Systems don't work because a person decides not to let it work.

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Today I got to meet a couple other DnD players, through a mutual friend. My friend plays DnD with them. They started the conversation basically stating 4e is a crappy system. I should have taken that cue and left it alone. But then I wouldn't be here posting if I had.

I replied, it's not the system, it's the people using the system, to which the response was no, the system sucks. His example on why it sucked was this.

His Sorcerer was trying to entertain some kids in town with his magic, and the DM wouldn't let him do any simple magic tricks, because he didn't have any powers that would allow that. I said, well, Sorcerers don't have that ability, but they also didn't have it in 3.5. He explained that in 3.5 he could use a spell like Prestidigitation. Which now he doesn't have as an option.

I said that if it was my game, I would have allowed it to happen, so long as it wasn't part of an encounter. He said it was, it was a skill check encounter and the DM said that since he didn't have any powers that would allow him to entertain, he couldn't do that.

Well, yeah. That's not a fault of the system though, that's a fault of the DMs for making an encounter where the player can't do, because they don't have the right skills. Of course, there are other players in the game, and one fo them might have had something they can do.

If not, then again, it's not the system, it's the DM for creating an encounter that none of the players have powers or abilities to actually use.

Then he explained that combat for him basically goes, I use an at will, at will, at will, encounter power, at will. Well, how is that any different from 3.5?

Use a spell, use a spell, use a spell. Spells per day used up, can't do anything else. Oh yeah, a sorcerer switches to his crossbow. In fact, with 3.5 sorcerers able to reuse the same spells, until they are out of spells per day, it's basically the same as 4e.

The fact is, in 3.5 the difference between a wizard and sorcerer was the taking the same powers, and managing them differently, were one does more damage, the other is more versatile.

So in 4E, sorcerers have their own powers, not the same powers as wizards, just handled differently.

The discussion didn't last long, as he decided to he didn't want to talk about it anymore and I honestly didn't either. But it was pretty clear, he had made up his mind, and rather then actually discuss, just keep stating, 4e sucks, because it sucks.

The idea that maybe his DM wasn't doing a good job just wasn't acceptable.

4E works. 3.5 works.

It's a persons attitude that really decides if a system works or not.
Ability to entertain children with simple magic tricks seems like a weird corner case to judge a system on.  Maybe if the game was Dungeons & Children's Parties I could see the issue.

How do they handle the Wizard only being able to do it a limited times in a reverse 3.5e scenario?  The 4e Wizard can do it unlimited times!  Obviously proving the weakness of 3.5. 
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Technically? The DM is correct.

However, because the powers can be flavored however the user wants, the Sorcerer could use Blazing Starfall or Burning Spray multiple times to give some kiddies a lightshow. He could ask the children to set up targets (say, milk jugs) and knock them down with Chaos Bolt or Acid Orb. He could use Dragon Frost to freeze buckets of water, or create thunder and lightning with Storm Walk and Lightning Strike. And that's just at-will powers.

Children are remarkably easy to impress.
The problem in this case is that people have been trained to falsy believe that the mechanics are the physics of the game world and that nothing can exist in-game if it isn't stat'ed up with numbers or rules.
In jazz music there's a term for that musicians who will only do what's on the paper and nothing else: spot-men. They only play the spots on the sheet music with absolutely no improv. Some DMs are spot-men. If the books don't say you can do it, then you can't do it. Although it's nowhere in the description of the spell in any edition, I let our wizard entertain an audience by playing a very elaborate piece on a harpsichord with the assistance of a double-casting of Mage Hand. It had no effect on the adventure save to add a nice touch to the scene, so I let it be. He wasn't trying to influence the Count or distract anybody, so that fluttering noise everyone heard was the rules flying out of the window.

Surely a sorceror could pull back on some of his arcane resources and generate a simple trick or two. Honestly, PCs have nothing listing their ability to drink beer, mead, or ale, yet it is assumed that they do so regularly.
I would venture that 3E was probably the starting point of playing RPGs for the DM of the guy the OP talked with there... it's one of the systems that leans more on the simulationist side of design theory, and I've noticed that players that are raised on simulationist RPGs will tend to have some issues readjusting their thought processes to systems that eschew that philosophy. I find it interesting that by that DM's standards, the cantrips for Wizards would actually have worthwhile use, but I generally put them to being somewhere between a sacred cow left in to appease grognards and the seed for an awesome system that could've made the game more interesting if expanded out.

