What's GOOD about 4e.

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Hi Everyone. I'd like to start a thread where we discuss what WORKS about 4e, and what is just plain awesome about it.
No, I'm not high, or in a support group. Nor do I enjoy drum circles. Or platonic hugging.
I would like to read some positive stuff, and write some positive stuff however.

My favorite thing has got to be how spell casters aren't useless after 1-2 encounters at low levels or rediculously over-powered at high levels anymore. And thank Yoda for the end of vanican spellcasting too.

Another favorite thing of mine is that it's really hard to kill a level 1 PC (or any PC, really) with ONE HIT now. Great way to get people into the game. Remember back in 1-3e, in high school or whatever playing or DMing for the first time, and some new kid got his very first PC ever killed because of one die roll, and said "screw this" and left the game table never to return? 

2 words: Power Sources. What an elegant way to organize character classes.

Hopefully, these 3 items will get us started.     

P.S.:
I've never played WoW, but as someone mentioned, WoW (and all computer/console RPGs) copied D&D, not the other way around. So those "4e is like an MMORPG" comments that are still flying around are akin to saying that chariot races in the circus maximus copied nascar.

I don't want to be an edition warrior. I think there was something good and something bad in all the editions I played. I do, however, believe that the game has gotten better over the years (and decades). I hope this holds true into the future.

Peace.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/21.jpg)

One thing I like is the saving throw system changes. Ongoing effects that last untill you save are simple for me to track. Also I like how spells target a defense number so that it is up to the attacker to hit that number instead of the target makeing a saveing throw to avoid or resist some damage. "Save vs So and So" is not near as fun for me as "I hit your will defense" It seems more fun to let the attacker roll dice then the target.
I like page 42. And skill challenges.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I like that they got rid of the must be LG for paladins.
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
I like page 42. And skill challenges.



Yeah, I forgot about page 42. Great referance.  I read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy back in 7th/8th grade. The same time I discovered D&D. Those were the days...lol.
  
I didn't 'get' skill challenges for the longest time, but now that I've re-worded their origional description in my head, I love them. I tend to spread them out over a whole session, or several sessions. At first (part of my confusion) I thought the DM made the players just roll it all out at once, like an encounter... Also, Mike Shea of SlyFlourish.com has some great insight/info posted on skill challanges. Reading that totally made me get it, and start really using them to move a campaign foreward.

I don't want to be an edition warrior. I think there was something good and something bad in all the editions I played. I do, however, believe that the game has gotten better over the years (and decades). I hope this holds true into the future.

Peace.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/21.jpg)

Level 1 wizards can be roughly as effective as level 1 fighters.
Level 10 fighters can be roughly as effective as level 10 wizards.
It encourages team play.  All D&D games have done this to some extent, but 4E is designed around having everyone getting a good chance to contribute meaningfully in every combat encounter.  And most PCs need other PCs around to be effective.

Relatively balanced, especially in heroic and early paragon.  No not all races/classes/powers etc. are equal and there are a few clunkers out there, but for the most part unless someone is really maxing out a high level character no one will be radically outshining the rest of the party.  And at the other end, for the most part its fairly hard to build a useless PC so you can make a bunch of flavor choices and still contribute mechanically.  And PCs are consistently useful from 1-30.

No one class or role is required.  Its nice to have all roles, but you can get around not having any role.

Fairly easy to DM and to prep/build encounters.
I find combat (both tactics and strategy) to be endlessly fascinating in 4e. I think it's a great "war game" system right now that allows one to dig as deeply as one wants. If I want to spend 20 hours a week poring over potential builds and party combinations, I can. If I want to just jump in and play (as long as U have some inlking of how to be effective), I can. It supports varying levels of players and player dedication and knowledge. 

No clue if they existed in previous editions, but the charop wikis are also a high point for me. They provide me with tons of good reading and ideas when I start planning a new PC. 
There is an underlying simplicity. Granted the farther we get from PHB 1, the less that simplicity exists, but it's still there.

A fighter, a wizard, a rogue... they all operate within the same framework making it easy to pick up a new character without too much education.
What's good about 4e? Simple: I'm the DM.

4e makes my job easier than it has been in the entire 33 years I have been playing/DMing.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I can focus on building a cool story and fun encounters without having to worry about players potentially breaking the system.

Also the fluff/rules seperation that allows me to easily flavor my own classes and characters from existing components, no rule changes required.

Also one system for everything so that I don't need to relearn the rules with each new character.

Also the focus on teamwork which really makes players play together. 
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.
It encourages team play. 

All D&D games have done this to some extent, but 4E is designed around having everyone getting a good chance to contribute meaningfully in every combat encounter.  And most PCs need other PCs around to be effective.




