Legends and Lore - Charting the Course for D&D: Your Voice, Your Game

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Well said, Tony.
Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
My main conceit was that through the oddities and quirks of 1E, many of us learned "what D&D is" based on the game that it became as we tried to make it actually work for us.  Perhaps the essence of D&D isn't AC, or HP, or THAC0 or Beholders (although each has its place in its history). Perhaps the essence of D&D is that it needs to be broken up, beaten, molded by each of us to make it our own. Perhaps, in the quest for better and more complete and more balanced rules, (all noble pursuits), we got away from that idea that the system isn't supposed to be perfect or complete, lest we feel no need to personalize it.  Perhaps that's why so many people said 4E was excellent but somehow "off".

Sure, maybe D&D is this unique and special case where everything that makes other games good makes it bad, and everything that makes other games bad makes it good.

Or, maybe, just maybe, a bunch of geeks are getting loaded on nostalgia and rationalizing their preference for inferior prior versions of a game, because they can't handle the idea that they enjoyed the game more when it wasn't as good.

But, games in general weren't quite as good back then. And we were younger, and easier to impress.

There is no shame in being nostalgic for a sucky game, no need to rationalize that nostalgia by somehow making up reasons that bad is good - and absolutely no need to get in the way of the hobby's continued evolution.


Nostalgia is part of the human condition, and you see this sort of thing everywhere.  When solid state hi-fi stereo came out, there were officianados who /swore/ the sibilant hiss of vaccum-tube-based predecessors improved their listening enjoyment.  When CDs delivered superior sound, there were those who insisted the mushier sound of analog was somehow sublime.  When CGI came on the scene, fans of stop-motion animation decried it's 'blurriness' and lack of artistry, because it looked more realistic (with a phenomenon known as 'motion blur' vs stop-motion 'strobing').  Anything that people form an affection for when they're young and gets improved upon later is somehow eulogized, even as younger (or simply more rational) people embrace the improvements.


Ironically, this has even happened with D&D before.  AD&D went 20 years and 2 editions without ever reaching the quality standards of other 80s games, because TSR was just afraid to rock the boat.  When 3e finally did bring the game into the 80s (early 90s, even), there was some virulent rejection and some moving on, and it ultimately worked - mainly because the AD&D die-hards had nothing to work with.  This time they did, and the result is the abandonment of the first version of D&D to come close to catching up with the times. 

It's sad for D&D, and a sad comment on the folks making it happen, but D&D is just the part of our hobby most visible to the mainstream, the rest marches on, leaving D&D eating dust in it's long-accustomed reregaurd position.


Wow, that's an awfully biased point of view. 

Just sayin'
Come join Team Apathy! or not whatever shrug.gif
 
Yo! tm  afro.gif

 
My main conceit was that through the oddities and quirks of 1E, many of us learned "what D&D is" based on the game that it became as we tried to make it actually work for us.  Perhaps the essence of D&D isn't AC, or HP, or THAC0 or Beholders (although each has its place in its history). Perhaps the essence of D&D is that it needs to be broken up, beaten, molded by each of us to make it our own. Perhaps, in the quest for better and more complete and more balanced rules, (all noble pursuits), we got away from that idea that the system isn't supposed to be perfect or complete, lest we feel no need to personalize it.  Perhaps that's why so many people said 4E was excellent but somehow "off".

Sure, maybe D&D is this unique and special case where everything that makes other games good makes it bad, and everything that makes other games bad makes it good.

Or, maybe, just maybe, a bunch of geeks are getting loaded on nostalgia and rationalizing their preference for inferior prior versions of a game, because they can't handle the idea that they enjoyed the game more when it wasn't as good.

But, games in general weren't quite as good back then. And we were younger, and easier to impress.

There is no shame in being nostalgic for a sucky game, no need to rationalize that nostalgia by somehow making up reasons that bad is good - and absolutely no need to get in the way of the hobby's continued evolution.


Nostalgia is part of the human condition, and you see this sort of thing everywhere.  When solid state hi-fi stereo came out, there were officianados who /swore/ the sibilant hiss of vaccum-tube-based predecessors improved their listening enjoyment.  When CDs delivered superior sound, there were those who insisted the mushier sound of analog was somehow sublime.  When CGI came on the scene, fans of stop-motion animation decried it's 'blurriness' and lack of artistry, because it looked more realistic (with a phenomenon known as 'motion blur' vs stop-motion 'strobing').  Anything that people form an affection for when they're young and gets improved upon later is somehow eulogized, even as younger (or simply more rational) people embrace the improvements.


Ironically, this has even happened with D&D before.  AD&D went 20 years and 2 editions without ever reaching the quality standards of other 80s games, because TSR was just afraid to rock the boat.  When 3e finally did bring the game into the 80s (early 90s, even), there was some virulent rejection and some moving on, and it ultimately worked - mainly because the AD&D die-hards had nothing to work with.  This time they did, and the result is the abandonment of the first version of D&D to come close to catching up with the times. 

It's sad for D&D, and a sad comment on the folks making it happen, but D&D is just the part of our hobby most visible to the mainstream, the rest marches on, leaving D&D eating dust in it's long-accustomed reregaurd position.

Not a word you wrote there has anything to do with what I said, so I'm honestly not sure who you were responding to.
Not a word you wrote there has anything to do with what I said, so I'm honestly not sure who you were responding to.



Nor I.  I suspect that this is just some kind of rant.  Unfortunately it is so rambling that I can't really tell what exactly the premise is.  I think it might be in defense of 4e, but I'm not totally sure.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

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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.