Anyhow, it sucks the other guy might give up on a system because of what's really person issues, but that can be the case pretty often for why people avoid gaming or specific games.
I find it hard to beleive that the lack of a specific at will that belongs to wizards only limited the sorcerer.  Storm Sorcs toss lightning as easily as they breathe, and other sorcerers similarly have impressive at wills that can be used to entertain with only a marginally creative mind at the table.  This is a failing of the people at the table, not a failing of the system. 
4th edition actively encourages attempting to do things that aren't strictly covered by powers and skills; that's why we have DMG p. 42.

Then he explained that combat for him basically goes, I use an at will, at will, at will, encounter power, at will. Well, how is that any different from 3.5?

This is only true at low levels in 4th edition. Even then, it's more like "at will, different at will, encounter power, utility power, class feature granted power, at will, interesting tactical movement, different at will."

In 3rd edition, if he were a fighter, even at high levels it would be "full attack, full attack, trip (maybe), something cool granted by a feat path (maybe), move, full attack."
Attempting to convince target to see you in a better light: Diplomacy.

Flavor: entertaining children with magic tricks because you can breath fire and shoot lightning from your ass, so you should be able to do some parlor tricks.



But, even if your DM is glued to his rulebook, you could've done this! Check the skill description for the Thievery skill, it should have a section on "performing stage magic".
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Actually, technically, you're stepping into the realm of the Oberoni Fallacy: its not because a GM can apply Rule zero, that there is no problem with the game.

Practically: any system works if a game master is willing to remove things he feels errorous
- 4e: horses can't carry full armored dragonborn
- 3.5e: any (level 10+) wizard can singehandedly kill the worlds economy.

Technically: there are problems in any system. these should be fixed (errata, rule zero, ...).

Every system has its limitations. Saying that you don't like the system because of its limitations is a valid complaint.





Might I also note, that you might want to ask your friend to show you where it says he can use prestidigitation to entertain kids?
from the SRD 3.5: Prestidigitations are minor tricks that novice spellcasters use for practice. Once cast, a prestidigitation spell enables you to perform simple magical effects for 1 hour. The effects are minor and have severe limitations. A prestidigitation can slowly lift 1 pound of material. It can color, clean, or soil items in a 1-foot cube each round. It can chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of nonliving material. It cannot deal damage or affect the concentration of spellcasters. Prestidigitation can create small objects, but they look crude and artificial. The materials created by a prestidigitation spell are extremely fragile, and they cannot be used as tools, weapons, or spell components. Finally, a prestidigitation lacks the power to duplicate any other spell effects. Any actual change to an object (beyond just moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.


sure it does stuff, but so does magic missle, or fireball.

And might I note that the 4e DMG (unlike the 3.5 DMG) nudges DMs to say "yes" if the player asks something. (in your example, I would tell the DM to read that part)
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4e sucks for many reasons.

No rules on walking my pet chicken, specifically.
No rules on going to the bathroom, in-game.
No rules on natural wear and tear while drawing my sword from its scabbard. (scabbards wear out!)
No rules on playing star wars using the 4e D&D system.
No non combat, combat powers.
No rules on what to expect while expecting, in-game.
No rules on how many licks it takes to get to the center. None at all.
No rules dealing with ingrown toe nails, a very real problem with adventurers.

No guidelines on how to use the 4th edition rules while playing upside down underwater with your eyes closed.

While I'm at it, no dust proof, underwater dice. I blame 4e for this. It sucks when your dice get dusty while under water.

4e doesn't contain the numbers 3.5 in its title. Which makes it suck.

Oh, and to really show how bad 4e sucks, it tastes horrible and is a pain in the ass to digest. I should be able to eat my rule books if I want to, without painful consequences. I blame 4e, because it sucks.


Clearly, 4e D&D sucks, for every very valid reason I'v posted. You people just can't accept the truth because you're brand name fanboys.

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4e sucks for many reasons.

actually, I would say, "4e sucks because its not the same as the thing I know". other then that, LOL.

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For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

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Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
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Actually, technically, you're stepping into the realm of the Oberoni Fallacy: its not because a GM can apply Rule zero, that there is no problem with the game.


I never claimed the system was problem free, you are assuming that is what I am getting at.

