5e wishlisting : 4e's hits and misses

With the official announcement of 5e I want to bring to the front many of the aspects of 4e that worked (for me) and didn't work (for me) and what I hope to see coming in the future.

edit note: my computer went wonky while typing this and decided to publish this thread  before I was done typing the first sentence. x.x;

So here we go!

Hits


  • Flexible races without stat penalties.

  • More than 1 type of healer.

  • Attempt to normalize power between classes across levels. Also called Attempt to Balance the Everythings.

  • Easy monster stat blocks

  • Easier to run a game than other editions for the DM

  • Character builder / fast character generation. Lets get right into playing

  • System mastery not required to make a good, effective character

  • Simple skills tree / training

  • Themes and backgrounds!!!


Misses



  • Feat tax feats due to poor math in monster design.

  • Classes that use non STR stat for all their melee attacks having to take a feat to make that stat work for MBAs (fixed with essentials classes, but should have been erratta for all previous classes using this mechanic.)

  • Lack of support for some classes compared to others, leading some classes to feel woefully incomplete compared to others (Vampires and Seekers I'm looking at you)

  • Multiple iterations of the same class using different mechanics in different books without compatability between the 2 versions. Pre-essentials / post essentials rogues, fighters, paladins I'm looking at you. Compare to the Barbarian in Fey Wild. which did this much better.

  • Feat bloat - Some feats no longer useful compared to new feats which do the same thing (weapon expertise feat set I'm looking at you) or feats that are just bad in general. (specific examples escape me at this time). Leads to too many choices to go through in order to make a character, choice paralysis.


Other ideas



  • Languages should be able to be learned without taking a feat. Perhaps a bonus based on wis or int so that characters can start with more than 1 language depending on stats / background / theme.

  • Similar idea for skills. Open up actual "you get this skill" instead of you get access to the skill or a bonus in it for your background.


Just some thoughts and some opinions. I hope 5e is better than and more fun than 4e.


I hope.

I_Roll_20s @twitter. Not always SFW. I may prefer 4e, but I will play and enjoy almost any edition, and indeed almost any table top RPG, with my friends. Down with Edition Wars. Shut up and roll your dice. :P
Well, my brief list for what it's worth:

Good:
-- Easy DM'ing
-- Intersting character options

Bad (will elaborate a touch more)
-- Slow combat. God we've tried everything to speed up the rounds. Don't forget to stack your bonuses kiddies! Between keeping track of what's bloodied, what status effects are currently effecting you (be it placed by an enemy, an aura, a zone, terrain, your own powers, a friend's powers. weather it's end of turn, end of encounter, ends when bloodied... I'm sure I'm missing a few.) If someone ever gave me a stopwatch to "speed up the game", I'm pretty sure I'd return said stopwatch and say there is a definite problem with the game system if a stopwatch is required...



 
I play alot of 4th ed and admit it may not be my absolute favorite game I do enjoy it.  Honestly I stopped playing with 3rd and 3.5 because everyone around me suddenly became powergamers all wanting to pvp essencially.  I tried 4th and would NOT have continued if my hubby hadn't pushed it.  


1. the Roles in addition to classes.  I like being a rogue, i want to be stealthy and sneaky and backstabby, however I can't because rogues are 'strikers' and don't do the sneaky stuff.  When I thought that would be a fighter, no no, fighters are defenders doing different stuff.  isn't that a paladin?   What i've seen is that people will go 'who's filling which role' and make something to fit roles and class only matters for what they want to acheive as that role.  It was definately confusing as a newcomer.  I'd happily see either or rather than both.  

2. Powers are the same all acorss the board.  Making it easier to want to play a wizard or a fighter.  They were easy to learn and understand.  I do like that on top of powers each class gets something different/special.  Fighters get to mark things, theives get tricks, etc.  However when your first learning and looking in a book, it would be nice for all the stuff to be in one source.  I did like in second that you had your main books to look into, there were additional options in errata but it didn't override or make everything else obsolete.  Thus when I read the book then sit down at an encounters table on wednesday night I know the basis of what each person is playing.  

On the other hand I found it hard to either get people to think out side of just using powers or getting dms to let me do things out side of the box.  

3. Feats I find are the hardest thing.  I've been playing since second edition, I play a wide range of games.  This is the only game that i have to have someone look over my character because i'm doing it wrong, constantly.  I would choose things based on what I would think would be appropriate but then I am not doing my math appropriately and be told to go back in and take specific feats.  after all expertise, focus and improved are all different things that will effect your numbers drastically.  I've heard the idea and like the thought of removing feats from combat. 

4. Magic items.  Characters are required to have three, one level lower, one at level and one level up, and like feats they all effect your stats or powers.  I miss this being a rare thing or something akin to an acheivement.  What about earning a magic item or two and as you level you can level your item.  so that sword you started with goes from the basic shortsword your trainer gave you to a +2 sword of backstab that swings silently.  

Those are my thoughts and ideas. 



I don't get 1. Rogues are VERY sneaky and stabby. That's what Sneak Attack is for. In fact, my ranged Rogue in LFR attacks almost exclusively from stealth for gining CA. You get stealth as a class skill. The roles are not straight jackets at all. You can easily build against type and be effective. 
The problem with Rogues is not that they can't play that way, it's that Brutal Scoundrel is the best class feature by far, so most people prefer to play it.