Thanks, I said as much in about 4 different places over the last few days. My main conceit was that through the oddities and quirks of 1E, many of us learned "what D&D is" based on the game that it became as we tried to make it actually work for us.  Perhaps the essence of D&D isn't AC, or HP, or THAC0 or Beholders (although each has its place in its history). Perhaps the essence of D&D is that it needs to be broken up, beaten, molded by each of us to make it our own. Perhaps, in the quest for better and more complete and more balanced rules, (all noble pursuits), we got away from that idea that the system isn't supposed to be perfect or complete, lest we feel no need to personalize it.  Perhaps that's why so many people said 4E was excellent but somehow "off". Because, it was streamlined and sleek but left little for us to really tear down and build back up in our own image. It was already its own image. Perhaps that doesn't even make sense. Anyway, it's late...



I could see this being true.  I'm actually not a 4e hater as some have tried to paint me.  I was vehemently against it before actual release, but became a fan after playing it.  I think with 4e the proof is in the playing, which is why I always challenge posters who either say they have never played it, or obviously haven't played it because they don't know what they are talking about.  On the other hand, I am also not a 4e fanboy.  There are lots of things that could be done better, and depending on how you change them could at least be informed by past editions, even if they don't use rules from past editions.

Example: I think 4e magic items are terrible.  Not only are they boring, but they failed at one of their own design goals which was to make character building less reliant on magic.  Instead they made character building intimately tied and dependent on magic items.  I would like to see a return in philosophy to 1e/2e D&D, in that I would like to see magic items as unnecessary and very special "gifts" to the players.  Keeping the 4e ideas of making sure items don't break game balance, and having levels and rarity is great too.  I definitely like the 4e artifacts and concordance rules.  I would also like to see magic item scaling.  Elric didn't throw away Stormbringer as he progressed in experience and power, characters shouldn't either.

Oh, also Kalex, in the interest of finding common ground after our disagreement the other day, I read a thread where you were discussing your issues with the 4E math and monster scaling the threat level and feel and I have to say that I've seen those exact same issues. I didn't want to get involved at the time because when I brought up similar points, I was summarily shouted down. But yeah, just know that you are not alone in those perceptions.



Thanks.  I appreciate your level-headed form of posting.  I usually am pretty level-headed as well, but the odd poster who is disrespectful, condescending or makes off-topic snipes does get under my skin.  My writing style is pretty dry too, which often causes misinterpretation of my "mood."  I enjoy a good discussion, or disagreement and am somtimes open to changing my mind.  I haven't yet learned to hold my tongue when I know the "shout down" is coming.  Maybe one day I will learn.

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.

Thanks, I said as much in about 4 different places over the last few days. My main conceit was that through the oddities and quirks of 1E, many of us learned "what D&D is" based on the game that it became as we tried to make it actually work for us.  Perhaps the essence of D&D isn't AC, or HP, or THAC0 or Beholders (although each has its place in its history). Perhaps the essence of D&D is that it needs to be broken up, beaten, molded by each of us to make it our own. Perhaps, in the quest for better and more complete and more balanced rules, (all noble pursuits), we got away from that idea that the system isn't supposed to be perfect or complete, lest we feel no need to personalize it.  Perhaps that's why so many people said 4E was excellent but somehow "off".



I think this may actually be the most successful part of the so-called "D&D Next". It's supposed to be modular, and it's supposed be about "playing the game your way". Mearls made a comment to the effect of "4e was like saying the way to play the guitar was thrash metal and that's it", and while I think it was effective, a lot of other editions made that same sort of impression on its players (after all, there's many ways to play a guitar in reality, just like there's many ways to play D&D). The concept of an edition that backs up and says "alright, so we've got four ways to play this roleplaying guitar, and here's a way to do it any of those ways and even some new ways and further still ways to combine these options into your own style" is appealing at a base level, assuming it does what's written on the box. 

Example: I think 4e magic items are terrible.  Not only are they boring, but they failed at one of their own design goals which was to make character building less reliant on magic.  Instead they made character building intimately tied and dependent on magic items.  I would like to see a return in philosophy to 1e/2e D&D, in that I would like to see magic items as unnecessary and very special "gifts" to the players.  Keeping the 4e ideas of making sure items don't break game balance, and having levels and rarity is great too.  I definitely like the 4e artifacts and concordance rules.  I would also like to see magic item scaling.  Elric didn't throw away Stormbringer as he progressed in experience and power, characters shouldn't either.


I keep seeing this as a theme in this thread.  Our weekly group also held the 4e magic item requirements to be one of the top things that we felt needed to be addressed.
Come join Team Apathy! or not whatever shrug.gif
 
Yo! tm  afro.gif

 

Example: I think 4e magic items are terrible.  Not only are they boring, but they failed at one of their own design goals which was to make character building less reliant on magic.  Instead they made character building intimately tied and dependent on magic items.  I would like to see a return in philosophy to 1e/2e D&D, in that I would like to see magic items as unnecessary and very special "gifts" to the players.  Keeping the 4e ideas of making sure items don't break game balance, and having levels and rarity is great too.  I definitely like the 4e artifacts and concordance rules.  I would also like to see magic item scaling.  Elric didn't throw away Stormbringer as he progressed in experience and power, characters shouldn't either.


I keep seeing this as a theme in this thread.  Our weekly group also held the 4e magic item requirements to be one of the top things that we felt needed to be addressed.

I'd be curious to hear from people who liked how it was done in 4E give some reasons.  I'm interested to know if this is something that can be solved with a modular approach. Not everything can but a most things can as far as I can tell. I wonder if this is an outlier.
I haven't played 4th ed



if you haven't played 4th ed, then your opinion really shouldn't matter. i've met so many people who hate 4e who never tried it. this makes little sense.

4e is not without its faults. the first was probably that it tried to take itself too seriously. playing D&D has always been more about community, and having fun, than about the specifics of hit point ratio and attack bonuses, yadda yadda.

the idea of magic item levels works well, as does the balance of the classes - basically, skinnable features on top of a ruleset that is even-handed for players and DM's. personally, i think that damage characters deal should scale up a little faster than the 3 tier process, but we've never played characters over 17th level so this is a relatively minor issue THAT DOESN'T STOP US FROM HAVING FUN.

