Has 4E gone overboard?

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I'm feeling particularly snarky tonight.  With all the latest races, classes, powers, feats, and items available, am I the only one who thinks 4E has gone too far?  I mean, just for the sake of pushing the ridiculous,  I decided to make a Pixie Vampire...and with the Dex & Cha bonuses from being a Pixie, it actually fits as a Vampire.  Really?  Am I the only one who finds that completely ridiculous?  Hey, how about this...I even named him.  His name is Moe Skeetoe.  Get it?  Because he's a tiny bloodsucker?  Moe Skeetoe = mosquito!  I know its meant to be a fantasy game, but its really starting to stretch the limits of my ability to "suspend disbelief" with some of this nonsense.
Well if there is only ever one pixie vampire in the gam world he/she/it could be an interesting and unique creature with an involved backstory.
Many groups would never choose to have either a pixie or a vampire. So it should not be a real problem that the option existed.

Another way the pixie vampire works is that the holy symbol/ki focus implement ties in well with the pixie tradition of collecting pretty, shiny things.

Hope this is not to serious of an answer to you light hearted snark.     
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
With the right fluff, a pixie vampire can also be a metroid.
"Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” ~Mark Twain
An animated stone statue with vampire blood (shardmind with vampire bloodline feat) is ok with you but the pixie vampire 'stretch[ed] the limits of [your] ability to "suspend disbelief"? Wink
I know its meant to be a fantasy game, but its really starting to stretch the limits of my ability to "suspend disbelief" with some of this nonsense.



Here's a brilliant idea.  If you don't like it, don't play it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
>make a crazy character with a stupid idea
>blame the system for your own creativity
>make a lame thread

Yup. That's your night in a nut shell. Happy holidays, everyone!
Why don't we make this thread entertaining instead by posting our craziest character concepts (played or not)?

I've actually thought of making a Warforged Vampire. Have a few ways of fluffing it up in mind. The simplest is that it uses blood instead of oil however blood doesn't last that long thus he contantly needs to change it. Or I could go with a Warfoged with a layer of living tissue on top of it's battle-hardned combat chassis and it requires blood to keep the skin alive. I'd multiclass into cleric to be able to legitimately say "Come with me if you want to live".
Why don't we make this thread entertaining instead by posting our craziest character concepts (played or not)?

I've actually thought of making a Warforged Vampire. Have a few ways of fluffing it up in mind. The simplest is that it uses blood instead of oil however blood doesn't last that long thus he contantly needs to change it. Or I could go with a Warfoged with a layer of living tissue on top of it's battle-hardned combat chassis and it requires blood to keep the skin alive. I'd multiclass into cleric to be able to legitimately say "Come with me if you want to live".



You do realize that Warforged don't use oil, right?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Why don't we make this thread entertaining instead by posting our craziest character concepts (played or not)?

I've actually thought of making a Warforged Vampire. Have a few ways of fluffing it up in mind. The simplest is that it uses blood instead of oil however blood doesn't last that long thus he contantly needs to change it. Or I could go with a Warfoged with a layer of living tissue on top of it's battle-hardned combat chassis and it requires blood to keep the skin alive. I'd multiclass into cleric to be able to legitimately say "Come with me if you want to live".



I actually did an Eberron warforged Brutal Scoundrel rogue once, in the first year of 4E, that used a superior crossbow that looks like a shotgun. His number was T-27 and he kept looking for a guy named "Connor."

The warforged vampire idea reminds me of that Nos-4A2 villain in that short-lived Buzz Lightyear cartoon. XD

Me Kruzko, me bard... And me sing song for you! Explore Philippine Mythology for your 4E game, and visit us at Nosfecatu Publishing!
OP:  No, doesn't bother me at all.  Not original, either - there was a guy around here running one at Encounters the week HoS came out, and he even had a better name for his, that being Drinkerbell.