My second character was a ranged rogue, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't very good. I was actually thinking of revisiting that concept soon.
  It is the one thing Pathfinder managed to do "better" than 4e, insofar as my aesthetic preferences are concerned.  



The PF books are pretty arent they.
  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 don't get 1. Rogues are VERY sneaky and stabby. That's what Sneak Attack is for. In fact, my ranged Rogue in LFR attacks almost exclusively from stealth for gining CA. You get stealth as a class skill. The roles are not straight jackets at all. You can easily build against type and be effective. 



The posts from ignorance have utterly sky rocketted I think I am going give up on attempting to correct 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 play alot of 4th ed and admit it may not be my absolute favorite game I do enjoy it.  Honestly I stopped playing with 3rd and 3.5 because everyone around me suddenly became powergamers all wanting to pvp essencially.  I tried 4th and would NOT have continued if my hubby hadn't pushed it.  


1. the Roles in addition to classes.  I like being a rogue, i want to be stealthy and sneaky and backstabby, however I can't because rogues are 'strikers' and don't do the sneaky stuff.  When I thought that would be a fighter, no no, fighters are defenders doing different stuff.  isn't that a paladin?   What i've seen is that people will go 'who's filling which role' and make something to fit roles and class only matters for what they want to acheive as that role.  It was definately confusing as a newcomer.  I'd happily see either or rather than both.  

2. Powers are the same all acorss the board.  Making it easier to want to play a wizard or a fighter.  They were easy to learn and understand.  I do like that on top of powers each class gets something different/special.  Fighters get to mark things, theives get tricks, etc.  However when your first learning and looking in a book, it would be nice for all the stuff to be in one source.  I did like in second that you had your main books to look into, there were additional options in errata but it didn't override or make everything else obsolete.  Thus when I read the book then sit down at an encounters table on wednesday night I know the basis of what each person is playing.  

On the other hand I found it hard to either get people to think out side of just using powers or getting dms to let me do things out side of the box.  

3. Feats I find are the hardest thing.  I've been playing since second edition, I play a wide range of games.  This is the only game that i have to have someone look over my character because i'm doing it wrong, constantly.  I would choose things based on what I would think would be appropriate but then I am not doing my math appropriately and be told to go back in and take specific feats.  after all expertise, focus and improved are all different things that will effect your numbers drastically.  I've heard the idea and like the thought of removing feats from combat. 

4. Magic items.  Characters are required to have three, one level lower, one at level and one level up, and like feats they all effect your stats or powers.  I miss this being a rare thing or something akin to an acheivement.  What about earning a magic item or two and as you level you can level your item.  so that sword you started with goes from the basic shortsword your trainer gave you to a +2 sword of backstab that swings silently.  

Those are my thoughts and ideas. 

A lot of errors and false ideas in this post, sorry. Ask Salla.
The problem with Rogues is not that they can't play that way, it's that Brutal Scoundrel is the best class feature by far, so most people prefer to play it.

My second character was a ranged rogue, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't very good. I was actually thinking of revisiting that concept soon.



AD is right up there with it.
The problem with Rogues is not that they can't play that way, it's that Brutal Scoundrel is the best class feature by far, so most people prefer to play it.

My second character was a ranged rogue, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't very good. I was actually thinking of revisiting that concept soon.



AD is right up there with it.



+Str Mod to damage > +Cha Mod to AC on OAs.

I like ALL the Rogue builds, but in CharOp, Brutal Scoundrel is best.
The problem with Rogues is not that they can't play that way, it's that Brutal Scoundrel is the best class feature by far, so most people prefer to play it.

My second character was a ranged rogue, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't very good. I was actually thinking of revisiting that concept soon.



AD is right up there with it.



+Str Mod to damage > +Cha Mod to AC on OAs.

I like ALL the Rogue builds, but in CharOp, Brutal Scoundrel is best.



AD also tends to have the better powers overall on top of better survivability. 
I'm a big fan of 4th edition, but I have to point out before I get into my own list that I've just had more fun with 3.5/pathfinder overall. By the same token, I really liked the 2nd edition flavor for campaign settings. All the systems have a lot to offer...

4th edition thoughts:

1) Monster design was great if the numbers worked out as expected.  They were easier to run and create.
2) I like defined roles with powers to fit that role (defender marking, etc...).  It did help emphasize the tactical part of combat which I loved.  Just being able to push and pull people on the grid makes movement actually matter.
3) I like the idea of at will/encounter/daily powers... but I think there was a little too much emphasis on them.  To me, it seems like abilities should all be limited in some fashion, but not so limited that you can only use an interesting mechanic once before you're all out of [insert power source here].  This is especially true at low levels.
4) I think the released setting changes were quite poor... call me a stick in the mud but I didn't see that much of a reason to force the point of light concept on every existing campaign setting.  With that in mind, I didn't care for changing up the planes (though I understand why... I suppose your mileage may vary there; I'd just rather err on the side of having many interesting places to explore instead of having a simplified version). 
5) Also related to #4... the released adventures didn't capture my attention.  They seemed mostly encounter driven without a great story most of the time.  I think the quality really went downhill in this department when Paizo stopped publishing the adventures in Dungeon magazine.
6) Combat takes a bit too long, especially at high levels.  It just doesn't feel very visceral (though it's certainly more balanced that way).

