Returning Grognard, Hopes for 5e

Hello, my name is Edymnion.  I used to be a fixture on the boards back during 3.0/3.5.  I had my custom title and avatar and was on the community leader stuff during the Gleemax fiasco, people generally knew who I was.  But, that was a long time ago, so time to start over from scratch now.

I left because of 4th Edition.  I did not like the way it tried to mimick online MMO's like Warcraft (which is odd, because I did and still do play WoW), nor did I like the changes it forced onto my favorite setting, Eberron.  I moved to other systems, namely Mutants & Masterminds 2e before eventually dropping out of tabletop gaming entirely due to lack of a current system to my liking that had sufficient support to be able to find and maintain a group on a regular basis.

I'm greatly hoping a new edition of D&D will be what I'm looking for, but I have grave doubts after the missmanaging of the property I saw before I left.  With the team saying they are going to be actively looking for player inputs for this edition, as opposed to the "this is the way its going to be, like it or leave it" stance that made me leave it, I'm hoping it will be different this time, I really am.

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What I Look for in a System:

1) Flexibility
I am one of the types that likes to completely come up with a character before I even sit down with the mechanics of a system.  I have a few "testbed" characters I try to build in every system I evaluate to see how closely I can come to whats in my head, reflected in their character sheet.  The more barriers I encounter in creating them, the greater the indication that the system isn't going to be good for me.  Sometimes its just limitations in the mechanics themselves, and that I can forgive in many cases.  It is when I find something that was arbitrarily decided as a limiting factor that has no real mechanical purpose that I grow quickly frustrated with the system.

One of my test characters is one I created years ago for Eberron, a Warforged Paladin named Crucible.  The image of him I have in my head says that he is educated and skillful.  Knowledge (Religion), Diplomacy, Craft (armorsmithing), Speechcraft, with some smatterings of Knowledge (Military Tactics).  The Paladin class as presented in 3e only gave 2 skillpoints per level though, which meant it was simply impossible to create a skillful Paladin.  It also saddled him with a pokemon style summonable warhorse mount that I neither cared for nor wanted.  That was a cardinal sin, in my book.  Class balance is on the assumption that all abilities are actually used.  If forced to take levels in a class for a specific mechanic, while not wanting the rest, you end up mechanically underpowered because you simply don't want the rest of those abilities.  For example, good luck finding a high BAB class if all you want is someone that wears simple leather armor and carries a staff that isn't also going to give you access to greatswords and heavy plate.  Why should I have to have a character where literally half of his abilities are ignored and never used because they simply don't fit, and there was no better way to get the ones that did?

2) Relatively Smooth Gameplay
I don't like to have to micromanage every little thing in the middle of combat.  It slows things down greatly, when I should just be able to say "I do X".  In 3e, the big culprit here was spellcasting.  You had to manage spells per day, memorized spells, etc.  In 4e, it was managing the "once per X" abilities.  I don't want to have to consult a chart just to see what I can and cannot do.  I want the flow of combat and my own personal playstyle to depict how my character fights.  Good systems give tradeoffs that make the powerful stuff riskier to use (like fatiguing the user, or chances for it to just simply not function right), not limit you to only being able to use it once in a blue moon.  That just means you're underpowered when you don't have it, and overpowered when you do, simply because the middle point is considered to be balanced.  In my ideal game mechanics, I would be able to pick between different attacks with my only two considerations being "does this sound cool?" and "am I willing to pay the price to use this right now?".  "Can I do this right now" should not even be something that crosses my mind.

3) Reduced Randomness
My biggest complaint with D&D is also one of it's biggest sacred cows.  Rolling for stats, or even point buy that is limited to only the stats.  The very idea that I could have created the most awesome character of my life, and be totally unable to play it because the dice rolled wrong (and don't get me wrong, I've had just as many characters ruined for having too many high stats as I have too many low ones).  Randomness should only be a factor during normal play.  It should never be a factor during character creation.  I also enjoy the ability to reduce randomness at times during normal play.  The old 3e Eberron had Action Points that would let you reroll or add bonuses to rolls, and you got them for doing cool things during play.  It encouraged you to take risks and be flashy and fun by not only rewarding you for doing so, but giving you the ability to temper yourself against rolling a 1 during your moment of glory.

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The system I have found to be the best match for what I like to play has been Mutants & Masterminds 2e by Green Ronin (I hear there is a third edition of it out, but I left tabletop gaming due to lack of people to play with before that happened, so I never looked too closely at it).  It got some things wrong, but it got a lot right.  One thing it got right was being a point buy system, you only bought character attributes you wanted, not the ones you didn't.  One thing it got wrong there was that *EVERYTHING* was point buy, and if you didn't have both a clear understanding of what you wanted to have going in, you were hopelessly lost.

Another thing it got right, generic powers and abilities.  There were only really 2 base attacks in the entire system, a melee attack, and a ranged attack.  Absolutely every attack in the game was one of those with various extras/limitations/etc added onto it.  A gun or a bow was simply an item with the ranged attack power.  A fireball was the ranged attack power with a [Fire] descriptor tacked on.  A grenade was the ranged power with a short range and an area effect at the point of impact.  It gave you the complete base toolbox in the main player book, it showed you how to combine effects, and then filled out the rest of the powers sections with examples of how to use the base components.  Like if you wanted a creature that could burrow through the ground, they had a Burrow power, but when you read it it was really just a description of how to use it, and the base powers you needed to combine to get the desired effect.  There was literally nothing you could imagine that you couldn't build something really damned close to.  You just put together the raw mechanics, and then described them however you wanted.

Another big thing it got right was doing away with hitpoints entirely.  It created a Toughness saving throw.  You basically made a saving throw against incoming damage.  If you passed, nothing happened to you.  If you failed by a little bit, you took minor penalties to various abilities and future toughness saving throws to represent being injured.  Fail by a lot, and you got even bigger penalties.  Fail miserably, and you were knocked out/killed (that way, the more hits you took, the more injuries you wracked up, the more penalties to your save you got, the easier it was for any given attack to finish you off).  It was a great way to show decreasing ability in combat due to injuries, without ever running into the "any HP greater than 0 means I'm at full fighting power" issue that D&D has always had.