Both 4e and 3e have problems at various points.
I said that if it was my game, I would have allowed it to happen, so long as it wasn't part of an encounter. He said it was, it was a skill check encounter and the DM said that since he didn't have any powers that would allow him to entertain, he couldn't do that. 



Both 4e and 3.5 have the same core problem: The rules are too good.


Seriously, this is a problem. A wide array of in-game actions are meticulously detailed in the rules, so it's natural to expect that those detailed are the ones you can actually use. It's as if you're playing a video-game where a large (but ultimately limited) number of predetermined commands allow you to interact with the game world.


Since so many things a player may likely want to do is already covered it begins to get harder to say "yes" when a player tries something new.


It's hard to think outside a box this big.


-DF



Technically? The DM is correct.



Technically? Sure. But it's not about right or wrong, it's about building an encounter that the players can do. Maybe there was a bard in the group. Certainly the bard could have done it. So maybe that player wanted to take the spot light when he shouldn't have. Fault, player.

I once played in a campaign running the Shackled City adventure path. At the begining the DM said that most of the adventure takes place indoor, and that outdoor skills wouldn't be as needed, so classes like Ranger and Druid wouldn't be any good.

He would make adjustments to the adventure, but when there was skill checks need, that used skills geared towards outside, no one could do them. So we couldn't gather the information we needed to progress the current quest.

More then likely, I bet the DM in question with the entertain the children encounter, didn't really think out writing that encounter with what his players actual abilities are. Or didn't offer several ways to approach the encounter. What if the players went and bought sweets for the kids? Or played games with them? Earned their trust?

Again, not the fault of the system, fault of the DM.

Same for the encounter. The way he described how encounters go for him, his sorcerer does the stay in the back and cast spells. So the DM never has mobs focus on him? Nothing else ever happens during combat? It's always just a straight fight?

Half the combats in my game tend to have a lot going on. Even the ones that are just "We need to kill this" My mobs never stand still. Especially if it's a solo encounter. And I always make sure I pick monsters that can change the conditions of the battle field. Knocking players down, stunning them, pushing them.

Personally, I think that 3.5 allowed more of the WoW thinking of combat, toe to toe, rolling dice till one is dead. Why? It doesn't take full advantage of using miniatures for combat. It would be easy to play out a 3.5 encounter without mini's, and less so for 4E.
His Sorcerer was trying to entertain some kids in town with his magic, and the DM wouldn't let him do any simple magic tricks, because he didn't have any powers that would allow that. I said, well, Sorcerers don't have that ability, but they also didn't have it in 3.5. He explained that in 3.5 he could use a spell like Prestidigitation. Which now he doesn't have as an option.


I actually think this is a valid complaint.  And I think there is an issue with allowing Sorcerers to have a default Prestidigitation power because it diminishes a class feature of wizards.  One of 4e's flaws, imo, is it doesn't do enough to balance the PCs' abilities to use their powers outside combat.  I don't think it's enough of a reason to eschew the system altogether, but depending on your pay style, it might be.

It's one of the reasons I devised Skill Tricks (and More Skill Tricks).

I also think that it shouldn't be that only one class -- Bard, or Wizard -- will have the skills to get through an encounter.  It's one reason why Clerics are no longer the sole repository of healing.  4e does a lot of things right.  But limiting Prestidigitation to Wizards is, imo, one of the things they got wrong.
I agree with OP.  A lot of times, its the person's unwavering negativity that will ruin a system in that person's mind.  If a person is dead set on something sucking... it will suck no matter what. 

I've heard a lot of arguments about why 4th sucks.  I've even heard "it's the same boring at-will, at-will, at-will, at-will, blah blah" argument, to which I reply "as a fighter in 3rd you did "full attack, full attack, move, full attack" why is that not the same thing?"

The answer:

"Because it's not."

Right.  Because it's not.
His Sorcerer was trying to entertain some kids in town with his magic, and the DM wouldn't let him do any simple magic tricks, because he didn't have any powers that would allow that. I said, well, Sorcerers don't have that ability, but they also didn't have it in 3.5. He explained that in 3.5 he could use a spell like Prestidigitation. Which now he doesn't have as an option.


I actually think this is a valid complaint.  And I think there is an issue with allowing Sorcerers to have a default Prestidigitation power because it diminishes a class feature of wizards.  One of 4e's flaws, imo, is it doesn't do enough to balance the PCs' abilities to use their powers outside combat.  I don't think it's enough of a reason to eschew the system altogether, but depending on your pay style, it might be.