D&D Essentials was a case of too little, too late. The basic box set should have come out when the 4E rulebooks debuted. And attempting to build a company's profits on collectible (but non-essential) items during the economy's worst downturn ever was a case of really bad foresight. However, But WotC's marketing mistakes aren't really my strong suit. 
Part of 4E's magic item system works very well and some parts don't. 

The stuff that works well: its simple to use and understand, excepting a few things like the old daily power limits on items.  There are a wide variety of items, few of which were overpowered by themselves.  There were a lot of items too.  For instance there are over a hundred different holy symbols and items that work as holy symbols to pick from and that is an item that by default is only used by 3 classes, with most builds not even using one.  Almost all of them are at least decent.

The stuff that didn't work well: for all of good balanced part of 4E, items are not that balanced.  There were few items really that stood out as much better and most were average.  Generally the ones that stood out had good static properties: They gave you a resistance, they changed a damage type, they let you avoid OAs on a charge, they did extra damage on all charges or melee attacks, etc..   If it didn't have a static power least had an encounter power that you could use pretty much every encounter.  Every once in a while there was one with an outstanding daily power, but most daily powers on items were not that great and PCs only used them as an afterthought.  On the whole this helped lead to things like the standard gouge charge package most charop people recommend for boosting DPR.

Some items types were not supported as well as others.  For implements staff is generally king because of better types and feat support and since its a weapliment too.  There were good things you could do with others for specific builds, but totems and wands never came close for instance.  Weapliments were a mess from the start and are still confusing (see the monk handbook and ki focuses), but are still often better than regular implements.  And there was the big problem, later fixed, of not letting mc implement users use all implement powers with any implement, while weapon users never had to worry about that.

Generally weapons are better, for best enchantments and feat support, than implements, even when comparing for similar builds: ranged weapon and weapliment users are often better off than ranged implement users.  It took forever to get simple fixes like an implement focus feat and some implement users like monks, shamans, and clerics (and I think druids too and possibly others) still to this day don't have improved crit feats.  There is no equivalent of iron armbands of powers for most implement users so implement classes usually fall behind there.

And a good fix for the next version would be to get rid of the sacred cow of +X items or at least let items level up with PCs.
A few things I would like to see in 5e.


1.   Drop the 1000's of unique 4e powers for each class and go back to basic spell lists for each power source that the classes can pick from.     There is far too much redundancy in the system and far too many powers to learn.  As a DM, I'm constantly asking the players to read out their powers during play.  This is more annoying than any other edition.    Focus on creating classes the same way that computer programmers do.  In that sense, classes should serve to reduce redundancy.    For example a Necromancer could be a derived class from the Mage parent class.   

2.   Remove the Roles.   Let all the classes be any role they want to be at any given time.   Do this and many players will return to the game.   This isn't something to be argued, it's just a fact that if players no longer feel that they are being pigeonholed (a common complaint about 4e) they will return to the game. 

3.  Remove the dependency on magical items.     

4.  Remove incremental AC.    Keep AC's static and don't increase them with level.   

5.  Reduce combat time.  

6.  Eliminate the need for a grid.

7.  Make tracking effects easy.   4e is the worst system in this regard.    A bless or a prayer spell from previous editions is easy to track compared to all the crazy effects in 4e that end and change at different times within the round.   

8.  Bring back magic into the game.  I'm not sure how but this needs to be done because it is a common complaint with 4e.    Maybe rituals should be allowed to be cast during combat. 

9.  Bring back save or die for those who like it.  

10.  OGL   

11.  More detailed skills.    Perform, Slight of Hand, Search, Disarm Traps, Hide in Shadows, Move silently etc.  This way each rogue is very different.    With 4e if you have two rogues in the party they'll have about the same thievery chance.      Maybe something like having thievery as a base parent skill and you can then put points into each specialized sub skill under it.    You can even make the detailed/sub skills optional for those who like them.  

12. More focus on non-combat related character options and features.  

13.  Reduce or even eliminate feats.   There are a ridiculous number of feats in 4e.  And you shouldn't need a computer program to search them all.

14.  Printed material.   Stop trying to rip people off and take a look at how Pathfinder organized its material.    I would rather pay a high price for a few books that contain everything I need then wait for dozens of smaller books to be published.   We also should constantly see people post questions on the forums like, "What books do I need to play the game?".  That should be obvious.   Second, the 4e books are poor quality and the pages bleed/smudge.   The errata made much of the printed material useless.    Truly, WoTC must produce a quality product that has more substance than graphics.












A few things I would like to see in 5e.


1.   Drop the 1000's of unique 4e powers for each class and go back to basic spell lists for each power source that the classes can pick from.     There is far too much redundancy in the system and far too many powers to learn.  As a DM, I'm constantly asking the players to read out their powers during play.  This is more annoying than any other edition.    Focus on creating classes the same way that computer programmers do.  In that sense, classes should serve to reduce redundancy.    For example a Necromancer could be a derived class from the Mage parent class.   

2.   Remove the Roles.   Let all the classes be any role they want to be at any given time.   Do this and many players will return to the game.   This isn't something to be argued, it's just a fact that if players no longer feel that they are being pigeonholed (a common complaint about 4e) they will return to the game. 

3.  Remove the dependency on magical items.     

4.  Remove incremental AC.    Keep AC's static and don't increase them with level.   

5.  Reduce combat time.  

6.  Eliminate the need for a grid.

7.  Make tracking effects easy.   4e is the worst system in this regard.    A bless or a prayer spell from previous editions is easy to track compared to all the crazy effects in 4e that end and change at different times within the round.   

8.  Bring back magic into the game.  I'm not sure how but this needs to be done because it is a common complaint with 4e.    Maybe rituals should be allowed to be cast during combat. 