Otheres:  Warforged vampires are inefficient stat-wise.  OTOH, revenant vampires who used to be warforged work just fine, and must be remarkably confused as to how they wound up in that state - I can just hear the gods making jokes about having to put him back, as his the warranty hadn't expired yet.  It's maybe even worth taking the feat to regain the WF racial power - that burst of THP & HP goes a long way to keeping you above zero and regenerating, and there's even a vamp power or two that works better if you have THP.
Well, for characters that would be killed quickly by DM fiat, I have one that starts an encounter with four pets at level 1 (at least 5 pets at level 11), not including things like purchased mounts... and then starts casting Summons and Conjurations. I call it The Crazy Cat Lady.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I know its meant to be a fantasy game, but its really starting to stretch the limits of my ability to "suspend disbelief" with some of this nonsense.



Here's a brilliant idea.  If you don't like it, don't play it.


    People who don't play don't pay, which means WOTC could get very unhappy.  And people can get unwilling to play if the game starts to feature nonsense characters.  [And since the game managed to survive some decades without a pixie PC, it can survive without one a while longer.]
Why don't we make this thread entertaining instead by posting our craziest character concepts (played or not)?

I've actually thought of making a Warforged Vampire. Have a few ways of fluffing it up in mind. The simplest is that it uses blood instead of oil however blood doesn't last that long thus he contantly needs to change it. Or I could go with a Warfoged with a layer of living tissue on top of it's battle-hardned combat chassis and it requires blood to keep the skin alive. I'd multiclass into cleric to be able to legitimately say "Come with me if you want to live".



You do realize that Warforged don't use oil, right?



What!? I'm willing to accept that a Warforged's primary energy matrix, a 6.2 litre V-8 engine (specifications may vary based on model), is "magic injected", although on the flip side it does get great mileage. But not properly lubricated!? That's just crazy.
How about something from the "great" movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

A Wilden Vampire.

Ok that'd be attack of the killer tomato plant, but close enough.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

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

 

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

I know its meant to be a fantasy game, but its really starting to stretch the limits of my ability to "suspend disbelief" with some of this nonsense.



Here's a brilliant idea.  If you don't like it, don't play it.


    People who don't play don't pay, which means WOTC could get very unhappy.  And people can get unwilling to play if the game starts to feature nonsense characters.  [And since the game managed to survive some decades without a pixie PC, it can survive without one a while longer.]



I can make nonsense characters with PHB1.

Your argument is invalid.
How about something from the "great" movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

A Wilden Vampire.

Ok that'd be attack of the killer tomato plant, but close enough.



lol. I may not troll the forums that often, but I never thought I'd see a post making a reference to "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes".
I know its meant to be a fantasy game, but its really starting to stretch the limits of my ability to "suspend disbelief" with some of this nonsense.



Here's a brilliant idea.  If you don't like it, don't play it.


    People who don't play don't pay, which means WOTC could get very unhappy.  And people can get unwilling to play if the game starts to feature nonsense characters.  [And since the game managed to survive some decades without a pixie PC, it can survive without one a while longer.]

Right, so the policy should be that if ANYONE doesn't happen to like some random concept WotC should just take it away from everyone! Yeah, that's great!

You know, dwarf wizards are stupid. They need a rule to get rid of that.

Jeeze. Give me a break.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I will not link to TV tropes...

but seriously OP, don't explain the joke.

I also have no problem with that combination or the vamp warforged.
I know its meant to be a fantasy game, but its really starting to stretch the limits of my ability to "suspend disbelief" with some of this nonsense.



Here's a brilliant idea.  If you don't like it, don't play it.


    People who don't play don't pay, which means WOTC could get very unhappy.  And people can get unwilling to play if the game starts to feature nonsense characters.  [And since the game managed to survive some decades without a pixie PC, it can survive without one a while longer.]



The "If you don't like it don't play it" idea I think refers to "Don't make characters that you think are stupid and then come here complaining you think something you made is stupid".

It's like Lego's. Sure, you can attach the alien space cannon to the girly pink bus, and sure you can have pirates drive it. And sure, you can complain about that combination on the lego forums. But is it really a fault with the lego, or are you just complaining for the sake of complaining if you spend all that time making something you don't like, just so you can complain about it later?
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.
DAMN YOU, PLUISJEN! Now I want to play with Legoes!