The teamplay is my absolute favorite aspect of it, from a player's perspective.  It's leaps and bounds stronger and cooler there than it ever has been.  When I play as a PC, I love this!

From a DM's perspective, my favorite part is still creating sweeping and engaging stories with the PCs and memorable NPCs for them to interact with, like any edition since basic.

Mechanically though?  There's more holes on the DM side of the screen as far as design and balance.  Some cool concepts, but the execution?  Not always there.  But everyone's working on making that better, from bloggers to designers, and that's a very good thing.
LEONINE ROAR : Amp Up Your D&D Game : Visit my D&D blog :: FASTER COMBAT : Crush Your Combat Grind
What's good about 4e? Simple: I'm the DM.

4e makes my job easier than it has been in the entire 33 years I have been playing/DMing.



To add on to this, I love making custom monsters and the 4e rules for such let me get something that's mechanically in the right ballpark on the basic numbers with no trouble at all.
What's good about 4e? Simple: I'm the DM.

4e makes my job easier than it has been in the entire 33 years I have been playing/DMing.



A-freaking-men.

Hmmmm. My absolute favorite thing about 4e?

Oh! Similar to what Seeker said, getting rid of the CR system, and its utterly insane, and inaccurate, judging of difficulty, and replacing it with the XP budget (and with monsters whom you can adjust up and down nigh at will). 

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.


P.S.:
I've never played WoW, but as someone mentioned, WoW (and all computer/console RPGs) copied D&D, not the other way around. So those "4e is like an MMORPG" comments that are still flying around are akin to saying that chariot races in the circus maximus copied nascar.



Really the only thing that WoW got from D&D is dragons, wizards, elves etc... I would even go as far to say that WoW was inspired by Everquest and Ultima Online.

It would be like saying all fantasy games were inspired by D&D.


P.S.:
I've never played WoW, but as someone mentioned, WoW (and all computer/console RPGs) copied D&D, not the other way around. So those "4e is like an MMORPG" comments that are still flying around are akin to saying that chariot races in the circus maximus copied nascar.



Really the only thing that WoW got from D&D is dragons, wizards, elves etc... I would even go as far to say that WoW was inspired by Everquest and Ultima Online.

It would be like saying all fantasy games were inspired by D&D.



Everquest is GREATLY inspired by AD&D.


Really the only thing that WoW got from D&D is dragons, wizards, elves etc... I would even go as far to say that WoW was inspired by Everquest and Ultima Online.

It would be like saying all fantasy games were inspired by D&D.



But Everquest WAS inspired by D&D. Like, directly inspired. - LINK -
So was Ultima and Warcraft. - LINK -


Really the only thing that WoW got from D&D is dragons, wizards, elves etc... I would even go as far to say that WoW was inspired by Everquest and Ultima Online.

It would be like saying all fantasy games were inspired by D&D.



But Everquest WAS inspired by D&D. Like, directly inspired. - LINK -
So was Ultima and Warcraft. - LINK -



The whole cool down and everyone having "powers" is not a D&D thing.  I know Wizards had the spells per day mechanic first but games such as Everquest and WoW made the cool down a bit lower.  The At-will and Encounter powers are very very similar to Everquest and WoW.




Really the only thing that WoW got from D&D is dragons, wizards, elves etc... I would even go as far to say that WoW was inspired by Everquest and Ultima Online.

It would be like saying all fantasy games were inspired by D&D.



But Everquest WAS inspired by D&D. Like, directly inspired. - LINK -
So was Ultima and Warcraft. - LINK -



Here is a better one about EQ. The game was inspired by a D&D campaign which most likely had nothing to do with the actual mechanics of the game. 


Really the only thing that WoW got from D&D is dragons, wizards, elves etc... I would even go as far to say that WoW was inspired by Everquest and Ultima Online.

It would be like saying all fantasy games were inspired by D&D.



But Everquest WAS inspired by D&D. Like, directly inspired. - LINK -
So was Ultima and Warcraft. - LINK -



The whole cool down and everyone having "powers" is not a D&D thing.  I know Wizards had the spells per day mechanic first but games such as Everquest and WoW made the cool down a bit lower.  The At-will and Encounter powers are very very similar to Everquest and WoW.





That does not deter from the fact that these games were inspired by D&D.
Your above post mentioned nothing about specific mechanics, only inspiration. 
Since I have not played Everquest, WoW, or Ultima Online, I cannot speak to how similar the machanics are.


Really the only thing that WoW got from D&D is dragons, wizards, elves etc... I would even go as far to say that WoW was inspired by Everquest and Ultima Online.

