What do you like about AEDU? A question for 4th edition players.

I just discovered that code of conduct forbids some forms of sense of humor. I guess it’s just another one of those “Wayne’s World” vs. “Monty Python” things…


I’ll try to tone it down this time to avoid getting my thread deleted. Maybe it’s for the best, the thread was not going at all the way I was hoping it would. God people are sensitive…


Anyways, what is it that you like about AEDU as implemented in 4th edition?


I know that when I was playing 4th edition, I would get very frustrated having to choose a level 7 encounter powers when I wished I could use my level 3 encounter power twice. I also found if very frustrating to find myself in combat and wish I had chosen a different power because it would have been the perfect moment to use it.


Wouldn’t you prefer having some kind of choice either during combat or out of combat to make your character flexible? Something like the D&D Essentials Wizard. Or for a melee character, maybe having a choice of 3 level 3 encounter powers and you can use either one of them once per encounter.


I just feel that tactical combats would be even more fun with more options than what you have with the AEDU system implemented in 4th edition. But apparently a lot of you disagree with this. I was wondering why.


Sorry if I offended anyone with the original post. As I mentioned, it wasn’t meant to be offensive.

Sorry if my reply contributed to the deletion. It certainly seemed to go up in smoke very quickly .
I wasn't in the least offended and don't see what the problem was.
“Wayne’s World” vs. “Monty Python”, I don't remember that episode of Celebrity Deathmatch.

At-will and encounter powers for everyone.

I think 4th edition has provided a lot more options tactically.
Example:
I recently unrolled a logging camp fort map for Dark Sun which launched a role playing session of which half the night was player tactical discussion and preparation. They had infiltrated the fort and were working out when and where to attack based on schedule. 'Should we strike during muster to maximise AoE and daliy abilities across the party with surprise or when a partol is out and total numbers are reduced'. Plent of RP too with evidence to steal implicating a templar and sowing divisions between the camp leadership. All the characters had something to contribute to the discussion in terms of abilities.
 In 3.x or under a wizard and cleric or druid would have dominated the strategy with a rogue (or a weaker Dark Sun bard) providing the only stealth options. They would have dictated where melee characters X and Y would be required to 'hack the legs from under BBEG's A and B'. In 4th all the characters contributed powers to the discussion.
D&D is like religion. People focus far too much on the differences rather than the similarities.
AEDU made fights different! Different powers used by different characters depending on the situation. Of course, if you prefer to play off the grid, the situations tend to be similar anyway.

Prior to AEDU a player would decide what is 'best' and use that repeatedly. How often using Vancian would someone fill a whole level with the same spell? Quite often. AEDU makes the player pay more attentionthing do different things.

Having played all the way through Heroic in two campaigns in the last year, both now entering Paragon, I can't think of two fights that felt the same. In 3.5 and prior it happened all the time. With the same DM, and the same players.

AEDU contributes a lot to less repetitive gaming, and is why I love it - but if another system comes along that does the same thing, then that will be good too. (Maybe a Vancian system that limits the number of times a particular spell can be learned)
My thoughts on what works and what doesn't in D&D and how D&D Next may benefit are detailed on my blog, Vorpal Thoughts.
Well I will start with answering your thread title and then answer the questions in your post.

Some of the things I like about AEDU are:

Solves balance issues:  This big issue in old editions.... linear v.quadratic..... yada yada.  I am sure you have heard it all before.  By creating a unified system for all the classes wizards brought all the different classes into parity with eachother, the might not be perfectly balanced but they are at least all playing the same game.  Another thing about the power system is that it made sure that all effects were mechanical effects with hard numbers and language to define what they can do.  This kills the majority of silly cheese combat options from old editions.

Gives eveyone interesting things to do:  Everybody has options in 4e, the fighter can pick between at-wills, choose to use a daily or an encounter, and even spend action points.  This paired with the class roles system and the synergistic nature of the characters powers makes for some great tacticle combat's, which is something I enjoy greatly.

Creates an easy universal way to format powers:  One of the big complaints I hear a lot about the AEDU system is that "All the classes are the same" or "Eveybody gets spells" this is of course ridiculous, if you have spent any time at all with they system it becomes obvious that each class plays very differently even within a given role.  I think this opinion really comes from the way that powers are formated.  In old editions spells were written in a different way then the explination of martial abilites, using different language and, where they had actual formating, different formating.  This lead to a lot of folks just giving the rules a cursory glance and writting them off because every class looks similar on paper. 
   I actually think that the uniform formating of powers is actualy a big strength of the system.  It helps new and old players alike understand what their powers can actually do and therfore makes the game flow way better.


Now on to the rest of your post:

I would be perfectly fine with having classes who can use encounters from a pool, admittedly the powers would all have to be the same level of strength so that you didn't just use the same power over and over again.  If the game were designed that way I see no reason why encounter and daily resource pools wouldn't work.