Concerning the OP's post: As with many others, I don't see the problem. Of course, I also happily played a Pixie paladin in a one-shot....

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

 

Defenders: We ARE the wall!

 

I've replaced the previous Edition Warring line in my sig with this one, because honestly, everybody needs to work together to make the D&D they like without trampling on somebody else's D&D.

 

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

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Honestly I wish they never released the pixie as a player race for precisely one reason: people will not stop talking about "HAHAHA WHAT IF YOU WERE A PIXIE (insert class here), THAT'D BE SO FUNNY!"

Pixie barbarian being the most notable example.


I mean, good on WotC for trying something out of the mold, new, and different. I love that. Just... did it have to be this? Why couldn't they have just said "you know what, replace the d20 with 3d6", and THAT was their new and crazy thing instead of the pixie...       
You guys are missing the big picture, which is that this Pixie Vampire has a name:

Mosquitor!!!!!

He's also a Hybrid Vampire|Bard with the Skald feat and uses Skald powers with Vampire Slam, while charging every turn with Flash of Light, Horned Helm, and Badge of the Berserker.

Mosquitor is awesome.
...whatever
Nothing like coming back the next morning to a hot topic I started right before going to sleep.

So yeah, I expected a multitude of responses & opinions, many of which I share at least some agreement with.  For instance, I agree that if I don't like the idea of a race/class combo, I don't have to play it.  I also agree that my example of a Pixie Vampire, while ridiculous, could be simply viewed as a unique character to play out.  I get all that.

But honestly, it seeems like most of the focus was on the example & not on my main question...

With all the latest races, classes, powers, feats, and items available, am I the only one who thinks 4E has gone too far?



...is there just too much to choose from now in 4E?  I like customization, but I have 2 issues (which you may or may not view as full-fledged "complaints").


  1. I just think there's too much to wade through in creating a character.  100's of options is a little overwhelming.

  2. Some of the race/class combinations that work out stat-wise (which was inevitable, with so many races & classes) also seem random & senseless...such as the Pixie Vampire.


I know there are Handbooks to make "successful" characters, which kinda "solves" problem #1 above, but I also don't want to rely entirely on someone else's blueprint for my character.  And for problem #2, I created a Good-aligned female Bugbear Fighter/Rogue hybrid just because the stats worked out, and she's a really FUN character due to the personality I gave her...but its still kinda ridiculous that a Bugbear is able to (mechanically) sneak around a civilized town unnoticed (due to Dex & Stealth), am I right?

OP, with your permission, I will use Moe Skeetoe in my campaign! What? I'm not afraid of comedy.

The game gives you a plethora of options. And that's very good. Options are good. If your players feel overwhelmed with what they can be, make your setting a specific country and tell them what exactly kinds of creatures are most common in there, limiting their options to a more managable level - but don't take away actual option from people who may want to use them (like me).
Check out my D&D-based play-by-post game, based on exploration and roleplaying. Agora
Vampire robot?


Yep, old news, Megaman already did that before D&D.
I don't think there's such a thing as "too many options". You don't have to use all of them. There's also no such thing as "random and senseless", because, like above, you don't have to use them.

Look at the box of blocks you've been given, take the ones you like, and ignore the rest. Just because you don't like some of them doesn't mean they won't be useful to someone else. The only thing that can be a useless option is one that nobody likes, and I've yet to see any.
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.
Nothing like coming back the next morning to a hot topic I started right before going to sleep.

So yeah, I expected a multitude of responses & opinions, many of which I share at least some agreement with.  For instance, I agree that if I don't like the idea of a race/class combo, I don't have to play it.  I also agree that my example of a Pixie Vampire, while ridiculous, could be simply viewed as a unique character to play out.  I get all that.

But honestly, it seeems like most of the focus was on the example & not on my main question...

With all the latest races, classes, powers, feats, and items available, am I the only one who thinks 4E has gone too far?