It would be like saying all fantasy games were inspired by D&D.



But Everquest WAS inspired by D&D. Like, directly inspired. - LINK -
So was Ultima and Warcraft. - LINK -



The whole cool down and everyone having "powers" is not a D&D thing.  I know Wizards had the spells per day mechanic first but games such as Everquest and WoW made the cool down a bit lower.  The At-will and Encounter powers are very very similar to Everquest and WoW.





You obviously never played Everquest. I've been playing it since beta. There were no cooldowns or powers in vanilla EQ. There really aren't any "powers" now.


Really the only thing that WoW got from D&D is dragons, wizards, elves etc... I would even go as far to say that WoW was inspired by Everquest and Ultima Online.

It would be like saying all fantasy games were inspired by D&D.



But Everquest WAS inspired by D&D. Like, directly inspired. - LINK -
So was Ultima and Warcraft. - LINK -



The whole cool down and everyone having "powers" is not a D&D thing.  I know Wizards had the spells per day mechanic first but games such as Everquest and WoW made the cool down a bit lower.  The At-will and Encounter powers are very very similar to Everquest and WoW.





You obviously never played Everquest. I've been playing it since beta. There were no cooldowns or powers in vanilla EQ. There really aren't any "powers" now.



Emmmm I played EQ as well and yes there were powers.  There was a lot of just swinging your weapon but there were plenty of powers. Warriors didn't cast spells but the other classes did and some aspects of the game did have cooldowns. I believe the Mend ability had a cooldown.
Mend would be considered a class feature. Not really a "power".

It's a video game, though. It isn't D&D. It's just HEAVILY based on D&D. From the classes, to the pantheon. The entire world itself is basically just like an AD&D setting without the vancian magic. Spell slots don't work well outside of a turn based system. They don't even work that well within one. :P WoW has heavy influences from D&D as well. Without D&D, these games wouldn't exist.
I like that there are no dead levels in pre-Essentials classes. You get to pick something new each and every level! That is a must for me in RPG systems.
I like that there are no dead levels in pre-Essentials classes. You get to pick something new each and every level! That is a must for me in RPG systems.



Same here. This is why I generally prefer systems with no classes or levels. Vanilla 4e is the first class-based system that really caught my interest because of this.

Classes like the previous edition's Paladin, which was a 20 level class that got nothing after level 5, always blew my mind. Never understood how something like that could make it through the editing process.

I like my character to feel like he is constantly evolving. I like leveling up to matter. Vanilla 4e makes sure that every level matters. 
I like that there are no dead levels in pre-Essentials classes. You get to pick something new each and every level! That is a must for me in RPG systems.



Same here. This is why I generally prefer systems with no classes or levels. Vanilla 4e is the first class-based system that really caught my interest because of this.

Classes like the previous edition's Paladin, which was a 20 level class that got nothing after level 5, always blew my mind. Never understood how something like that could make it through the editing process.

I like my character to feel like he is constantly evolving. I like leveling up to matter. Vanilla 4e makes sure that every level matters. 



I also fully agree with this.
I can prepare a game 2 hours before we start and be fairly confident the challenges will be challenging. I love how monster stats are presented too, it's easy to find whatever you need to know, and the seperation of monsters from characters is great for creating custom monsters.
Well my answer is everything...
And there are some parts that are even great... Warlords and Class Balance (everyone getting a dose of cinematic flair - well it started that way), Simple DMing ... Lots of character design choices(didnt start that way).
  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."

 

Never feeling useless (I once played a rogue in an all-construct dungeon).

Clerics not having to choose between using their cool spells or healing the party.

I wasn't trying to say that any mechanical element was 'copied' from any MMORPG or from D&D to an MMORPG.


I meant that the actual basics of an RPG (leveling up, Hit Points, Fantasy environments, Magic, etc, etc, etc.) Were really vaulted into popular culture by Dungeons and Dragons. All video games that call themselves 'RPGs' really owe their existance to D&D.


D&D, in turn owes its existance to wargames, Tolkien, among others.


Here's another thing I like about 4e: Bringing back Dark Sun. Now all they need do is make a NEW, unique campaign world...much like how ebberon was new to 3e. Many (including myself) have made a flooded world at some point, consisting of archepegalos, sunken ruins, and pirate ships. Many have also asked for a return for planescape. Also cool, IMHO.


Just not Spelljammer, lol.       

I don't want to be an edition warrior. I think there was something good and something bad in all the editions I played. I do, however, believe that the game has gotten better over the years (and decades). I hope this holds true into the future.

