just barely won.  That is with me following the guidelines to, not an illusion.



When was the last time they lost? (had to flee/were captured/died)




Would of been the in the second to last fight they had but I actually ended up holding back, so they wouldn't have to.  Basically they were down to the brass tacks (no healing & no surges) the defender was in a postion to go down, so  I shortened one of the monsters hitpoints.
I mean if you want to lock down a PC there are infinite options. Give your monster a lockdown power. Create a tactical situation in which the PC can't get where they want to go or do what they need to do without some forethought. Make a trap that does what you want, etc. The game is open-ended, but I think DMs have a hard time remembering that. It can be blamed partly on presentation I guess.



IME players will do whatever it takes to optimize so they can't be locked dow...or not for long.  Because the DM guidelines for monsters are more art than science (as opposed to 3e monsters), if I hand wave a power for monsters to avoid the same lockdowns it is easy to be accused of invalidating player choices.  If everything is balanced on both sides of the screen those complaints become meaningless. 

For instance I'm working on an adventure now. First there's an ambush...



This is a fairly good example of what I am talking about.  How do you achieve an ambush?  I have never seen a 4e wizard who can't beat moderate, level appropriate DCs with passive perception.  Now you can make the DC hard (your NPCs/Monsters are that good, really?), or hand wave the surprise, but IME that causes too much grumbling.

4e takes away DM options (without explicitly trying to) by imbalancing the player/DM equation.  I just think it needs to be rebalanced. 

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

I also disagree, my players leave many fights feeling like they just barely won.  That is with me following the guidelines to, not an illusion.



Then you must have some players who don't build optimized characters (for whatever reason).  That's cool.  I am very anti char-op.  My players build pretty optimized characters.  They never spend more than a round bloodied (as long as I am following the guidelines).  In my last campaign, no one ever died, and over the course of the entire campaign I might have had a character in death saves twice.



Your right they don't, so the problem isn't so much the system in your case but the players.  The downside is that it is easier for players to optimize then DMs because of the resources available (this website).  This is always a problem even in 1st ed I'm certain it existed (although due to there being less choice in making your character probably nowhere near as bad).   



No.  You've got it all wrong.  The system should balance the player/DM equation.  Then if the players want to game the system, so can I.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

I also disagree, my players leave many fights feeling like they just barely won.  That is with me following the guidelines to, not an illusion.



Then you must have some players who don't build optimized characters (for whatever reason).  That's cool.  I am very anti char-op.  My players build pretty optimized characters.  They never spend more than a round bloodied (as long as I am following the guidelines).  In my last campaign, no one ever died, and over the course of the entire campaign I might have had a character in death saves twice.



Your right they don't, so the problem isn't so much the system in your case but the players.  The downside is that it is easier for players to optimize then DMs because of the resources available (this website).  This is always a problem even in 1st ed I'm certain it existed (although due to there being less choice in making your character probably nowhere near as bad).   



we did experiance this too, but personaly i think it is part of the DM task to compensateto this.
usualy level +4 encounter is seen as hard we had a team that had no problem with that.

so the Dm shifted the table so level +6 encounter would reward the Xp a level +4 encounter used to do.