I am a big proponent of the exception based AEDU design philosophy.  So long as balance is maintained and folks still have options I don't care if it's A and a pool of possible Es and with the D replaced by R (Rechargeable) and skills based at-will U to top it off, or whatever else floats your boat.
I've made it clear on several occassions that I prefer the Tome of Battle/Spellshaping system of rechargable, cycling encounter abilities to the AEDU system, but I still prefer AEDU over most other systems.  This is for a few reasons:



  • At-wills provide every class and character a fundamental identity.  The way builds are distinguished from one another is often most prominent in the choice of at-wills: a wizard who picks ray of frost is selecting a fundamentally different method of combat from one who picks thunderwave.  A fighter who picks footwork lure is demonstrating a very different style of combat from one who picks cleave.  Further, they mean that the wizard never has to be in the position of taking potshots with a crossbow.  When I play a magic-user, I play them because I want to be using magic.  If I wanted to use a crossbow I'd play a rogue.  At-wills mean a magic-user always has that feel of being magical, because they always have a spell at the ready instead of "running out of magic".

  • Encounter powers are my personal sweet spot, though as I said I prefer the refreshable encounter power mechanic.  They have enough kick to spice up a combat and give the character something signature, without being quite as much of a "sink or swim" deal as daily powers often are.  You can feel safe in using your encounter powers without feeling any need to hoard them for later, so your character is always able to pull off some exciting or interesting moves in every fight.  At-wills provide a stable identity, encounter powers give combat the dynamic nature it needs.

  • AEDU with a universal power progression provides a simple, clean format for transporting powers between classes.  The multiclassing-by-feats is far too costly in practice (or it is now, it wasn't back before there were so many mandatory feats), but hybrid classing resolves most of this issue.  On a basic level, I can trade a level 9 wizard power for a level 9 cleric power to get some cleric in my wizard, no complex management of multiple types of spellcasting required.  If I have a character concept that requires powers from different classes, I can pick those powers out and they'll all work together nicely.  This is why I dislike psionics and despise Essentials, because these systems break that elegance.


That said, I also find there are two weaknesses of the system:


  • Daily powers.  I don't like these, for a couple of reasons.  They're mostly a holdout from the old Vancian system, and like that system they force resource management along an arbitrary time constraint heedless of the type of game they occur in or what the narrative suggests.  While they provide a needed ability to "ramp up" in response to greater threats, I prefer action points for this.  Daily powers can be (and often are) hoarded for a critical fight and then used to nova, making determining the actual difficulty of an encounter more of a challenge for the DM than it should be. 

  • Utility powers are also bad for a different reason: they break the cardinal rule of not trading in-combat effectiveness for out-of-combat effectiveness.  Utility powers should be just that: utility things, things you can do that have nothing to do with combat.  Instead players are forced to pick between utility powers that are helpful in a fight or out of it, which is annoying.  Separating these types of powers into two pools, one for in-combat nonattack abilities and one for out-of-combat tricks and utility magic would greatly alleviate this issue.


In other words, my ideal form of class design is to return to the ToB-style handling of in-combat powers, with an additional pool for utility abilities based off power source - arcane characters get utility spells, martial characters get utility exploits, etc.  These pools should be the same size (and just as importantly, same depth) regardless of class, so that nobody's forced to trade combat power for out-of-combat usefulness.

I like that everyone gets "Fluff Text".

I like that for the melee types it is not just "I hit it with my weapon of choice"

I like the near endless combos possible by the benefits and conditions caused by all the other characters and their powers.  Couple that with an Action Point and WOW the things that can happen!

I played a Ranger in AD&D (late 70's) that even at 14th level seemed I was along for the ride if there was a spell caster or two (who always seemed to have a Golf bag of staves/wands).

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

I think dailies should actally be more limited than in 4th. Truly powerful capstone powers given by class and path by tier. Players would know when to use them because the DM's description would make them scared not to.
Too many classes have to worry about which powers to use in which fight and which ones to save for 'the big one'. Barbarians and their rages being one example. If barbarians in 5th have an encounter switch from tank to DPR like the berserker from the Heroes of the Feywild and a daily, full on warp spasm, I'll be happier.
D&D is like religion. People focus far too much on the differences rather than the similarities.
I really like AEDU. I recently tried the Assassin (Executioner) and was disappointed how the class felt identical as levels went on, where as most other classes has a variety of powers that you'd get access to ever couple levels. I can't imagine playing an earlier edition where every martial class was like that- it must've been incredibly boring.
I too prefer a tome of battle format to AEDU but AEDU is vastly superior to Vancian. In Vancian casting, prepared spells often were the same for each level. Rarely did a caster need to diversify. Scrolls and wands could fill the utility niches. As such casting became repetitive. It became worse when scenting became available as spells could be chosen to best defeat following encounters making choices mandatory or unfun.

With AEDU each fight felt different. The timing on when one uses an ability became important. As powers were not spammy, fights tended to be more tactically engaging. Power choice and use significantly contributed to the feel of an encounter as a dazing power, a knockdown, a close burst, and a big hit all perform different functions that each shape the battlefield. Vancian casting or feat chains do not lead to these interesting tactical decisions.
I too prefer a tome of battle format to AEDU but AEDU is vastly superior to Vanc
I like how I didn't need to learn a  bunch of different subsystems like I first thought, Every class having a simialr power-setup made it easy for me to play my first game as a Cleric, then flow right through Fighter, Wizard, Swordmage, and Warden with having to start from square 1 every time.
I think my opinions have already been expressed by others balance issues, cool effects, true options.