Peace.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/21.jpg)

1.  I find 4E much, much easier to teach to newbies.  The basic mechanics can be mastered in about thirty minutes.  I run encounters at our local FLGS, and new people are always contributing to combat in a meaningful way by the end of their first session, as opposed to the end of the third or fourth session in older editions.

2.  Encounter design is much easier.  I often found that I made encounters too easy or too hard in previous editions, I am able to much more reliably guage the strength of an encounter and it's relative challenge in 4E.

3.  Concrete treasure guidelines that enable me to figure out how much gold to give the party without unbalancing their power level.

4.  First level characters are fun to play, have meaningful options, and do not feel like china dolls.

5.  Powers for spellcasting classes now use the same mechanics as other powers and are much easier to adjudicate as a result.

6.  Revamped monster design that makes it much easier for me to run a group of bad guys without constantly combing through a list of esoteric powers and spells that don't do anything.

7.  I can finally make multi/dual class spellcasters that can have decent armor and can cast spells.

8.  No more "who is going to be the cleric" arguments.  If you don't like clerics, you can play a completely different kind of leader.  Or not play one at all.

Garthanos already took the first part of my answer: What's good about 4? Everything.

I've played every version of D&D since Basic / Expert / Advanced, and the game has never been better. Balanced mechanics, rewarding cooperative play, ease of DM work, interesting options, excellent mutability...

Really, the word 'everything' just sums it all up without needless lengthy exposition.
Top 5 things I like about 4e:

#1. When I read the books, I don't feel an all-consuming urge to fix it.
#2. Making a mechanically sound character requires little system mastery.
#3. The DMG is so good, they could strip it of mechanics and reuse most of it for the next edition's DMG (assuming it will have one).
#4. Team play, and developing combos with your party members.
#5. The game is presented and laid out in a clear fashion, usually with good indexes.

To be fair, things I'm not totally okay with about 4e:

#1. Combat can drag, especially if the players are new or indecisive.
#2. The presentation (pre-E) is clear, yet flipping through pages filled with magic items or powers reads like a boring tech manual.
#3. Abandonware. (Aka, all the neglected subsystems and classes collecting dust and cluttering up the CB.)
#4. The 'replace rather than fix' mentality.
#5. Uh...there's no plans for a Goblin/Gnoll/Kobold/Orc book?
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
I like pretty much everything about 4e.

My only gripe is long combats. Part of this is the mechanics and part is my group is slow but if everyone isn't on the ball at the table even on level encounters can be 1:30min or more. I get a little bored of that and I really like combat in general. I would just like 30-40min combats at the top end so I can do more than 1-2 in a session.

Everything else I'm cool with.

ps. Yes I know all the tricks to speed up play, unfortunetly distractions are a given with babies are in the house.
It encourages teamwork. Honestly I fear that is the only real improvement on older editions. It does other things well, don't get me wrong, but those same things were done well before 4e.
It encourages teamwork. Honestly I fear that is the only real improvement on older editions.



Encourages or actually forces teamwork?
It encourages teamwork. Honestly I fear that is the only real improvement on older editions.



Encourages or actually forces teamwork?

Encourages.  Like he said.
Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.
Encourages. You can play without teamwork, but you'll probably be spent after 2 battles instead of 5, which will make the team as a whole a lot less effective.
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.
Encourages. You can play without teamwork, but you'll probably be spent after 2 battles instead of 5, which will make the team as a whole a lot less effective.



More times you will end up dead. We tried this a few times and we ended dying almost every time. Each person did their own thing and it did not go over to well.  The cleric healed himself and not anyone else, the fighter only hit creatures and didn't worry about keeping them away from anyone else. The Wizard was dropping AOE's on top of monsters regardless of whether or not a PC was standing there because the Wizard was only looking out for himself just like everyone else. The character that lived the most was the rogue because all he did was use stealth and sneak away.
Makes sense, doesn't it? Like I said; you'll be spent a lot faster. If you're really making an effort to not work together (rather then just not making to do work together) you'll probably not even make it through a single battle.

That's kinda how skirmishes work. You work with your allies, because 1v1v1v1v1v5 is probably going to be won by the five. Best to make your party the 5, and not the monsters. 
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.
Makes sense, doesn't it? Like I said; you'll be spent a lot faster. If you're really making an effort to not work together (rather then just not making to do work together) you'll probably not even make it through a single battle.

That's kinda how skirmishes work. You work with your allies, because 1v1v1v1v1v5 is probably going to be won by the five. Best to make your party the 5, and not the monsters. 



Death and having to create a whole new party is what makes you work together. Encourages, Makes really what's the difference? If someone has a gun to your head it could be considered an encouragement to do what the man says but in reality he is still making you do what he says.