It's one of the reasons I devised Skill Tricks (and More Skill Tricks).

I also think that it shouldn't be that only one class -- Bard, or Wizard -- will have the skills to get through an encounter.  It's one reason why Clerics are no longer the sole repository of healing.  4e does a lot of things right.  But limiting Prestidigitation to Wizards is, imo, one of the things they got wrong.



I see your point but for me, I feel adding something like that is not needed.

You can decide your characters background. If you used to be an entertainer before you became a sorcerer, you can entertain. Base the check on a skill the player has.

People have already shown several ways they could use powers to enteraint the kids. Set up trick shots, and have your sorcerer use at wills to knock things down. Simple enough. Use powers and make them appear as light shows.

If we take it that the DM made the encounter based on what the players abilities are, knowing that player X could do it, then the player is at fault, for wanting to be the one to try and beat the encounter, when another player probably had a better chance.

If we take it that the DM made the encounter without being based on what the players abilities are, then the fault is the DM's since he basically made an encounter that required a specific ability, that none of the players had. He set them up for failure.

Either way, it's not the systems fault, it's the limit of the players and the DM, and the choices they made. The DM said no to a player, before giving it a chance, and the player assumed that he should have a specific power that could be applied directly to the encounter, and when didn't called foul on the entire system.

In my life, generally any system, be it a game or workflow, you name it, breaks down when people refuse to follow it, because they have decided it's stupid.

In a few rare cases, has it actually been because the system has flaws. Which are fixable.

But in the majority of cases, the point of breakdown is a person that simply had decided they don't want to do their job, and blame the system for it. That's an attitude/personality problem which, for the most part, can't be fixed.



Blazing Starfall, Chaos Bolt, Burning Spray, Dragonfrost. Just to mention some of the At-wills only...

What't stopping a Sorcerer from putting on a one man fireworks show? With his high Charisma, he certainly knows how to put on a show and handle the audience.

Edit: And by the page 55 in the Player's Handbook 1, there are unlimited ways to describe how these effects are visualised.
Either way, it's not the systems fault, it's the limit of the players and the DM, and the choices they made.


A system should not rely on the skill of the DM.  That's because every DM at some point is new, inexperienced, or set in certain ways.  And if he is frustrated by a system he will lose interest in it and Wizards loses sales, which is apparently exactly what happened with the DM in your initial post.

Saying a DM is bad is not a valid defense of a system.  And I say that as an ardent admirer of 4e.  The system could have been designed to accommodate him without sacrificing anything else about the game and it wasn't.  That's a design flaw.  Could the DM fix the system?  Sure.  Does it reflect a flaw in this DM that he didn't feel confient enough, or comfortable enough to change the system to his desires?  Perhaps.

But that doesn't change the fact that Wizards lost some sales for no valid game design reason at all.  And that's a system flaw as well as a DM flaw.  And since systems can be fixed easier than people, I think the proper focus is on the system, which is why I feel my Skill Tricks, while not strictly "necessary", are useful and something that the game should have included (or something similar) from the get-go.

In my life, generally any system, be it a game or workflow, you name it, breaks down when people refuse to follow it, because they have decided it's stupid.


That isn't what you described.  The problem isn't that the DM didn't follow the system.  It's that he followed the system to the letter in a scenario where he could have changed it to his tastes with little effort.  And that is a problem on both sides of the equation.  But who got hurt by it?  The DM, who is happily playing 3e, or moving onto other hobbies?  Or Wizards, who won't be enjoying that person's money?
actually wrecan the DM didn't follow the system. Because the system tells you explicitly there are actions the rules do not cover, and give you loose guidelines to doing them.

And after reading the reflavor rules, it's quite clear that there was tons of room for him to do this.

The spirit of the game is that you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn't screw up the balance of the system.

Do you know how I would have done the little illusion show for the kiddies?

Roll a Bluff Check.

Successful you do your little performance well.
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Blazing Starfall, Chaos Bolt, Burning Spray, Dragonfrost. Just to mention some of the At-wills only...

What't stopping a Sorcerer from putting on a one man fireworks show? With his high Charisma, he certainly knows how to put on a show and handle the audience.

Edit: And by the page 55 in the Player's Handbook 1, there are unlimited ways to describe how these effects are visualised.