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What I would like to see in 5e:

I would want to see something that is a hybrid between M&M2e's complete freeform point buy and D&D's traditional class structure.  Make the same kind of point based system where everything your character can do is added up towards the character's point limit for that level, but treat classes like kits that come with specific ability packages pre-made.  Then, if you want a light armor wearing dagger weilding character that does not have Sneak Attack, you could start with a Rogue class and simply dump the sneak attack section to get points to spend on something else, like barbarian style rage.

Modularity in character creation would be key.  I want to be able to play the character I want to play.  If that means just picking the default suggestions out of the book, or being able to go down to nitty gritty fine tuning, I want the option to be able to do that.  If I want a priest that shoots holy laser beams, I want to be able to make it.  If I want a raging beserker that enjoys a lively debate on literature when he's not frothing, I want to be able to make it.  I don't want to be told by the system that I can't do something simply because the author's idea of what the fluff is dictates the crunch of the mechanics.  Give me the rules, and let me use them how I see fit.  Don't tell me that just because you think it should be used this way, that its the only way it can be done.
Welcome back, Edymnion.

While I don't agree with all your points ( rolling stats helps to make characters unique ), I am glad to see you return. Maybe they will listen to the players this time and come up with something good.
Amy My blog http://mistimp.blogspot.com
I left because of 4th Edition.  I did not like the way it tried to mimick online MMO's like Warcraft.

That's ridiculous. You know that MMOs like WoW are based on D&D, right? For everything you could try to say that D&D took from WoW, I can probably show you how it's actually WoW that took that from D&D. Comparisons like this are nothing but condescending.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
expect to see a lot of that
Yeah, it's a shame people get so defensive about that.  WoW took from D&D, D&D took from WoW.  Get over it, ya know?  We've got more important fish to fry as a community right now.  Like that new edition maybe.  ;)  Ya know, it may be best to address that instead of rehashing old and pointless arguments.  4e is dead (er, you know what I mean ).  Let's talk about 5e.
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 left because of 4th Edition.  I did not like the way it tried to mimick online MMO's like Warcraft.

That's ridiculous. You know that MMOs like WoW are based on D&D, right? For everything you could try to say that D&D took from WoW, I can probably show you how it's actually WoW that took that from D&D. Comparisons like this are nothing but condescending.

If you want to get technical, modern MMO's are based on JRPGs which were based on D&D style games.  The western MMO simply changed the turn based combat system into a real time one and added ability cooldowns to simulate a psuedo-turn structure.

But I'm not getting into this.  It was brandied about to death and back four years ago.  It wasn't resolved then, and it isn't going to be resolved now.  Simply accept that there are people in this world who's opinions differ from yours, and move on with life.

If you'd like to get into it more than that, please go dig up and read some of the threads from 4 years ago.  There is nothing new to add to the discussion at this point.
Holy Zamm! Welcome back, Edymnion.

What are your thoughts on Eberron and 5E (haven't seen a thread on it yet in Future Releases)?
It's hurtful - in part because it implies that there is something wrong with world of warcraft and those who enjoy playing it.

Hi, I've got six 85's, three of which routinely farm Dragon Soul, and my main is currently working through their legendary daggers.

Please don't try to read between the lines.
Holy Zamm! Welcome back, Edymnion.

What are your thoughts on Eberron and 5E (haven't seen a thread on it yet in Future Releases)?

Vaguely hopeful, but not optimistic.

Dragonkin should never have been in Eberron, and since they were forced into the setting for an entire edition, I doubt they will ever go away now.
It's hurtful - in part because it implies that there is something wrong with world of warcraft and those who enjoy playing it.

Hi, I've got six 85's, three of which routinely farm Dragon Soul, and my main is currently working through their legendary daggers.

Please don't try to read between the lines.



If people call use a term to try to diminish what something is, then there is no need to read between the lines - its very obvious what you are saying when you say it.

But in anycase, I'm not getting into it either.  All I can say is you yourself say you didn't play 4e because you didn't like it - for the past 4 years anytime I say "I play 4e" to fellow gamers I get "Oh you mean WoW with paper?" 
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
They're called Dragonborn, not Dragonkin.

And if you don't want them in your Eberron, remove them.  It's not that difficult.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Dragonkin should never have been in Eberron, and since they were forced into the setting for an entire edition, I doubt they will ever go away now.

Agreed with you on that.

I feel the same way to a degree about the Realms. I don't mind Dragonkin, but I wish they hadn't come to the Realms only via a falling continent.

Which is to say the 4E designers didn't use the groundwork already laid out by previous designers (Eric Boyd comes to mind) to establish Dragonkin in the Realms.

They're called Dragonborn, not Dragonkin.

Meh. Same thing for all practical purposes.

And if you don't want them in your Eberron, remove them.  It's not that difficult.

He wasn't talking about his campaign. He was talking about the setting.

Not that difficult.

They're called Dragonborn, not Dragonkin.

Meh. Same thing for all practical purposes.

And if you don't want them in your Eberron, remove them.  It's not that difficult.

He wasn't talking about his campaign. He was talking about the setting.

Not that difficult.




It's his campaign, regardless of the setting, and he can change it however he likes.  He don't like dragonborn, he can throw them out of the setting.  He don't like dwarves, he can throw them out of the setting.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
If people call use a term to try to diminish what something is, then there is no need to read between the lines - its very obvious what you are saying when you say it.

Again, you are reading more into it than is there.  I said I didn't like that it tried to be like WoW.  That does not imply that WoW is bad, or that the people that play it are bad.  I don't like a pizza that tries to be a chocolate cake either, but that doesn't mean either of them is bad.  I just don't think they are two tastes that go together.
But in anycase, I'm not getting into it either.  All I can say is you yourself say you didn't play 4e because you didn't like it - for the past 4 years anytime I say "I play 4e" to fellow gamers I get "Oh you mean WoW with paper?" 

You know, if every time you mention it to anybody they always give you that response, then it just might something to it.
When I heard about 5th and came to the forums for info, one of the first things I thought was "oh hey, Edymnion's back!" Haven't seen you since the start of the Edition War.

As to your points, it's weird that we agree on all of them, but ended up going different ways when 4e hit.