9.  Bring back save or die for those who like it.  

10.  OGL   

11.  More detailed skills.    Perform, Slight of Hand, Search, Disarm Traps, Hide in Shadows, Move silently etc.  This way each rogue is very different.    With 4e if you have two rogues in the party they'll have about the same thievery chance.      Maybe something like having thievery as a base parent skill and you can then put points into each specialized sub skill under it.    You can even make the detailed/sub skills optional for those who like them.  

12. More focus on non-combat related character options and features.  

13.  Reduce or even eliminate feats.   There are a ridiculous number of feats in 4e.  And you shouldn't need a computer program to search them all.

14.  Printed material.   Stop trying to rip people off and take a look at how Pathfinder organized its material.    I would rather pay a high price for a few books that contain everything I need then wait for dozens of smaller books to be published.   We also should constantly see people post questions on the forums like, "What books do I need to play the game?".  That should be obvious.   Second, the 4e books are poor quality and the pages bleed/smudge.   The errata made much of the printed material useless.    Truly, WoTC must produce a quality product that has more substance than graphics.












I could live with most of these. Particularly if they were options, rather than forced on us. However, I would say that you don't actually want to remove the concept of roles, but rather uncouple them from class. So that any class can play any role with the right powers. I like this idea. There has been a lot of talk in the 4E community about role powers, as a pool, rather than only class powers. I would love the idea that I could pick a defender power and a striker power so that when I want to defend, I can do that and if I want to strike, I can do that. Now, I recognize a lot goes into a defender moreso than just power choice, like AC, HP, Surges etc, but this is simply the difference between a specialist and a generalist. Classes could still more conducive to certain rolls. Much like dwarves tended to be fighters in early editions, fighters would tend to be defenders in future editions. But much like people hating that dwarves can't be wizards, people hate that fighters can't be strikers, etc.
Part of the mistake was that people think Wotc labeling of class roles was accurate or that any one class was ever in just one role.  No 4E class fits solely one role, though some class builds come kind of close to doing that.

Every class has builds that do more than one role, often doing as good or better job at the other or part of the other role than the role Wotc labeled them as.
Part of the mistake was that people think Wotc labeling of class roles was accurate or that any one class was ever in just one role.  No 4E class fits solely one role, though some class builds come kind of close to doing that.

Every class has builds that do more than one role, often doing as good or better job at the other or part of the other role than the role Wotc labeled them as.



I think the problem was that when you made a fighter that acted more like a striker, other players would get upset at you for not acting like a defender.   There was a perception on both sides that you had to play your role and if you didn't you were being selfish or you where not pulling your weight in the party.    Right or wrong that has to stop and the games mechanics shouldn't be designed around it. 



I have played a lot of 4E and never experienced that.  I don't ever remember getting upset or seeing anyone upset over what roles allies were trying to fill  And almost every PC I played focused a lot on its secondary roles as did many of the people I played with.

About the only time I remember seeing people upset with allies over something in 4E was with something like friendly fire, which can occur in any edition.
I have played a lot of 4E and never experienced that.  I don't ever remember getting upset or seeing anyone upset over what roles allies were trying to fill  And almost every PC I played focused a lot on its secondary roles as did many of the people I played with.

About the only time I remember seeing people upset with allies over something in 4E was with something like friendly fire, which can occur in any edition.

I haven't seen the problem he mentions either. But then again, we were always good little boys and girls and dutifully played the roles our characters were designed for. Sure, we would branch out a bit when necessary, but for the most part, the fighter was locking people down and the ranger was fedexing death to everything around him. 
There was a perception on both sides that you had to play your role and if you didn't you were being selfish or you where not pulling your weight in the party.    Right or wrong that has to stop and the games mechanics shouldn't be designed around it. 



This perception has been around since 1e.  Clerics were always expected to be the healer.  4e only codifies that which already existed.  I don't care in my party (as player or DM) has a martial striker, but someone had better play a defender else the squishy controller and ranged striker types are toast.  We recently ran a campaign where someone ran a divine leader (templar), but he built and ran the character like a defender, or a striker.  The problem with that was that he didn't fill either of the latter two roles passibly, and he more often than not healed himself because he couldn't take hits as well as a true defender.  The rest of the party would have been out of luck had we not also had a bard who ended up healing better than the cleric was built to.

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.

Most of your points are good. I do have a problem with a couple of them.


2.   Remove the Roles.   Let all the classes be any role they want to be at any given time.   Do this and many players will return to the game.   This isn't something to be argued, it's just a fact that if players no longer feel that they are being pigeonholed (a common complaint about 4e) they will return to the game.


Roles are not pigeon holes. They are guides. EVERY class has a secondary role. And most of the later builds are completely different from their original PHB versions.

8.  Bring back magic into the game.  I'm not sure how but this needs to be done because it is a common complaint with 4e.    Maybe rituals should be allowed to be cast during combat.


I've heard lots of people talk about a lack of magic. The complaint never makes any sense to me. Magic is all over the game just as it always has been.

9.  Bring back save or die for those who like it.


You like them. I don't. Guess we won't agree on that one. Optional would be OK the problem comes when it really isn't optional.

11.  More detailed skills.    Perform, Slight of Hand, Search, Disarm Traps, Hide in Shadows, Move silently etc.  This way each rogue is very different.    With 4e if you have two rogues in the party they'll have about the same thievery chance. Maybe something like having thievery as a base parent skill and you can then put points into each specialized sub skill under it.    You can even make the detailed/sub skills optional for those who like them.


I like the simplicity of the 4E list. However your point about multiple thieves having similar thievery is true. Though how often are there two people of the same class playing at the same table? How much of a concern should duplication be? Even with more detail wouldn't two characters of the same class still be pretty much the same? More detail would be cool, but 3.5's list was way to long and had way too many useless ones. There's probably a mid point that would be better.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

There was a perception on both sides that you had to play your role and if you didn't you were being selfish or you where not pulling your weight in the party.    Right or wrong that has to stop and the games mechanics shouldn't be designed around it. 



