What is it about 4th edition fights that make them "more tactical"? What am I not seeing?

I keep hearing that 4th edition is more of a tactical game than the former editions. And yet, in the very little D&D 4th experience I have (less than 100 hours), I wasn’t able to find out what was so tactical about it.

I did notice that you tend to move a bit more in 4th edition. You have abilities that let you shift more than one square so it makes more sense to try to use your environment to your advantage (like to gain higher ground, force your opponents to charge, gain cover from the artillery). But that’s only new for characters that were using full round actions.

I also noticed that you had more powers with forced movement. But at the lower levels I played, they weren’t fundamentally changing anything. I have a hard time imagining how having everybody shifting a couple of squares each round changes the dynamics of a fight. It did happen once or twice that with a combination of slide and shift the wizard would get to affect 3 critters instead of 2 but that’s about all I noticed.

You get loads of 1-round effects in 4th edition. At lower levels, it’s tons of very boring buffs or debuffs that last until the end of the round. Is it the choice between giving Bob the fighter a +1 to AC or combat advantage for 1 round that makes it more tactical?

Aren’t a lot of these so called tactical options minor or meaningless and overall are just slowing down the game?

Please don’t take this as a criticism of 4th edition; it’s not the intent of the post. I just don’t have enough experience with 4th edition to understand what makes fights “more tactical” and overall “more fun”. If there’s something fun about 4th edition combat that I failed to notice, I would like to know about it. Something I now consider useless bookkeeping might actually be a fun thing I would want in D&D Next. This is the only reason of this post.

[Edit] I think this should be in these forums because the underlying question is whether they should keep the 4th edition combat dynamics or not.
  
4e is more tactical because fights last long enough for you to see it unfold.  There are no instant-win buttons like Save or Die effects, and monsters have enough hit points to survive a few rounds so you can learn the monsters' abilities and determine a strategy against them.

Terrain matters.  The ability to use terrain to your advantage, or change it by laying down a wall or zone, can be an incredible advantage.

Teamwork matters.  No one character can do it all and render the rest of the party obsolete; you need your teammates and they need you.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Terrain effects, traps, and more cause positioning to very important. In an empty, flat 20x20 room? No, it's not tactical. In a typical streetfight with mudholes, carts of fruit, and innocent passersby? Tons of fun.

A Slide 1 can be super powerful in conjunction with other effects. What makes 4e more tactical is not the small things, it's the small thing taken together with other small things.

Does 4e sometimes bog down? Yeah, I'd say it can. Especially with new players or players who don't know what they can do. Did 3.x bog down worse IMO? Yeah, it absolutely did. Especially with new players or players who didn't know what they could do.
Salla said it pretty well: the main differences between 3.5 combat and 4E combat are that everybody makes meaningful decisions in a fight, everybody moves and terrain matters, teamworks is necessary to win a fight, and there is no "resolutive strategy".

In my experience, 3.5 battles were a matter of waiting for casters to find the right spell for the situation, reaching the enemy and then unloading a couple hundreds of damages. Rinse and repeat, be it a skirmish a boss fight or any number of different encounters in different situations.

In my experience, 4E battles focus on understanding your opponents, using terrain to your advantage, positioning yourself well enough to strike and not be striked, focusing your efforts on one or two enemies at a time and finally deciding which powers would benefit your side of the fight the most on a round-by-round basis. 
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
I keep hearing that 4th edition is more of a tactical game than the former editions. And yet, in the very little D&D 4th experience I have (less than 100 hours), I wasn’t able to find out what was so tactical about it.


I always thought the term "tactical depth" was a bit strange, but from what I've gathered it refers to the number of options available at each turn. In this sense, a vanilla 3.x fighter has less tactical depth than a 4e fighter.

I played paragon tier, and you can say that the miniatures are moved around a lot and that this leads to tactical opportunities (shove all the baddies into the corner to be AoE'd, or slide all the baddies towards the defender so he can round them up with a "Come and get it" or similar).


Aren’t a lot of these so called tactical options minor or meaningless and overall are just slowing down the game?


Won't say too much about the merits of the tactical options (hoping to be enlightened myself), but in general it seems to me that if the player is experienced with swift tactical decision making then play will be instantaneous, for people who have no particular experience with it or are not "naturals", they will often take a long time weighing their options.
4e is more tactical because fights last long enough for you to see it unfold.  There are no instant-win buttons like Save or Die effects, and monsters have enough hit points to survive a few rounds so you can learn the monsters' abilities and determine a strategy against them.