1) Flexibility. When I first got 4th, I tried to convert a character I'd had. He was a thief by personality and profession, but an arcanist by class. An Arcane Trickster, in 3.5 terms. Started from the ground up, found all the elements of his character, and realized that I couldn't put them together. The rules wouldn't allow it. I'd like for him to be viable again without bastardizing his concept.

2) Relatively Smooth Gameplay. One of the memories I have of 3.5 was my friend's barbarian and his normal/rage/frenzy vs. power attack spreadsheet. 4th was better for maths, but powers did have an effect on the flow.

3) Reduced Randomness. I agree wholeheartedly. I'd like to see 5th edition have diceless character creation, and more ways to affect the die roll itself.

And now I'm really curious about MM2e's toughness system. I'd love to see how that works, since HP has always struck me as a confusing superposition of toughness/wounds/luck/skill. I have my doubts about it being implemented in 5th, but if it looks cool, I'll help you make noise about it.
Rhymes with Bruce
It's his campaign, regardless of the setting, and he can change it however he likes. 

Nobody disputed this. This is true for everyone's campaign.

Why do you feel the to keep pointing this out?

Again, Edy (and I) are taking about our dislike of the inclusion of Dragonborn into Eberron, as well as my dislike of how they were introduced into the Realms.

We are not talking about our personal campaigns.

When you reply, can you at least show you comprehend this?

It's his campaign, regardless of the setting, and he can change it however he likes. 

Nobody disputed this. This is true for everyone's campaign.

Why do you feel the to keep pointing this out?

Again, Edy (and I) are taking about our dislike of the inclusion of Dragonborn into Eberron, as well as my dislike of how they were introduced into the Realms.

We are not talking about our personal campaigns.

When you reply, can you at least show you comprehend this?



The bigger issue is what does it matter?  So a book comes out and says XYZ is no available in the realms?  If you don't want it why should you care? 

5e is supposed to be the edition of options - you have to get used to saying yes to some things and no to others for the game to work.  
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
I don't comprehend it, because it isn't a problem.  You don't like it, then it didn't happen.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I did a double take when I spotted that Thundercat in another thread after watching you fade out of here and then ATT over the last few years. You were one of the bright spots in this place when the edition wars stupidity started to heat up. Good to have you back, Edy.

 I have a question for you, though I apologise if it seems somewhat strange:

Based on my own experiences playing 4e for the last four years, the three traits you describe (flexibility, reduced randomness and smooth gameplay) are exactly what 4e was all about. Obviously you see it differently, and I'm curious: why does 4e not meet these criteria for you?



Oh, and: M&M 3e is definitely worth your time to check out. It's an enormous refinement on the 2e concepts, with some much-needed rebalancing and expansion, along with the elimination of some redundant elements that I'm frankly astounded D&D itself hasn't done (for example: the ability scores as we know them from D&D are gone. Instead, what D&D would call the abiliy modifier is directly used. Since the ability scores serve no purpose other than to generate the stat mod, nothing is lost except a layer of needless complexity and a bit of character sheet clutter). It's only D20 system in name--the basic mechanic is still there, but unless you already know that, you'd never guess it was still technically an OGL game.

M&M 1e was a good idea but the execution was kind of kludgy. 2e was a competent, well-designed game that fit together well but was somewhat unpolished. 3e has been buffed and waxed until it shines under the showroom floor lights. It's steamlined and sleek, aerodynamic, and elegant wihout being simple. 

I really wish WotC would learn a thing or two from Green Ronin about good game design. If the new edition of D&D crashes an burns like I suspect it's going to with Cook at the helm, M&M 3e is very likely going to become my system of choice, assuming I don't fall back to old classics (7th Sea) or get dragged, screaming, away by the Inquisition into the depths of Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch never to be seen again.
-m4ki; one down, one to go

"Retro is not new. Retro-fit is not new." --Seeker95, on why I won't be playing DDN

|| DDN Metrics (0-10) | enthusiasm: 1 | confidence in design: -3 | desire to play: 0 | Sticking with 4e?: Yep. | Better Options: IKRPG Mk II ||
The Five Things D&D Next Absolutely Must Not Do:
1. Imbalanced gameplay. Any and all characters must be able to contribute equally both in combat and out of combat at all levels of play. If the Fighters are linear and the Wizards quadratic, I walk. 2. Hardcore simulationist approach. D&D is a game about heroic fantasy. I'm weak and useless enough in real life; I play RPGs for a change of pace. If the only reason a rule exists is because "that's how it's supposed to be", I walk. I don't want a game that "simulates" real life, I want a game that simulates heroic fantasy. 3. Worshipping at false idols (AKA Sacred Cows). If the only reason a rule exists is "it's always been that way", I walk. Now to be clear, I have no problem with some things not changing; my issue is with retaining bad idea simply for the sake of nostalgia. 4. DM vs. players. If the game encourages "gotcha!" moments or treats the DM and players as enemies, adversaries, or problems to be overcome, I walk. 5. Rules for the sake of rules. The only thing I want rules for is the things I can't do sitting around a table with my friends. If the rules try to step on my ability to roleplay the character I want to roleplay, I walk. Furthermore, the rules serve to facilitate gameplay, not to simulate the world. NOTE: Items in red have been violated.
Chris Perkins' DM Survival Tips:
1. When in doubt, wing it. 2. Keep the story moving. Go with the flow. 3. Sometimes things make the best characters. 4. Always give players lots of things to do. 5. Wherever possible, say ‘yes.’ 6. Cheating is largely unnecessary. 7. Don't be afraid to give the characters a fun new toy. 8. Don't get in the way of a good players exchange. 9. Avoid talking too much. 10. Save some details for later. 11. Be transparent. 12. Don't show all your cards. Words to live by.
Quotes From People Smarter Than Me:
"Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging..." -Foxface on Essentials "Servicing a diverse fan base with an RPG ruleset - far from being the mandate for 'open design space' and a cavalier attitude towards balance - requires creating a system that /works/, with minimal fuss, for a wide variety of play styles, not just from one group to the next, but at the same table." -Tony_Vargas on design "Mearls' and Cook's stated intent to produce an edition that fans of all previous editions (and Pathfinder) will like more than their current favourite edition is laudable. But it is also, IMO, completely unrealistic. It's like people who pray for world peace: I might share their overall aims, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to succeed. When they talk in vague terms about what they'd like to do in this new edition, I mostly find myself thinking 'hey, that sounds cool, assuming they can pull it off', but almost every time they've said something specific about actual mechanics, I've found myself wincing and shaking my head in disbelief and/or disgust, either straight away or after thinking about the obvious implications for half a minute." -Duskweaver on D&D Next
It's his campaign, regardless of the setting, and he can change it however he likes. 

