I finally figured out what was bothering me about 4ed - Format, Not Mechanics!

340 posts / 0 new
Last post
Ok, I've been playing D&D since 1991 and took a hiatus during all of 3.x; I have come back to the fold with 4e and am running a very successful campaign. I got the PHB and such and like many 4e detractors, was immediately grumbly about "Where is D&D? Why are all the classes the same?" and had a negative view.

Anyways, I started playing (DM'ing really) and have had a blast playing the game. Yet, something still doesn't sit with me (outside of ritual casting, I am still not a fan of EVERYONE being able to ritual cast, but that's beside the point)

I was reading some of the forums and much of what is complained about over the years of posts is the fact that all powers for all classes tend to have (quoted from a post long ago)

In 4th, you find there are maybe five powers:
1) Deal damage
2) Deal damage + move,
3) Damage + move foe
4) Damage + heal yourself
5) Damage + status effect
.



now look at 3.5 powers
damage
status effect
sv or die
for the most part that's it, seriously look at the spells and abilities.


So, here's the thing, the formatting of the powers makes it easy to discern the mechanics of the action, but it doesn't really tell you what the power does! There is a snippet of flavor text, but outside of that, you basically have a power block that looks bland and lifeless and is the same across all of the classes. So, many people have boiled the powers down to being different names for the same thing across all of the classes.


Here is an example: Confounding Arrows - Ranger Attack 15 - Your targets won't know what hit them.


That's it, sure there is the mechanics below, but that is just like the mechanics of EVERY other power for EVERY other class. There is nothing that makes it FEEL ranger, or gives you a clue as to how you could use it a different way. I think if the powers were fleshed out quite a bit more, especially with a broader overall description of what is actually going on, (coupled with different formatting for each class, or for each power source maybe) I think a power like confounding arrows would have a lot of stuff it could do, and flesh out the description to be used creatively by a player in combat and non-combat situations alike.


Want more? Read the description of the WEB spell from 2e to 3e to 4e, it leaves a lot to be desired in its new iteration IMHO. I like the idea of using powers outside of combat and I like the idea of powers having a lot of class-centric flavor (which you got in a haphazard fashion simply by DESIGN in the older editions)


I think that is the main bone I have to pick with the game, and why I don't get the same feeling when choosing to play a Wizard in this iteration as opposed to a Wizard in a prior edition. Playing the game is still a lot of fun, however (from a DM's perspective)


I also really really really miss the spell "rope trick" and wished 4e had more of those type of utility spells.


What do you think?

"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
You are exactly right: 4E cut down on Fluff for power descriptions.  The reason I think is that they felt such things would be better left in the minds of the players.  Every player of a ranger is going to picture their character in a slightly (or drastically) different way.  So rather than limit creativity by having a long description of how the ranger shoots his arrows for each attack, they leave it to our imagination.

However, Essentials has brought back a bit more fluff.  Check out the two Essentials books for players; each power has a short description.

I honestly don't miss the long descriptions, but I feel short ones are very helpful for new players.  I have had to prompt my new players into thinking about what their powers look like.  But that actually turns out better than if there was a full description, as they come up with their own idea.

I missed 'Rope Trick,' too, at first, but it's a Ritual in Manual of the Planes, now - 12th level ritual, mind you.  (It's interesting that 4e re-did so many classic low-level 'non combat spells' as realatively de-powered utilities or high-level rituals:  I think it's actually more representative of the impact they've always had on the game, when you stop and think about it).  


And, yes, I think you've hit on something with the 'formatting' issue.  4e is set up more like a rule book or technical manual.  It uses consistent language and consistent format to get accross mechanics, and uses very little 'fluff text.'  You're given a basic idea of what a fighter or ranger or wizard or whatever is, and a vague suggestion of what each exploit or spell or other power represents, and that's it with the fluff: you're left prettymuch to your own devices with any narrative or descriptive details you want to come up with.   Where you're off base, though, is in suggesting that using the same format makes classes 'the same' - conversely, that just varrying format would make the same class presented three different ways three different classes.  There are some definite distinctions among the power sources and classes that are, if anything, easier to spot and understand because they do all use the same format and structure. 