...is there just too much to choose from now in 4E?  I like customization, but I have 2 issues (which you may or may not view as full-fledged "complaints").


  1. I just think there's too much to wade through in creating a character.  100's of options is a little overwhelming.

  2. Some of the race/class combinations that work out stat-wise (which was inevitable, with so many races & classes) also seem random & senseless...such as the Pixie Vampire.


I know there are Handbooks to make "successful" characters, which kinda "solves" problem #1 above, but I also don't want to rely entirely on someone else's blueprint for my character.  And for problem #2, I created a Good-aligned female Bugbear Fighter/Rogue hybrid just because the stats worked out, and she's a really FUN character due to the personality I gave her...but its still kinda ridiculous that a Bugbear is able to (mechanically) sneak around a civilized town unnoticed (due to Dex & Stealth), am I right?




I think that's a bit more I can respond to. Even though I greatly enjoyed our fun at our misunderstanding.

Now to respond to your real points.

1. There is certainly a lot to pick from when creating a character. For some this is a good thing for others it's a bad thing. For those in the bad category that would be the benefit to this being a group activity. The campaign might narrow it down. The party needs could also narrow it down. Add in advice from the other people at the table and I don't think anyone should feel overwhelmed, and if they do the advice should solve that.

2. The races benefits general make sense flavor wise. At least to me and I would say to a lot of others. The class requirements also make sense in the same way. If this creates weird combinations I personally don't see a problem with that. Though I fully accept that others might. And thats where the awesomness of personal choice comes into it.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

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

 

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

 I agree with the lego analogy; don't use the bricks you don't like.

Also, there are no stupid race/class builds, as long as you're telling the story you want to tell, and having fun. If you play only to 'min/max' a PC out, then, yeah, there are some silly options.

My current favorite PC is a halfling rogue/wizard hybrid. She's a tomb-raider for hire on Athas. Not an 'optimal build' at all, but damn fun at the table none-the-less. 

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)

To tag off of seti, not only are there no stupid race/class builds, but its extraordinairly hard to make a useless build. Unlike previous editions.

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

 

Defenders: We ARE the wall!

 

I've replaced the previous Edition Warring line in my sig with this one, because honestly, everybody needs to work together to make the D&D they like without trampling on somebody else's D&D.

 

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

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
lego's can be used instead of minatures quite customisable and ofcouse you can re paint them yourselve if needed.

www.flickr.com/photos/6footfour/53669725...
www.flickr.com/photos/6footfour/53357916...
www.flickr.com/photos/6footfour/52929910...
www.flickr.com/photos/6footfour/50892368...



Nice stuff!  I've never used them, are they the same size as D&D Minis?  25mm at the base?
UGH. Stupid oversized picture. 



  1. I just think there's too much to wade through in creating a character.  100's of options is a little overwhelming.

  2. Some of the race/class combinations that work out stat-wise (which was inevitable, with so many races & classes) also seem random & senseless...such as the Pixie Vampire.


I think they started overboard. The initial couple years of non-stop content devoid of all flavour and entirely aimed at new characters certainly was/is an issue. It's a flaw in the edition, that when designing new content it's usually done as a brand new class/build seperate from all previous content. So there's very little added to the game for existing characters. It's all there at the start: front loaded and bloated. 

4e is bad but not as bad as 2e and 3e were near the end. It just gets a little heavy when you look at everything in the character builder all at once. When you start narrowing things down it gets a little easier. 

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I'm feeling particularly snarky tonight.  With all the latest races, classes, powers, feats, and items available, am I the only one who thinks 4E has gone too far?  I mean, just for the sake of pushing the ridiculous,  I decided to make a Pixie Vampire...and with the Dex & Cha bonuses from being a Pixie, it actually fits as a Vampire.  Really?  Am I the only one who finds that completely ridiculous?  Hey, how about this...I even named him.  His name is Moe Skeetoe.  Get it?  Because he's a tiny bloodsucker?  Moe Skeetoe = mosquito!  I know its meant to be a fantasy game, but its really starting to stretch the limits of my ability to "suspend disbelief" with some of this nonsense.