 
The monster hit point argument is a very good arguement. So good that I didn't even consider the option of not bringing that into D&D Next. I don't want combats CR + 7 that last 1 or 2 rounds like I had way too often in D&D 3.5...

That I get now, a wall in a 5 or 6 round encounter does more damage than if he fight lasts a round or two.
  

Terrain matters.  The ability to use terrain to your advantage, or change it by laying down a wall or zone, can be an incredible advantage.



Could you explain how this is any different than the other editions? I really don't understand how this is not just a different approach to designing encounters that applies to any editions of D&D.

What kind of powers make a difference with regards to terrain?


Teamwork matters.  No one character can do it all and render the rest of the party obsolete; you need your teammates and they need you.



That's a lame cliché of 3rd edition Laughing. Every class had a role in 3rd edition. I feel really sorry for those that didn't get to experience that. Teamwork always has been the winning strategy in my games.

  I had far more problems with optimized characters vs. non optimized characters than casters vs. non casters.
The inclusion of the defender and leader roles is the biggest component, since they're characters that run off of interaction with the choices of other creatures.


Terrain matters.  The ability to use terrain to your advantage, or change it by laying down a wall or zone, can be an incredible advantage.



Could you explain how this is any different than the other editions? I really don't understand how this is not just a different approach to designing encounters that applies to any editions of D&D.

What kind of powers make a difference with regards to terrain?



Movement based powers, and getting rid of full attack, coupled with a lot more emphasis on terrain features (it's difficult to explain, but any encounter with proper terrain features is both way more lethal and a lot faster than encounters without terrain features).


Teamwork matters.  No one character can do it all and render the rest of the party obsolete; you need your teammates and they need you.



That's a lame cliché of 3rd edition Laughing. Every class had a role in 3rd edition. I feel really sorry for those that didn't get to experience that. Teamwork always has been the winning strategy in my games.

  I had far more problems with optimized characters vs. non optimized characters than casters vs. non casters.



Unfortunately, it is very very true. In 3.5 the best teamwork was "hey, I'll do what I do best, you do what you do best, let's win this together" and if you were lucky both would have fun doing their thing.
In 4E teamwork is way more complicated (in a way I think is good) as every power you have can be used to benefit your other party members. Pushing people away from squishy ranged types, blinding an enemy so that he doesn't kill your ally, buffing and setting up flanking or other positioning, shifting people into advantageous positions...
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
Aren’t a lot of these so called tactical options minor or meaningless and overall are just slowing down the game?

Only if you are not thinking deeply about the fight. My 4e players often shift 1 or slide monsters 1 square so that on the monster's next turn the closest target for the monster is different, or so that when the monster charges it ends the charge in a different square setting it up for flanking later down the road. They often move around and move monsters around to clear paths for other characters to move, or setup area of effect attacks or maintain a line of defense or move a monster to be next to the character best suited to handle it.

It is much more tactical then the Pathfinder game I play in. In that game most of the melee characters just move to get into a good position for full round attacks and then avoid moving. The first round or two often look the same as people move to setup the first charge, but after that there is just a lot more happening in 4e.

Some of it is trival bonuses though, and 4e originally had too many at-will powers with trivial and hard to track little bonuses. The designers seem to have realized that and helped the situation by adding new at-will powers with easier to track and more useful bonuses. Just compare the older cleric powers with the new ones. Weapon of Divine Protection does much the same thing as Priest's Shield but it is better across the board, and more subtly, the way the bonus is worded makes it easier to track.



Unfortunately, it is very very true. In 3.5 the best teamwork was "hey, I'll do what I do best, you do what you do best, let's win this together" and if you were lucky both would have fun doing their thing.
In 4E teamwork is way more complicated (in a way I think is good) as every power you have can be used to benefit your other party members. Pushing people away from squishy ranged types, blinding an enemy so that he doesn't kill your ally, buffing and setting up flanking or other positioning, shifting people into advantageous positions...



I was thinking that a fighter in 3rd edition could push someone in a wall of fire but that simply did not happen because bull rush to deal 2d6+11 fire damage is not nearly as effecient as 3 attacks + improved trip + power attack +8 + buffs + munchkinism for over 100 points of damage.