Frankly, any class with Diplomacy, Bluff, Athletics or acrobatics should have been able to have a chance to have entertained the children. So no, not just bard or wizard could have done this.

Again, the choices the player or the DM made sound like bad ones. Not the fault of the system.
Either way, it's not the systems fault, it's the limit of the players and the DM, and the choices they made.


A system should not rely on the skill of the DM.  That's because every DM at some point is new, inexperienced, or set in certain ways.  And if he is frustrated by a system he will lose interest in it and Wizards loses sales, which is apparently exactly what happened with the DM in your initial post.

Saying a DM is bad is not a valid defense of a system.  And I say that as an ardent admirer of 4e.  The system could have been designed to accommodate him without sacrificing anything else about the game and it wasn't.  That's a design flaw.  Could the DM fix the system?  Sure.  Does it reflect a flaw in this DM that he didn't feel confient enough, or comfortable enough to change the system to his desires?  Perhaps.

But that doesn't change the fact that Wizards lost some sales for no valid game design reason at all.  And that's a system flaw as well as a DM flaw.  And since systems can be fixed easier than people, I think the proper focus is on the system, which is why I feel my Skill Tricks, while not strictly "necessary", are useful and something that the game should have included (or something similar) from the get-go.

In my life, generally any system, be it a game or workflow, you name it, breaks down when people refuse to follow it, because they have decided it's stupid.


That isn't what you described.  The problem isn't that the DM didn't follow the system.  It's that he followed the system to the letter in a scenario where he could have changed it to his tastes with little effort.  And that is a problem on both sides of the equation.  But who got hurt by it?  The DM, who is happily playing 3e, or moving onto other hobbies?  Or Wizards, who won't be enjoying that person's money?



I had a long response posted, but realized that you went down a road that I really don't care about, and I have better things to do then discuss those.
actually wrecan the DM didn't follow the system. Because the system tells you explicitly there are actions the rules do not cover, and give you loose guidelines to doing them.


For the DM's perspective, the game does cover the scenario, because it specifically gave the Wizard a power to do what the sorcerer wanted to do: Prestidigitation.  And I can sympathize with a DM concerned that giving Sorcerers the sbility to perform Prestidigitation infringes on one aspect that makes Wizards unique.

It's similar to the many threads about people wanting to use Acrobatic stunts to allow a PC to disarm.  Inevitably, someone (or many someones) will state that allowing that will render obsolete the Fighter power Exorcism of Steel.  And those people are not necessarily wrong. 

Now, there are ways to improvise disarms and prestidigitation without rendering those powers obsolete.  But some DMs may be very nervous about imrpovising that, even though the rules tell you to "say yes". 

So, I still posit that there is a design flaw.  And it's no more a fix in 4e to say "The rules tell you to 'say yes'" just as it wasn't a fix in 3e to say "Rule Zero says you can change what you want."

For the record, I would have allowed the Sorcerer to do it with an Arcane check.  But if I were a player, and my DM said I couldn't try it, I wouldn't think he was a defective DM.  And if he thought it was aflaw that the system doesn't expressly accommodate Sorcerous prestidigitation, I would be sympathetic to his complaint, even understanding the DMG's guidelines on reflavoring.
To throw this out there, a Sorc. is based off a Chr so even just having him do a Chr. check to entertain the childern would have probably gone well in his favor, all he would have had to do is describe the small trick he did. 

There has been plenty said that I think hits the nail on the head on both sides of this.   The DM was focused alittle to much on the rules in this case, (Aghast I spoke against a DM, but in this case he was glued to the rulesbook instead of the spirit of the game), also though the player didn't look at his at-wills, the setting up milk jugs thing someone said is a great idea. 

The way combat follow between 4 and 3.5 I think is spot on as described, and I'll be honest I find it better in 4th simply b/c as some pointed out with the fighter ex I full attack, full attack, etc.  In 4th it might be at-will at-will but it can be switch and each attack whether it be at-will, encounter or daily provides me with something different.

Finally though, the point was made, People make up there minds then they stick with it.  Sometimes it's only one bad experience sometimes it's a small detail but they refuse to get past it.  I liked 3.X, but I like 4th more.  IMHO WotC left more rules up in the air for the DM to decide how it goes in the long run, and allows me and my pcs to be more creative with their antics.
 
Just my two cents.
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I never claimed the system was problem free, you are assuming that is what I am getting at.