This perception has been around since 1e.  Clerics were always expected to be the healer.  4e only codifies that which already existed.  I don't care in my party (as player or DM) has a martial striker, but someone had better play a defender else the squishy controller and ranged striker types are toast.  We recently ran a campaign where someone ran a divine leader (templar), but he built and ran the character like a defender, or a striker.  The problem with that was that he didn't fill either of the latter two roles passibly, and he more often than not healed himself because he couldn't take hits as well as a true defender.  The rest of the party would have been out of luck had we not also had a bard who ended up healing better than the cleric was built to.



I do recal playing a fighter/cleric in 2e that always healed himself.        I had a lot of fun too.

Reglardless,  the game for some people isn't about min/maxing party power levels, it's about role playing.      Typically, any weakness in the party was something that the DM was responsible for managing, not the players and their character builds.    To a large extent I think this is still true in 4e.  The DM must understand what the party is capable of fighting regardless of encounter design rules.     The players shouldn't be blamed for the character builds they are playing.  All options should be open to the player and there really shouldn't be any bad character design choices.    



Roles are not pigeon holes. They are guides. EVERY class has a secondary role. And most of the later builds are completely different from their original PHB versions.



To argue that they are or not is pointless.    Many people bitched about this when 4e came out.  Just look on youtube     I really don't want to see that same complaint voiced again for 5e.   We just don't need it.     


I've heard lots of people talk about a lack of magic. The complaint never makes any sense to me. Magic is all over the game just as it always has been.



I think magic is very different in 4e, but that is a long topic to get into.    Magic used to be something that everyone tried to aquire.    MME was a welcome change in this regard, but more work needs to be done.   


You like them. I don't. Guess we won't agree on that one. Optional would be OK the problem comes when it really isn't optional.



Actually, I like save twice or die, which is more like a few 4e monster powers  




I like the simplicity of the 4E list. However your point about multiple thieves having similar thievery is true. Though how often are there two people of the same class playing at the same table? How much of a concern should duplication be? Even with more detail wouldn't two characters of the same class still be pretty much the same? More detail would be cool, but 3.5's list was way to long and had way too many useless ones. There's probably a mid point that would be better.



Try DMing a theives guild campaign were all the players must take a rogue like class.   I've done this before in 2e and we had a great time.   I'm not sure how it would work in 4e since you would really only need one rogue.   That rogue could do all the out of combat stuff on his own ( Forgery, Pick Locks, Disable Device, Bluff, Sneak, etc... )

This could even appply for skills like Athletics with sub skills like swimming, jumping, running, etc.   Arcana could also have subskills.  Detect Magic, Read Magic, Indentify, Dispel Magic, etc...    

I'm not sure where older skills like Perform or  Musical Intrument would fit in, but perhaps they would fall under a bard parent skill of some kind.    

Anyway it's just a thought. 






I do recal playing a fighter/cleric in 2e that always healed himself.        I had a lot of fun too.



I wonder how much fun everyone else had.  I know if you hadn't explained that you were going to mostly heal yourself and the party had no other healer, I would be pissed, and rightly so. 

Reglardless,  the game for some people isn't about min/maxing party power levels, it's about role playing.      Typically, any weakness in the party was something that the DM was responsible for managing, not the players and their character builds.    To a large extent I think this is still true in 4e.  The DM must understand what the party is capable of fighting regardless of encounter design rules.     The players shouldn't be blamed for the character builds they are playing.  All options should be open to the player and there really shouldn't be any bad character design choices.



If you knew me from much of my past posts you would know I often throw conventional wisdom out the window in favor of role-playing.  What you are talking about causes deep tactical issues for a party especially if they are not forewarned.  If a player takes a cleric and doesn't broadcast that they won't be healing the party, they are most definitely being selfish.  I am not going to fail to go after a squishy wizard when the fighter refuses to mark my soldier because he should be free to choose, and the wizard has every right to be angry with the fighter for failing at his role.  This was true in every edition of the game.  Players who choose to do those things are certainly free to do so, but they also are fully responsible for the consequences.  Making a choice and denying responsibility for it sounds like something children do, not adults.

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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.



If you knew me from much of my past posts you would know I often throw conventional wisdom out the window in favor of role-playing.  What you are talking about causes deep tactical issues for a party especially if they are not forewarned.  If a player takes a cleric and doesn't broadcast that they won't be healing the party, they are most definitely being selfish.  I am not going to fail to go after a squshy wizard when the fighter refuses to mark my soldier because he should be free to choose, and the wizard has every right to be angry with the fighter for failing at his role.  This was true in every edition of the game.  Players who choose to do those things are certainly free to do so, but they also are fully responsible for the consequences.  Making a choice and denying responsibility for it sounds like something children do, not adults.



Why is any of this an issue if the DM is managing the monsters and ensuring a TPK doesn't happen as he should be.

When I played in parties without clerics (in previous editions) the DM would simply drop a decanter of endless healing potions or something to that effect.   

For me, the game is about the role playing and not the effectiveness of the party, which isn't an issue if you have a good DM.  


I am not going to fail to go after a squshy wizard when the fighter refuses to mark my soldier because he should be free to choose, and the wizard has every right to be angry with the fighter for failing at his role.



And that is something very specific to 4e that never happened in previous editions.     I'm not exactly sure how the Wizard ( in character ) even knows that the fighter never marked the soldier.    What exactly is a mark anyway?   Sounds a bit too gamish to be something that could be role played, but I'm sure someone has a great explanation for it.     Regardless, why was the wizard close enough to get hit by the soldier in the first place? It could very well be his fault for moving in too close or failing to turn invisible.  

In pervious editions I don't recal a party being upset at the cleric because the fighter missed his attack roll by one point, and then blamed the cleric for not casting a bless spell.     