Nobody disputed this. This is true for everyone's campaign.

Why do you feel the to keep pointing this out?

Again, Edy (and I) are taking about our dislike of the inclusion of Dragonborn into Eberron, as well as my dislike of how they were introduced into the Realms.

We are not talking about our personal campaigns.

When you reply, can you at least show you comprehend this?


Its also an issue of setting integrity.  If you never played Eberron, it's dragons are different.  They are not monsters to fight, an adventurer is highly unlikely to ever even see one, and under almost no circumstance do they even interact with the "lesser races".  A good bit of the setting was built around that.  And then 4e came along and said "Hey, dragon people are a core race now, you have to use them", so they got shoe-horned in.

If you're a Forgotten Realms fan, would you want Drow to be a core race where the entire setting had to be shifted around so that they're considered normal?
I played WoD for some time - you want a game that messes with it's cannon - there you go, in one book the Sabbat controls a city and in another they no longer do - does that mean that my game all of a sudden stopped having the Sabbat controlling a city? No.  

I didn't like that the Sabbat controlled the North East - so you know what they didn't.   
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
Edymnion, nice to see how you feel about 5th Edition.

I agree with your points, and I'll add mine.

Better Character Creation System.  After running 4e twice and looking at the PHB more than twice, I have a problem with Class and Powers being associated with one another.   In fact, I have the same problem that Edymnion had expressed with 3.x.  I just glossed over it and got on with my life, but without more flexibility in the character creation system . . . you get a straitjacket.

I'm running DC Adventures which uses M&M 3 and everyone had a blast creating their characters.  The flexibility was perfect for the Superhero genre.  I got two powerhouses that are totally different from each other.  One based on Super Boy, the other a Were-Rhinoceros.  A new girl joined our game and made Ghost Girl; a girl who can control her molecular density.

All of this is possible through flexibility in the game design.  What is interesting is that the characters created are divided by Power Level.  I think this is good direction for D&D to head into for the Roleplayers' camp.  The power levels can be simple as in:

Everyday -- which represents people you meet on a regular basis.  Examples: blacksmith, swordsmith, linkboy, village idiot, small time pickpocket, candlestickmaker, baker, vitner, soldier, castle guard, armorsmith, parish priest. 

Exceptional -- These have trained harder and probably have a paper saying that they have a degree, or they are part of something greater.   Examples: Knightly squire, wizard's apprentice, alchemist, gregorian and franciscan monks, caravan leader, explorer, sorcerer. 

Elite -- Elite characters are the creme de la creme.  They have the resources to really get themselves noticed.  Wizard, Cleric, Knight, Paladin, Silver Flame Exorcist, Battlemage, Spellsword, Gangster. 

Or they can be tied to power levels.  There also should be rules for handling a party of wildly differing power levels; since in real life you get situations where you have a mix of the Everyday, Exception, and Elite.  And they are pretty common!   Specialized groups of like education and training are rare.  Most adventures aren't written in that vein.  A situation is provided (goblins attack a villager) and someone plays hero is probably the most common.  A situation where the heroes are hired for their expertise (ala Three Days to Kill) isn't exactly common.

The rules should reflect flexibility and situations you may see in real life.  If the DM has a scenario that requires a party of Special Forces-esque trained adventurers the rules should call for it.  If the DM has a campaign were people of varying backgrounds and training get together, then there should be rules for that.  It's as simple as that.

------------------------------- 

Crimson_Concerto, gimme your 4e books.

* Gets his books, places them on a mountain ledge *

FUS RO DAH!

* Crimson's books are blasted into orbit with Unrelenting Force. *   

Author of Elementalism in Atlas Games' Occult Lore. DAZ 3D

It's his campaign, regardless of the setting, and he can change it however he likes. 

Nobody disputed this. This is true for everyone's campaign.

Why do you feel the to keep pointing this out?

Again, Edy (and I) are taking about our dislike of the inclusion of Dragonborn into Eberron, as well as my dislike of how they were introduced into the Realms.

We are not talking about our personal campaigns.

When you reply, can you at least show you comprehend this?


Its also an issue of setting integrity.  If you never played Eberron, it's dragons are different.  They are not monsters to fight, an adventurer is highly unlikely to ever even see one, and under almost no circumstance do they even interact with the "lesser races".  A good bit of the setting was built around that.  And then 4e came along and said "Hey, dragon people are a core race now, you have to use them", so they got shoe-horned in.

If you're a Forgotten Realms fan, would you want Drow to be a core race where the entire setting had to be shifted around so that they're considered normal?



I played Eberron since the beginning, remember?  Let's go over the points ...

1. Dragonborn are not dragons.  There's no reference to them being genetically related to dragons.  They come from Argonessen, where dragons are a bit more commonplace, and generally hail from Q'barra, where we know there's a big black dragon.

2. And here's what you're missing.  Just because something is a core race does not mean you have to use it.  I'm running a game right now with no 'traditional' D&D races.  No humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, etc.  'Core' doesn't mean 'you have to use it'.

3. I wouldn't mind, but I don't find the drow particularly compelling.  And just because something is a core race also doesn't mean it's common or accepted everywhere.

BTW, am I misremembering, or aren't you the guy who invented a brand new Dragonmark and applied it to a shifter?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I did a double take when I spotted that Thundercat in another thread after watching you fade out of here and then ATT over the last few years. You were one of the bright spots in this place when the edition wars stupidity started to heat up. Good to have you back, Edy.

Yeah, I never found a MnM group around here to play with, and the games on the only online place I used back in the day dried up, so I eventually just stopped playing entirely.  I still work on M&M characters in my head though.  Heh, still got a blaster named Blacklight that I've got entirely detailed and worked out in my head, just never bothered to sit down and stat him out.
I have a question for you, though I apologise if it seems somewhat strange:

Based on my own experiences playing 4e for the last four years, the three traits you describe (flexibility, reduced randomness and smooth gameplay) are exactly what 4e was all about. Obviously you see it differently, and I'm curious: why does 4e not meet these criteria for you?