Both 4e and 3e have problems at various points.

what? no. (and please, don't be saying what I assume)

Oberoni Fallacy (noun): The fallacy that the existence of a rule stating that, ‘the rules can be changed,’ can be used to excuse design flaws in the actual rules. Etymology, D&D message boards, a fallacy first formalized by member Oberoni.


As is, sorcerers can't use minor magic to entertain kids. Period. People who think they should, find the system flawed*. Too much (or too important) flaws* makes that people don't like the system.
(just like powerbalance was an issue in 3rd edition)

- Sure a flawed* system can work. however, people rather play a system with less flaws*
- Sure a good DM can work around flaws. however, its easier to DM with a system with less flaws*

(*: 'flaw' as something one or more people don't like)


Its quite simple: no system is compatible with all players. People who matrix hacking, who like big Mecha robots, or who like their spells to entertain children (and I recon, that was not the only problem those players had) ... maybe 4E isn't for them. 4E is about dungeons, and its about dragons, and thats how I like my DnD to be. I, am a Real Man .

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For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

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D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
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For the record, I would have allowed the Sorcerer to do it with an Arcane check.  But if I were a player, and my DM said I couldn't try it, I wouldn't think he was a defective DM.

my thoughts exaclty

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Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box

About entertaining: id allow ant Cha Skill to be used. Diplomacy bieng most broad, Bluff bieng most clever and Intimidate bieng most intrusive (telling scary stories I think falls along Intimidate and if you use it this way you dont realy lose infuence on the people you scared). The thing is Wizards cantrips realy show for me person that incorporated magic into his daily life. Sorceres are not that subtle. Prestiginating little flame is out of reach since they don't have what it takes to make fire only that small .   

Now using skills creatively im all up for. And it is mostly developed by players (I tend to get tired of thinking the ways they can use theyr skills for em and put them into semifromal form). Skills are broad for a reason.

About OP's point: Well Duh. Its been like this forever and it works for all cases in life not only gaming. People stereotyp because its faster and easyer and updating ones stereotype with new info takes effort one doent want to extend somtimes. Add to that fact that people generaly dont like to be wrong (in some cases pathologicly) and you will see full picture .  

For the record, I would have allowed the Sorcerer to do it with an Arcane check.  But if I were a player, and my DM said I couldn't try it, I wouldn't think he was a defective DM.

my thoughts exaclty




My first response to the person I was talking with was "As a DM, I would have said you did so, unless it was part of an encounter, then I would have found a check for you to make."

His response was: "The DM said I didn't have any powers that would allow me to make that check"

Clearly, these choices are outside of what the system allows.

So again, DM says you can't because you have nothing that allows you to do so, which isn't true, skills such as Diplomacy and Bluff could be used. Same for any class that has those or even atheltics or acrobatics.

So because the DM made a choice, and a bad one, the whole system stinks and is broken because the sorcerer class doesn't have an ability that would specifically allow that player to entertain children.

So to me, that sounds like a player that has to do everything. Which again, isn't the fault of the system.


To me the player is also a bit at fault.  When he was told the exacte thing he was tyring(in this case what the OP wrote) he gave up.  He did't try anything else.  They were other options to accomplish the same goal as he was trying. 

I am only going by what the orginal poster wrote when I am making these assumptions.

as we've gotten of on the wrong foot, lets try this again ...

From you OP, you seem to have made the conclusion "It's a persons attitude that really decides if a system works or not.".

However, I do not agree, at least not on a normal scale.

For a system to work, that is obviously dependant on a personal feeling. A system of rolling random unnumbered dice to get random DCs would work if a person is insane enough to think it works. But on a normal scale, rolling random unnumbered dice to get random DCs doesn't work.

And that is where the problem lies. the conclusion talks about people's attitude, implying that, if they would simply give 4e a honest chance, that it would work. However, attitude is not the only factor. People like and dislike other things.
- Some people like easy games, requiring as little dicerolling and mental activity as needed. 4e doesn't work for these people because almost each attack requires 2 rolls (attack & damage), tactical positioning, etc .
- Others like super realistic games. For these last group 4e simply doesn't work. you can't go around fighting monsters and dragons; sleep 8 hours and be 100% (even though hp are abstract concept, a monsters must be pretty incompentent not even to cause brusing or musscle soarness). - Others like steampunk, sci-fi, etc ...

For those people, even if they gave 4e a honest chance, the system will never work, because they need to adapt the system too much to be conform with what they want.