When I play D&D, the role playing concept is more important than the mechanics of the game or how the character interacts with other party members in combat. .  No offence, but the game for me was never about min/maxing party roles and party power levels.  It was about playing the role playing concept you had in mind and you often did that at the expense of power.    You could, if you wanted, make a fighter with an 18 INT named Leaping Lany Poffo and no one would be upset with you.   When I played D&D in previous editions, you didn't have to be effective at your job in combat, you just had to role play your character and have fun.




If you knew me from much of my past posts you would know I often throw conventional wisdom out the window in favor of role-playing.  What you are talking about causes deep tactical issues for a party especially if they are not forewarned.  If a player takes a cleric and doesn't broadcast that they won't be healing the party, they are most definitely being selfish.  I am not going to fail to go after a squshy wizard when the fighter refuses to mark my soldier because he should be free to choose, and the wizard has every right to be angry with the fighter for failing at his role.  This was true in every edition of the game.  Players who choose to do those things are certainly free to do so, but they also are fully responsible for the consequences.  Making a choice and denying responsibility for it sounds like something children do, not adults.



Why is any of this an issue if the DM is managing the monsters and ensuring a TPK doesn't happen as he should be.

When I played in parties without clerics (in previous editions) the DM would simply drop a decanter of endless healing potions or something to that effect.   

For me, the game is about the role playing and not the effectiveness of the party, which isn't an issue if you have a good DM.  


I am not going to fail to go after a squshy wizard when the fighter refuses to mark my soldier because he should be free to choose, and the wizard has every right to be angry with the fighter for failing at his role.



And that is something very specific to 4e that never happened in previous editions.     I'm not exactly sure how the Wizard ( in character ) even knows that the fighter never marked the soldier.    What exactly is a mark anyway?   Sounds a bit too gamish to be something that could be role played, but I'm sure someone has a great explanation for it.     Regardless, why was the wizard close enough to get hit by the soldier in the first place? It could very well be his fault for moving in too close or failing to turn invisible.  

In pervious editions I don't recal a party being upset at the cleric because the fighter missed his attack roll by one point, and then blamed the cleric for not casting a bless spell.     

When I play D&D, the role playing concept is more important than the mechanics of the game or how the character interacts with other party members in combat. .  No offence, but the game for me was never about min/maxing party roles and party power levels.  It was about playing the role playing concept you had in mind and you often did that at the expense of power.    You could, if you wanted, make a fighter with an 18 INT named Leaping Lany Poffo and no one would be upset with you.   When I played D&D in previous editions, you didn't have to be effective at your job in combat, you just had to role play your character and have fun.




The Fighter's mark could be something like the Fighter being right in the face of the monster daring him to go after the wizard. When the monster tries to do so, the Fighter seizes the moment and lays into it. Then dares him to try it again. Not hard to imagine.

Because its fun being innefective and its not a game its just roleplaying... nyeh.. thats not D&D
  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."

 

Because its fun being innefective and its not a game its just roleplaying... nyeh.. thats not D&D





There is nothing more unrewarding than having your big power locked away in a mark that never fires because the monster isn't that stupid.


and can you give even one example of that? tell me youre not calling combat challenge "your big power"
and can you give even one example of that? tell me youre not calling combat challenge "your big power"



Yes I am, because if they are not 'big powers' then why would any wizard be upset when the fighter doesn't mark a soldier?       

Combat Challenge, Steal Unity Attack, Aegis of Ensnarement, etc.  Are great examples of powers that never happen unless the monster is being stupid.  




and can you give even one example of that? tell me youre not calling combat challenge "your big power"



Yes I am, because if they are not 'big powers' then why would any wizard be upset when the fighter doesn't mark a soldier?       

Combat Challenge, Steal Unity Attack, Aegis of Ensnarement, etc.  Are great examples of powers that never happen unless the monster is being stupid.  




I don't want to nitpick your comments because I can see what you're doing as being valid (if a bit different from how my group runs) but make no mistake, it is not the DMs job to ensure a TPK doesn't happen. That responsibility lies solely with the players. With regard to a TPK, the DMs only responsibility is to make sure it's not unavoidable.
and can you give even one example of that? tell me youre not calling combat challenge "your big power"



Yes I am  





ok never mind, we shouldnt discuss this any further
When the effects of marks don't happen, they're working as intended. Counterintuitive, I know, but the mark is much more about limiting a monster's choices to two bad ones (attack the defender or attack someone else and taking damage) than it is about the extra DPS of the mark being violated. It's basically putting into a mechanical form something that D&D players have been talking about for years (the fighter keeping monsters away from the wizard, a trope that the fighter never really had the ability to do, previously).
Then they introduced Auras in Essentials, which is elegant, but an admission that Marking was clunky and time consuming.

Auras are also something monsters have, so that's weird.

Conceptually, the mechanical decisions were all over the place.

I don't know whether I should find reasons to love 4e or hate it. What opinion should I adopt, WOTC? A month ago, I needed to love 4e, now, throw it in the ashbin.
 
actually i think marks are far superior. i can have something marked and not have to be right next to it. and to say they are time consuming, well thats just outrageous

I played D&D for over a decade back in the day, and it was the same game the whole time. I come back a couple of years ago and there's a major re-jiggering called 'Essentials' and an announced new 'itteration,' already.

I know things are supposed to be 'moving faster' these days but this is rediculous.  New books every month.  Errata every month.  New 'itterrations' every year or two.  Why make the effort to keep up with all that?  I could afford the books and the DDI.  I can't afford to spend half my time re-learning a schizophrenic game that can't decide what it's supposed to be.

Back to AD&D to stay.

At least my Druid will be an actual druid who can shapechange AND cast cure wounds AND summon elementals, not pick one of the three and fake it.