In all honesty, I couldn't answer that today.

When 4e came out, I got the PHB, I read it through, saw things I liked and things I didn't like, and overall the dislikes outweighed the likes.  Its been too long for me to remember specifics though.
Oh, and: M&M 3e is definitely worth your time to check out. It's an enormous refinement on the 2e concepts, with some much-needed rebalancing and expansion, along with the elimination of some redundant elements that I'm frankly astounded D&D itself hasn't done (for example: the ability scores as we know them from D&D are gone. Instead, what D&D would call the abiliy modifier is directly used. Since the ability scores serve no purpose other than to generate the stat mod, nothing is lost except a layer of needless complexity and a bit of character sheet clutter). It's only D20 system in name--the basic mechanic is still there, but unless you already know that, you'd never guess it was still technically an OGL game.

I saw that 3e came out there, but by then I was out of people to play with, so I didn't give it a good look.  Guess I should sometime.
I really wish WotC would learn a thing or two from Green Ronin about good game design. If the new edition of D&D crashes an burns like I suspect it's going to with Cook at the helm, M&M 3e is very likely going to become my system of choice, assuming I don't fall back to old classics (7th Sea) or get dragged, screaming, away by the Inquisition into the depths of Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch never to be seen again.

M&M2e is currently my system of choice.  Gotta love a system that lets you make a group out of Superman, Goku, Mr. Spock, and a Caveman, and have it actually WORK.
3.0/3.5 players are grognards?  Please. Drop by Dragonsfoot.org where 2e players are the "new kids"

3e combat is a badly done boardgame and 4e is an improvement on boardgame combat. When you have to stop the flow of the narrative to break out minis and boards, you have crossed the line into boardgame hybrid.

Note: I don't think a RPG hybrid is a bad idea.  Warhammer Quest is still an amazing game design, but its not what "grognards" would call D&D and why we laugh hysterically when 3e players make fun of 4e for being a video game.  Pot calling kettle!

The beauty of 0e-2e D&D was the ability to seemlessly flow from exploration, combat, roleplay. Of course, the combat was not tactical and characters not optimized.  For many players, that is the desired D&D....and for many players, that is not.

I question whether a modular system can really please everyone. I wonder what Monster Manual stat blocks will look like if they have to quickly and easily meet the needs the Bare Bones DM and the Everything DM.

How do you please people who want to roll up a character in less than 5 minutes and people who want to spend hours optimizing?

How do you balance PC mortality between fans of Old School brutality and modern players who want an immortal PC?

In Old School, Raise Dead is a big deal. In 3e/4e, Raise Dead is an expensive Cure spell. Of course, in games with 1-2 hour chargen, fast Raise Dead makes complete sense - it gets the player back in the game.  For Old Schoolers, you mostly got back into the game after rolling up a new dude and stepping out from behind the nearest tree.

I wonder if 5e can really bridge these differences. And more importantly, why would Old Schoolers give up their current game? And why would 3e players give up Pathfinder? Both groups are very happily being served by other companies.
2. And here's what you're missing.  Just because something is a core race does not mean you have to use it.  I'm running a game right now with no 'traditional' D&D races.  No humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, etc.  'Core' doesn't mean 'you have to use it'.

So what you're saying is that you would find it completely acceptable if 5e launch with My Little Ponies as a playable race in the PHB?  Just because you could rule 0 it out, absolutely anything they do is acceptable?
BTW, am I misremembering, or aren't you the guy who invented a brand new Dragonmark and applied it to a shifter?

Well, it was an abberant mark that was already in the books, but yes.

But there is a differnce between a player or a DM acknowledging that "This is not the way it normally works, but its a cool story, so lets go with it anyway" and making it the core, default rules.
Let's try to get back on topic and off the bashing. 

I for one would like to see class structure redone almost entirely. For starters there would be a vast array of class features. These class features would be accessable to certain themes/classes. Multiclassing would mearly be having multiple "themes", albeit with some restrictions. Power selection would be base class or theme specific, though some powers should certainly be shared.

On top of this the addition of skill tricks as described in a previous Legend & Lore would help to maximize ones customization.

This would also fit in terms of a basics only playstyle , "base classes" would just have the class features and powers, skills, even feats, already chosen. In this was Dragon could release new base builds, which may or may not, also introduce new class features et cetra. 

Would balance be tricky? Perhaps. But if done right I feel it would be very successful.

The class feature system could work through swapping or perhaps with trees, though the latter is highly unoriginal.


In terms of randomness. Well...D&D just wouldn't be right without dice. Point buy and random rolling should and most certainly will, always be around.

It would be nice to see some powers such as the 4e Magic Missile however. Auto hits and/or set damage abillities have their place.

Perhaps, as oppossed to semantical or circular debates, we can try to discuss things in a more fun and civil manner?  
It's his campaign, regardless of the setting, and he can change it however he likes. 

Nobody disputed this. This is true for everyone's campaign.

Why do you feel the to keep pointing this out?

Again, Edy (and I) are taking about our dislike of the inclusion of Dragonborn into Eberron, as well as my dislike of how they were introduced into the Realms.

We are not talking about our personal campaigns.

When you reply, can you at least show you comprehend this?


Its also an issue of setting integrity.  If you never played Eberron, it's dragons are different.  They are not monsters to fight, an adventurer is highly unlikely to ever even see one, and under almost no circumstance do they even interact with the "lesser races".  A good bit of the setting was built around that.  And then 4e came along and said "Hey, dragon people are a core race now, you have to use them", so they got shoe-horned in.

If you're a Forgotten Realms fan, would you want Drow to be a core race where the entire setting had to be shifted around so that they're considered normal?



In Eberron, the dragonborn were indeed shoe-horned in with some fluff of "they were always around" (I think they did the same in FR, with them appearing on an island or something. I overheard this so could be wrong). I've houseruled a "no dragonborn allowed" rule into my campaing because in my homebrewed Eberron, Dragonborns originate from Xoriat and are meant as a twisted abomination of what the elder dragons are.
2. And here's what you're missing.  Just because something is a core race does not mean you have to use it.  I'm running a game right now with no 'traditional' D&D races.  No humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, etc.  'Core' doesn't mean 'you have to use it'.