So, unless your conclusion is a tautology*, I have to disagree.
(*: if you're saying each variable how a person feels is considered attittude, then yes attittude decides if people like the system).
Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
I would have said no, but there's a lot I would have said yes to.

Prestidigitation doesn't seem like a Sorcerer shtick at all.  But if a Chaos Sorcerer wants to visibly manifest his Wild Soul (ie, fire, he can create a small flame in his hand), a Dragon Sorcerer wants to display scales, a Storm Sorcerer wants to do some sparks, whatever.  Or a Warlock wants to cover himself in his Shadow Walk shadows.

Yes: I want to display something that's part of my character's background, class, or features, even if it's not explicitly given to him.
No: I want to do something because the class could do it in a previous edition.
The Bruce Campbell of D&D.
as we've gotten of on the wrong foot, lets try this again ...

From you OP, you seem to have made the conclusion "It's a persons attitude that really decides if a system works or not.".

However, I do not agree, at least not on a normal scale.

For a system to work, that is obviously dependant on a personal feeling. A system of rolling random unnumbered dice to get random DCs would work if a person is insane enough to think it works. But on a normal scale, rolling random unnumbered dice to get random DCs doesn't work.

And that is where the problem lies. the conclusion talks about people's attitude, implying that, if they would simply give 4e a honest chance, that it would work. However, attitude is not the only factor. People like and dislike other things.
- Some people like easy games, requiring as little dicerolling and mental activity as needed. 4e doesn't work for these people because almost each attack requires 2 rolls (attack & damage), tactical positioning, etc .
- Others like super realistic games. For these last group 4e simply doesn't work. you can't go around fighting monsters and dragons; sleep 8 hours and be 100% (even though hp are abstract concept, a monsters must be pretty incompentent not even to cause brusing or musscle soarness). - Others like steampunk, sci-fi, etc ...

For those people, even if they gave 4e a honest chance, the system will never work, because they need to adapt the system too much to be conform with what they want.

So, unless your conclusion is a tautology*, I have to disagree.
(*: if you're saying each variable how a person feels is considered attittude, then yes attittude decides if people like the system).



I think you have it wrong.

I'm not saying a persons attitude makes a system work or not. A system can be broken even if the person has the best attitude.

What I'm saying is that a persons attitude and opinion isn't proof that a system is crap and doesn't work. I would like to point out also, my OP wasn't about if the system worked or not, but that the system was crap.

And because he thought the system was crap, it didn't work. And that because of his close minded attitude towards the system, he was taking an inflexiable stance using poor examples to try and conveince me that is was indeed crap and broken.

And my experience is that when people are like that, it's because they have decided to not work with the system, because they don't want to, and it has very little to do with how well the system actually works.
This is only a tangent at this point, but...

As some one said before the sorcerer can easily use thier at wills and  encounters (and even thier daily powers if they want to), not to mention skills to entairtain the children. The sorcerer can manipulate the very elemental forces of the universe, I would think that any 8 year old would think  that very cool Cool (provided the sorcerer had the powers go off in a safe area and did not melt said kids face off). 

As any parent can tell you, it does not take much to get a bunch of young children laughing uncontrollably, I can do this myself by just saying "monkey butt" and/or doing a pratfall. I am pretty sure if I had at will magic powers I could keep their attention even better.  

   

Not liking the new forums.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

 

 

I would think that any 8 year old would think  that very cool  (provided the sorcerer had the powers go off in a safe area and did not melt said kids face off).
   



I can see this scenario with a Chaos Sorcer in particular.

"Hey kid, wanna see a  magic trick?"
I would think that any 8 year old would think  that very cool  (provided the sorcerer had the powers go off in a safe area and did not melt said kids face off).
   



I can see this scenario with a Chaos Sorcer in particular.

"Hey kid, wanna see a  magic trick?"



Laughing 

Actually though, I seem to remember that the rules explicitly state that a player can choose for a power to do non-lethal damage?  If this is the case then it is not much of a stretch for the sorcerer to say the powers pass harmlessly over the children.

Not liking the new forums.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

 

 

I would think that any 8 year old would think  that very cool  (provided the sorcerer had the powers go off in a safe area and did not melt said kids face off).
   



I can see this scenario with a Chaos Sorcer in particular.

"Hey kid, wanna see a  magic trick?"