I do see the more interesting teamwork options that you're talking about and I did actually experience them.

And yes, the fighter being able to both attack and bull rush is a lot more interesting if the wizard can create nasty hazards/magical traps or cover on the battlefield. To be honest, that's a wizard I would enjoy playing a lot more than any wizard I ever played. I probably would have loved playing a 4th edition wizard if he had more of these options...

I'm all for a big wizard nerf if that means he's a better team player.
That's a lame cliché of 3rd edition Laughing. Every class had a role in 3rd edition. I feel really sorry for those that didn't get to experience that. Teamwork always has been the winning strategy in my games.



IME in 3.5 it was everyone works together to see who can end the battle the fastest and we were a team.  But it was a lot of everyone trying to win the battle themselves before team PC got taken out, while not wanting the other PCs to worry about them.

In 4E a lot of it is trying to max out your allies.  This is particularly true with leaders in 4E who shine when letting their allies get extra attacks, reroll misses, and extra movement.  You also want the defender to worry about defending you since that makes his job interesting and him feel useful, while making it less likely you will hurt or get a condition.  Almost everyone wants to spend some time moving enemies away from some allies and towards different allies/terrain/zones, but controllers in particular care about that.  You need to pay attention to what your allies are doing in 4E with the majority of builds, more so than in previous editions.
Only if you are not thinking deeply about the fight. My 4e players often shift 1 or slide monsters 1 square so that on the monster's next turn the closest target for the monster is different, or so that when the monster charges it ends the charge in a different square setting it up for flanking later down the road. They often move around and move monsters around to clear paths for other characters to move, or setup area of effect attacks or maintain a line of defense or move a monster to be next to the character best suited to handle it.



That sounds like loads of fun. You're right, I never experienced these kinds of battles in any of my D&D experiences.


Some of it is trival bonuses though, and 4e originally had too many at-will powers with trivial and hard to track little bonuses. The designers seem to have realized that and helped the situation by adding new at-will powers with easier to track and more useful bonuses. Just compare the older cleric powers with the new ones. Weapon of Divine Protection does much the same thing as Priest's Shield but it is better across the board, and more subtly, the way the bonus is worded makes it easier to track.



I stopped buying 4th edition books roughly when the Eberron campaign setting came out. I have PHB1, PHB2, Adventurer Vault, FR books, Eberron books and I think I have a few more books but that's about it. I'm really starting to think that I bought the wrong books and that 4th edition could have been a fun experience for me.

Right. Still talking about the teamwork. If the cleric had some kind of encounter power that does not deal damage, does not have an attack roll, and grants a +4 bonus to an attack roll, now that sounds like something fun. +1 to hit, nope, not really. "Mr Cleric, I need a little help landing my uber I'll chop your balls off secret attack, could you help?". My kind of teamwork fun.
4e is more tactical in terms of metagaming.   Players have to look at their power cards and figure out when to use them.   Often players will make metagaming choices that result in the combined application of these powers during the encounter and across all party members.    For example,  Player A's power will enable Player B's power to fire next round.      This results in a very mechanical gaming experience which some people enjoy.    




Gnarl, if that's what you're looking for the Pacifist Cleric build from Divine Power would suit your needs. It still has to make attack rolls, but that's due to 4e's nearly complete lack of auto-hits (which I personally prefer, as stated in that one blog post Wizards DO like to roll dice too).
Gnarl, if that's what you're looking for the Pacifist Cleric build from Divine Power would suit your needs. It still has to make attack rolls, but that's due to 4e's nearly complete lack of auto-hits (which I personally prefer, as stated in that one blog post Wizards DO like to roll dice too).



That's exactly why I thought 4th edition clerics were lame... I don't like having to hit to buff my buddies. Not having auto hit buffs is really a deal breaker for me. 

A warlord that creates an opening in the enemy's defenses granting a +2 bonus to hit to all his friends is one thing, the cleric blessing a friend's weapon but can't do it unless he hits an enemy first, no, that's too much to ask of me. The flavor is a turn off. You're blessing your friend, not cursing your enemy, that's the flavor of the cleric I like.

It can't even think of having a D&D game where a leader is always cursing his enemies and never blessing his friends. I can't... Sorry Frown.  