There's nothing wrong with having more fluff, though as long as 1) it's kept distinct from mechanics, and doesn't impact mechanics and 2) it's kept 'optional' at the player level, so that players can re-skin existing mechanics to fit character concepts.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I think a lot of this could have been avoided if they had just made the layout for each class different. I point to the 3.5 book Tome of Magic which had three new classes, each having completely different layout to their chapters. This simple trick would fool many people out of thinking "every class is the same".
The brevity in fluff descriptions for each power is both a good and bad thing.  While it leaves each power rather bland to read, it also frees up the player to interpret their own fluff when using the power.  A lot of it, in my opinion, depends on how creative the players are when describing the use of their powers.

I certainly wish more of the Utility powers were designed solely with out-of-combat uses.  A whole bunch of the Utilities are really just for combat.

That said, creative players can come up with multiple out-of-combat uses for their attack and utility powers.

As far as rituals, I think they are one of the best ideas in 4E.  The biggest problem with them is there are not nearly enough (the PHB1 selection is pitifully small).  Rituals also tend to cost a bit much to use and take too long to cast, but the cost can be worked around with little difficulty and there could easily be feats made to speed up casting time.
Ah! Run for the hills! We need to use our imagination more in 4E! Gadzooks!
I think a lot of this could have been avoided if they had just made the layout for each class different. I point to the 3.5 book Tome of Magic which had three new classes, each having completely different layout to their chapters. This simple trick would fool many people out of thinking "every class is the same".





I almost guarantee if the designers had taken this approach to incorporating the drastic change which is D&D 4e, the naysayers would have had much less to complain about. You could have kept the format of the "spells" for the wizard vastly different than the "exploits" for the fighter and kept the mechanics the same, thus alleviating some of the heartburn many people had with 4e.


"Ah! Run for the hills! We need to use our imagination more in 4E! Gadzooks!"

Well, considering you use your imagination for ACTUALLY PLAYING THE GAME, it would be nice to have the written material that is framework for the imagintation GIVE ME SOMETHING TO IMAGINE. Adding more description to the powers (be it mechanical or just fluff) does in no way detract from ones imagination of said power.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
Ah! Run for the hills! We need to use our imagination more in 4E! Gadzooks!



OMG = no wait I love using imagination and having 1 spell potentially mean ... well

 community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
  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."

 



OMG = no wait I love using imagination and having 1 spell potentially mean ... well

 community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...



Point. Set. Match.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson


OMG = no wait I love using imagination and having 1 spell potentially mean ... well

 community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...



Point. Set. Match.



The empowerment of how you envision your abilities can be very much an awesome part of the game... 

Here is a coolness with regards to Fighter abilities
  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."

 

And here is some Swordmage Imagination Aides. 
  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."

 

Realizing just how powerful the freedom can be for every class - enables a true plethora of characters from.  the faerie master and joxer  in my sig represent how the Wizard and Fighter are each what you make of them.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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

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

 

I think a lot of this could have been avoided if they had just made the layout for each class different. I point to the 3.5 book Tome of Magic which had three new classes, each having completely different layout to their chapters. This simple trick would fool many people out of thinking "every class is the same".



1) I think that is a fair statement.

2) I think that the trend of presentation > quality in the RPG community to be terribly depressing.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

I think a lot of this could have been avoided if they had just made the layout for each class different. I point to the 3.5 book Tome of Magic which had three new classes, each having completely different layout to their chapters. This simple trick would fool many people out of thinking "every class is the same".



1) I think that is a fair statement.

2) I think that the trend of presentation > quality in the RPG community to be terribly depressing.



Presentation is a part of quality.  They are not necessarily distinct concepts.

I, for one, would be much happier if 4E used a presentation style such as:

Cleave, At-will, Make a basic melee attack and deal your Strength modifier in damage to an adjacent enemy.
So, here's the thing, the formatting of the powers makes it easy to discern the mechanics of the action,but it doesn't really tell you what the power does! There is a snippet of flavor text, but outside of that, you basically have a power block that looks bland and lifeless and is the same across all of the classes. So, many people have boiled the powers down to being different names for the same thing across all of the classes.