The problem is also clear that there is maybe an annoying at times traditionalist view in fantasy, what is 'proper' and 'not proper'.

Pixies where a class in Wizardry games... 
To tag off of seti, not only are there no stupid race/class builds, but its extraordinairly hard to make a useless build. Unlike previous editions.



I wouldn't go that far.  I've seen some horrible mistakes by new players, mostly at Encounters sessions.  All it takes to make most classes unpleasantly bad is to assign a 15 or less to your primary stat for the build.  It's not an error anyone who understands the rules would make, but not everyone understands the rules.  I still remember the kid who was so very, very proud that he'd managed to put 13's in every stat, with a 14 in his dexterity because he was playing a rogue.  He spent his build points as efficiently as possible, you see.

To hear CharOps talk, most of us play useless builds all the time anyway.  The term is very subjective.  
Why don't we make this thread entertaining instead by posting our craziest character concepts (played or not)?

I've actually thought of making a Warforged Vampire. Have a few ways of fluffing it up in mind. The simplest is that it uses blood instead of oil however blood doesn't last that long thus he contantly needs to change it. Or I could go with a Warfoged with a layer of living tissue on top of it's battle-hardned combat chassis and it requires blood to keep the skin alive. I'd multiclass into cleric to be able to legitimately say "Come with me if you want to live".



You do realize that Warforged don't use oil, right?



What!? I'm willing to accept that a Warforged's primary energy matrix, a 6.2 litre V-8 engine (specifications may vary based on model), is "magic injected", although on the flip side it does get great mileage. But not properly lubricated!? That's just crazy.



Warforged are not robots.
They are GOLEMS.
They have a wooden body with armor plates attached.  No mechanical parts more complicated than you would find in a regular suit of armor.  No electronics.  If they use oil, it's on the joints of the armor plates, not internally.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
eh. 

it's no sillier then third edition's half-red dragon, half-white dragon, half-black dragon, half-green dragon, half-blue dragon, half-gold dragon, half-bronze dragon, half-silver dragon, half-brass dragon, half-copper dragon, half-celestial, half-orcs.  
Nothing like coming back the next morning to a hot topic I started right before going to sleep.

So yeah, I expected a multitude of responses & opinions, many of which I share at least some agreement with.  For instance, I agree that if I don't like the idea of a race/class combo, I don't have to play it.  I also agree that my example of a Pixie Vampire, while ridiculous, could be simply viewed as a unique character to play out.  I get all that.

But honestly, it seeems like most of the focus was on the example & not on my main question...

With all the latest races, classes, powers, feats, and items available, am I the only one who thinks 4E has gone too far?



...is there just too much to choose from now in 4E?  I like customization, but I have 2 issues (which you may or may not view as full-fledged "complaints").


  1. I just think there's too much to wade through in creating a character.  100's of options is a little overwhelming.

  2. Some of the race/class combinations that work out stat-wise (which was inevitable, with so many races & classes) also seem random & senseless...such as the Pixie Vampire.


I know there are Handbooks to make "successful" characters, which kinda "solves" problem #1 above, but I also don't want to rely entirely on someone else's blueprint for my character.  And for problem #2, I created a Good-aligned female Bugbear Fighter/Rogue hybrid just because the stats worked out, and she's a really FUN character due to the personality I gave her...but its still kinda ridiculous that a Bugbear is able to (mechanically) sneak around a civilized town unnoticed (due to Dex & Stealth), am I right?


Point #1 is an observation that I can certainly understand.

The problem is who gets to decide which options are and aren't going to exist? IMHO it isn't really up to the game designers to do this. The players of the game can decide between them what limits to put on material.

Point #2 just doesn't really hold water though. What is 'ridiculous' to one person is COOL to another!