Alright, I've finally got through all the posts and I've got the time to make my response and get in on the action of what may become some aspect of DnD Next/DnD 5th Edition/DnD Moduar Mayhem/or whatever people want to call it. I've been playing DnD for around 5 or 6  years, maybe slightly longer. I first heard about DnD from a friend who played 2nd Edition, and that was where we were going to start. Well, I never to play 2nd, and only got to play at 3.5. Since that start, I've played strictly 3.5, which a small stint of 4th Edition (about 4 or 5 sessions) and a couple of sessions of Mutants & Masterminds. I have also played extensively a friends role playing system based a a d10 dice pool system, and have even tried my hand at making role playing games myself, but have not have the chance to play them. Well, I thought you all should know my background as I make suggestions, criticisms, and remarks are game theory, more specifically that of role-playing games.


First off, I want to comment on the posts made on the past couple of pages about classes and party roles. I originally thought classifying 4ed classes in roles was stupid and just trying to appeal to the MMORPG market (which 4ed was obvsiouly designed to appeal to to some degree). I later realized these were mainly a guidance system for players (as someone else has mentioned), kind of giving a summary idea of what the classes stood for overall. They did something similar at the beginning of Prestige Class chapters in 3.5. Anyways, it seems as if the existence of classes and roles has caused a bit of a clash in parties, and some people are fighting over the basic game theory argument of "role-playing" vs "roll-playing". Truly, these two sides are generally player preferences, the difference between power players/players who want to win, and players who want to be their character and become part of the story, regardless of the what the rulebooks say. I see people on the forums say they are unhappy when a player does not take on their party role, but I only see that an issue when it is out of character (I tend to be a hard-core “role-player”, though depending on the group, will flip back and forth).


I know DnD from the beginning has been built around classes, somewhat assigning roles to different players. And in the beginning, I’m sure it worked wonderfully.  But as the game has evolved, and the whole role-playing  genre has grown, the  strict class system doesn’t work for how many players want to play and develop their characters. If the DnD community wants to keep the class system, they will either need to get over the fact that strict classes pigeonhole and will either feel too similar or unbalanced, or they need no class system or need a broader one. To make a modular system, I think a few broad classes (such as the Warrior, Spellcaster, and Expert) with options as they develop to become more focused, and thus more different, would be a good idea. Or, have a base class, such as the Adventurer somewhat else mentioned, that has a somewhat personalized level progression (I’m think you get a number of points each level that can be put into either Base Attack, Saves, HP, Skills, etc) and then you choose Feats/Powers/Talents each level to become more of a focused characters, with certain Feats requiring investment in previous Feats and point buys. I guess it would like a sort of Skill Tree in the end. Or, you have less Feats per leveling, by their ability advances with your level.


The last thing I’ll mention, since my post is getting long, is party dynamics and player differences. I see some of the statements made throughout the forum and I think some people are forgetting those two things. I think these things may be why Wizards wants a modular system, since preferences can be so different. As having been part of dramatically different groups, making DnD appeal to all these players will not be easy. Either the game system has to be wide open, or the players have to be wide open and understanding. I can enjoy playing many different game systems, utilizing the strengths of each.  But whether it is the investment costs or the groups we get to play with, many people have the chance to play only one system. But we must not forget that ultimately, the games are roe-playing games and DM have, and always will, alter or ignore rules to fit their game and/or setting.

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I am both rational and instinctive. I value self-knowledge and understanding of the world; my ultimate goal is self-improvement and improvement of the world around me. At best, I am focused and methodical; at worst, I am obsessive and amoral.

I played D&D for over a decade back in the day, and it was the same game the whole time. I come back a couple of years ago and there's a major re-jiggering called 'Essentials' and an announced new 'itteration,' already.

I know things are supposed to be 'moving faster' these days but this is rediculous.  New books every month.  Errata every month.  New 'itterrations' every year or two.  Why make the effort to keep up with all that?  I could afford the books and the DDI.  I can't afford to spend half my time re-learning a schizophrenic game that can't decide what it's supposed to be.

Back to AD&D to stay.

At least my Druid will be an actual druid who can shapechange AND cast cure wounds AND summon elementals, not pick one of the three and fake it.


Did you really just say "an actual druid"? Like if you can't do all those things you're a "pretend" druid?
I'm all for loving AD&D and I'm all for criticizing the schizofrenic pace at which material is released and errata'd in the modern era but "actual druid"?  Hrmmmk.

But yeah, I like auras and marks. I think auras are much less bookkeeping and so I like the for that but Marks are probably a bit more versatile. This is why it's nice to have both options. Would be cool to have that be a choice when you create a defender. Like the way a Ranger chooses prime shot or running attack, the fighter could choose combat challenge or combat aura or the like.

Alright, I've finally got through all the posts and I've got the time to make my response and get in on the action of what may become some aspect of DnD Next/DnD 5th Edition/DnD Moduar Mayhem/or whatever people want to call it. I've been playing DnD for around 5 or 6  years, maybe slightly longer. I first heard about DnD from a friend who played 2nd Edition, and that was where we were going to start. Well, I never to play 2nd, and only got to play at 3.5. Since that start, I've played strictly 3.5, which a small stint of 4th Edition (about 4 or 5 sessions) and a couple of sessions of Mutants & Masterminds. I have also played extensively a friends role playing system based a a d10 dice pool system, and have even tried my hand at making role playing games myself, but have not have the chance to play them. Well, I thought you all should know my background as I make suggestions, criticisms, and remarks are game theory, more specifically that of role-playing games.


First off, I want to comment on the posts made on the past couple of pages about classes and party roles. I originally thought classifying 4ed classes in roles was stupid and just trying to appeal to the MMORPG market (which 4ed was obvsiouly designed to appeal to to some degree). I later realized these were mainly a guidance system for players (as someone else has mentioned), kind of giving a summary idea of what the classes stood for overall. They did something similar at the beginning of Prestige Class chapters in 3.5. Anyways, it seems as if the existence of classes and roles has caused a bit of a clash in parties, and some people are fighting over the basic game theory argument of "role-playing" vs "roll-playing". Truly, these two sides are generally player preferences, the difference between power players/players who want to win, and players who want to be their character and become part of the story, regardless of the what the rulebooks say. I see people on the forums say they are unhappy when a player does not take on their party role, but I only see that an issue when it is out of character (I tend to be a hard-core “role-player”, though depending on the group, will flip back and forth).