Personally, I really liked the layout of the 4E books prior to Essentials. To me, these are strictly reference tools, and the faster I can find something, and the more regular and strict the formatting, the better. I don't read the books to have an enjoyable afternoon's read; I'm reading them to find a piece of information, retrieve it, and move on. I never had any issue with what a power did, nor how it "looked" in action. These things were crystal clear to me. In fact, I really could have done without the flavor text line, probably.

In fact, I find that while I don't really have too many issues with the mechanical aspects of Essentials, for the format of the books is detrimental to their utility. I really can't stand the extra cruft they decided to jam in there, the all-over-the-map flipping around, and the general...dullness of the Essentials books. 
So, here's the thing, the formatting of the powers makes it easy to discern the mechanics of the action,but it doesn't really tell you what the power does! There is a snippet of flavor text, but outside of that, you basically have a power block that looks bland and lifeless and is the same across all of the classes. So, many people have boiled the powers down to being different names for the same thing across all of the classes.




Personally, I really liked the layout of the 4E books prior to Essentials. To me, these are strictly reference tools, and the faster I can find something, and the more regular and strict the formatting, the better. I don't read the books to have an enjoyable afternoon's read; I'm reading them to find a piece of information, retrieve it, and move on. I never had any issue with what a power did, nor how it "looked" in action. These things were crystal clear to me. In fact, I really could have done without the flavor text line, probably.

In fact, I find that while I don't really have too many issues with the mechanical aspects of Essentials, for the format of the books is detrimental to their utility. I really can't stand the extra cruft they decided to jam in there, the all-over-the-map flipping around, and the general...dullness of the Essentials books. 


Nothing to say but +1

I also love the lack of description in the spells - I don't need it, the little one line of text they give is usually enough to start off

The lack of fluff is what let's me design any character I have wanted thus far. 

Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
Look, I'm just saying that having the game tell you what something does isn't a deal breaker. In fact, I enjoy it more.
One of the things my DM does is when we kill a monster, we are allowed to describe the killing blow. We look at the power we used and go "Right, ranged - check, fire - check, shadow - check. Okay so --" and proceed to describe the spell and being creative.
---
What this thread all comes down to is Roleplaying is never detracted by the system.
It got me thinking about this article:

Does Format Matter? Robert J Schwalb has posited an interesting theory on his blog that much of the resistance to 4E may have been due not to the content, but to the format - and that if it had been presented to look like 3.5 it might have been more readily accepted. He includes a short example of 3.5-ified 4E in PDF format.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

It got me thinking about this article:

Does Format Matter? Robert J Schwalb has posited an interesting theory on his blog that much of the resistance to 4E may have been due not to the content, but to the format - and that if it had been presented to look like 3.5 it might have been more readily accepted. He includes a short example of 3.5-ified 4E in PDF format.



I would agree with him.  Many people I have talked through who had alot of opposition to 4e didn't like it just from first glance.

- Despite many of these players making reference cards, they didn't like the "power card" concept and felt it was too CCG
- Powers being at-will, encounter, and daily seemed to much like cool downs in MMORPGs, despite many classes having abilities that can only be used 3/day or some other "less than every turn"
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
I agree that this is a flaw, generally speaking. I don't personally get affected by it. It's sort of like Doser, in the Matrix -- after a while, you can sort of imagine how a power must look just by reading the stats. Although it's less like I'm seeing something that's objectively there and it's more like that my brain is organizing the disparate concepts -- the power itself, the fluff, the name, the class, the character, ect. -- into something I like imagining.

Warforged Swordmage + Armblade + Booming Blade = Really epic sword-raised-high stance then suddenly already swung in an arc, THEN a sonic thrum (like the seismic charges from Star Wars: Episode 2)

Monk + Dagger feats + Implement-based powers = Monk that holds the dagger upside-down defensively and punches rather than swinging the blade

Y'know, that sorta thing. Imagination!
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
That was the intent of the OP, a lot of gamers play Dungeons and Dragons for the flavor and immersion into the game. I think a lot of heat and flame would have been avoided given simple design change.