Right. Still talking about the teamwork. If the cleric had some kind of encounter power that does not deal damage, does not have an attack roll, and grants a +4 bonus to an attack roll, now that sounds like something fun. +1 to hit, nope, not really. "Mr Cleric, I need a little help landing my uber I'll chop your balls off secret attack, could you help?". My kind of teamwork fun.



That is kind of like the level 1 power prophetic guidance.   Automatic hit for the cleric: target grants CA, allies do extra damage keyed to your wisdom mod, and the next ally to miss gets to reroll. 

I actually have a cleric build in my cleric handbook built around taking powers that don't require a hit to be effective.  Its a bit out of date, but there are other powers like sever the source and even some of the new warpriest powers clerics can take that are autohit.   Brilliant idea for instance, which is a party friendly close burst 1 automatic blind as an encounter power.
@Gnarl: Yeah, and if the body text font size in the books isn't 12.5, it's not DnD! Cursing your enemies has always been a part of the cleric class, and quite often the better part.

When you make this sort of trivial and inaccurate complaint, it really makes it look like you're just whining for the sake of whining and undermines your contribution.
Yes, listen to the person who knows a ton more about clerics than me. I played a Warlord, a Wizard (which is why I mentioned I like to roll dice too), an Assassin, and a Fighter so far in 4e (all to high Paragon if not Epic), so I have actual table experience with those.
Gnarl, please try to keep up.

List of at-will auto-buffs available to clerics:


  •  Burden of Earth

  • Earth's Endurance

  • Weapon of Divine Protection

  • Death's Shadow (enemy debuff)

  • Tenebrous Blessing (enemy debuff)

  • Blessing of Battle

  • Blessing of Wrath

  • Brand of the Sun

  • Blessing of Knowledge

  • Blessing of Law (enemy debuff)

  • Blessing of Light (self buff)

  • Blessing of the wild

  • Brand of the Moon

  • Shielding Strike

  • Singin Strike (enemy debuff)

  • TRUE STRIKE HELLO!!!!

  • Invigorating Assault


Special:


  • Healing Word is buff without a hit line

  • Channel Divinity has a couple of non-hit buffs.


Pacifists don't need auto-hit at all. I have a pacifist healer in my group, and we focus-fire so well that there is always only just 1 bloodied creature at a time. During boss battles he expends all his encounter powers early and then goes a couple of turns using True Strike while we use the buff to land off a daily or two, killing him in 2 rounds.

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if the wizard can create nasty hazards/magical traps or cover on the battlefield. To be honest, that's a wizard I would enjoy playing a lot more than any wizard I ever played. I probably would have loved playing a 4th edition wizard if he had more of these options...


I'm sorry, but have you read the Wizard daily power list?

I once had the great fortune to play an arena combat style oneshot as a Wizard with three other people who independently built their characters around massive forced movement.  I use Stinking Cloud, Wall of Fire, that sort of thing...it got messy.  Very messy.

So...4e wizards do exactly what you say you would have wanted.  Why didn't you play them?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
4e is more tactical in terms of metagaming.   Players have to look at their power cards and figure out when to use them.   Often players will make metagaming choices that result in the combined application of these powers during the encounter and across all party members.    For example,  Player A's power will enable Player B's power to fire next round.      This results in a very mechanical gaming experience which some people enjoy.    


Metagaming has a meaning, you know. It's not just a term that means "gaming I don't like". It means, in the context of RPGs, using out-of-character knowledge.

Using powers, and working out combos to help your party, is known as "gaming". You're using the knowledge your PC has, combined with the options the game provides, to achieve your PCs goal.

Now, you might prefer a system whereby combat is less gaming and more roleplaying. That's fine. D&D is a Roleplaying Game. Some people prefer to emphasise Roleplaying, some prefer to emphasise Game.

But that doesn't mean that gaming suddenly=metagaming.
4e is more tactical in terms of metagaming.   Players have to look at their power cards and figure out when to use them.   Often players will make metagaming choices that result in the combined application of these powers during the encounter and across all party members.    For example,  Player A's power will enable Player B's power to fire next round.      This results in a very mechanical gaming experience which some people enjoy.    


Metagaming has a meaning, you know. It's not just a term that means "gaming I don't like". It means, in the context of RPGs, using out-of-character knowledge.

Using powers, and working out combos to help your party, is known as "gaming". You're using the knowledge your PC has, combined with the options the game provides, to achieve your PCs goal.