Laughing 

Actually though, I seem to remember that the rules explicitly state that a player can choose for a power to do non-lethal damage?  If this is the case then it is not much of a stretch for the sorcerer to say the powers pass harmlessly over the children.



I dont recall a rule like that.  I do know when you drop a creature to 0 or less you can knock it out.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I would think that any 8 year old would think  that very cool  (provided the sorcerer had the powers go off in a safe area and did not melt said kids face off).
   



I can see this scenario with a Chaos Sorcer in particular.

"Hey kid, wanna see a  magic trick?"



Laughing 

Actually though, I seem to remember that the rules explicitly state that a player can choose for a power to do non-lethal damage?  If this is the case then it is not much of a stretch for the sorcerer to say the powers pass harmlessly over the children.



I dont recall a rule like that.  I do know when you drop a creature to 0 or less you can knock it out.



Amd wouldn't children be minions? Mwhahahahahaha!

I would have said no, but there's a lot I would have said yes to.

Prestidigitation doesn't seem like a Sorcerer shtick at all.  But if a Chaos Sorcerer wants to visibly manifest his Wild Soul (ie, fire, he can create a small flame in his hand), a Dragon Sorcerer wants to display scales, a Storm Sorcerer wants to do some sparks, whatever.  Or a Warlock wants to cover himself in his Shadow Walk shadows.

Yes: I want to display something that's part of my character's background, class, or features, even if it's not explicitly given to him.
No: I want to do something because the class could do it in a previous edition.



Whether or not it's a Sorceror shtick depends on the flavor of Sorceror. WotC default flavor doesn't really match, but I can see other Sorceror flavors for which it wouldn't be much of a stretch.

But that brings us back to your point; if it's part the character's background and/or improves the roleplaying experience, then I say yes. If it's just you trying to gain a bonus to your check, then it's a no.
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Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.

I actually think this is a valid complaint.  And I think there is an issue with allowing Sorcerers to have a default Prestidigitation power because it diminishes a class feature of wizards.  One of 4e's flaws, imo, is it doesn't do enough to balance the PCs' abilities to use their powers outside combat.  I don't think it's enough of a reason to eschew the system altogether, but depending on your pay style, it might be.

It's one of the reasons I devised Skill Tricks (and More Skill Tricks).

I also think that it shouldn't be that only one class -- Bard, or Wizard -- will have the skills to get through an encounter.  It's one reason why Clerics are no longer the sole repository of healing.  4e does a lot of things right.  But limiting Prestidigitation to Wizards is, imo, one of the things they got wrong.



I agree.  I love 4e, but I do think that it has some big weaknesses in non-combat situations.  There is almost no fluff or rules for what any sort of race or class can do outside of combat.  A lot of people might see this as a good thing; "We don't need rules or fluff for X or Y; without it, it means we can make it all up ourselves!"  Well, sure, but if you want a game with no rules or fluff, why buy any books?  You can just freeform roleplay without ever rolling a die or reading a single rulebook.

4e only has two real systems for dealing with non-combat situations.  Skill Challenges, and Rituals.  I think Skill Challenges are awful.  They had to completely rewrite the system multiple times since it was originally released, and even still, nearly every published Skill Challenge fails to follow the guidelines set forth in the errata'd errata and the DMG2.  Rituals are mediocre; the fact that they all take a long time to cast, and require spending money to do anything at all, makes them see very little use in most games.  Money is the only resource you have as a player to control your magic items, and people are loathe to spend it just to roleplay.

I like Wrecan's skill tricks, and I like the "Cantrips for everyone" thread that allows other classes to do some similar non-combat magic.  I'm thinking of integrating some of these and some of my own rules into my next game to get the players to feel like they're actually powerful spellcasters outside of combat as well as in it.  Going strictly by the books, a level 30 Sorcerer can summon godlike pillars of fire and create gigantic explosions of acid in under 2 seconds in the middle of a pitched battle, but they can't make a candle dance or levitate a rock into the air without spending 10 minutes and a bunch of gold casting a lenghty ritual.  Seems backwards to me.
You forgot Skill Checks in general.

So add that to the list.

So just as many in 4e as past Es.

Infact Skill checks are now more flexible than ever. (given that they imply some magic can be done at will. Especially minor magic it's easy to assume that there can be magic being done from a skill check)

naegunfael.proboards.com/index.cgi?board...

4th article in my thread. Flavor vs Crunch.

Read it.
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