Put all of the bland power-blocks in standardized fashion in the rules compendium for ease of reference, and flesh out the PHB for those fans who liked that part of D&D. It really is a flavor thing.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
now look at 3.5 powers

damage
status effect
sv or die
for the most part that's it, seriously look at the spells and abilities.




"3.5 powers".  Those are called 'spells'.  Let's look at the options for non-casters in 3.5.

1) Full Attack
2) Full Attack
3) Full Attack
4) Full Attack
5) Full Attack

I don't mind having casters' abilities toned down, made a little more formulaic -- and martial characters' abilities sexed up -- in order to put everyone on an even keel.  The casters may not get a second helping of cake in this edition, but at least the melee folk were invited to the party this time.
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.


Y'know, that sorta thing. Imagination!



Yeah what a curse eh... 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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

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

 

I honestly think the concept of reflavoring itself ought to have had more fleshed out presentation... 
  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."

 

Presentation is a part of quality.  They are not necessarily distinct concepts.



For the books itself? Yes.

For the classes, feats, and powers themselves? I'd say empathically no. I've used several different 4ed Player sheets, written player character on the back of old term papers, and used the power cards. The quality of my experience was the same.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

I honestly think the concept of reflavoring itself ought to have had more fleshed out presentation... 



100% Agreed.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

It got me thinking about this article:

Does Format Matter? Robert J Schwalb has posited an interesting theory on his blog that much of the resistance to 4E may have been due not to the content, but to the format - and that if it had been presented to look like 3.5 it might have been more readily accepted. He includes a short example of 3.5-ified 4E in PDF format.


Oh hell no!  One of the great advances of 4e is that I no longer have to sift the important stuff about a power out of several paragraphs of fluff.  I can't tell you how many times a 3e round ground to a halt while the Wizard tried to find a specific value of a spell.  Some paid-by-the-word tool's canned description of the caster's fiery eyes and steaming genitalia should not be as prominently displayed as the vital mechanical information I'm trying to look up.

This is the problem with the argument that 4e would have been more readily accepted if it'd been done differently; gaining customers is not the only possibility.  If every power in 4e had been written in the same blathering, imprecise fashion as 3e spells, and if they'd gone with someone else's horrible idea of putting the powers of different classes in different formats order to fool the players into believing that they don't all use the same system, I'd have had a lot less faith in the competence of 4e's design.
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.
It got me thinking about this article:

Does Format Matter? Robert J Schwalb has posited an interesting theory on his blog that much of the resistance to 4E may have been due not to the content, but to the format - and that if it had been presented to look like 3.5 it might have been more readily accepted. He includes a short example of 3.5-ified 4E in PDF format.


Oh hell no!  One of the great advances of 4e is that I no longer have to sift the important stuff about a power out of several paragraphs of fluff.  I can't tell you how many times a 3e round ground to a halt while the Wizard tried to find a specific value of a spell.  Some paid-by-the-word tool's canned description of the caster's fiery eyes and steaming genitalia should not be as prominently displayed as the vital mechanical information I'm trying to look up.

This is the problem with the argument that 4e would have been more readily accepted if it'd been done differently; gaining customers is not the only possibility.  If every power in 4e had been written in the same blathering, imprecise fashion as 3e spells, and if they'd gone with someone else's horrible idea of putting the powers of different classes in different formats order to fool the players into believing that they don't all use the same system, I'd have had a lot less faith in the competence of 4e's design.



I personally like the old descriptions they give me an IDEA of what to imagine, you know helps stimulate the imagination and the flavor is there to suit, and oh yea refering to the "Important stuff" Its called a highlighter bro.

I personally like the old descriptions they give me an IDEA of what to imagine, you know helps stimulate the imagination and the flavor is there to suit, and oh yea refering to the "Important stuff" Its called a highlighter bro.

It's a rare individual that damages their own book. Highlighter ink on the pages constitutes damage.

See, I think that the way brought in along with Essentials should work just fine. A paragraph describes the fluffiness of the power right before you see the power itself. You get your prose and then you get the nitty-gritty. In fact, it seems wholly unnecessary to have that little blurb right under the name in the actual power, with a whole paragraph describing it already. Get rid of that and it's golden.