My wishlist:

1) Better published adventures - preferably adventure paths for the lazy amongst us.  Even better if these adventures can help shape canon for a new campaign setting.
2) As #1 pointed out I'd like a new campaign setting that could be considered canon for the setting as a whole. I found points of light as a whole to be too bland.  I ended up just using old settings and ignoring most of what (little) fluff there was in 4e.
3) More development in the online tool area.  Having a character builder and virtual table that are "official" is just something I don't want to give up.  With that said, they can be pretty rough around the edges...  It'd be nice if the tools were more portable and flexible, but those are gripes that have been posted everywhere in their own forums!
4) More flexible multiclassing.  I miss taking a level of everything under the sun.  If class abilities scaled nicely with level it wouldn't hurt as much to take other class levels.  Obviously, this opens a can of worms regarding class balance, but I'm less concerned with balance when the other end of the spectrum is just more fun.
I hope they get rid of powers and healing surges for the 5th edition.
I hope they get rid of powers and healing surges for the 5th edition.



I've got no opinion on healing surges, but getting rid of powers sounds really boring.
Of all the games I've played over the years, I've preferred "skills" over "powers."  I like to have a set of abilities to develop or expand upon that can be employed in creative ways.  I feel cheated in a power-based system when a new book comes out that basically eclipses all the choices I've made so far for my characters.  I've come to expect that dynamic in M:TG, but my decks are not "characters," I am not invested in story or identity in a pure strategy game.  That's what 4e turned into for me, story connecting strategic encounters.  Integration suffered.  I always felt like I was one publication away from being obsolete.

I know that the business wants players (not just DM's) buying books, but it has become ridiculous.  Sell me a dream, not a battleaxe enlarger.      

I want a game where new publications open up possibilities for exploration and application.  I want my books to stay relevant, not become like old video games (incompatable with current operating systems...) 

My favorite setting of all time was AD&D's Planescape series.  The atrwork in the core box sets took an aesthetic and ran with it (I adore DiTerlizzi's art in those books.)  The materials (up until the combat expansion era) were lush explorations of new worlds and new (to me at the time) philosophies.  My best friend's vitruosic setting was Ravenloft.  He used that setting to spin such stories of horror and psychological tension that we still reminsice about those games today.

I know that this is a business, and that business is a selling game, but "5.0" is liable to be my last try at a new DnD edition.  If it doesn't stand the test of time, I will get out my crumudgeon hat and go back to playing ADnD (2e) with old friends like we did in the 90's, or Pathfinder so I can play with strangers, and finally understand those I knew back then clinging to First Edition.  

So, my wish list:
1) ARTWORK!!!!  This is the single most influential element on whether I buy a book on impulse.  If I feel transported by the aesthetics of a work, if there is some unity or direction that I like with the visual presentation, I might just buy the book(s) with 1/3-1/2 of my month's discretionary spending (adult allowance...) even if I never actually use it for a game.

2) BOOKS WORTH READING!  The best old books were like travelogues or ecologies, fascinating to read in their own rights.  There's little entertaining about paging through a hundered pages of rules I never intend to take advantage of.  

3) Solid, skill-based mechanics.  I am not buying any more powers compendiums.

4) A commitment to the system.  If this thing sputters out after 5 years or less, I'm gone.   

 
When they remove spells... they can remove powers.

 
  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 hope they get rid of powers and healing surges for the 5th edition.



Out of curiosity, why?  These things are just two of the things 4th edition has going for it.  Along with defined roles.
"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 highly agree with Chaos Storm's statement up above. I like skill based PC's better, powers are just not for me in my D&D.
I giggle whenever someone mentions Pathfinder's art as a good thing. The Barbarian is a reskinned Cloud from Final Fantasy VII for crying out loud!
So, wishlist: Get rid of the tier leveling system. I congratulate 4e for having done away with the dreaded "dead levels"... god those were annoying, and I don't want them back. However, although you now get something new every level, you get alot more new stuff at levels 11 and 22. Or at least space it out (like with the paragon powers).

For example, if you're a cleric and you hit level 11 and go Angelic Avenger, on that level you get:
A feat
+4 to attack rolls until EoT when spending an action point.
An aura 5 of a specified type that deal damage to bloodied creatures
proficiency with a heavy blade of your choice
The astral wave paragon power.

I understand the mechanics and perhaps mindset behind the idea, but I liked looking forward to all the levels equally, and not being level 8-9 and thinking "Once I hit level 11, I get all this neat stuff!".
 
I hope they get rid of powers and healing surges for the 5th edition.



Out of curiosity, why?  These things are just two of the things 4th edition has going for it.  Along with defined roles.



That's a simple one to answer: Zal didn't like these two items in 4e, considers them misses, and as his wishlist entry hopes they are removed.
I cocncur on getting rid of powers. You just ended up with characters that all felt the same and could all do the same things. It made 4e . . . Boring. Everyone was the same. Took the 'special' out of it. Go back to Vancian casting system and get rid of powers for non-spellcasters.
I cocncur on getting rid of powers. You just ended up with characters that all felt the same and could all do the same things. It made 4e . . . Boring. Everyone was the same. Took the 'special' out of it. Go back to Vancian casting system and get rid of powers for non-spellcasters.



You never actually played 4e, did you?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Played 4e for a year solid, then off and on . . . then again when Essentials came out.
Never cared for the powers system. Essentials was better for me, but not great. 4e slaughtered too many sacred cows.
Back to the Great Wheel please, that's all I am asking

I personally thought the World Axis has been a really nice and successful aspect of 4e's fluff. I call it a positive. GW was too rigid. Of course it is fine if there's a more in-depth presentation of how GW concepts can map into WA concepts. There's plenty of old fluff that was good that can be brought back without needing to go backwards there. Of course if enough people want a GW supplement, go for it. I know it wouldn't likely be my cup of tea though.



What is this "fluff" of which you speak?  Was it everything that made a resource interesting to me, rather than simply the crunchy mechanics of the game?  I call it not "fluff,"  I call it soul!

While I'd say that non-spellcaster powers went too far inasmuch as their scope, I think the base concept is sound.  
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
Back to the Great Wheel please, that's all I am asking

I personally thought the World Axis has been a really nice and successful aspect of 4e's fluff. I call it a positive. GW was too rigid. Of course it is fine if there's a more in-depth presentation of how GW concepts can map into WA concepts. There's plenty of old fluff that was good that can be brought back without needing to go backwards there. Of course if enough people want a GW supplement, go for it. I know it wouldn't likely be my cup of tea though.



What is this "fluff" of which you speak?  Was it everything that made a resource interesting to me, rather than simply the crunchy mechanics of the game?  I call it not "fluff,"  I call it soul!




IMO, the current incarnation of the cosmology is my favorite to date. Then again, it's pretty blunt: it's heaven and hell. The planes above and the planes below. But truth be told, there's a level of simplicity there that I rather enjoyed, perhaps due to familiarity.
When they remove spells... they can remove powers.


Damn straight. Fighters finally got nice things! Don't take it away from them!
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 cocncur on getting rid of powers. You just ended up with characters that all felt the same and could all do the same things. It made 4e . . . Boring. Everyone was the same. Took the 'special' out of it. Go back to Vancian casting system and get rid of powers for non-spellcasters.



one of my players is a great fan of the warrior types he always has been.
in short some of his opionons on the figter over time.

in 2nd edition you would be nerfing yourselve by taking any level above 9th as figter.

in 3rd wariors where better becouse of feats but still laging way behind casters you would move out of basic figter and into a prestige class as soon as posible but even then you basicly had only 1 type of attack.

4th, the first edition where wariors are on par with other classes due to the power system no more making the exact same boring attack round after round, matching caster classes in enjoyebility and diversity of play.

essentials, basicly a trowback to 3rd roling the same attack each round ok you can attack some riders to it. essential classes are nice for beginners learning the game but totaly boring compared to the basic 4th figter for an experianced player.
+1 Matters: One of my all time favorite parts of 4e is the fact that +1 matters.  Remember how in 3.5 you were pretty much hitting on  5+ and then the bard would sing his bardy songs and give you a +2 to hit?  Thanks bard, for spending your worthless power on me, why don't you go stab something?  I can't tell you the number of times we've been at my table and the +1 or 2 from this or that thing a player character did made the difference between a hit and a miss, with everyone high fiving and the bard feeling pretty good about himself.  Very fun. Please don't change that aspect in the next edition.

A 20 Is A Critical:  In 3.5 you had to confirm your critical.  That sucked.  20s are special enough and don't need a confirmation, I love criticals in 4e.

Powers Are Awesome: It seems like some people don't like the modular power system.  I think it is amazing and is easily one of the best parts of 4e.  When a new class is released it feels like a momentous occassion and you can really tell the people who write the books put tons of time into it.

I know that in order to make +1 matter and for the power system to work as currently conceived the designers had to sacrifice differentiation between classes.  In my opinion it was worth it.  If the next writers find a way to keep the perfect balance and power system in place while making a rogue feel like a rogue instead of a wizard in different clothing, well, that would be an amazing thing indeed.
Another reason to do away with powers is that they don't really support strong role-playing and believability.  Suspension of belief is an important aspect of any game that draws players due to it's ability to allow that player to escape reality and play a fantasy archetype for a few hours a week.  But you've got powers that allow you to pull a monster x squares or push a monster x squares, players will focus on this movement, but not on the reason for it.  And a lot of times this reason will not make sense, either because the monster is incapable of being moved by that means, does not have the intelligence to be drawn or repelled by the power, the environment doesn't support the power, etc etc. 

People will say that this is up to the DM to add the flavor, or the player to describe his power for flavor, but as the sessions drag on, and the powers are used hundreds of times, really everyone just focuses on the effects, even if they don't really make sense.

A number of times while playing I imagined poor video game animation sequences, where monsters or characters move around the screen though their animation shows them prone on the ground, or in the middle of standing up.  Dungeons and Dragons Online is actually one of the worst violaters.
People will say that this is up to the DM to add the flavor, or the player to describe his power for flavor, but as the sessions drag on, and the powers are used hundreds of times, really everyone just focuses on the effects, even if they don't really make sense.


As one who runs a weekly PF game, powers stifle attack flavor no more than Attack / Charge / Full Attack. The players may describe their very first attack in detail, but after that they just announce what mechanical action they are taking. The difference with 4e is that even with lackluster or no description, there's at least a power name being thrown out besides 'I attack,' and the rider effects make powers slightly more compelling than just binary miss/roll damage.

I think, regardless of powers or no powers, it will come down to a DM rewarding player creativity to get them thinking outside the box. It's sort of like how in 3e there are all these theoretical options - Bull Rush, Trip, Disarm, etc - but 90% of the time it's just a better idea to inflict the worst status condition upon enemies (death). However, if the DM set things up so these special actions could have actual meaningful consequences, they might be attempted more. In 4e, this would translate to a player saying "I want to try [THIS]" and the DM would flip to p.42 and say "Sure, it'll be a [type of check] of [level of difficulty]," and if successful it would have more effect than an encounter-rate attack.
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 highly agree with Chaos Storm's statement up above. I like skill based PC's better, powers are just not for me in my D&D.



Huh.  As in only using skills, not using spells and augmentable attacks?

That, to me, sounds really boring. 

I mean, most of what my players improvise with skills is influenced by how they built their characters, including powers.

I don't think an "only improv" skills system would ever appeal to me.  Now, improv skills on top of standard "ol' reliable" actions are what fits my style better.

You neglected to mention your reason for dislike of healing surges, whose main reason for being seems to be making healing more reliable, interesting and a good measure of when to "call it a day".  What did you find in them that you disliked?
"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 highly agree with Chaos Storm's statement up above. I like skill based PC's better, powers are just not for me in my D&D.



Huh.  As in only using skills, not using spells and augmentable attacks?

That, to me, sounds really boring. 

I mean, most of what my players improvise with skills is influenced by how they built their characters, including powers.

I don't think an "only improv" skills system would ever appeal to me.  Now, improv skills on top of standard "ol' reliable" actions are what fits my style better.



Not that this would ever be in a DnD game, but here's how I imagine such a system might work:

Imagine a wizard having "damage" skills or "DoT" skills, "fire" skills, or "AoE" skills?  I might have decide to attack with a spell, decide how many spell skills to pour into it, and that would that would determine its "cost."  Maybe as levels go up, the number of "skills" I could combine would unlock.  As a mid-level wizards, let's say I could combine three, so I hit up "fire," "damage," and "AoE" to brew up a fireball... "fire" is essentially useless unless attacking something flammable or weak to it, so that whould have a minor cost; damage would be standard, so a standard cost, and AoE can be really useful, so a premium cost.  Maybe I could cast ten such spells a day, with an appropiate amount of spell "energy."  I roll to hit/difficulty/etc., I hit really well, so I get to use more dice.  Kaboom: fireball.  When I'm out of "energy," maybe I have a no-cost fallback that is a simple damage arcane attack, maybe 1d6, so I don't need to wade into combat and be crunched.  (Yeah, basically a knockoff of Mage: the Ascension...)

How would a warrior compete with such a wizard?  Similar potentials for damage scaling via weapon skills, durability in combat, manuverability and battlefield manipulation.  All the kinds of things that 4e powers do, only not nailed onto cards and locked in.  

Cleric?  Run much like the wizards, but with tradtional area of healing, summoning perhaps, radiance, etc.

Rogue?  Stealth, subterfuge, tinkering, manuverability, bondage, etc.

Wizards, warriors, clerics, and rogues: classic DnD archetypes, unlocked with exploration of skill trees.

Could this be broken on day 2?  Maybe, but I seem to remember a certain Star Wars system that functioned something like this back in the day. 
And Now for Something Completely Different...

The following is heresy and dangerous. But then again, D&D has always been about a game that can be adapted to anything. 

1) Ditch CLASS. You have all of these wonderful powers out there in the world just waiting for a hero to come along and learn it or gain it or whatever, but NO, you can't have it even if you're capable of learning all sorts of other things.  Instead, treat all Powers, Rituals, and Feats like a treasure the character can aquire. Then take the best part of 4e and build fluff and story to go along with aquiring these things. 

2) Ditch LEVEL. I didn't say to get rid of experience points, just levels. Experience points simply imply that a character is ready mentally, physically, and however else to get better or gain new powers or health or that sort of stuff. I'll leave it to you to figure out how this fits with idea #1. (Just imagine as a DM giving a player the option of gaining more HP or maybe a +1 to saves.)

3) Keep EVERYTHING. Go all the way back to the first editions and figure out how to bring it in to the game mechanic. More importantly, make it so the DM can easily include elements from past versions or even house rules. 

4) DO NOT create 5e. Instead of creating a new step or form or whatever, use this as a chance to broaden the field. Make it so that all forms of D&D are supported fully. Personally, I suggest a system like that used in TeachersPayTeachers.com. Make the online account worth more than the books. Provide the books in eBook form cheaply and rerelease eBook forms of all past books (99¢ books for the oldest.) Character builder that keeps the DM's house rules, allows complete customizations, and lets the DM add in home brewed items and powers and, well, everything. 

Of course, this fourth idea kind of says that number 1 and 2 are just suggestions.

5) CORE. Establish what the real core (not core mechanic) of D&D is and make it possible to connect all of these other things to that. D&D is a group getting together to have characters face challenges, mostly in a fantasy type of world. D&D is dice that affect outcomes. D&D is a Dungeon Master with a scenario/adventure/world. 
Faster Levels:  I've been DMing since 3rd edition and from the start levels always happened too slowly.  In 3e I gave out arbitrary ammounts of xp, dispensing it like candy on halloween.  In 4e I began using the xp of the monsters but never dividing it by the number of players in the party.  This made it so that characters leveled every 1-3 sessions.  That might seem excessive but it always felt right to me.  It took players about a year to a year and a half to take their characters from 1st to 20th level where I usually wrapped things up.  In a traditional game that would have taken 4 to 5 times as long!  I've never met anyone who has legitimately taken a group of characters from 1st to 20th level but using speed xp I've led 5 groups through full class progressions.  That's five groups who were able to use those upper level abilities every one else just dreams about.  No one has ever told me they felt cheated.

If 5e was built around a system that allowed a group that played once a week to reach 20th level after about a year I would welcome it.

(p.s. My sessions tend to center around role playing so most nights there is one fight. A big night would have two and at least once every other month there is a session with no combat at all.  My accelerated xp might ruin some groups, but even in games where I haven't DM'd the ammount of xp always felt small.)
I second this.  Keep combat and non-combat abilities seperate.  Each should draw from different resource pools.  If I choose for my character to be a linguist, then they can't be a blacksmith, but they sure as hell should still be able to swing a sword well.

Same goes for the monsters.  The combat stat block is combat centric (attack, offensive spells, etc) and the non-combat block has interesting roleplaying abilities (Djinni's wish, vampire's inability to cross running water, etc)


In 4th and previous editions you're forced to make a choice between being optimized for combat or actually taking interesting RP feats and powers. The problem is, with death around always around the corner it's difficult to justify a bonus to bluff or the ability to use history instead of arcana over something that makes you more effective in battle. It would be nice if the two sides of the house were completely separate.


A clean way to handle this dilemma is to have two completely distinct “classes.” Combat class like fighter, wizard, etc.., and non-combat classes like face-man, scholar, or thug. A player would choose one of each, with the second list being the home of skills like diplomacy and bluff and knowledge whatever. As long as the non-combat classes never had abilities that could be used effectively inside a battle there would be no need to sacrifice RP choices for combat ones.




I second this.  Keep combat and non-combat abilities seperate.  Each should draw from different resource pools.  If I choose for my character to be a linguist, then they can't be a blacksmith, but they sure as hell should still be able to swing a sword well.



Yes. At the very least, backgrounds (a-la 4e) should be in the core rulebook.

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.

Modularity Modularity Modularity


here's my idea:
you don't have to choose a power, a feat, a class, a race and a theme; you pick a race, some general statistics and "buy" everything else with points

everything you buy gives you always something active to do or modify what you have (like powers, or class features do now, or like some rare feats (like enlarged spell)) but never passive bonus like +1 to something

with level you gain also bonus to abilities/skills/static attribute (passive +1 to something here you can get them)

you are never allowed to switch active powers with passive bonus or viceversa

there are no classes, just things with some prerequisites:
- low level spells are for everyone. Medium level spells require some lower level spells, HIGH level spells requires medium level spells
-add keywords to this powers like "arcane" or "defender" and you can balance the as you want 

"classes" are build suggestet by the designers

you can easily "multiclass" by picking different powers

YES YES YES.  I agree 100 %.  There should be a crust of "standard D&D archetypes" on the outside and a gooey, balanced modular build mechanic layer underneath.

You could still have the "fighter" class, or you (your DM) could build a tailored class with the underlying mechanics.  A good example of this idea is the custom class option from Exodus (the Glutton Creeper port of Fallout P&P). 

You built a character class out of base attack progression, skill rates and other character pieces.  Worked pretty well, actually.

One of the biggest things I would not like as a (simulationist) GM is the 4e idea of different rules for monsters as opposed to PCs.  I like the versimilitude that comes from consistent rules across the whole system.
Having Played/DMed 4e since it came out, here are some of my thoughts:


  • The base maths of the game needed better initial testing.


    • Monster defences scaled faster than player to-hit, so the expertise feats were needed.

    • Player Non AC Defences scaled slower than monster to-hit, so the improved defences and Superior Fort/Ref/Will feats were needed. Even with this only two of the average character's three NADs would scale at the same rate, so most characters get hit most of the time by monsters targeting one of their defences.

    • Monster Damage scaled at approximately +1 per 2 levels while Player HP scaled at +5 per level. By level thirty monster's were doing about half the % of player HP per hit that they were at level 1. (ie. lvl 1 monster does 7 damage to player with 28 hp, or 25% of players hp. a lvl 30 monster would do 22 damage to a player with 175 hp, or 12.5% of the players hp)

    • Monster HP scaled even faster than player hp, averaging 8 hp per level. A Warlock who hits for 1d10+1d6+4 (with curse) is doing 13 damage with each hit to a lvl 1 monster with 30hp, which is 43% of the monster's hp. To maintain the same damage per round at level 30, the warlock would need to do 118 damage per round to a monster with 276 hp. That means, the average damage the warlock does has to go up by 3.6 each level to maintain the same pace of combat at all levels.


  • When options are available, there should be a significant difference between them, and there should not be options that effectively do the same thing, but are strictly worse.


    • For example, compare Two-Fanged Strike to Singular Shot, both level 1 Ranger attack powers. The difference between them is that one attacks twice for 1[w]+dex and the other attacks once for 2[w]+dex, plus both have a different conditional bonus for adding extra wis mod damage. Both are single target damage dealing powers, with only slight mechanical differences. Two-Fanged Strike has a higher average damage, thus making Singular Shot an effectively worthless power. To make matters worse, Singular Shot was published in a later book.


  • The gap between generalization and specialization needs to be broadened.


    • For example there are many, many feats that give only an insignificant bonus for specialization over their generic counterpart. Dirty Fighting is a great example. It gives a cool bonus, but the one attack in some fights that you're able to make with that bonus means the feat is actually only worth about 0.1 damage per encounter, which is terrible.