Now, you might prefer a system whereby combat is less gaming and more roleplaying. That's fine. D&D is a Roleplaying Game. Some people prefer to emphasise Roleplaying, some prefer to emphasise Game.

But that doesn't mean that gaming suddenly=metagaming.



Thank you, KingReaper.  You are 100 percent correct.

Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Guys please take it easy Laughing. Don't forget I don't have all the D&D 4th books and that's exactly why I started this thread.

In my 4th edition experience, the cleric could do none of the things you were talking about. I don't have a copy of the complete divine, I don't have all the dragon magazins or the D&D Insider you have. I  have my PHB 1 & 2. The product I purchased a few years back did not statify my view of the cleric.

So I'm sorry if my limited knowledge of the game give me false impressions about 4th edition and more specifically the tactical combat aspect of the game. This is exactly why I started this thread. Please don't get offended, I'm not criticizing your favorite game...
@Gnarl: Yeah, and if the body text font size in the books isn't 12.5, it's not DnD! Cursing your enemies has always been a part of the cleric class, and quite often the better part.

When you make this sort of trivial and inaccurate complaint, it really makes it look like you're just whining for the sake of whining and undermines your contribution.



Oh come on don't take it that way. Not liking a change of flavor in a class is a valid complaint. It's not whining.

I would certainly not tell the 4th edition crowd to stop whining if the D&D Next fighter is a dull meat shield with no tactical options. It's the exact same thing. You change the flavor of a class, some people will miss the old one. It's called personal taste, it shouldn't be a big deal for anyone that I liked clerics that bless Frown.
In my 4th edition experience, the cleric could do none of the things you were talking about. I don't have a copy of the complete divine, I don't have all the dragon magazins or the D&D Insider you have. I  have my PHB 1 & 2. The product I purchased a few years back did not statify my view of the cleric.


Clerics' tactical aspect tends to be more in the positive role.

As leaders, the clerics aids their party. But they can only aid nearby party members, especially at low levels.

This means the party needs to stick together (while they still want to stay apart due to the fact of AoE monster attacks) and sometimes needs to stick inside zones the cleric has created.

Clerics are very low on forced movement in my experience, and are, tbf, among the less tactical classes (out of the PHB1 the warlord is a VERY tactical Leader, but the cleric not so much) but they still have some tactical interaction.


Please don't get offended, I'm not criticizing your favorite game...

You tend to be quite a good poster, if sometimes a bit ill-informed (but hey, you're at least looking for the information :-) ). I reserve the right to get offended by other people who post in your threads however, especially when they're being, put simply, offensive.
Gnarl, I played clerics in 3.X (Elven Warpriest of Corellon was my favorite) and I never, not once cast a single blessing on an ally. I used all of my buffs on myself to become an unstoppable monstrosity of killing potential backed up by a legion of summoned monsters. Our cleric in our Eberron game is scared of her shadow and does little to nothing damaging to enemies. Constantly she's giving us the ability to hit easier and hit them harder while giving other benefits. The flavor for both playstyles exists in both systems.

I'm sorry, but have you read the Wizard daily power list?

I once had the great fortune to play an arena combat style oneshot as a Wizard with three other people who independently built their characters around massive forced movement.  I use Stinking Cloud, Wall of Fire, that sort of thing...it got messy.  Very messy.

So...4e wizards do exactly what you say you would have wanted.  Why didn't you play them?


IIRC: Gnarl only played up to level 4.

It's level 5 where the wizard gets their second daily.

Given that, it's easy to see how he missed out on some of the aspects of higher-level play.

Can someone check for me which at-wills the wizard has in the PHB1? I know they get a number of zone-based at-wills, but not sure how many they have available in the PHB1. 
if the wizard can create nasty hazards/magical traps or cover on the battlefield. To be honest, that's a wizard I would enjoy playing a lot more than any wizard I ever played. I probably would have loved playing a 4th edition wizard if he had more of these options...


I'm sorry, but have you read the Wizard daily power list?

I once had the great fortune to play an arena combat style oneshot as a Wizard with three other people who independently built their characters around massive forced movement.  I use Stinking Cloud, Wall of Fire, that sort of thing...it got messy.  Very messy.

So...4e wizards do exactly what you say you would have wanted.  Why didn't you play them?



Because we didn't get to the sweet spot Laughing?