So what you're saying is that you would find it completely acceptable if 5e launch with My Little Ponies as a playable race in the PHB?  Just because you could rule 0 it out, absolutely anything they do is acceptable?



That would actually be pretty awesome - and yes, I would just rule 0 it out of my games. 

Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
2. And here's what you're missing.  Just because something is a core race does not mean you have to use it.  I'm running a game right now with no 'traditional' D&D races.  No humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, etc.  'Core' doesn't mean 'you have to use it'.

So what you're saying is that you would find it completely acceptable if 5e launch with My Little Ponies as a playable race in the PHB?  Just because you could rule 0 it out, absolutely anything they do is acceptable?
BTW, am I misremembering, or aren't you the guy who invented a brand new Dragonmark and applied it to a shifter?

Well, it was an abberant mark that was already in the books, but yes.

But there is a differnce between a player or a DM acknowledging that "This is not the way it normally works, but its a cool story, so lets go with it anyway" and making it the core, default rules.



Are you kidding?  I'd keep them.  RAINBOW DASH IS BEST PONY!

And yes, I can throw whatever elements out of the game I wish.  Races, classes, feats, powers, whatever.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

3e combat is a badly done boardgame and 4e is an improvement on boardgame combat. When you have to stop the flow of the narrative to break out minis and boards, you have crossed the line into boardgame hybrid.

I'm getting so, incredibly tired of people making the claim that battlegrid combat and narrative are mutually exclusive. 

I've been integrating the two quite seamlessly for four years now. It's not even hard. 

Think a little. Plan a little. Integrate the two. 

*sigh* But then again, I get more roleplay out of a random pickup game of 40K than I do from an "average" D&D group, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that nobody else has figured out how to do this. I'd say it was sad, but I'm too jaded to care.

-m4ki; one down, one to go

"Retro is not new. Retro-fit is not new." --Seeker95, on why I won't be playing DDN

|| DDN Metrics (0-10) | enthusiasm: 1 | confidence in design: -3 | desire to play: 0 | Sticking with 4e?: Yep. | Better Options: IKRPG Mk II ||
The Five Things D&D Next Absolutely Must Not Do:
1. Imbalanced gameplay. Any and all characters must be able to contribute equally both in combat and out of combat at all levels of play. If the Fighters are linear and the Wizards quadratic, I walk. 2. Hardcore simulationist approach. D&D is a game about heroic fantasy. I'm weak and useless enough in real life; I play RPGs for a change of pace. If the only reason a rule exists is because "that's how it's supposed to be", I walk. I don't want a game that "simulates" real life, I want a game that simulates heroic fantasy. 3. Worshipping at false idols (AKA Sacred Cows). If the only reason a rule exists is "it's always been that way", I walk. Now to be clear, I have no problem with some things not changing; my issue is with retaining bad idea simply for the sake of nostalgia. 4. DM vs. players. If the game encourages "gotcha!" moments or treats the DM and players as enemies, adversaries, or problems to be overcome, I walk. 5. Rules for the sake of rules. The only thing I want rules for is the things I can't do sitting around a table with my friends. If the rules try to step on my ability to roleplay the character I want to roleplay, I walk. Furthermore, the rules serve to facilitate gameplay, not to simulate the world. NOTE: Items in red have been violated.
Chris Perkins' DM Survival Tips:
1. When in doubt, wing it. 2. Keep the story moving. Go with the flow. 3. Sometimes things make the best characters. 4. Always give players lots of things to do. 5. Wherever possible, say ‘yes.’ 6. Cheating is largely unnecessary. 7. Don't be afraid to give the characters a fun new toy. 8. Don't get in the way of a good players exchange. 9. Avoid talking too much. 10. Save some details for later. 11. Be transparent. 12. Don't show all your cards. Words to live by.
Quotes From People Smarter Than Me:
"Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging..." -Foxface on Essentials "Servicing a diverse fan base with an RPG ruleset - far from being the mandate for 'open design space' and a cavalier attitude towards balance - requires creating a system that /works/, with minimal fuss, for a wide variety of play styles, not just from one group to the next, but at the same table." -Tony_Vargas on design "Mearls' and Cook's stated intent to produce an edition that fans of all previous editions (and Pathfinder) will like more than their current favourite edition is laudable. But it is also, IMO, completely unrealistic. It's like people who pray for world peace: I might share their overall aims, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to succeed. When they talk in vague terms about what they'd like to do in this new edition, I mostly find myself thinking 'hey, that sounds cool, assuming they can pull it off', but almost every time they've said something specific about actual mechanics, I've found myself wincing and shaking my head in disbelief and/or disgust, either straight away or after thinking about the obvious implications for half a minute." -Duskweaver on D&D Next
Edy, I just wanted to say hello. I embraced 4e for just about all the reasons you rejected it, so we definitely don't see eye to eye on that. But every time I see a Thundercats reference, I think of you. I'm gald to see you back in a discussion capacity. Welcome back to the Boards!
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
How do you please people who want to roll up a character in less than 5 minutes and people who want to spend hours optimizing?

Easiest answer I see to that is to hybridize classes and point buy.  Build the mechanics as a point buy system, give the rules for that system, and then create classes and kits as pre-made groups of point buy material.  If you want a fast character, you just grab the Rogue and keep all the default stuff.  Daggers, sneak attacks, crossbow, leather armor, lots of skills, etc.  If you wanted to customize more, drop the "Rogue Skill Package" and pick up say the "Ranger Skill Package" and the "Fighter Skill Package".  Or go straight down to the smallest grain layer and pick what skills you want as class skills one at a time until you use up your points.

M&M had a similar system with it's powers.  You had a few basic building blocks, and then you had more "advanced" powers that were really just pre-made groups of the basic powers with appropriate modifiers already packaged in.  If you wanted to just grab "Fire Control" as a power, you could write that down on your sheet and go with what it gave you.  If you wanted to fine tune it, you could break it all out line by line on your sheet.  Or you could just take one of the premade classes and use that wholecloth.

You had as much or as little control as you wanted about the granularity of your character.
Edy, I just wanted to say hello. I embraced 4e for just about all the reasons you rejected it, so we definitely don't see eye to eye on that. But every time I see a Thundercats reference, I think of you. I'm gald to see you back in a discussion capacity. Welcome back to the Boards!

Hey, some of the old farts are still hanging around I see.
Are you kidding?  I'd keep them.  RAINBOW DASH IS BEST PONY!

We are not here to dispute the awesomeness that is the sonic rainboom. Tongue Out
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Please keep your posts polite, respectful, and on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks or accusing other posters of trollery/elitism.
Hello, my name is Edymnion.   I used to be a fixture on the boards back during 3.0/3.5. 

I think I vaguely remember you not being too huge a jerk, which was quite the accomplishement in those days.  ;)

I left because of 4th Edition.  I did not like the way it tried to mimick online MMO's like Warcraft (which is odd, because I did and still do play WoW), nor did I like the changes it forced onto my favorite setting, Eberron.

Never cared for Eberron, so I don't know what those changes were.... but I don't blame you for that.  You cheated yourself out of some good gaming experiences, though, by giving up on 4e for 'mimicking MMOs,' though.  That rush to judgement turned out to be off-base.  4e was still an RPG, similarities to MMOs were due to MMOs long immitating D&D.  :shrug:

Actually, that bears a little examination.  Durring the 3.x years, increasingly, observations were made of how MMOs would do some things 'better' than D&D.  Aggro being a big one.  The 3.x fighter was much-criticized (even though it was an elegant, balanced, and customizeable class), and one of the many criticisms heaped upon it was lack of aggro.  The 4e 'mark' mechanic was an answer to that criticism, and it has made fighters and other 'defenders' more effective at their traditional fucntion.

Really, MMOs try to be RPGs, but with a computer as DM.  There's no way to cover for weaknesses in a system, so an MMO has to be very mechanically workable and balanced to be playable, while a DM can paper over a lot of rules-funcitonality and balance flaws in a TT RPG.  It's not surprising that, while trying to immitate D&D, MMOs had to find technical solutions to some of it's problems, nor is it surprising that in finally tackling those same problems, 4e hit upon some vaguely similar solutions.

  I moved to other systems, namely Mutants & Masterminds 2e before eventually dropping out of tabletop gaming entirely due to lack of a current system to my liking that had sufficient support to be able to find and maintain a group on a regular basis.

That might've told you something. It's quite easy to find a 4e group.  I'm surprised you couldn't find anyone to play Pathfinder, though.

I'm greatly hoping a new edition of D&D will be what I'm looking for, but I have grave doubts after the missmanaging of the property I saw before I left.  With the team saying they are going to be actively looking for player inputs for this edition, as opposed to the "this is the way its going to be, like it or leave it" stance that made me leave it, I'm hoping it will be different this time, I really am.

Don't get your hopes too high.  A corporation 'listening to customer input' is usualy just trying to generate buzz.

What I Look for in a System:



1) Flexibility
I am one of the types that likes to completely come up with a character before I even sit down with the mechanics of a system.

Cool.  Have you ever tried Hero System?

One of my test characters is one I created years ago for Eberron, a Warforged Paladin named Crucible.  The image of him I have in my head says that he is educated and skillful.  Knowledge (Religion), Diplomacy, Craft (armorsmithing), Speechcraft, with some smatterings of Knowledge (Military Tactics).  The Paladin class as presented in 3e only gave 2 skillpoints per level though, which meant it was simply impossible to create a skillful Paladin.  It also saddled him with a pokemon style summonable warhorse mount that I neither cared for nor wanted.  That was a cardinal sin, in my book.

Funny, I thought you liked 3e.  Also funny: those problems aren't present in 4e, it's quite easy to get the skills you want - a background can help you get a non-class skills, and feats can with additional ones if you really need a very against-class set of skills.  PH1 Paladins have no goofy pokemon animal - and those classes that do now get 'pets' get them optionally, under specific builds or subclasses.

For example, good luck finding a high BAB class if all you want is someone that wears simple leather armor and carries a staff that isn't also going to give you access to greatswords and heavy plate.  Why should I have to have a character where literally half of his abilities are ignored and never used because they simply don't fit, and there was no better way to get the ones that did?

Because you played 3.5, clearly.  In 3.5, proficiency with heavier armors and bigger weapons was a hard-coded advantage of some classes.  4e's exception-based aproach allows some classes to be quite competative with lighter weapons and armor, even to the point of them being better choices for specific builds than heavier ones.  There's no need to go looking for 'high BAB,' either, melee combat effectiveness is more a matter of power selection than armor selection.

2) Relatively Smooth Gameplay
I don't like to have to micromanage every little thing in the middle of combat.  It slows things down greatly, when I should just be able to say "I do X".  In 3e, the big culprit here was spellcasting.  You had to manage spells per day, memorized spells, etc.  In 4e, it was managing the "once per X" abilities.

That's beyond 'smooth.'   Resource management was always a feature of D&D. 

Not that doing away with dailies wouldn't be a great idea - it'd improve encounter and class balance and allow a broader range of play styles to work smoothly.


3) Reduced Randomness
My biggest complaint with D&D is also one of it's biggest sacred cows.  Rolling for stats, or even point buy that is limited to only the stats.

Point buy has been a feature of D&D for quite a while now.  I've never seen anyone roll for stats in 4e, and only heard about it for 3.x, it's prettymuch a grognard-option, and has been for a long time.   Point buy systems, like Hero or GURPS, that let you spend points on anything, letting you have a very stat-heavy or skill-heavy or power-heavy character, are great for customization, but they're hard (impossible, really) to balance, and have steep learning curves, making them poor choices for new and casual players - sub-sets D&D has always catered to, if not always well, simply on the basis of its almost mainstream name recognition.

I also enjoy the ability to reduce randomness at times during normal play.  The old 3e Eberron had Action Points that would let you reroll or add bonuses to rolls, and you got them for doing cool things during play.  It encouraged you to take risks and be flashy and fun by not only rewarding you for doing so, but giving you the ability to temper yourself against rolling a 1 during your moment of glory.

Funny, again, 4e is peppered with re-roll mechanics, after-the-roll bonuses, and, of course, has it's own take on Action Points.

Dude, you really missed out.

One thing it got right was being a point buy system, you only bought character attributes you wanted, not the ones you didn't.  One thing it got wrong there was that *EVERYTHING* was point buy, and if you didn't have both a clear understanding of what you wanted to have going in, you were hopelessly lost.

It must have been immittating Champions... ;) 

Anyway, sorry about the lecture about point buy, above, clearly, you already new that. 

Another thing it got right, generic powers and abilities.  There were only really 2 base attacks in the entire system, a melee attack, and a ranged attack.  Absolutely every attack in the game was one of those with various extras/limitations/etc added onto it.  A gun or a bow was simply an item with the ranged attack power.

Effects-based.  Wow, they /really/ ripped of Champions.  Good for them, couldn't pick a better game to immitate.

D&D was never remotely effects based, so I'm surprised you ever cared for it much.  4e was still list-based, but it was tweaked with WotC's M:tG-born "exception based" design philosophy.  The result had some of the advantages of effects-based systems.  There were a set of keywords, conditions, and rules that let /designers/ create large numbers of distinct powers without having to add new mechanics to the game every time (though they still could and did through 'execeptions').

What I would like to see in 5e:

I would want to see something that is a hybrid between M&M2e's complete freeform point buy and D&D's traditional class structure.  Make the same kind of point based system where everything your character can do is added up towards the character's point limit for that level, but treat classes like kits that come with specific ability packages pre-made.  ...
Modularity in character creation would be key.  I want to be able to play the character I want to play.

A very noble goal for an RPG, and one already accomplished by other games, going back to the early 80s.  Distinctly un-D&D in 'feel,' though.  And, with little else to hang their hatred on, the 3.5 holdouts made 'classic D&D feel' a major sticking point. 

From what we've heard of 5e so far, it promises to be modular - for the DM.  The DM will have to decide on which of a number of options to bolt on to a simplistic core system.  Whether there'll be many meaningful choices for players remains to be seen...



 

 

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Yeah, there's going to be some real serious tension between the "lots of options" folks and various schools of "simpler is better", not to mention all the myriad ways you can organize options.

Personally I think the best bet to keep things in line with something that is close enough to Mike Mearls' headspace that it will even get a look is forget about any kind of 'point buy' or anything along those lines. We're certainly going to have a fairly traditional class structure. The questions are more around how does it break down and how granular is it? I think the trend towards ever more classes implementing ever more specific sub-aspects of basic archetypes eventually leads to less real meaningful choice in the end. Regardless of how many other subsystems you tack on to try to bring it back, the better option is to have fewer more generalized classes to start with. THEN you can consider what specific bits of mechanics are really warranted and required for really specific niche concepts. These can be designed as either subclass features or as packages that can be applied to any class and work with its specifics.

Instead of choices of equipment dictating options, have it go back to working the other way. You can always opt to wear plate armor, but you'll be slow, sink like a brick, burn up a lot of energy moving around, etc. Likewise with weapons, you can pick up and swing a battleaxe if you want, but it will be a cumbersome weapon without sufficient strength and more inconvenient to carry around than a sword. You might find your character is somewhat more effective typically with certain choices, but you can always use whatever tool is best for the job and each one will make some options more or less useful.

It seems to me like we've gone far enough in the direction of more and more intricate systems of character generation. There are lessons to learn from all that, but I am going to say I highly doubt '5e' will put a huge emphasis on that. Flexibility will be coming from lack of NEED for options rather than existence of options (think about the 4e skill system, 4e really was halfway there already).
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I'm greatly hoping a new edition of D&D will be what I'm looking for, but I have grave doubts after the missmanaging of the property I saw before I left.  With the team saying they are going to be actively looking for player inputs for this edition, as opposed to the "this is the way its going to be, like it or leave it" stance that made me leave it, I'm hoping it will be different this time, I really am.

Don't get your hopes too high.  A corporation 'listening to customer input' is usualy just trying to generate buzz.

Oh I know.  But, I have also been an alpha/beta tester for games where the developers completely reworked how things operated based on feedback received during testing, so it is sometimes possible.  You just need a development staff that doesn't think what they already have is God's gift to gaming from the start, and know how to weed out complainers from legitimate ideas, and use the good ones.

Funny, I thought you liked 3e.

I did.  But it wasn't perfect.  No system is.  I had my laundry list of houserules just like everybody else did.

Dude, you really missed out.

No, I don't think I did.  I read 4e, I played some 4e, and like every other system, it had things I really liked, and it had things I really didn't like.  In the end, the things it brought that I did like were things I could use in what I already played, and the things I didn't like were engrained so deep that removing them wasn't an easy option.  So, with more dislikes about the system than likes, I left it be.

D&D was never remotely effects based, so I'm surprised you ever cared for it much.

First loves and all that rot.  Fell in love with 2e, went all out with 3e, and by the time 4e came out I had much more experience with multiple systems, and was better able to judge what I wanted vs. what was being offered to me.
D&D was never remotely effects based, so I'm surprised you ever cared for it much.

First loves and all that rot.  Fell in love with 2e, went all out with 3e, and by the time 4e came out I had much more experience with multiple systems, and was better able to judge what I wanted vs. what was being offered to me.

Fair enough.  That was pretty much my experience with 2e.  I started with Basic, then Advanced, then 2e... by the time 2e had been piling on suplements of questionable value for a few years, I realized that other games I'd been playing were just so much better, there was no point in continuing to patch D&D... 

Then 3e came out, and it sucked less, and 4e sucked a lot less. 

Another thing about the timing of 4e is that it came when a lot of older fans had had kids and gotten away from the hobby - and  it's easier to run, easier to learn (so you can introduce your kids to it, even if they're still pretty young), and more suited for the casual play that's all you have time for.



 

 

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What we're  using works well for us. We have played the eq d20 system and it used a training points system. We lifted it completely and ported it over.

Now understand these numbers are normalized for our pathfinder/3.x hybrid overpower game:

every player receives 5 training points per level.

Costs are as follows: feat 5pts
                                  skill rank 2x 1pt
                                  stat increase 10pt

We brought it over (we used different numbers when it was 3.x alone) because sometimes you already had the stats you wanted, and perhaps you wanted more feats instead, or you needed skills to fit into prestige class requirements...it allowed a lot more flexibility for the players on builds, and we've had good reviews. 

I only suggest Training points because they've already seen use in published d20 materials.

(and now I have revealed myself to my players... which I know at least some of them glance over these...*sigh* enter next session having debates about posts :P )
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