And this is really why #1 makes sense too... There are a LOT of different setting concepts and general aesthetic sensibilities out there. If the designers of the game sit down and say "no, no, anything that wasn't in Tolkien is ridiculous!" then you have simply imposed the designer's aesthetic judgment on the players. To a certain extent that IS inevitable, but it seems like a valid goal of game design to provide as much freedom for the players to make that choice as they can within the parameters of your game. Clearly if one game doesn't provide what you want then you'll either home brew it or play another game. Both of those are lost opportunities for a game publisher.

Just taking the example of Pixie Vampire. What if I were to design a dark world where undeath is a commonplace, or a world where the Feywild is being consumed by necromancy? My pixie vampire is now rather apropos. In fact I could create a tragic backstory for the character that was pretty cool and naturally justified becoming an adventurer in a nice neat way. I could also do some refluffing and make my pixie vampire a member of a cursed race of pixies, etc.

Also, Kalontas has a good point. Just because some people might want a serious tone in their play doesn't mean everyone does, or even that you'll always want that. If a particular type of character seems 'silly', well that isn't a criteria upon which the concept can be judged bad.

The final thing is, taking the bugbear example, how is this character sneaking around town any more ridiculous than most of the rest of the game? Your fighting DRAGONS dude. Its a game where the world is full of ancient mazes full of preposterous monsters that sit around in rooms waiting for murder hobos to come along and steal the treasure they're sitting on. Before the first dice hit the table or the first page of the first book is cracked the basic premise of the game is already ridiculous and silly. Just think about racial relations as they are commonly depicted in D&D. In the real world people regularly murder each other in large numbers based on the slightest ethnic or religious differences. Yet somehow in this dark age analog world of D&D dwarves, elves, and humans get along famously. It is just a premise of the game that you can TRY to ignore but you simply find that the game isn't much fun when dwarves and elves are met with hostile racist attitudes or pitchforks almost anywhere they go and women are not only expected to sit home cooking and making babies but often get burned at the stake if they don't. I freely admit all of this stretches anyone with a basic knowledge of history and social dynamics, but it is like the dungeons full of monsters etc, without some ability to suspend disbelief we just can't play a fun game.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
To tag off of seti, not only are there no stupid race/class builds, but its extraordinairly hard to make a useless build. Unlike previous editions.



I wouldn't go that far.  I've seen some horrible mistakes by new players, mostly at Encounters sessions.  All it takes to make most classes unpleasantly bad is to assign a 15 or less to your primary stat for the build.  It's not an error anyone who understands the rules would make, but not everyone understands the rules.  I still remember the kid who was so very, very proud that he'd managed to put 13's in every stat, with a 14 in his dexterity because he was playing a rogue.  He spent his build points as efficiently as possible, you see.

To hear CharOps talk, most of us play useless builds all the time anyway.  The term is very subjective.  

Clearly it IS possible to do some fecked things if you really try. OTOH how non-viable is this 14 DEX rogue? Run the numbers through CB and you find that, while the character is certainly nothing to write home about, it actually IS playable in most games. Said character is going to be minimum +6 to-hit with a dagger. Understanding that's not great for a rogue, it is still adequate to allow the character to hit within the expected margin the game is designed around.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I don't think there can every be 'too much to choose from' simply because not all options are going to appeal to all players.  Most people are going to narrow their options simply because there are things they don't like.  You just go 'A (blank)?  No.' and toss it away, eliminating it from your personal list of choices.

To use myself for an example, there are the races and classes that interest me (using Compendium as resource, using default fluff):
Races: Gnoll, Warforged, Razorclaw Shifter, Changeling, Eladrin, Shardmind, Minotaur, Kalashtar, Longtooth Shifter
Classes: Wizard, Ranger, Psion, Swordmage, Fighter (Weaponmaster) Battlemind, Artificer, Warlord, Sorcerer, Cleric (Templar), Monk

So, I have 99 choices, assuming I go anything plays anything.  That's not even counting dismissing certain combinations because of total lack of synergy (Kalashtar fighter, Gnoll wizard).  I suspect most players do the same, so while the total number of choices may seem daunting, in practice, there aren't so many.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
...is there just too much to choose from now in 4E?  I like customization, but I have 2 issues (which you may or may not view as full-fledged "complaints").