I too dislike the fluff-and-mechanics-intertwined jerkery. I remember being frustrated when reading Flurry of Blows or Rage in the 3.5 Player's Handbook. I just wanted to know what it did, I didn't need to know why! I know what rage is. I know what punching really fast can be imagined like. I just want the numbers. In my mind, that's all I'm paying Wizards of the Coast for.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
I was a hardcore 1st and 2nd ed. player, played a little 3.0 and stopped before 3.5 was released. Now, I am intoducing my daughters to D&D via 4th ed. Oddly enough, they are quick to provide their own fluff for powers, Burning Hands and Magic Missile both obviously shoot from the wand, right? Cleave vs. Minions clearly means both bad guys got chopped in half, right? If my kids can figure it out, there's no reason the rest of us can't...
Honestly I prefer the 4e format over the 3.5 format. The 3.5 format always lookes poorly arranged, and i'd much rather see an equasion then a table.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I learned 3.5 and 4e at the same time, and 4e was made much easier because of the book layout, if you want to read about the wizard, you turn to that section and read about him, all his spells in each level.

if you do that in a 3.5 book you have to flip back and forth, it can take forever.
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
My first introduction to 4th edition was reading the Players Handbook and I think a lot of the negativity about 4th edition (mine included) can be attributed to that specific book.  A role-playing book, while a reference book should inspire you and frankly I found (and still do finde) the Players Handbook for 4th edition to be one of the most boring books to read in all of role-playing. 

When viewed as a reference book to find rules for combat and character creation it does its job very well, but as inspiration to actually play the game it fails miserably.  I didn't get excited about the game until I read some of the DM guides and some of the settings like Dark Suns.  So as a player who should be reading the Players Handbook you are at a bit of a disadvantage..

I noted a considerable difference in attitude to the game when I intentionally avoided letting my players read the players handbook until I have had a chance to "show them" how the game plays.  Once players start playing they find the game and only than does the Players Handbook have some context for the game that people can excited about and that's because after playing they know what it is they are looking at (the manual for the game).

My Blog (The Gamers Think Tank)

"Edition wars like all debates exist because people like debates"

now look at 3.5 powers

damage
status effect
sv or die
for the most part that's it, seriously look at the spells and abilities.




"3.5 powers".  Those are called 'spells'.  Let's look at the options for non-casters in 3.5.

1) Full Attack
2) Full Attack
3) Full Attack
4) Full Attack
5) Full Attack

I don't mind having casters' abilities toned down, made a little more formulaic -- and martial characters' abilities sexed up -- in order to put everyone on an even keel.  The casters may not get a second helping of cake in this edition, but at least the melee folk were invited to the party this time.



I do have agree with this...and have to admit that 4ed does a good job of making everyone feel important and like they have something interesting to contribute to the battles. It makes playing a fighter a bit more enticing to play, now that it's not just 'I full attack again' while the wizard was off doing something cool like distinegrating the BBEG. Now that fighter has neat powers of his own that he can describe and it isn't boring playing one.

When I first started playing 4ed I wasn't a fan...coming from 3.x, it all seemed like it was the same class over and over again. But the books and powers are just the mechanics and I soon realized how much more open and free it was for you to actually put some backstory now to characters and how fun it was at the playtable describing how your character kills things.

I hate the essentials line though and luckily my group agrees so we pretend they don't exist. To me, the essentials were a money ploy to get people to sink money into rule books they already had. Sure toss in a few 'redesigned' classes but it's still the same rules.

I do find that I miss the 3.x visual looks but I think thats because it was the first D&D system I started out with and so it holds a special place. 

The format of the powers within 4th edition really hit me as more imaginative, by which I mean it allowed me to be more imaginative with the powers as printed.  It was one of the things that drew me to the system.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I have no comparrisons to previous editions as I have only played 4e, but I like the 'lack off fluff'. My family & I have loads of fun & laughs invisaging what our different powers & feats look like & how they work. It really brings out the imagination in my two daughters as well, you should hear some of the fantastic crazy stuff they come out with! It's amazing! You just wouldn't get that from them if we were all reading out pages of decriptive 'fluff' - & that would be a shame I think.
.....bringing sexy into D&D since 2010! ;)
It wasn't until after 4e that I realised that I hate old RPG games format because the intermingling of fluff and rules takes so much damn time to pick out what the rule is supposed to do. Even SAGA is laden with this archaic idiocy sometimes.