I know DnD from the beginning has been built around classes, somewhat assigning roles to different players. And in the beginning, I’m sure it worked wonderfully.  But as the game has evolved, and the whole role-playing  genre has grown, the  strict class system doesn’t work for how many players want to play and develop their characters. If the DnD community wants to keep the class system, they will either need to get over the fact that strict classes pigeonhole and will either feel too similar or unbalanced, or they need no class system or need a broader one. To make a modular system, I think a few broad classes (such as the Warrior, Spellcaster, and Expert) with options as they develop to become more focused, and thus more different, would be a good idea. Or, have a base class, such as the Adventurer somewhat else mentioned, that has a somewhat personalized level progression (I’m think you get a number of points each level that can be put into either Base Attack, Saves, HP, Skills, etc) and then you choose Feats/Powers/Talents each level to become more of a focused characters, with certain Feats requiring investment in previous Feats and point buys. I guess it would like a sort of Skill Tree in the end. Or, you have less Feats per leveling, by their ability advances with your level.


The last thing I’ll mention, since my post is getting long, is party dynamics and player differences. I see some of the statements made throughout the forum and I think some people are forgetting those two things. I think these things may be why Wizards wants a modular system, since preferences can be so different. As having been part of dramatically different groups, making DnD appeal to all these players will not be easy. Either the game system has to be wide open, or the players have to be wide open and understanding. I can enjoy playing many different game systems, utilizing the strengths of each.  But whether it is the investment costs or the groups we get to play with, many people have the chance to play only one system. But we must not forget that ultimately, the games are roe-playing games and DM have, and always will, alter or ignore rules to fit their game and/or setting.


Lots of interesting thoughts. I like your class idea, making them broad and then building with just what you choose, kind of a hybrid between a class system and classless system. I've been thinking of something similar. What if classes were presented the way backgrounds (or themes) are presented in 4E. So you pick your theme (ranger, fighter, whatever) and that gives you some core set of abilities or a single basic progression as you level, but everything else is up to you, and if they choose to keep "power source" in 5E they could be segregated by power source. So maybe you pick a theme and then a power source and then just do whatever you want for your character. Now, certain themes(classes) could be more in tune with certain power sources, so there could a bit a bit of optimization there for those who want it, but nothing too drastic. Yeah, just some thoughts I've been having based on feedback I've been seeing lately, like yours.

Lots of interesting thoughts. I like your class idea, making them broad and then building with just what you choose, kind of a hybrid between a class system and classless system. I've been thinking of something similar. What if classes were presented the way backgrounds (or themes) are presented in 4E. So you pick your theme (ranger, fighter, whatever) and that gives you some core set of abilities or a single basic progression as you level, but everything else is up to you, and if they choose to keep "power source" in 5E they could be segregated by power source. So maybe you pick a theme and then a power source and then just do whatever you want for your character. Now, certain themes(classes) could be more in tune with certain power sources, so there could a bit a bit of optimization there for those who want it, but nothing too drastic. Yeah, just some thoughts I've been having based on feedback I've been seeing lately, like yours.



I have not seen the 4E background/theme idea. There was a generic class system in 3.5's Unearthed Arcana, there you could take a base class and then take Feats based on the Core classes that let you mix them, or become a strict class. I'm kind of thinking about trying this idea in a homebrew campaign, as I've tried many other ideas (Disadvantage Systems, Specialty Feats [For roleplaying purposes over combat], alternate skill points [I'm using CON modifier for additional skill-points to use for physical skills], and alternate Race system). I haven't mentioned a least of issues I've had with 3.5, but I imagine I could toss those up here. I've already kind of mentioned one. I felt the CON score was one of the most underused scores in 3.5. Unless you have a high modifier or are in combat often, the extra HP is not of much use, or is not very much. And then CON has barely use in Skills. I alway thought it was weird how all the physical skills were based on INT (Skill Points) to become better, rather than physical capability and training. So, I attached CON to those skills, representing once endurance in training and overall physical capability.
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both rational and instinctive. I value self-knowledge and understanding of the world; my ultimate goal is self-improvement and improvement of the world around me. At best, I am focused and methodical; at worst, I am obsessive and amoral.
You cut it off right before the best part!

"In summation, most players find that the game of seeking and gaining, with the ensuing increase in character capability is the thing. Combat at best is something to be done quickly so as to get on with the fun,"

Get combat out of the way quickly so we can get on with the fun!
;)



Gygax really did know what he was talking about.

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
it is not the DMs job to ensure a TPK doesn't happen. That responsibility lies solely with the players. With regard to a TPK, the DMs only responsibility is to make sure it's not unavoidable.



QFT!  A DM's job has nothing to do with coddling his players.  It is challenging the players and ensuring that everyone (within reason) is having fun.  I notice that dmgorgon ignored my question about whether anyone else was having fun when his healer didn't heal anyone.  RPGs are about fun for EVERYONE!  It is a cooperative game, and making selfish decisions has no place in it unless...everyone at the table agrees it is okay.  I role-play the heck out of my characters, but I never generate a personality in a vacuum.  I always consider my responsibilities to the other players seated around the table with me.

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.

Try DMing a theives guild campaign were all the players must take a rogue like class.   I've done this before in 2e and we had a great time.   I'm not sure how it would work in 4e since you would really only need one rogue.   That rogue could do all the out of combat stuff on his own ( Forgery, Pick Locks, Disable Device, Bluff, Sneak, etc... )

I'd join that game. I'd have to write new backgrounds for the characters, but either my Bard or my Tempest Ranger would work just fine. (My Rogue? I don't actually have one...)

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose