Throwing the grognards a bone in 5e

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While WOTC can't please everyone in the end, you know they're going to try. And that means, in part, trying to appeal to the crowd that quit D&D once 4e was announced because it apparently "wasn't D&D enough."

I think that almost every sacred cow 4e slew was slain for the right reason, but you know there's probably going to be SOMETHING that WOTC will have to bring back to try winning back the grognards. For those of you (us) who liked all of 4e's changes and really don't want to see anything get reverted back to the bad old days, what sacrifice to the bad old days could you live with the most?

Mine? The names of the old alignment system. (But not the effects they had on gameplay.) I know a lot of people don't think it's D&D without your Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil, and while I think the whole thing is a rather useless construct, I could live with it. Again, as long as they don't reintegrate it into the gameplay like in the bad old days.
Like you said, I'd be find with throwing old alignments back in, just with no mechanical effect on the character. In fact, you could have several alignment systems. 1) No alignment, just play your character as you see fit. 2) 4e alignment. 3) Old alignment but no mechanical effects. 4) Old alignment, with some mechanical effects for changing it or violating it, but no more spells and classes built around specific alignments.

I could see similar things with other areas.

Cosmology. 1) 4e generic cosmology. 2) Great Wheel. 3) World Tree cosmology.

My thread on basic and advanced D&D already mentions how a grognard could make his spellcasters feel more special by applying certain rules to magical classes and not martial classes, without making them unbalanced and without that being a standard part of the game and thus affecting everyone that doesn't want their fighters to suck.

Skills. 1) 4e skill system. 2) Optional background skills for those that need their character sheet to read Blacksmithing +5. 3) Optional rules to tweak skills for the rare individual that wants an athletic fighter who can run, jump, and climb, but never learned to swim.
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I think old school characters should make a return in a big way.

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I do not think you understand who is going to get the thrown bones, and why. 4e was a colossal failure just like new coke was. It failed on the most important factor revenue. It alienated most of the previous community, and was outsold by 3rd party companies just doing a rewrite with nothing new.

I can certainly understand you hoping they try and please the 4th crowd, but that represents the crowd that liked the bad/wrong/fun (the previous is in complete jest incase you cannot tell)

They would certainly like to keep you as part of the market and reconcillation is no doubt a huge goal. However you are not the large slice of the pie. I am sure the sacred cheeseburgerz was very tasty but a bad case of heartburn was had all around.

I honestly think they should try very hard to keep you in the fold. I think they should be more then willing to throw you a bone or six, and it looks like they are going with a modular approach just so they can reconcile conflicting ideas and paradigms. I think your group is far more important then the strict numbers represent because you kept the faith when everyone else jsut left and they WANT you for that for that brand loyalty.

How much they come a courting though is pretty much up to you. If you are just not interested, they will not be either.

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I'm not a grognard. I'm younger than all of the people who designed 4e. I've never played 1e or 2e.

But I thought that it was at best misguided and foolish to make the metaphorical ritualized slaughter of "sacred cows" as a design scheme for 4e, and market and hype the fact they did that.

I'm not a grognard by any definition but I saw it as losing part of the game's soul and producing something that was D&D by virtue of the trademark rather than continuity, shared experience, and common tropes with prior editions.

5e could rectify this all. And the short tenure of 4e should make it disturbingly obvious that it was a mistake how they went about such things, and something to keep in mind as they move forward if they want to reclaim market share.
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I'm not a grognard. I'm younger than all of the people who designed 4e. I've never played 1e or 2e.

But I thought that it was at best misguided and foolish to make the metaphorical ritualized slaughter of "sacred cows" as a design scheme for 4e, and market and hype the fact they did that.

I'm not a grognard by any definition but I saw it as losing part of the game's soul and producing something that was D&D by virtue of the trademark rather than continuity, shared experience, and common tropes with prior editions.

5e could rectify this all. And the short tenure of 4e should make it disturbingly obvious that it was a mistake how they went about such things, and something to keep in mind as they move forward if they want to reclaim market share.



Spoilers: 4e didn't fail. Next edition will release next year. This means it'll have lasted five years, just as long as 3.5 did. You fail at understanding basic stuff.

---

As for the other guy, 4e didn't get outsold. As someone who has seen actual numbers, it boasts a massive increase over 3.5s sales. Sorry to pop your bubbles, grogs, but 4e didn't bomb. It's been the most successful edition since WotC took over, by a mile. You don't generate as much revenue as the players that are to come.  Your grasp of math is tenuous, and your concept of fun is limited at best if you think Caster Supremacy is anything close to resembling a Good Thing. You are stuck in the past, and have ignored the ways game design has progressed. Getting to you means a bunch of reliable revenue, but it also implies losing big amounts of marketshare. Hence why all that he wants is throwing you a bone - if you can be goaded into buying the edition, that's the best that WotC can get out of you without massive sacrifices, and what it can hope for without making RPGs into a dying niche like model trains. It's all that modern design paradigms are worth sacrificing for.


---

On topic, I agree with bringing back the nine alignments. They're an inoffensive sacred cow, and I could stand to see them return because they were pretty cool when developers weren't pumping out stupid stuff like BoED and 3.5 BoVD. If something has to return, I'm down for that.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I am just so glad I am compared to a dog. I wonder how edition wars start.



A long time ago in a gaming store far far away....

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I'm not a grognard. I'm younger than all of the people who designed 4e. I've never played 1e or 2e.

But I thought that it was at best misguided and foolish to make the metaphorical ritualized slaughter of "sacred cows" as a design scheme for 4e, and market and hype the fact they did that.

I'm not a grognard by any definition but I saw it as losing part of the game's soul and producing something that was D&D by virtue of the trademark rather than continuity, shared experience, and common tropes with prior editions.

5e could rectify this all. And the short tenure of 4e should make it disturbingly obvious that it was a mistake how they went about such things, and something to keep in mind as they move forward if they want to reclaim market share.



Spoilers: 4e didn't fail. Next edition will release next year. This means it'll have lasted five years, just as long as 3.5 did. You fail at understanding basic stuff.

---

As for the other guy, 4e didn't get outsold. As someone who has seen actual numbers, it boasts a massive increase over 3.5s sales. Sorry to pop your bubbles, grogs, but 4e didn't bomb. It's been the most successful edition since WotC took over, by a mile. The reason Litigation talks about throwing you a bone is because you're toxic to the genre. You don't generate as much revenue as the players that are to come, and you are a PITA to deal with because you're filled with venom and entitlement that new players lack. Your grasp of math is tenuous, and your concept of fun is limited at best if you think Caster Supremacy is anything close to resembling a Good Thing. You are stuck in the past, and have ignored the ways game design has progressed. You are just as ignorant to gems like FATE, Dogs in the Vineyard, Mutants and Masterminds, and so on as an RPG virgin, but you're not willing to try them out and see what current game design is like, and what 5e needs to take cues from. Getting to you means a bunch of reliable revenue, but it also implies losing big amounts of marketshare. Hence why all that he wants is throwing you a bone - if you can be goaded into buying the edition, that's the best that WotC can get out of you without massive sacrifices, and what it can hope for without making RPGs into a dying niche like model trains. It's all that modern design paradigms are worth sacrificing for.



Apart from your laughable indignation and misplaced hostility, you're wrong on almost all points.  3.5 wasn't a full edition, it was essentially just a revised 3rd edition rulebook that included a few years worth of errata.  3rd edition ran for 8 or so years, while 1st AD&D lasted 9, and 2nd edition lasted 11.  4e has ran for less than half of the average time at 4 years, including a mid-edition revamp in a similar vein to 3.5.  

4e may not be a total flop, but it is without question not as successful as 3rd/d20.  The Times article specifically stated that the market peaked between 1998 and 2003 and has been falling steadily since then.  Amazon reviews of 4e products average mediocre ratings for a variety of reasons, usually being too light on content for the price or having poorly designed mechanics.  WotC's behavior also makes it easy to intuitively deduce that they are consistently failing to meet sales goals/expectations.  It was even obvious before the 5e announcement, but is doubly obvious now.  You really don't have to possess prodigious analytical skills to see this stuff. 

Just because someone criticizes 4e doesn't automatically mean they want caster supremacy or a complete return to prior editions, that's a rather dumb leap of logic.  I'm critical about 4e even though there are a lot of things about it I felt were improvements over previous editions.

I'm not a grognard. I'm younger than all of the people who designed 4e. I've never played 1e or 2e.

But I thought that it was at best misguided and foolish to make the metaphorical ritualized slaughter of "sacred cows" as a design scheme for 4e, and market and hype the fact they did that.

I'm not a grognard by any definition but I saw it as losing part of the game's soul and producing something that was D&D by virtue of the trademark rather than continuity, shared experience, and common tropes with prior editions.

5e could rectify this all. And the short tenure of 4e should make it disturbingly obvious that it was a mistake how they went about such things, and something to keep in mind as they move forward if they want to reclaim market share.



Spoilers: 4e didn't fail. Next edition will release next year. This means it'll have lasted five years, just as long as 3.5 did. You fail at understanding basic stuff.

---

As for the other guy, 4e didn't get outsold. As someone who has seen actual numbers, it boasts a massive increase over 3.5s sales. Sorry to pop your bubbles, grogs, but 4e didn't bomb. It's been the most successful edition since WotC took over, by a mile. The reason Litigation talks about throwing you a bone is because you're toxic to the genre. You don't generate as much revenue as the players that are to come, and you are a PITA to deal with because you're filled with venom and entitlement that new players lack. Your grasp of math is tenuous, and your concept of fun is limited at best if you think Caster Supremacy is anything close to resembling a Good Thing. You are stuck in the past, and have ignored the ways game design has progressed. You are just as ignorant to gems like FATE, Dogs in the Vineyard, Mutants and Masterminds, and so on as an RPG virgin, but you're not willing to try them out and see what current game design is like, and what 5e needs to take cues from. Getting to you means a bunch of reliable revenue, but it also implies losing big amounts of marketshare. Hence why all that he wants is throwing you a bone - if you can be goaded into buying the edition, that's the best that WotC can get out of you without massive sacrifices, and what it can hope for without making RPGs into a dying niche like model trains. It's all that modern design paradigms are worth sacrificing for.



The failure is yours, actually.  Apart from your laughable trollish indignation and misplaced hostility, you're wrong on almost all points.  3.5 wasn't a full edition, it was essentially just a revised 3rd edition rulebook that included a few years worth of errata.  3rd edition ran for 8 or so years, while 1st AD&D lasted 9, and 2nd edition lasted 11.  4e has ran for less than half of the average time at 4 years, including a mid-edition revamp in a similar vein to 3.5.  

4e may not be a total flop, but it is without question not as successful as 3rd/d20.  The Times article specifically stated that the market peaked between 1998 and 2003 and has been falling steadily since then.  Amazon reviews of 4e products average mediocre ratings for a variety of reasons, usually being too light on content for the price or having poorly designed mechanics.  WotC's behavior also makes it easy to intuitively deduce that they are consistently failing to meet sales goals/expectations.  It was even obvious before the 5e announcement, but is doubly obvious now.  You really don't have to possess prodigious analytical skills to see this stuff. 

Just because someone criticizes 4e doesn't automatically mean they want caster supremacy or a complete return to prior editions, that's a rather dumb leap of logic.  You are also in the minority about alignments.  Most people would rather see them go away because they are nonsensical and pigeonholing, and arguably one of the most offensive sacred cows to a lot of people.  I can live with them as a RP guide though as long as they are only fluff.     




The market =/= the marketshare. Nice comprehension there. And again, you're going against numbers, numbers I have physically seen. Forgive me if I trust the numbers more than your paranoid speculations, Da?

And honestly, name one mechanic you'd like to see return from previous editions. No 'bring the magic' or 'give me my old fun back'. Straight up mechanics. Then provide an example of how you'd make them work in a new environment where nobody is useless, everybody contributes, battles must not be won in a single turn, adventuring is not limited by a brief window of work, there is no powersource better than others, the math is cleaner, and the mechanic doesn't create more pitfalls than it generates options (as 3.5 multiclassing did, for instance). When I think of the stuff I wanna see in 5e, I know exactly how I'd implement it. I'm curious to hear about your own ideas. If you can come up with some clever and innovative, that means you're not a grog and instead just a lover of D&D, which excludes you from my criticisms.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
The market =/= the marketshare. Nice comprehension there. And again, you're going against numbers, numbers I have physically seen. Forgive me if I trust the numbers more than your paranoid speculations, Da?


Oh please.  You haven't seen any sales numbers.  No one believes you. 

And don't come back with a "yeah huh, I have!" because unless you're willing to prove it, you're making a claim with no basis.

I have trouble understanding why people do not want mechanics that interact with aligments.

It is not that complicated.

-Player: I cast castigate evil dude 5 on the ogre. Is he evil? Cause it does more damage if he is.

-DM: Let me check his aligment. Well I wrote chaotic evil. So castigate evil dude 5 does more damage.



Because if your enemy isn't evil, you get gimped. And nobody likes to feel gimped. So you're faced with a choice, as a DM:

A) Throw evil enemies to the party only, so they can feel cool.
B) Introduce Neutral and even Good antagonists and watch the players feel sad as they don't get their Cool Stuff (TM).

Alignment-based mechanics are basically out-of-character things affecting the in-character world, which is bollocks. It also means the GM can't run a nuanced campaign without making those abilities a trap choice - which sucks when you automatically get them as class features, because it means you have dead features. You can't run, say, a Duty And Honor campaign like that, because you've just relegated somebody's features, or even class, to obsolesence.

And all of that, without even getting to the really BS stuff. Tell me you've never seen a Paladin constantly popping Detect Evil on absolutely everything, and I'll tell you you're an insanely lucky man. That's some unbelievably toxic, insane amount of power, that drastically alters the players' IC perceptions of somebody with binary game mechanics. This, and I haven't even gotten to the overwhelming BS of the Paladin Code, or the fact that Monks being forced to be society-lovers instead of simply having a very strict personal code was all kinds of dumb, or that a Lawful barbarian should have been a possibility, or...I can go on and on about this. Bottom line, alignment restrictions is mixing fluff with mechanics, but poorly. Extraordinarily poorly. If you want to convince somebody about that union, make a model that works. God knows FATE managed it. Until then, keep that merge way the hell away from the game.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
The market =/= the marketshare. Nice comprehension there. And again, you're going against numbers, numbers I have physically seen. Forgive me if I trust the numbers more than your paranoid speculations, Da?


Oh please.  You haven't seen any sales numbers.  No one believes you. 

And don't come back with a "yeah huh, I have!" because unless you're willing to prove it, you're making a claim with no basis.




What an excellent rebuttal, all condescending-like and all. Want me to start pulling up sales figures? Obviously, I cannot provide private information submitted by companies, but most everything else is fair game. My question is, would you honestly accept the figures if I provided them? Because pulling them up requires several hours worth of work, formatting, presentation, and the like. It's time I could spend putting the finishing touches on the game system I'm currently redesigning, or on providing valuable feedback for the developers of the Legend RPG, or working out plots for my 11-player campaign that requires tons of attention and tender care to run, or simply lazying around and trying to endure the stifling 40º Celsius heat that is currently frying my house. There's so many productive things I can do with my free time that I need some sort of incentive to convince me about wasting it doing the work a WotC PR rep should do, for free.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
    I've removed content from this thread because Baiting is a violation of the Code of Conduct.  You can review the Code of Conduct here www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_...

Please keep your posts polite, respectful, and on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.
The market =/= the marketshare. Nice comprehension there. And again, you're going against numbers, numbers I have physically seen. Forgive me if I trust the numbers more than your paranoid speculations, Da?


Oh please.  You haven't seen any sales numbers.  No one believes you. 

And don't come back with a "yeah huh, I have!" because unless you're willing to prove it, you're making a claim with no basis.




What an excellent rebuttal, all condescending-like and all. Want me to start pulling up sales figures? Obviously, I cannot provide private information submitted by companies, but most everything else is fair game. My question is, would you honestly accept the figures if I provided them? Because pulling them up requires several hours worth of work, formatting, presentation, and the like. It's time I could spend putting the finishing touches on the game system I'm currently redesigning, or on providing valuable feedback for the developers of the Legend RPG, or working out plots for my 11-player campaign that requires tons of attention and tender care to run, or simply lazying around and trying to endure the stifling 40º Celsius heat that is currently frying my house. There's so many productive things I can do with my free time that I need some sort of incentive to convince me about wasting it doing the work a WotC PR rep should do, for free.



I have to admit that Jor has a point in regards to validity of claims without substantial backing. I do not claim that you are lying, however making a statement on the internet that cannot be verified by another source occurs often (How many times have I heard from other sources "I'm a Doctor (enter profession here), I know this stuff). I would stop mentionning sales figures, it will only be used as bait.
I have trouble understanding why people do not want mechanics that interact with aligments.

It is not that complicated.

-Player: I cast castigate evil dude 5 on the ogre. Is he evil? Cause it does more damage if he is.

-DM: Let me check his aligment. Well I wrote chaotic evil. So castigate evil dude 5 does more damage.



Because if your enemy isn't evil, you get gimped.

This makes no sense. Lots of great if not better options exist to deal with foes no matter what are their alignment.

A) Throw evil enemies to the party only, so they can feel cool.
B) Introduce Neutral and even Good antagonists and watch the players feel sad as they don't get their Cool Stuff (TM).

Strange. I do this all the time with no problem. Players like variety and have a variety of options when dealing with opponents. But you are right. They always feel gimped against the BBEG.

Alignment-based mechanics are basically out-of-character things affecting the in-character world, which is bollocks. It also means the GM can't run a nuanced campaign without making those abilities a trap choice - which sucks when you automatically get them as class features, because it means you have dead features. You can't run, say, a Duty And Honor campaign like that, because you've just relegated somebody's features, or even class, to obsolesence.

You never played DnD, have you? Making a nuance campaign is super easy. You do it. If yo uahve players who enjoy nuance campaigns they'll ejoy it.

If you play with 12 year old who only want to hack and slash evil bonsters, well I am sorry.

And all of that, without even getting to the really BS stuff. Tell me you've never seen a Paladin constantly popping Detect Evil on absolutely everything, and I'll tell you you're an insanely lucky man.

When we were 12. We've grown. And I recommand you read the spell. A bit more complicated then that.

some unbelievably toxic, insane amount of power, that drastically alters the players' IC perceptions of somebody with binary game mechanics.

I already said we aren't 12 anymore.  

This, and I haven't even gotten to the overwhelming BS of the Paladin Code, or the fact that Monks being forced to be society-lovers instead of simply having a very strict personal code was all kinds of dumb, or that a Lawful barbarian should have been a possibility, or...I can go on and on about this.

This has nothing to do with game mechanics. Just ignore it if you do not like it and let others have fluff. 

Bottom line, alignment restrictions is mixing fluff with mechanics, but poorly.

Nah, pretty effective and simple. 

If you want to convince somebody about that union, make a model that works. God knows FATE managed it. Until then, keep that merge way the hell away from the game.

Maybe you need to play more FATE.




So let's see if I get your arguments.

1) You shouldn't feel gimped if a class feature/power doesn't function because there are better powers out there. Doesn't matter that you took that specific power or got that specific feature, the existence of other powers/features renders the point irrelevant. That is your point, yes?

2) The BBEG is precisely the guy the players won't feel gimped against, using your example, so it appears you haven't understood the issue there. The BGNG, on the other hand...

3) You're arguing Detect Evil isn't a problem because players are mature enough not to use it. So now, you're not using your class features. I am sure you can see how this is a problem, yes? Or should I elaborate on the threefold pitfall of class features like Detect Evil?

4) Addendum, but you're also assuming things about my players that I take offense to. Meanwhile, I am simply looking at the less-experienced, or more practical players, for whom this feature might end up defusing a campaign hook. One set of assumptions is both offensive and misguided. The other one is a valid concern from a design standpoint. Or do those players 'not count'?

5) That is absolutely game mechanics. By the rules, a monk must be Lawful. By the rules, a Barbarian cannot be Lawful. This isn't 'maybe', or 'if'. The rules are clear here. Are you suggesting that I ignore the rules?

6) Trust me, I do need to play more FATE. Everybody needs to play more FATE. You, me, Litigation, the guy who called me out thinking I couldn't back up my claims, everybody. It's an awesome system that does what 5e wants to do.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
And honestly, name one mechanic you'd like to see return from previous editions. No 'bring the magic' or 'give me my old fun back'. Straight up mechanics. ...



I'm fairly certain that even the "grognards" understand that 3e had some severe mechanical flaws. This is WHY we're so excited about a new edition. We want to have the feel of "true" D&D, but with an underlying system that actually works.

What system would I bring back? Largish spellbooks with a myriad of options for magic users to work with. Spells don't need to be overly powerful, but do need to offer variety and utility. By and large, a magic user should NOT out-damage or otherwise outshine a fighter of equal level. 5e needs to have these factors balanced for all levels of play. This is something that not even Pathfinder managed to pull off, but I feel IS doable.

One of the my biggest gripes with 4e has nothing to do with nostalgia for "the good old days". 4e classes are highly homogenized. This quickly made the game boring and lame. A well designed game can have truly unique character abilities AND decent balance. Think of it like Warcraft vs. Starcraft. In Warcraft, the two factions were almost mirrored clones of each other in terms of available units. The game was balanced, but at the cost that neither side was unique. Starcraft has 3 races with VASTLY different styles and abilities. While these differences can create unbalance in certain areas, the game is still very playable, and an overall greater experience for it's risks.
So let's see if I get your arguments.

1) You shouldn't feel gimped if a class feature/power doesn't function because there are better powers out there. Doesn't matter that you took that specific power or got that specific feature, the existence of other powers/features renders the point irrelevant. That is your point, yes?



Sometimes in life I wish I had a small truck rather than a Honda Civic.  Sometimes I need to call my father in law who owns a truck and offer to buy him lunch in order to move something that won't fit in my Civic.  Other times I like filling my Civic for 20 dollars rather than the 80 dollars it would cost me to fill a truck...

2) The BBEG is precisely the guy the players won't feel gimped against, using your example, so it appears you haven't understood the issue there. The BGNG, on the other hand...


Which is why, if you are gearing your players up for a fight with a bad guy with significant plot importance it is worth your while to spend a bit of time fiddling with their stats to make them an appropriate challenge...

3) You're arguing Detect Evil isn't a problem because players are mature enough not to use it. So now, you're not using your class features. I am sure you can see how this is a problem, yes? Or should I elaborate on the threefold pitfall of class features like Detect Evil?

4) Addendum, but you're also assuming things about my players that I take offense to. Meanwhile, I am simply looking at the less-experienced, or more practical players, for whom this feature might end up defusing a campaign hook. One set of assumptions is both offensive and misguided. The other one is a valid concern from a design standpoint. Or do those players 'not count'?

and there are times that an ability like detect evil can be a significant plot driver.  What if a socially important NPC that the PC's can't directly attack is evil?  Other times it's irrelivant, "We're clearing out the undead from the crypts of whosit?  I think it's safe to assume that everything is evil..."

5) That is absolutely game mechanics. By the rules, a monk must be Lawful. By the rules, a Barbarian cannot be Lawful. This isn't 'maybe', or 'if'. The rules are clear here. Are you suggesting that I ignore the rules?

Why not?  Ignoring rules is fun.  Making your own rules is fun.  Cherry picking from different systems is fun...  Want to know what my "skill system" is for my Labarynth Lord campaign?  First I assume that PC's can attempt anything.  Then I tell my players to pick two nouns or verbs that they are "Good At".  I take that into account when making my rulings as to the success or failure of their endeavors.

6) Trust me, I do need to play more FATE. Everybody needs to play more FATE. You, me, Litigation, the guy who called me out thinking I couldn't back up my claims, everybody. It's an awesome system that does what 5e wants to do.

  I could subtitute FATE with 1st ed and be just as right.

So let's see if I get your arguments.

1) You shouldn't feel gimped if a class feature/power doesn't function because there are better powers out there. Doesn't matter that you took that specific power or got that specific feature, the existence of other powers/features renders the point irrelevant. That is your point, yes?



Sometimes in life I wish I had a small truck rather than a Honda Civic.  Sometimes I need to call my father in law who owns a truck and offer to buy him lunch in order to move something that won't fit in my Civic.  Other times I like filling my Civic for 20 dollars rather than the 80 dollars it would cost me to fill a truck...

2) The BBEG is precisely the guy the players won't feel gimped against, using your example, so it appears you haven't understood the issue there. The BGNG, on the other hand...


Which is why, if you are gearing your players up for a fight with a bad guy with significant plot importance it is worth your while to spend a bit of time fiddling with their stats to make them an appropriate challenge...

3) You're arguing Detect Evil isn't a problem because players are mature enough not to use it. So now, you're not using your class features. I am sure you can see how this is a problem, yes? Or should I elaborate on the threefold pitfall of class features like Detect Evil?

4) Addendum, but you're also assuming things about my players that I take offense to. Meanwhile, I am simply looking at the less-experienced, or more practical players, for whom this feature might end up defusing a campaign hook. One set of assumptions is both offensive and misguided. The other one is a valid concern from a design standpoint. Or do those players 'not count'?

and there are times that an ability like detect evil can be a significant plot driver.  What if a socially important NPC that the PC's can't directly attack is evil?  Other times it's irrelivant, "We're clearing out the undead from the crypts of whosit?  I think it's safe to assume that everything is evil..."

5) That is absolutely game mechanics. By the rules, a monk must be Lawful. By the rules, a Barbarian cannot be Lawful. This isn't 'maybe', or 'if'. The rules are clear here. Are you suggesting that I ignore the rules?

Why not?  Ignoring rules is fun.  Making your own rules is fun.  Cherry picking from different systems is fun...  Want to know what my "skill system" is for my Labarynth Lord campaign?  First I assume that PC's can attempt anything.  Then I tell my players to pick two nouns or verbs that they are "Good At".  I take that into account when making my rulings as to the success or failure of their endeavors.

6) Trust me, I do need to play more FATE. Everybody needs to play more FATE. You, me, Litigation, the guy who called me out thinking I couldn't back up my claims, everybody. It's an awesome system that does what 5e wants to do.

  I could subtitute FATE with 1st ed and be just as right.




2) Alignment isn't something you can exactly tweak to make it work with the ability to punish an alignment, if the Big Boss doesn't fit that alignment. A good guy doesn't suddenly become Evil, after all.

3&4) You're misunderstanding my point. Say you have a paladin who goes to a ball. He says "I Detect Evil on everybody". Two people there ding evil, for whatever reason - one of them could be a petty guy, the other could be a vile megalomaniac. Suddenly, the party's reactions to them are adjusted. They don't know why they're evil, if they're a threat at all, or anything else,  but they'll be watching the two guys like a hawk. A gameplay mechanic is substantially modifying their in-character actions. They'll be calling for Sense Motive rolls for everything the two nobles say, keeping an eye on them, and generally being, if not distrustful, at least wary. Sure, a mature player will know better than to use a power that ruins the fun and shifts the tone at the table. But not everybody is mature or knows enough about D&D courtesies to do so. This makes it a broken power, because you can't design for a minority.

5) Why not? Because I'm arguing that the alignment restrictions are broken and shouldn't be there. Resurrection Man is arguing that they deserve a place. Him, and you, have suggested that I ignore them, AKA act as if they weren't there. You're defending my point, but claiming to prefer the exact opposite. This to me implies either you're two-faced with your debating, or you've intentionally, or unintentionally agreed with me about alignment restrictions being broken and dumb.

6) Hell no. FATE does things 1e couldn't ever do. Like have varied combats, for instance - or interesting social encounters. Or have players be awesome and heroic from level 1 instead of prone to Death-By-Orc. Or bringing mechanics and plot directly together, by making the plot give bonuses that are mechanical and tangible. Or allowing PCs to directly influence the plot in more ways than pure interaction, bringing my beloved genre closer to collaborative storytelling instead of Pretend Wargaming. I love 1e, but FATE is in an entirely different tier from any D&D edition.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I'm not a grognard. I'm younger than all of the people who designed 4e. I've never played 1e or 2e.

But I thought that it was at best misguided and foolish to make the metaphorical ritualized slaughter of "sacred cows" as a design scheme for 4e, and market and hype the fact they did that.

I'm not a grognard by any definition but I saw it as losing part of the game's soul and producing something that was D&D by virtue of the trademark rather than continuity, shared experience, and common tropes with prior editions.

5e could rectify this all. And the short tenure of 4e should make it disturbingly obvious that it was a mistake how they went about such things, and something to keep in mind as they move forward if they want to reclaim market share.



Spoilers: 4e didn't fail. Next edition will release next year. This means it'll have lasted five years, just as long as 3.5 did. You fail at understanding basic stuff.

---

As for the other guy, 4e didn't get outsold. As someone who has seen actual numbers, it boasts a massive increase over 3.5s sales. Sorry to pop your bubbles, grogs, but 4e didn't bomb. It's been the most successful edition since WotC took over, by a mile. The reason Litigation talks about throwing you a bone is because you're toxic to the genre. You don't generate as much revenue as the players that are to come, and you are a PITA to deal with because you're filled with venom and entitlement that new players lack. Your grasp of math is tenuous, and your concept of fun is limited at best if you think Caster Supremacy is anything close to resembling a Good Thing. You are stuck in the past, and have ignored the ways game design has progressed. You are just as ignorant to gems like FATE, Dogs in the Vineyard, Mutants and Masterminds, and so on as an RPG virgin, but you're not willing to try them out and see what current game design is like, and what 5e needs to take cues from. Getting to you means a bunch of reliable revenue, but it also implies losing big amounts of marketshare. Hence why all that he wants is throwing you a bone - if you can be goaded into buying the edition, that's the best that WotC can get out of you without massive sacrifices, and what it can hope for without making RPGs into a dying niche like model trains. It's all that modern design paradigms are worth sacrificing for.



The failure is yours, actually.  Apart from your laughable trollish indignation and misplaced hostility, you're wrong on almost all points.  3.5 wasn't a full edition, it was essentially just a revised 3rd edition rulebook that included a few years worth of errata.  3rd edition ran for 8 or so years, while 1st AD&D lasted 9, and 2nd edition lasted 11.  4e has ran for less than half of the average time at 4 years, including a mid-edition revamp in a similar vein to 3.5.  

4e may not be a total flop, but it is without question not as successful as 3rd/d20.  The Times article specifically stated that the market peaked between 1998 and 2003 and has been falling steadily since then.  Amazon reviews of 4e products average mediocre ratings for a variety of reasons, usually being too light on content for the price or having poorly designed mechanics.  WotC's behavior also makes it easy to intuitively deduce that they are consistently failing to meet sales goals/expectations.  It was even obvious before the 5e announcement, but is doubly obvious now.  You really don't have to possess prodigious analytical skills to see this stuff. 

Just because someone criticizes 4e doesn't automatically mean they want caster supremacy or a complete return to prior editions, that's a rather dumb leap of logic.  You are also in the minority about alignments.  Most people would rather see them go away because they are nonsensical and pigeonholing, and arguably one of the most offensive sacred cows to a lot of people.  I can live with them as a RP guide though as long as they are only fluff.     




The market =/= the marketshare. Nice comprehension there. And again, you're going against numbers, numbers I have physically seen. Forgive me if I trust the numbers more than your paranoid speculations, Da?

And honestly, name one mechanic you'd like to see return from previous editions. No 'bring the magic' or 'give me my old fun back'. Straight up mechanics. Then provide an example of how you'd make them work in a new environment where nobody is useless, everybody contributes, battles must not be won in a single turn, adventuring is not limited by a brief window of work, there is no powersource better than others, the math is cleaner, and the mechanic doesn't create more pitfalls than it generates options (as 3.5 multiclassing did, for instance). When I think of the stuff I wanna see in 5e, I know exactly how I'd implement it. I'm curious to hear about your own ideas. If you can come up with some clever and innovative, that means you're not a grog and instead just a lover of D&D, which excludes you from my criticisms.



Forgive me if I don't readily accept that you've seen sales figures, considering that you are not an employee and it isn't something they make a habit of publicly sharing.  More importantly, with all of the clues all over the place they might as well have written and publicly performed a jig about 4e's market under-performance, making your claim all the more suspect ;).

I'm not necessarily championing returning D&D to its roots.  I think evolution of a game system is important, and there are many aspects of all older editions that should stay dead and buried.  The truth is, I think 4e got more right than earlier editions, and I could articulate a list of things I would like to see in D&D going forward, drawing from 4e, all previous editions, and my own creativity, but that would take a while and I'm at work atm.  Perhaps later today.

To humor your inquiry though, I'll just state I wasn't that taken in by 4e's skill system.  I felt it was a step backward from 3e's.  I  like having mechanics that define mundane and/or non adventuring things like perform and craft.  However, I also understand the complaints people had about that system - that it was too expansive and had too many traps, and that the gaps in skills got too large as you got higher level, and that stuff like crafting doesn't need to be simulated by mechanics.

My solution would be a modular profession system.  PCs would have the default adventurer profession containing only adventurer related skills (like 4e) but, there would be a set of professions optionally obtainable by PCs and NPCs based on DM allowance (possibly through a mechanic like a Theme) as an expansion of the core ruleset.  Each profession would have its own list of skills that makes sense for that profession, and would scale either based on level or based on experience with that profession, depending upon how the rest of the system was set up.  You could play a character who was a non-adventurer if you wanted, and it would provide an easy system for statting NPCs in a variety of ways. 


I do not think you understand who is going to get the thrown bones, and why. 4e was a colossal failure just like new coke was. It failed on the most important factor revenue. It alienated most of the previous community, and was outsold by 3rd party companies just doing a rewrite with nothing new.

I can certainly understand you hoping they try and please the 4th crowd, but that represents the crowd that liked the bad/wrong/fun (the previous is in complete jest incase you cannot tell)

They would certainly like to keep you as part of the market and reconcillation is no doubt a huge goal. However you are not the large slice of the pie. I am sure the sacred cheeseburgerz was very tasty but a bad case of heartburn was had all around.

I honestly think they should try very hard to keep you in the fold. I think they should be more then willing to throw you a bone or six, and it looks like they are going with a modular approach just so they can reconcile conflicting ideas and paradigms. I think your group is far more important then the strict numbers represent because you kept the faith when everyone else jsut left and they WANT you for that for that brand loyalty.

How much they come a courting though is pretty much up to you. If you are just not interested, they will not be either.




SO. GODDAM. TRUE.

Let this crowd go and focus on bringing the next generation and those who left in the game IMHO.

So let's see if I get your arguments.

1) You shouldn't feel gimped if a class feature/power doesn't function because there are better powers out there. Doesn't matter that you took that specific power or got that specific feature, the existence of other powers/features renders the point irrelevant. That is your point, yes?

Pretty much. If you do not like the fact that an ability you chose doesn't always work, do not choose it.

I play with a group of people who like combat but roleplay too. The LG paladin won't be mad if for a few games the rivals are another good group and he won't be able to use his smite evil ability. He will prefere to deal with the moral consequences of having to kill good people for a greater good.

But if that bothers you, change smite evil to smite. Everyone is happy, no crying.

2) The BBEG is precisely the guy the players won't feel gimped against, using your example, so it appears you haven't understood the issue there. The BGNG, on the other hand...

And generally players will face a BBEG. Part of the challenge of the BGNG is that you have to deal with it differently.

Fights being all the same is the yawns.

3) You're arguing Detect Evil isn't a problem because players are mature enough not to use it. So now, you're not using your class features. I am sure you can see how this is a problem, yes? Or should I elaborate on the threefold pitfall of class features like Detect Evil?

Not to abuse. Nuance, as you said. Also, a paladin attacking everyone who is evil is pretty... Evil. Plus the stunning surprises, plus the ways to block the detection, plus the usefulness of a of some evil NPCs, plus scanning while a group attacks you is stupid...

But if detect evil is a pain for you, don't let players use it. 

4) Addendum, but you're also assuming things about my players that I take offense to.

And you assume my players are a bunch of 12 year old munchkins. It insults me.
 
Meanwhile, I am simply looking at the less-experienced, or more practical players, for whom this feature might end up defusing a campaign hook. One set of assumptions is both offensive and misguided. The other one is a valid concern from a design standpoint. Or do those players 'not count'?

Been there, needed to live it to understand all the pluses and minuses of the situation and make my how opinion. But I like that I lived it, that I had the options and that  Ican bring my own solutions (if I judge it necessary).

Now we are just removing potential negative experiences from new players. People need to learn thing by themselves and without evil, good does not exist. DnD existed for 30 years with those issues and people still played and enjoyed, each dealing with them in their own fashion.

5) That is absolutely game mechanics. By the rules, a monk must be Lawful.

Fluff.

By the rules, a Barbarian cannot be Lawful.

Fluff.  

This isn't 'maybe', or 'if'. The rules are clear here. Are you suggesting that I ignore the rules?

Sure, if they make you cry ignore them. You'll be happier and they will have no concequense on precious balance. ;)

6) Trust me, I do need to play more FATE. Everybody needs to play more FATE. You, me, Litigation, the guy who called me out thinking I couldn't back up my claims, everybody. It's an awesome system that does what 5e wants to do.

You can't back your claim. 4e was a commercial failure by the standards wotC set for it.




1) The Paladin doesn't get to choose if he has Smite Evil, though - he has it, full stop. No choices available.

2) Why are you inferring the fight is the same? A detail changes, but suddenly a class feature doesn't function. Everything else can be as similar or different as you like, but you can't argue that the feature still works.

3) Don't let players use their class features? Why? It's theirs. The one domain a DM cannot interefere with is the PC's options. That's like telling a Fighter that no sir, you can't full attack because that does too much damage! Stick to single attacks, there's a good boy. The problem isn't the players here, it's the feature that drastically alters PC actions based on out-of-character knowledge.

4) Citation needed. Point out where I said as much. I am talking about the playerbase in general, citing that some players are inexperienced, or very pragmatic with their class features. Did I mention your players? No? Exactly. I'm talking about the fanbase as a whole. Do I have to quote third-party anecdotes or something, or will you question the existence of players like these?

5) Take this to the rules questions thread for previous editions. The answer you're going to get is that it's a rule, not fluff. You can't say a rule isn't a rule just because it's inconvenient. It's still there. I mentioned this above, and what I said applies again here.

6) Uhh...nonsequiteur much? I'm talking about how FATE rocks. What does that have to do with sales?

[Edited]
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I'm not a grognard. I'm younger than all of the people who designed 4e. I've never played 1e or 2e.

But I thought that it was at best misguided and foolish to make the metaphorical ritualized slaughter of "sacred cows" as a design scheme for 4e, and market and hype the fact they did that.

I'm not a grognard by any definition but I saw it as losing part of the game's soul and producing something that was D&D by virtue of the trademark rather than continuity, shared experience, and common tropes with prior editions.

5e could rectify this all. And the short tenure of 4e should make it disturbingly obvious that it was a mistake how they went about such things, and something to keep in mind as they move forward if they want to reclaim market share.



Spoilers: 4e didn't fail. Next edition will release next year. This means it'll have lasted five years, just as long as 3.5 did. You fail at understanding basic stuff.

---

As for the other guy, 4e didn't get outsold. As someone who has seen actual numbers, it boasts a massive increase over 3.5s sales. Sorry to pop your bubbles, grogs, but 4e didn't bomb. It's been the most successful edition since WotC took over, by a mile. The reason Litigation talks about throwing you a bone is because you're toxic to the genre. You don't generate as much revenue as the players that are to come, and you are a PITA to deal with because you're filled with venom and entitlement that new players lack. Your grasp of math is tenuous, and your concept of fun is limited at best if you think Caster Supremacy is anything close to resembling a Good Thing. You are stuck in the past, and have ignored the ways game design has progressed. You are just as ignorant to gems like FATE, Dogs in the Vineyard, Mutants and Masterminds, and so on as an RPG virgin, but you're not willing to try them out and see what current game design is like, and what 5e needs to take cues from. Getting to you means a bunch of reliable revenue, but it also implies losing big amounts of marketshare. Hence why all that he wants is throwing you a bone - if you can be goaded into buying the edition, that's the best that WotC can get out of you without massive sacrifices, and what it can hope for without making RPGs into a dying niche like model trains. It's all that modern design paradigms are worth sacrificing for.



The failure is yours, actually.  Apart from your laughable trollish indignation and misplaced hostility, you're wrong on almost all points.  3.5 wasn't a full edition, it was essentially just a revised 3rd edition rulebook that included a few years worth of errata.  3rd edition ran for 8 or so years, while 1st AD&D lasted 9, and 2nd edition lasted 11.  4e has ran for less than half of the average time at 4 years, including a mid-edition revamp in a similar vein to 3.5.  

4e may not be a total flop, but it is without question not as successful as 3rd/d20.  The Times article specifically stated that the market peaked between 1998 and 2003 and has been falling steadily since then.  Amazon reviews of 4e products average mediocre ratings for a variety of reasons, usually being too light on content for the price or having poorly designed mechanics.  WotC's behavior also makes it easy to intuitively deduce that they are consistently failing to meet sales goals/expectations.  It was even obvious before the 5e announcement, but is doubly obvious now.  You really don't have to possess prodigious analytical skills to see this stuff. 

Just because someone criticizes 4e doesn't automatically mean they want caster supremacy or a complete return to prior editions, that's a rather dumb leap of logic.  You are also in the minority about alignments.  Most people would rather see them go away because they are nonsensical and pigeonholing, and arguably one of the most offensive sacred cows to a lot of people.  I can live with them as a RP guide though as long as they are only fluff.     




The market =/= the marketshare. Nice comprehension there. And again, you're going against numbers, numbers I have physically seen. Forgive me if I trust the numbers more than your paranoid speculations, Da?

And honestly, name one mechanic you'd like to see return from previous editions. No 'bring the magic' or 'give me my old fun back'. Straight up mechanics. Then provide an example of how you'd make them work in a new environment where nobody is useless, everybody contributes, battles must not be won in a single turn, adventuring is not limited by a brief window of work, there is no powersource better than others, the math is cleaner, and the mechanic doesn't create more pitfalls than it generates options (as 3.5 multiclassing did, for instance). When I think of the stuff I wanna see in 5e, I know exactly how I'd implement it. I'm curious to hear about your own ideas. If you can come up with some clever and innovative, that means you're not a grog and instead just a lover of D&D, which excludes you from my criticisms.



Forgive me if I don't readily accept that you've seen sales figures, considering that you are not an employee and it isn't something they make a habit of publicly sharing.  More importantly, with all of the clues all over the place they might as well have written and publicly performed a jig about 4e's market under-performance, making your claim all the more suspect ;).

I'm not necessarily championing returning D&D to its roots.  I think evolution of a game system is important, and there are many aspects of all older editions that should stay dead and buried.  The truth is, I think 4e got more right than earlier editions, and I could articulate a list of things I would like to see in D&D going forward, drawing from 4e, all previous editions, and my own creativity, but that would take a while and I'm at work atm.  Perhaps later today.

To humor your inquiry though, I'll just state I wasn't that taken in by 4e's skill system.  I felt it was a step backward from 3e's.  I  like having mechanics that define mundane and/or non adventuring things like perform and craft.  However, I also understand the complaints people had about that system - that it was too expansive and had too many traps, and that the gaps in skills got too large as you got higher level, and that stuff like crafting doesn't need to be simulated by mechanics.

My solution would be a modular profession system.  PCs would have the default adventurer profession containing only adventurer related skills (like 4e) but, there would be a set of professions optionally obtainable by PCs and NPCs based on DM allowance (possibly through a mechanic like a Theme) as an expansion of the core ruleset.  Each profession would have its own list of skills that makes sense for that profession, and would scale either based on level or based on experience with that profession, depending upon how the rest of the system was set up.  You could play a character who was a non-adventurer if you wanted, and it would provide an easy system for statting NPCs in a variety of ways. 





This doesn't solve the actual complaints people had (still have, me included) about the skill system though. Perchance, you know what I'm thinking of?
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I do not think you understand who is going to get the thrown bones, and why. 4e was a colossal failure just like new coke was. It failed on the most important factor revenue. It alienated most of the previous community, and was outsold by 3rd party companies just doing a rewrite with nothing new.

I can certainly understand you hoping they try and please the 4th crowd, but that represents the crowd that liked the bad/wrong/fun (the previous is in complete jest incase you cannot tell)

They would certainly like to keep you as part of the market and reconcillation is no doubt a huge goal. However you are not the large slice of the pie. I am sure the sacred cheeseburgerz was very tasty but a bad case of heartburn was had all around.

I honestly think they should try very hard to keep you in the fold. I think they should be more then willing to throw you a bone or six, and it looks like they are going with a modular approach just so they can reconcile conflicting ideas and paradigms. I think your group is far more important then the strict numbers represent because you kept the faith when everyone else jsut left and they WANT you for that for that brand loyalty.

How much they come a courting though is pretty much up to you. If you are just not interested, they will not be either.




SO. GODDAM. TRUE.

Let this crowd go and focus on bringing the next generation and those who left in the game IMHO.




Alot of people make claims based on the perceived sucess\failure of 4e and the will point to this event or that person getting let go or testimony from LFGS clerks. I'm not so interested in seeing sales figures because I don't care if WotC "succeed or failed" financially. What I AM truely curious about is to see if they hit their target demographic. I doubt a truely accurate study exists, but it'd be interesting to see a pie chart based on the current 4e players, which would indicate what percentage of players are brand new, are 3.5 players converted to 4e and how many are returning players who didn't hop onto the 3.x bandwagon. 
Maybe somebody should hop over to the Paizo forums and ask how many of them changed to Pathfinder because of dissatisfaction with 4e and how many would change back to D&D if the next edition was more closely related to 3e?
Maybe somebody should hop over to the Paizo forums and ask how many of them changed to Pathfinder because of dissatisfaction with 4e and how many would change back to D&D if the next edition was more closely related to 3e?



Didn't they flag that as trolling and add it to their ToU list of no-nos? I remember somebody asked that before, sometime.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Maybe somebody should hop over to the Paizo forums and ask how many of them changed to Pathfinder because of dissatisfaction with 4e and how many would change back to D&D if the next edition was more closely related to 3e?



Didn't they flag that as trolling and add it to their ToU list of no-nos? I remember somebody asked that before, sometime.



I don't know. I haven't been there in awhile and I don't have time to go hunting around right now.
Want a paladin with Detect evil? Build the dour judgemental Paladin a Str / Wisdom build.
Train in insight, give him skill focus Insight.   I would make him an Inquistor by background bonus +2 on insight. Flavor the skill use as eyes glowing if you dont want subtlety. DM grant you a situational bonus if the target is an enemy of your faith.
 
  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."

 

Maybe somebody should hop over to the Paizo forums and ask how many of them changed to Pathfinder because of dissatisfaction with 4e and how many would change back to D&D if the next edition was more closely related to 3e?



You hear alot about Paizo, obviously viewed as perhaps the closest competition. I'll admit that I do not like 4e mainly because I do not like powers (which is why I enjoy essential classes). This however allowed me to broaden my horizons in regards to the hobby in itself, play other games I would not have otherwise played (strangely enough, never did get around to play pathfinder). It provided me with more perspective on the hobby as a whole and yea, there are some bad games out there. But it allowed me to not just compare 4e to previous editions, but to other TTRPG games as well. I've heard stories of some people doing the same as I, not going back to previous editions or Paizo, but broadening there RPG pallette as whole. 


Apart from your laughable indignation and misplaced hostility, you're wrong on almost all points.  3.5 wasn't a full edition, it was essentially just a revised 3rd edition rulebook that included a few years worth of errata.  3rd edition ran for 8 or so years, while 1st AD&D lasted 9, and 2nd edition lasted 11.  4e has ran for less than half of the average time at 4 years, including a mid-edition revamp in a similar vein to 3.5.  

4e may not be a total flop, but it is without question not as successful as 3rd/d20.  The Times article specifically stated that the market peaked between 1998 and 2003 and has been falling steadily since then.  Amazon reviews of 4e products average mediocre ratings for a variety of reasons, usually being too light on content for the price or having poorly designed mechanics.  WotC's behavior also makes it easy to intuitively deduce that they are consistently failing to meet sales goals/expectations.  It was even obvious before the 5e announcement, but is doubly obvious now.  You really don't have to possess prodigious analytical skills to see this stuff. 

Just because someone criticizes 4e doesn't automatically mean they want caster supremacy or a complete return to prior editions, that's a rather dumb leap of logic.  I'm critical about 4e even though there are a lot of things about it I felt were improvements over previous editions.




This guy too gets it!
So let's see if I get your arguments.

1) You shouldn't feel gimped if a class feature/power doesn't function because there are better powers out there. Doesn't matter that you took that specific power or got that specific feature, the existence of other powers/features renders the point irrelevant. That is your point, yes?

Pretty much. If you do not like the fact that an ability you chose doesn't always work, do not choose it.

I play with a group of people who like combat but roleplay too. The LG paladin won't be mad if for a few games the rivals are another good group and he won't be able to use his smite evil ability. He will prefere to deal with the moral consequences of having to kill good people for a greater good.

But if that bothers you, change smite evil to smite. Everyone is happy, no crying.



So, the argument here is "Well, you can always choose other options." Okay, so, in 3.x, Smite Evil is a feature. What if the campaign features mostly neutral or good-aligned enemies against a good party? He can't choose not to have smite. There's no moral quandry involved in his character. Good people can do bad things. Well Intentioned Extremists. He can oppose these people without falling into the trap of "Why aren't I helping these people? They mean good!" - They're doing bad things the character, or his party, doesn't agree with. Moral questions solved. He bucks up and helps because the DM and his fellow players have given him a good reason. Alignment works against him, he has a dead feature. It's not a case of "Oh, well, you must play with 12 year olds. Cry more or change it."

A: Why does age have anything to do with anything? Your players are happy when one watches the rest of the party have fun? Or are they generally okay with watching someone do things for them? I suppose they must, they enjoy playing 3.x. (Just as easy to make generalizations about players. See? Don't do it.)

B: If it has to be changed for it to be fun for everyone, why is it alignment restricted in the first place? Wouldn't it just be easier to make it a universal ability and let you fluff it? I can have my Smite. You can have your Smite Evil. Mechanically, we've changed nothing and both of us are happy.

Alignment restrictions were dumb and restrictive in 3.5. It was removed in 4E because of those reasons. If the old alignment system returns, I think it'd be best if it didn't become the Alignment Straitjacket that existed in 3.x and previous editions. "You kill the noble, who was actually good, and thus fall!" is an old, boring trap that only bad DMs use. Alignment is a guideline and shouldn't have any mechanical impact on characters. Lawful Good characters sometimes do Chaotic Evil things. Because that's how the world works. Good people kill for stupid reasons.

2) The BBEG is precisely the guy the players won't feel gimped against, using your example, so it appears you haven't understood the issue there. The BGNG, on the other hand...

And generally players will face a BBEG. Part of the challenge of the BGNG is that you have to deal with it differently.

Fights being all the same is the yawns.



So... use the mechanics of the game for that? Instead of just going "Nope. Your special attack doesn't work." Blocking is also 'the yawns', it doesn't promote forward thinking and shuts down players. You know what makes a game more boring than same-ness? Saying no. Players tend to go "Oh, well... I guess then I'll just use my basic attack again." And we've suddenly abandoned interesting mechanics for useless alignment restricted features! [sarcasm]Sounds fun to me.[/sarcasm]

Instead of saying "No, your attack doesn't work.", try building a fight that is actually interesting, instead of just changing the enemy to make your players think sideways.

3) You're arguing Detect Evil isn't a problem because players are mature enough not to use it. So now, you're not using your class features. I am sure you can see how this is a problem, yes? Or should I elaborate on the threefold pitfall of class features like Detect Evil?

Not to abuse. Nuance, as you said. Also, a paladin attacking everyone who is evil is pretty... Evil. Plus the stunning surprises, plus the ways to block the detection, plus the usefulness of a of some evil NPCs, plus scanning while a group attacks you is stupid...

But if detect evil is a pain for you, don't let players use it.



...Except that the example he gave had no one attacking anything? Also, if someone has something blocking Detect Evil, you have the same problem. Only the situation isn't "Detect Evil says he's evil.", it's "He's got something to block Detect Evil. He must be evil." Which is realistic and logical, because why would a good-aligned person with no reason to hide anything hide his alignment? Also, why would someone assume that people are always scanning for his alignment to have such a thing prepared? Especially if your BBEG hasn't met the heroes yet. Detect Evil, and it's preventative measures only make sense in extremely specific circumstances, and all of it relies on the fact that people wandering about casting Detect Evil on every bunny rabbit is common. And if that's commonplace in your world, heroes are pretty mundane, aren't they?

Detect Alignment has a slew of other problems that ruin it's charm more than "It removes the mystery". I've never heard my (fellow) players say "Boy, I wish I had detect evil..." after a twist or completing quests for the BBEG. Why? Because it's more interesting that we were tricked, or it was part of the narrative that we had to. Detect Evil would have ruined that fun. I mean, why do the quests if we know he's the BBEG. We should just smash his face in now. Detect Alignment is boring, isn't conductive to forward thinking, and becomes a hammer for hitting every nail, screw, and bolt to avoid being duped. Any preventative measures result in the same situation as coming up positive, and thus, it's a failure as a mechanic. Why bother?

And no, a Paladin attacking anyone evil is actually part of his 3.X code of conduct. He cannot, knowingly, remain in the presence of evil and remain a paladin. If he's used Detect Evil and chooses not to act, he falls. Classic Paladin Falls trap. Again, bloody boring and used by bad DMs. How could we have solved this? Well, not having, or using Detect Evil for one.

Meanwhile, I am simply looking at the less-experienced, or more practical players, for whom this feature might end up defusing a campaign hook. One set of assumptions is both offensive and misguided. The other one is a valid concern from a design standpoint. Or do those players 'not count'?

Been there, needed to live it to understand all the pluses and minuses of the situation and make my how opinion. But I like that I lived it, that I had the options and that  Ican bring my own solutions (if I judge it necessary).

Now we are just removing potential negative experiences from new players. People need to learn thing by themselves and without evil, good does not exist. DnD existed for 30 years with those issues and people still played and enjoyed, each dealing with them in their own fashion.



Just because it was there and people had negative experiences that new players will not get isn't a good reason for new players to get burned. I've never seen someone go "Wow, my power is worthless. I'm so glad I learned that six levels into this campaign! Thanks for not warning me, DM!" No, they tend to silently fume, and later note that they felt useless to the party, and that it was generally unfun, and you may even turn them away from the game. Negative Experiences do not create a positive playing experience and definitely do not promote future play. There's no 'lessons learnt, move on'. This kind of attitude bars the next generation, and helps kill the game. That is bad, no?

Unless you don't want the next generation to play, as they're the 'WoW generation', that 4E detractors claim ruined D&D for them.

It's this kind of attitude that is bad for games - my group played another tabletop RPG, and we had a generally negative experience. When we looked for help, the answer we got was 'You're playing it wrong.' We were generally insulted, and talked down to by the community who produced this game. We immediately gave the system up. A bad system, plus a bad community created a negative experience that immediately turned us off the game. This is what you're doing. If you act like negative experiences are good for the system, and tell people to suck it up and deal with it, they will - by leaving the game.

5) That is absolutely game mechanics. By the rules, a monk must be Lawful.

Fluff.


I see a rules line that says "Requirement: Must be Lawful." I guess it's not.

By the rules, a Barbarian cannot be Lawful.

Fluff. 

Oh, look. Another rules line that says: "Requirement: Must not be lawful." Also not fluff. You can remove the line, sure. But that doesn't make it not a rule. It just means you're changing the rules. The fluff part? That's that paragraph of text explaining all about a monk. The Alignment paragraph that says "Monks are always lawful" is fluff. But the rules line that says it's an actual requirement? That is rules text. I'm sure if you asked CustServ back in the 3.5 days, they'd agree with that ruling.

This isn't 'maybe', or 'if'. The rules are clear here. Are you suggesting that I ignore the rules?

Sure, if they make you cry ignore them. You'll be happier and they will have no concequense on precious balance. ;)



That's kind of condescending, no? Why can you have fun with the core rules, but I can't unless I change them? Can't we have an equal ground that we can both modify to our liking and be happy? Or do you feel entitled that the rules must cater to you, and I have to be the one who changes them in order to be happy?

I'd like the classes to be mechanically different again so ... if that means a return to Vancian casting, I'm down.  *hides under rock*

Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

I agree with the OP: the 9-alignment system is one sacred cow that should come back, with no hard-coded mechanical effects. I would say that of every sacred cow sacrifice in 4th edition, the new alignment system was the least successful, simply because the old one is still just so iconic. People make charts like this all the time. Have you ever, ever, seen one based on 4th edition's alignment system? I certainly haven't. I personally didn't mind 4th edition's alignment system; I thought it made a reasonable amount of sense and did away with some of the more problematic, ambiguous alignments (Lawful Neutral and Chaotic Neutral, I'm looking at you). But the old alignment system is unkillable in the popular imagination. It's so neat and balanced, even if it is a bit silly. It needs to come on back.

I really don't think 4e was a total flop. I really liked some things, and really disliked others. 

What failed D&D is promising something for everyone, and failing to deliver. It will be a long road to reclaim what was lost. 


Online play? A Usable Online Character Generator? Saying, "There will be no 4.5e"? Enhanced Organized Play? Books on PDF? Online mapping tools for the tile sets?


It was the follow through that failed. It was like they made promises and didn't take the work it took to get the job done seriously. After mistakes are made, the PR was not handled well. A year after 4e came out, they stopped the delegate program, marketing stopped all support for clubs and conventions.

We used to have DM and player rewards, for organized play to promote the hobby.


On top of that, the mini lines were stopped, we were being asked to buy book after book to stay current, and then the final insult was essentials. 


I will look at 5e, but I think WoTC's mistakes have scattered the flock. Paizo reclaimed some, but many are doing other things.

@ Naki:

So long. I'll respond to the last part since it convers everything.

The rules do not just catter to just my needs. They catter to a majority of players. If the majority of DnD fans had a problem with the previous core rules, 4e wouldn't have been a failure.

WotC tried to catter to a minority of whinners. It failed. Let us move away from the ugly experience and get back to playing DnD.

You do not like alignments? Like all of DnD's rules their were always optionals. If people can't realize that, too bad.



[Edited]

[Edited]

If you want to play 3.x, go play Pathfinder. Very simple. 5E is about moving forward, so that we can both play the same game and be happy with it. I don't care what you think D&D is, but I can tell you that it's subjective, and not objective.

4E didn't fail. It ran as long as 3.5; which was basically incompatible with 3E, and was as good as a new edition, with only updating amazingly broken mechanics. It didn't actually fix any of the glaring problems that System Mastery brought to the table and that actually existed in 3.5.

I'm sure you also disliked the Tome of Battle in 3.5, but I mean, if we want to go back to that era, don't I have just as much justification for wanting a class-based power system as you do for not?
Um, while I agree that at this point if you want to play 3.5 then play Pathfinder (i.e. it would be a mistake to try to get those fans back in great numbers....that bridge has been crossed and burnt four years ago), I think it's wrong to say that 4E wasn't a failure.

It was.  Five years ago, the TRPG community looked to 3.5 DnD as the unquestioned standard (good and bad), and it's world revolved around it's publisher: Wotc.  That's how utterly dominant late 3.5 DnD was.

No more and much of the damage was self-inflicted.  3.5 was not a seperate edition.  3.5 was really 3.0 with a lot of common houserules.  The projected lifespan of 4E (per Scott Rouse who is the former Brand Manager at the time and has inside knowledge of this) was supposed to be 8-10 years.  Even HE says has a business and a game, 4E was a complete failure that has to go away.

-Polaris      
I think this shows there are cultural differences between kids playing the fourth edition and everybody else. It's tempting to say, the kids that want to play massive multiplayer games should probably go back to World of Warcraft... because Dungeons and Dragons was supposed to be so much more than a rigid gridded system (and indeed it did used to be). As things stand now, I just see a bunch of know it alls trying to keep the most successful players (some of the grognards have been playing for longer than many of these kids have been alive and know a thing or two about how to make a first class campaign) out of their game altogether. If the community remains polarised like this, Wizards are in real trouble. The kids have a tendency to go for whatever is fashionable and will jump on the next big thing. Wizards knows this and is trying to bridge the gap. There is much at stake for the future of this franchise.
I think this shows there are cultural differences between kids playing the fourth edition and everybody else. It's tempting to say, the kids that want to play massive multiplayer games should probably go back to World of Warcraft... because Dungeons and Dragons was supposed to be so much more than a rigid gridded system (and indeed it did used to be). As things stand now, I just see a bunch of know it alls trying to keep the most successful players (some of the grognards have been playing for longer than many of these kids have been alive and know a thing or two about how to make a first class campaign) out of their game altogether. If the community remains polarised like this, Wizards are in real trouble. The kids have a tendency to go for whatever is fashionable and will jump on the next big thing. Wizards knows this and is trying to bridge the gap. There is much at stake for the future of this franchise.



  Hmm kids playing 4th ed???? I started Playing the ad-hoc mixture of white box, basic, AD&D Players hand book, and AD&D Monster manual that were in print in 1978.

  I joined the army in 1981 and never played 2e while I was in.

 When 3rd ed was released I tried playing it but didnt like it at all, its very cool that people do like and love 3e but it wasnt for me.

  When 4th came out I gave it a shot and was very impressed, its not perfect but it was a lot of fun. 

  When next DnD comes out do not think it will be a retread of 4e I can live with this change is inevitable, however I would be very disapointed if it is a remake of 3e/3.5/pathfinder.

   I also think it would be a marketing failure as such a game already exists...Pathfinder, why would anyone want two games of the same rules set with different names printed by different publishers? 

   To reiterate I expect changes based on the iconic history of DnD not a retread of any previous editon.

signed a grognard by age but not by attitude.      


  
I'm second from the left in the picture.


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

If you want to play 3.x, go play Pathfinder. Very simple. 5E is about moving forward, so that we can both play the same game and be happy with it. I don't care what you think D&D is, but I can tell you that it's subjective, and not objective.



A good sentiment, and one that works well for individual gaming groups, though in my groups case it was "You want to play a B/X AD&D mashup, go play Labarynth Lord" and I'm happy to do so, but it is clear that WoTC wants to become the "big tent" again.  From everything I've read in the announcments it's clear that Monte and the other designers want to draw the gamers they lost back into the fold.  How successful they will be at that remains to be seen. 

One thing that it does mean for sure is that they cannot continue dismissing the tropes, assumptions and playstyle of earlier editions as teh stupid anymore.  Us grogs are gonna need a lot more than a bone thrown at us to rejoin this bandwagon.

A good sentiment, and one that works well for individual gaming groups, though in my groups case it was "You want to play a B/X AD&D mashup, go play Labarynth Lord" and I'm happy to do so, but it is clear that WoTC wants to become the "big tent" again.  From everything I've read in the announcments it's clear that Monte and the other designers want to draw the gamers they lost back into the fold.  How successful they will be at that remains to be seen.




It's a nice theory, but I see no way it can be done.  The divide and bitterness after four years is too deep, and the memories of the last edition war are too recent...and frankly both Mearls and Cook have their own fish to fry in terms of personal preferences and neither has been shy about it (nor should they be).


Invariably if you try to please everyone, you please no one.


-Polaris      

I think this shows there are cultural differences between kids playing the fourth edition and everybody else.



Everyone I know who plays 4E is an adult, most in their mid 30s - early 40s.  Many of them played D&D going back to the early or mid 80s.  I have been playing since then (ODD, 2E, and then 3.5) and 4E is my favorite edition so far and the only one I will play at this point, unless 5E is better.  I have never played a MMORPG.
[Edited]

[Edited]

If you want to play 3.x, go play Pathfinder. Very simple. 5E is about moving forward, so that we can both play the same game and be happy with it. I don't care what you think D&D is, but I can tell you that it's subjective, and not objective.

Indeed. And the way to go forward is with a 3.5 compatibility.



...Uhm... no? I'm not sure where you get that forward movement is acheived by putting the truck in reverse. 3.5 was very quickly a failing brand at the end of it's lifespan. WotC didn't just kick it under the bus because it was funny. It wasn't as successful at the ends of it's lifespan, and while 4E was far too dramatic a shift for some people, it was what was necessary to get a fresh look at the game. Have you seen what people need to do to make interesting 3.5 games on some gaming forums now? I see games that look like this: 'Looking for player - Tier 1 Triple-Gestalt. Homebrewed Classes only.' That sounds like a monster of a nightmare for players and DMs alike. But that is what they need to do to keep 3.5 new and interesting now. Going in reverse will only make this worse. Leave 3.5 to that, make 5E something new.

4E didn't fail. It ran as long as 3.5;

3e and 3.5 are compatible, like 4e and Essentials. 3.x lasted 8 years still exit and is thriving under Pathfinder.
4e fail. It didn't sell. We are now moving away from  the mistake of the designers.



Oh, so, if I insist I want to use 3E's Haste in your Pathfinder game, you're okay with that, right? Because I love me some extra Standard actions. I mean, 3E is total compatible with 3.5, so it shouldn't matter which version of the spell I use.

Also, let Paizo have that leeched success. That's fine. I'd love to see Pathfinder become something not-3.5 before I'd consider it again. Paizo has some amazing stuff, that I can't bring myself to play because I was tired of 3.5 years ago.

which was basically incompatible with 3E,

I recommand you play it. They are very compatible.


I did. We had to tweak the hell out of the game to get it playable and enjoyable for us. 4E did what we wanted out of the box, and we were tired of 3.5. It was a no-brainer for us.

and was as good as a new edition,

Sure. Repeat it often it'll become true.



I mean, if the 3E books were compatible with 3.5, then they wouldn't have had to constantly update Prestige Classes and release new handbooks with everything updated. They could have sold you a nice little $5 paperback with the important changes, and you've have been happy. But you were happy enough to shell out another $120 for a new set of core books. And content with your Wilderness and Warriors PrCs slowly updated through books like Warrior's Handbook and Scroundel's Handbook. If they were truly compatible, they never would have had to do this. Ever. You could use them side-by-side without ever fixing any part of them. But you had to. So, no, they weren't. Stop fooling yourself. You're looking at it through the fact that you don't want to admit that 3E ran for 3 years and 3.5 ran for 5, and that they were seperate entities. 3E and 3.5 are have similarities, but are compatible in the same way Pathfinder Core Rules and the Tome of Magic are compatible. They're not.

with only updating amazingly broken mechanics. It didn't actually fix any of the glaring problems that System Mastery brought to the table and that actually existed in 3.5.

All editions have problems and need system mastery to... Master. Might as well complain the sky is blue.



Huh? You know what System Mastery is, right? That's the reason why Wizards dominate 3.5 and Fighters are basically cheerleaders beyond level 5 or 6. Mastering a system does not require System Mastery. Trap options should not exist to trick people and decieve players. Monte Cook admitted that was the point of System Mastery. For someone to look at an option, think it was good, only to be universally worse than another option, and that players with 'system mastery' would understand that Option A is clearly inferior to Option B, C and D and that only the worst of players would ever consider that option. That's not system mastery, that's deception and elitism, all in one little package. It's not fun, and it's not necessary in a game of any kind. Option A should be just as viable as Option B. Always. System Mastery doesn't need to exist in any form for a game to be fun.

I'm glad that your Wizard 3/Master Specialist 5/Arch Wizard 5, or whatever build is the pinnacle of your mastery of 3.5's intricacies, but why do I need to do that to get an effective character? Why can't a straight Wizard be just as effective? Why can't the fighter be just as effective as the Wizard, but do different things? That is why System Mastery is bad.

I'm sure you also disliked the Tome of Battle in 3.5,

Interesting, but it doesn't really add a lot of options to the fighter (yes I know they weren't fighter classes). Hit do damage, charge do damage...



That's because the fighter wasn't a class - it was a list of stats and feats. It should have been the basis for every other class in 3.5. Tome of battle made being melee more than "I stand here and hope someone comes to me so I can full attack." or "I move and do 1/4th the damage of the Wizard. How cute." Sure, fundamentally, it's "Hit - do damage; charge - do damage.", but so is a Wizard: "standard action, do damage. swift action, do damage." If you want to break it down, everything is based on that. So, I mean, what's the problem with any system? I mean, at the basics: a Power System, Vancian Casting, Base Attack Bonus, Iterative Attacks, they're all basically the same. Do you care which it really is on that criteria? Sure you do, nostalgia. Also, the idea that you feel like you're making meaningful choices when it comes to spells. Whereas a fighter... didn't. You either attacked or didn't. There wasn't "Well, I can attack and help my allies out by inflicting a condition." It was just "I hit and do some damage. Hopefully it dies. If not, I guess my party will finish it off for me." That feeling? That's why I want a power-based system. Meaningful choices in combat. If that means I have to make those meaningful choices through stance selection, or weapon choice? Cool. I can live with that, so long as it's not just "I charge and deal damage. Yay. Watch the Wizard immobilize the entire field now."

but I mean, if we want to go back to that era, don't I have just as much justification for wanting a class-based power system as you do for not?

Iwant a 3.75. Solved issues, 4e innovations, but none of the crap classes of 4e. That was the biggest mistake of 4e.

Guess time will tell how designer will cut the baby.



What? That 4E classes missed feature progression? Sure - I can get on-board with that. But at the same time, I don't need 8 classes to identify my character - if I can do it with 1 class and some feats, cool! Even better. If I get themes, and a new defining 'feature' at a mid and end point? Also cool. I feel like my character has cohesive growth. I no longer suffer from having 18 classes because "That's just how my character would naturally progresses." If you can't explain your character with a single class, then you're probably trying too much in the metagame. You don't have to say "My thief-mage." Couldn't you just go with "Stealthy Wizard"? Single, solitary class with a definitive concept. You don't even need to multiclass for that. If you insist you do, then you're multiclassing for mechanical benefits, and nothing else. You don't need to have "Thief" on your sheet to say he's a thief. Something I find that 3.x players seem to fail to grasp... "How can he be X if it's not on his sheet?"