  • The power gap between many At-Will, Encounter and Daily powers needs to be broadened.


    • There are many classes where it is worth while to focus on your At-Will powers, and try to boost those, because your Encounter Powers aren't much better. This is particularly true of the Avenger and Warlock, where their encounter powers lack the damage needed as a Striker.


  • In too many cases higher level powers are worse, or equal to, lower lever equivalents.


    • This is another issue I've been having with my Avenger. I started off with a 2[w] encounter power and a 3[w] daily at level one. Now I'm into Paragon tier and my best encounter is still 2[w] and my best daily is still 3[w].


  • In general, Encounter and Daily powers should be flashier.


    • This ties back into the often heard complaint that magical classes aren't magical. There's just not enough of a gap between At-Will, Encounter and Daily Powers, not only in power level, but also in creative uses.

    • There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule. Many summons are super impressive, but the have an extra set of rules that go along with them. Some of the big Save Ends effects are great, to the point where they've gotten nerfed on many occasions for being able to lock down enemies.

    • In general, when a Daily Power is used, it should have a significant effect on the encounter as a whole, and too many just don't.


  • Combat and Non-Combat capabilities shouldn't be mutually exclusive.


    • This also goes for generic flavour stuff. I shouldn't have to give up my character's combat abilities to become a better climber or be a smooth talker.

    • Alternatively, put in more support for non-combat abilities, making them equally important. The Spirit of the Century and Dresden Files RPGs both did a great job of this.


  • Feats need to be better organized


    • This ties in with the previous point. Right now there's too much happening in Feats. They need to be separated and better organized. Keep combat feats separate from noncombat ones, and then further separate out class and racial feats.

    • The module system talked about in Legends and Lore would work great here. Give players X combat feats from the general category, +1 from the racial and class category. Give "power up" modules to allow for extra class/racial feats, or instead "power down" modules that require your X combat feats to include at least one racial and class feat, instead of getting the +1 of each. 

    • In addition this kind of break down would help to balance feats. For example, there could be a Damage category. Here you could have some general damage boosters, such as Weapon Focus, and then some specialized ones such as Dirty Fighting. If you keep almost all sources of damage bonuses in this feat category, then it's simple to avoid the huge untyped damage bonus scaling that is currently causing Multi-Attack powers to be so powerful.


  • Multiclassing is balanced but boring.

  • Character Builder is amazing to have, but buggy and annoying.

  • Too much gear with crappy daily powers, or that doesn't scale (ie daily attacks with fixed bonuses to hit)

  • Race, Background and Theme are all cool, but often don't actually have much impact on the character.

  • Most epic destinies are boring. There are only about a half dozen of them that I'd actually look forward to getting for more than the +2 to some stats.


Ultimately I enjoy DnD. 4e has a lot going for it, and I really like the combat side of things. I enjoyed Characters much better in 3.5, they just felt like the had more, uhhh... Character. I'd really like to be able to rebuild my Changling Chameleon Skill Monkey, and have him feel like he serves a purpose to the party. I want to be able to make my Blackguard Demonbinder, or somebody with the mobility of a Blade Dancer, or make a Hellfire Warlock/Binder. Hmmm... I guess I can do the last, but it's just not as awesome as it was in 3.5



For 5e I'm really excited about the modular approach that was hinted at in Legends and Lore. I think it could work great


The big thing that they need to do to make me happy is to give me something cooler than Close Burst 3, Cha vs Will, Stunned(Save ends).



edit: And they also need to make the formatitng in the preview match what actually shows up in the post *sigh*, I hope this looks better...

Having Played/DMed 4e since it came out, here are some of my thoughts:


  • The base maths of the game needed better initial testing.


    • Monster defences scaled faster than player to-hit, so the expertise feats were needed.

    • Player Non AC Defences scaled slower than monster to-hit, so the improved defences and Superior Fort/Ref/Will feats were needed. Even with this only two of the average character's three NADs would scale at the same rate, so most characters get hit most of the time by monsters targeting one of their defences.

    • Monster Damage scaled at approximately +1 per 2 levels while Player HP scaled at +5 per level. By level thirty monster's were doing about half the % of player HP per hit that they were at level 1. (ie. lvl 1 monster does 7 damage to player with 28 hp, or 25% of players hp. a lvl 30 monster would do 22 damage to a player with 175 hp, or 12.5% of the players hp)

    • Monster HP scaled even faster than player hp, averaging 8 hp per level. A Warlock who hits for 1d10+1d6+4 (with curse) is doing 13 damage with each hit to a lvl 1 monster with 30hp, which is 43% of the monster's hp. To maintain the same damage per round at level 30, the warlock would need to do 118 damage per round to a monster with 276 hp. That means, the average damage the warlock does has to go up by 3.6 each level to maintain the same pace of combat at all levels.


  • When options are available, there should be a significant difference between them, and there should not be options that effectively do the same thing, but are strictly worse.


    • For example, compare Two-Fanged Strike to Singular Shot, both level 1 Ranger attack powers. The difference between them is that one attacks twice for 1[w]+dex and the other attacks once for 2[w]+dex, plus both have a different conditional bonus for adding extra wis mod damage. Both are single target damage dealing powers, with only slight mechanical differences. Two-Fanged Strike has a higher average damage, thus making Singular Shot an effectively worthless power. To make matters worse, Singular Shot was published in a later book.