  1. I just think there's too much to wade through in creating a character.  100's of options is a little overwhelming.

  2. Some of the race/class combinations that work out stat-wise (which was inevitable, with so many races & classes) also seem random & senseless...such as the Pixie Vampire.



I completely agree with your first point.  As a person who does not use character builder and does everything by hand, I think there are too many options. 

Ability scores, skills, feats, powers, and background are a slog to go through, particularly when they often represent overlapping concepts.  If part of my character concept is a guy that is aware and observant of his surroundings, there are a ton of different options to navigate; the choice of which has alternating effects on my other character choices depending on whether I spend ability scores, skills, feats, powers, or background in pursuit of being aware and observant of my surroundings.

I would like for there to only be three decision points on the creation of a character among ability scores, skills, feats, powers, and backgrounds.  I feel this would help streamline the character creation process.

Your second point is a bit harder to agree with.  At my table, there is a distinct division between those of use that prefer humans and want each race to carry a significant roleplay burden (that pixie vampire won't just just stroll into a tavern and chat up the locals) while there are others in my group that think of race as merely their avatar's skin and do not think that racial choice should hold roleplaying burdens.

As a person who prefers non-human races to carry a big roleplaying burden, I am currently DMing a group consisting of one human, two tieflings, a shifter, a goliath, and a githzerai centered on the small village of Hommlet.  I find it hard to imagine the peasants viewing the party as anything but two demons, a werewolf, an ogre, a dessicated husk.  However, I don't want the entire game to center around good-natured PCs inadvertently scaring the peasantry.  So, I simply have the character racial composition make small roleplaying significance and bite my lower lip a bit in knowing that my group's racial composition doesn't really fit the milieu I have in my head.

An effective tool to make the racial composition fit is to reskin the available races.  For Greyhawk, Tieflings could be reimagined as Baklunes, shifters as Rovers, or whatever.  However, doing so does take work aforethought.  Not much prior work gets put into, "hey guys, I'm a little tired of our Savage Worlds campaign, let's play D&D, roll up some characters, I'll run you through the Temple of Elemental Evil."

Clearly it IS possible to do some fecked things if you really try. OTOH how non-viable is this 14 DEX rogue? Run the numbers through CB and you find that, while the character is certainly nothing to write home about, it actually IS playable in most games. Said character is going to be minimum +6 to-hit with a dagger. Understanding that's not great for a rogue, it is still adequate to allow the character to hit within the expected margin the game is designed around.



I watched it play out, it wasn't pretty even at first level.  While you can certainly hit with a +6, he was tagging for 1d4+2 before sneak attack, and his brutal scoundrel feature was adding a meager +1 from strength 13.  It really was not working for a striker, and at one point the leader had to decide between healing him and healing the (mildly optimized) defender - which predictably resulted in the rogue spending the last two rounds of the fight making death saves (at +5 no less - he was a Disciple of Death for his sole feat).

More experienced players helped him tune up the character for next week, but that first session was pretty grim, and no way for a brand-new player to meet the game.

Warforged are not robots.
They are GOLEMS.
They have a wooden body with armor plates attached.  No mechanical parts more complicated than you would find in a regular suit of armor.  No electronics.  If they use oil, it's on the joints of the armor plates, not internally.



True in Eberron, unless the DM feels differently.  Other settings, maybe not so much.  A DM (or a player with DM permission) could declare his Warforged to be a clockwork contraption running on a magical mainspring, a hollow shell filled with shadow energy, an enchanted suit of armor that Moradin bound a spirit into, or even a nice anchronistic robot, complete with nanotech repair bugs - maybe a previously-human adventurer that the Sheen converted into a mechanical pseudo-life form as an experiment.  Or they could be all of those, with each warforged a unique entity produced by one of those techniques.  Warforged are probably the easiest race of all to refluff, and their game mechanics and stats are manifestly suitable to fill the "fantasy robot" niche no matter how they're actually put together.