In the older editions, things got fun around level 3 and started getting cumbersome around level 11. How was I supposed to know that the game gets fun around level 15 when you get your 3rd daily power and you actually have some fun! Level 15 is the level at which I, as the DM, refused to continue playing because it was too long to prepare adventures...

It's getting really obvious that a lot of the pre 4th edition crowd don't like it because we quit before things started getting interesting... And also because they seem to have made a good job at fixing some of the really not that fun aspects of the early stages of the game.

I hope this thread will not turn into an edition war because so far it's been very educational and I really am starting to understand why people actually play 4th edition.

Can someone check for me which at-wills the wizard has in the PHB1? I know they get a number of zone-based at-wills, but not sure how many they have available in the PHB1. 



Yeah, Cloud of Daggers is the only one I had.  It does wisdom damage to a target... Not dramatic enough to make me drool Laughing.

In the older editions, things got fun around level 3 and started getting cumbersome around level 11. How was I supposed to know that the game gets fun around level 15 when you get your 3rd daily power and you actually have some fun!


Actually, just FYI, you get your third daily at level 9.

You get your fourth daily at level 20. 

I find 4e's sweet spot starts around level 5 with the second daily. People stop hoarding them quite so hard once they have two. 
It's getting really obvious that a lot of the pre 4th edition crowd don't like it because we quit before things started getting interesting... And also because they seem to have made a good job at fixing some of the really not that fun aspects of the early stages of the game.


Well, it's more the "I didn't like 4e, because it didn't do these things" being answered with "...uh...yes it did?" that gets people upset.

Ignorance in and of itself is fine - threads like this can help rectify the lack of knowledge.  But judgments made in ignorance are problematic.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Gnarl, I played clerics in 3.X (Elven Warpriest of Corellon was my favorite) and I never, not once cast a single blessing on an ally. I used all of my buffs on myself to become an unstoppable monstrosity of killing potential backed up by a legion of summoned monsters. Our cleric in our Eberron game is scared of her shadow and does little to nothing damaging to enemies. Constantly she's giving us the ability to hit easier and hit them harder while giving other benefits. The flavor for both playstyles exists in both systems.



My favourite spell was Recitation. Strangely, everybody in the party was worshiping the same god.

I like my old school buff bot/heal bot/"crush skulls with maces even though you're not that good at it" cliché cleric. I know it's a closed minded but this means as much to me as dwarves liking smithing, gemstones and mines and elves liking arts, wine and forests.

Clerics are very low on forced movement in my experience, and are, tbf, among the less tactical classes (out of the PHB1 the warlord is a VERY tactical Leader, but the cleric not so much) but they still have some tactical interaction.



Clerics now have a decent amount of forced movement, but you are right that it varies a lot by build.  Their forced movement also is often semi forced.  Things like cause fear and the very dangerous Deadly Lure both let the enemy chose which way to run and because of that provoke OAs.  Thunder domain warpriests and pacifist clerics are the only ones with a lot of forced movement by deafult.  They even have a good bit of movement enabling and at higher levels good attack enabling.

A lot of the confusion about clerics in this thread is that most of their powers were published after PHB1 and the PHB1 cleric by itself has major issues that were fixed via dragon and divine power and a little bit of errata to some of the utilities.  I think all of the auto effect at wills and ecounter attack powers are not from PHB1, they are from later publications, but I might be forgetting some.  PHB1 had some good autoeffect daily attacks, but that was about it.
4e is more tactical in terms of metagaming.   Players have to look at their power cards and figure out when to use them.   Often players will make metagaming choices that result in the combined application of these powers during the encounter and across all party members.    For example,  Player A's power will enable Player B's power to fire next round.      This results in a very mechanical gaming experience which some people enjoy.    


Metagaming has a meaning, you know. It's not just a term that means "gaming I don't like". It means, in the context of RPGs, using out-of-character knowledge.

Using powers, and working out combos to help your party, is known as "gaming". You're using the knowledge your PC has, combined with the options the game provides, to achieve your PCs goal.

Now, you might prefer a system whereby combat is less gaming and more roleplaying. That's fine. D&D is a Roleplaying Game. Some people prefer to emphasise Roleplaying, some prefer to emphasise Game.

But that doesn't mean that gaming suddenly=metagaming.



Yes I'm aware that 4e is rather gamist.     Still there IS a large amount of "meta-gaming" required.

Lets say the players are having the following conversation. 

Player A:  "But, if you can do X then my mark will fire which will cause Y to happen and give Player C the chance to use Z power because it will be bloodied."

At this point as the DM, I tell them all to shut up and stop meta-gaming.   I then remind them that they were all deafened at the start of the round.     Without the deafened condition, I might allow them to articulate all that that in a meaningful way in character, but in this situation I can't allow them to continue unless I'm willing to accept meta-gaming at my table. 





Anyways, I got the point. 4th edition clerics are no longer what they where over 2 years ago when the only book you had was the PHB (and PHB 2).


So to summarize, the really fun parts about 4th edition are:



  • Mobility/Forced Movement: because you can get your opponents in better position for flanking , maximize area attacks, help your buddies get out of annoying situations, or get a critter where he doesn’t want to be: next to the fighter.

  • Terrain: because the fights are less static so you can use it to your advantage (cover, forced movement in hazardous terrain).

  • Teamwork: because there are synergies among classes that make them all interesting and complementary on the battlefield.


 


All of that is fun and I can see how some classes were the missing basic functionalities to achieve this in the older editions. I would really like to have all of this in D&D Next.


What about your at-will powers? Do these impact the game in a fun way? Or are these just cumbersome little bonuses (like +1 to AC, a zone that deals 3 damage)?


What about effects that last until the end of your next turn? Like Ray of Enfeeblement? Or A power that dazes for 1 round?


Are these desirable tactical elements of your 4th edition fun?

Or A power that dazes for 1 round?

Are these desirable tactical elements of your 4th edition fun?



I'd say that an at-will power that dazes for a round is a desirable tactical element in any edition of D&D.
Still there IS a large amount of "meta-gaming" required.

Lets say the players are having the following conversation. 

Player A:  "But, if you can do X then my mark will fire which will cause Y to happen and give Player C the chance to use Z power because it will be bloodied."

At this point as the DM, I tell them all to shut up and stop meta-gaming.   I then remind them that they were all deafened at the start of the round.     Without the deafened condition, I might allow them to articulate all that that in a meaningful way in character, but in this situation I can't allow them to continue unless I'm willing to accept meta-gaming at my table.

First of all, there is exactly zero metagaming required in 4E.  You certainly can metagame, just as you can in any version.  But you don't have to, and you can fully enjoy the game and have effective characters without any metagaming.

Secondly, your very example has nothing to do with one edition vs. another edition: it is simply pointing out that if the PCs are deafened, the Players should not be talking to each other unless they have telepathy.  You could allow them to do some very quick charades to try to convey a message.

Even when they aren't deafened, I don't like players having long discussions during a fight.  Not only does it seriously detract from the action and slow things down, it also takes control of a character away from the Player and hands it over to the group.  I feel that your actions should be yours to decide, and not turned over to a committee.

Player A:  "But, if you can do X then my mark will fire which will cause Y to happen and give Player C the chance to use Z power because it will be bloodied."

At this point as the DM, I tell them all to shut up and stop meta-gaming.


I'd love to see what your reaction would be if they players embarked on their plan exactly as described except they either didn't say anything at all, or made sure to do so with an "acceptable amount of roleplaying."

In my experience, one of the most important parts of a successfully enjoyable D&D campaign is remembering that D&D is a roleplaying game.
You mean something like this? This is very close to the conversation that happened at our table the first time I was able to use the Turathi Highborn Paragon Path Encounter power.

Val'Dun (Tiefling Wizard and sexy bastard extraordinaire)- Destria, I'm going to enrapture that guys mind with my inborn devilness and have him hit his buddy. When I do, he'll be distracted enough that you should be able to crack him a good one.

Destria (Genasi Swordmage)- Cast away, you sexy devil you!


Player A:  "But, if you can do X then my mark will fire which will cause Y to happen and give Player C the chance to use Z power because it will be bloodied."

At this point as the DM, I tell them all to shut up and stop meta-gaming.


I'd love to see what your reaction would be if they players embarked on their plan exactly as described except they either didn't say anything at all, or made sure to do so with an "acceptable amount of roleplaying."

In my experience, one of the most important parts of a successfully enjoyable D&D campaign is remembering that D&D is a roleplaying game.



I think I covered that.    Provided they role play it I don't mind.      


And how, exactly, do you expect the rules system to enforce roleplaying at your table?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
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