Compare

Something something
Blah blah you gain +1 damage fluff fluff

with

Something something
Blah blah fluff fluff
Rules: You gain +1 damage

However much "the feel" is lost with the secondary example for those subjective reactions, my own subjective reaction has been nothing but positive. With the first example, I have to read the entire thing during gametime which is pure waste of time. With example 2, I can read the fluff in my sparetime and the very essential part of it during gametime (ie the rules, which is all that matters for the moment in the gametime)
It is the very separation of fluff and mechanics that I love about 4th.

I can toss RPGing out the window and focus on the mechanics. It will be interesting to see if 5th reverses this.
It is the very separation of fluff and mechanics that I love about 4th. I can toss RPGing out the window and focus on the mechanics. It will be interesting to see if 5th reverses this.



I'm not sure this is a good thing to be frank, though I agree with you that 4th edition illicits this response in a lot of players who often seem considerably less eager about role-playing and more eager to "play the game" which to them is the combat encounters.  Its why I often describe 4th edition as an adventure game less a role-playing game because in the strictest terms role-playing is not at all mandated in any way or really required to play the game at all.  In fact if you read modules the act of role-playing creates a lot of unexpected events for which the modules have no answer for and its up to the GM to make it up.  This of course is the GM's job in a traditional role-playing game but its interesting how the modules and the game as a whole work considerably better when everyone simply follows along.  I personally don't like that aspect of the game and I encourage my players to do the unexpected, get in character and really role-play but I find it happens considerably less in 4th edition than any other role-playing game.  I believe this can be attributed to the fact that the players handbook offers very little actual assumption that any role-playing will take place beyond the very basic backstory aspects and perhaps some descriptors. In a way it encourages players to follow along the story rather than "be the story" and the assumption is that the game will go from encounter to encounter (usually combat).  This is kind of why I call it an adventure game because you are having an adventure, you are role-playing to a degree but the focus is reall primarly on the modules (or adventures story) and generally its many encounters that players navigate through.

In a lot of ways 4th edition as described here by a lot of posters is said to be a better role-playing system because it offers less direction, less description and presumes the story will be created in the imaginations of the players but I find the oppossite to be true which is why I think using a campaign setting where a lot of "story" elements are created for you and the players can read and absorb the imagry becomes clearer and the game becomes more focused on actual role-playing.. or perhaps better to say on the story.  

I have never been able to illicit the depth of role-playing under 4th edition as I have in other systems and it takes considerable more effort to get players interest in creating their own story's and personas because they are so focus on that players handbook, the many combat oriented powers, magic items and overall message the players handbook repeats... combat . combat .. combat.

That said though frankly if a game is fun its fun and while I would like it to be more, I enjoy running the sessions and watching the players enjoying them as well.  Encounters are fun, combat is fun and while I think if you top it off with great story and characterization it could be even a greater experiance, given the focus of the game and a lot of its presumptions I'm not suprised by the approach to the game.

I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why 3rd edition for example or other role-playing systems illicit more role-playing, but its simply been my experiance that they do.

My Blog (The Gamers Think Tank)

"Edition wars like all debates exist because people like debates"

I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why 3rd edition for example or other role-playing systems illicit more role-playing, but its simply been my experiance that they do.



They enforce it. "Oh you want this awesome power? Ok, you have to play like this and this and this and follow these and these tables, or your DM will take it away. You don't want the power? Ok, I guess you'll suck, but feel free to play whatever you want".

4e gives you the options for free and then lets you play whatever you want. Apparently, your players aren't very interested in roleplaying and may very well just have done it in previous games because the game forced them to. Which begs the question; do your players really want to roleplay, or do they just want to run encounters and do they accept the roleplaying because otherwise they'd have to suck?
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.