  • The gap between generalization and specialization needs to be broadened.


    • For example there are many, many feats that give only an insignificant bonus for specialization over their generic counterpart. Dirty Fighting is a great example. It gives a cool bonus, but the one attack in some fights that you're able to make with that bonus means the feat is actually only worth about 0.1 damage per encounter, which is terrible.


  • The power gap between many At-Will, Encounter and Daily powers needs to be broadened.


    • There are many classes where it is worth while to focus on your At-Will powers, and try to boost those, because your Encounter Powers aren't much better. This is particularly true of the Avenger and Warlock, where their encounter powers lack the damage needed as a Striker.


  • In too many cases higher level powers are worse, or equal to, lower lever equivalents.


    • This is another issue I've been having with my Avenger. I started off with a 2[w] encounter power and a 3[w] daily at level one. Now I'm into Paragon tier and my best encounter is still 2[w] and my best daily is still 3[w].


  • In general, Encounter and Daily powers should be flashier.


    • This ties back into the often heard complaint that magical classes aren't magical. There's just not enough of a gap between At-Will, Encounter and Daily Powers, not only in power level, but also in creative uses.

    • There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule. Many summons are super impressive, but the have an extra set of rules that go along with them. Some of the big Save Ends effects are great, to the point where they've gotten nerfed on many occasions for being able to lock down enemies.

    • In general, when a Daily Power is used, it should have a significant effect on the encounter as a whole, and too many just don't.


  • Combat and Non-Combat capabilities shouldn't be mutually exclusive.


    • This also goes for generic flavour stuff. I shouldn't have to give up my character's combat abilities to become a better climber or be a smooth talker.

    • Alternatively, put in more support for non-combat abilities, making them equally important. The Spirit of the Century and Dresden Files RPGs both did a great job of this.


  • Feats need to be better organized


    • This ties in with the previous point. Right now there's too much happening in Feats. They need to be separated and better organized. Keep combat feats separate from noncombat ones, and then further separate out class and racial feats.

    • The module system talked about in Legends and Lore would work great here. Give players X combat feats from the general category, +1 from the racial and class category. Give "power up" modules to allow for extra class/racial feats, or instead "power down" modules that require your X combat feats to include at least one racial and class feat, instead of getting the +1 of each. 

    • In addition this kind of break down would help to balance feats. For example, there could be a Damage category. Here you could have some general damage boosters, such as Weapon Focus, and then some specialized ones such as Dirty Fighting. If you keep almost all sources of damage bonuses in this feat category, then it's simple to avoid the huge untyped damage bonus scaling that is currently causing Multi-Attack powers to be so powerful.


  • Multiclassing is balanced but boring.

  • Character Builder is amazing to have, but buggy and annoying.

  • Too much gear with crappy daily powers, or that doesn't scale (ie daily attacks with fixed bonuses to hit)

  • Race, Background and Theme are all cool, but often don't actually have much impact on the character.

  • Most epic destinies are boring. There are only about a half dozen of them that I'd actually look forward to getting for more than the +2 to some stats.


Ultimately I enjoy DnD. 4e has a lot going for it, and I really like the combat side of things. I enjoyed Characters much better in 3.5, they just felt like the had more, uhhh... Character. I'd really like to be able to rebuild my Changling Chameleon Skill Monkey, and have him feel like he serves a purpose to the party. I want to be able to make my Blackguard Demonbinder, or somebody with the mobility of a Blade Dancer, or make a Hellfire Warlock/Binder. Hmmm... I guess I can do the last, but it's just not as awesome as it was in 3.5



For 5e I'm really excited about the modular approach that was hinted at in Legends and Lore. I think it could work great


The big thing that they need to do to make me happy is to give me something cooler than Close Burst 3, Cha vs Will, Stunned(Save ends).



edit: And they also need to make the formatitng in the preview match what actually shows up in the post *sigh*, I hope this looks better...




The majority of your post matches my opinions.

Modularity Modularity Modularity


here's my idea:
you don't have to choose a power, a feat, a class, a race and a theme; you pick a race, some general statistics and "buy" everything else with points

everything you buy gives you always something active to do or modify what you have (like powers, or class features do now, or like some rare feats (like enlarged spell)) but never passive bonus like +1 to something

with level you gain also bonus to abilities/skills/static attribute (passive +1 to something here you can get them)

you are never allowed to switch active powers with passive bonus or viceversa

there are no classes, just things with some prerequisites:
- low level spells are for everyone. Medium level spells require some lower level spells, HIGH level spells requires medium level spells
-add keywords to this powers like "arcane" or "defender" and you can balance the as you want 

"classes" are build suggestet by the designers

you can easily "multiclass" by picking different powers

YES YES YES.  I agree 100 %.  There should be a crust of "standard D&D archetypes" on the outside and a gooey, balanced modular build mechanic layer underneath.

You could still have the "fighter" class, or you (your DM) could build a tailored class with the underlying mechanics.  A good example of this idea is the custom class option from Exodus (the Glutton Creeper port of Fallout P&P). 

You built a character class out of base attack progression, skill rates and other character pieces.  Worked pretty well, actually.

One of the biggest things I would not like as a (simulationist) GM is the 4e idea of different rules for monsters as opposed to PCs.  I like the versimilitude that comes from consistent rules across the whole system.




do should 5th be to 4th
what skills and powers was to 2nd edition ? 
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