In previous editions the only ones who could effectively utilize lots of different AND effective options were spellcasters. They had a long list of the things they could do that would be effective no matter the DM. Meanwhile the martial characters could supposedly be "flexible" or "creative". However that never actually amounted to much. It was usually a cool idea that when implemented mechanically just turned out to be a bunch of chances to fail on a d20 and then not much else. Powers eliminate this.

Sure it would be cool to not have every class exactly the same. 4E actually has done this. It's only in the first PHB that every class has trhe exact same frequency and format. But bashers don't actually look beyond the first PHB. Not that that's what you're doing, but it is a common complaint that is no longer accurate.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

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

 

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

As I sit here thinkng about AEDU, trying to come up with positive things to say.

Unfortunately, I cannot help but conclude that everything I would list as a positive has nothing to do with the actual AEDU structure, but rather, could be accomplished in a number of different ways which I would prefer to the AEDU structure.  Things like maintaining parity between character classes at each level doesn't require AEDU at all. 
Others have mentioned opinions I share.  Besides those...

- Diversity of powers and between classes and an abundance of powers for each class makes for a lot of interesting and unique combinations.  Synergy is rampant in 4E.
- As a DM, I never know what to expect, which I absolutely love.  It makes combat feel much more organic and mysterious for me.
- Powers are easy to reflavor, allowing me to really theme out my character. 

Celebrate our differences.

And even in PHB1, the classes are very different. The differences are in the class's features, which the bashers also ignore in favor of the power structure similarities.
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.

I just discovered that code of conduct forbids some forms of sense of humor. I guess it’s just another one of those “Wayne’s World” vs. “Monty Python” things…


I’ll try to tone it down this time to avoid getting my thread deleted. Maybe it’s for the best, the thread was not going at all the way I was hoping it would. God people are sensitive…


Anyways, what is it that you like about AEDU as implemented in 4th edition?


I know that when I was playing 4th edition, I would get very frustrated having to choose a level 7 encounter powers when I wished I could use my level 3 encounter power twice. I also found if very frustrating to find myself in combat and wish I had chosen a different power because it would have been the perfect moment to use it.


Wouldn’t you prefer having some kind of choice either during combat or out of combat to make your character flexible? Something like the D&D Essentials Wizard. Or for a melee character, maybe having a choice of 3 level 3 encounter powers and you can use either one of them once per encounter.


I just feel that tactical combats would be even more fun with more options than what you have with the AEDU system implemented in 4th edition. But apparently a lot of you disagree with this. I was wondering why.


Sorry if I offended anyone with the original post. As I mentioned, it wasn’t meant to be offensive.



So, what AEDU does well is give at-will (i.e. consistent) powers to everyone.  Apparently (note, I never played anything other than BG and NWN on the computer), the system used in the video games of spells with only a certain number of casts was in the main tabletop rules as well.  I much prefer the idea that my Wizard can always be magical instead of having to rest after wasting all my spells, or be useless for the rest of a game day.  Much the same way, I like the add-on effects that weapon users get with their at-will powers.  I find them as great improve rubric for determining what kind of improv works with my players as well.


As for what it did less well, I also like Encounter powers and Dailies, but less so, and here is where I can agree with you that I would have liked to see my powers "level up" instead of simply having to trade in old powers for new ones. Also, I like the idea of having 5 encounter powers, but only using 1, or 2, or whatever.  Basically choosing what I want to use next fight is great.  Hell, Channel Divinity can have that kind of effect, as can the original Drow powers.  The idea of being able to pick more than one power to choose from does make me happy.


However


Doing so would only increase the complexity of the game, and lengthen turns.  People who froze up deciding between 5+ powers at first level would be stopped in their tracks from an aneurism with 10+ options.  Me, I'd love that kind of power allotment. But it just wouldn't work as a baseline if you want to keep turns going.  Now, if you could only choose what things to use outside "battle", then it might work.  But most likely that would still slow the game down.  I would be in favor of simple classes with only the 5+ powers (1 racial + 4 class + any other powers), and have other classes get more powers, but the same number of slots.


Now, finding a way to balance those options, and to make sure other classes are not invalidated would also be important.  For example, a Wizard could conceivably have more daily powers, but none of them should overwrite the other classes.  Instead, it should be a higher volume of control effects.  So for example, Expanded Spellbook lets a character have more spells, but no more casts of that level.  This should be inherent, provided none of those powers infringe on others to the point of making that other character obsolete.  Powerful, possibly problematic spells, from Knock to Tenser's Transformation (I remember that spell from NWN) should be rituals.  Now note, rituals should, in my opinion, have their own "parcel" amount separate from a normal parcel amount and have rituals and ritual components drawn from that.  With 4th, I'd suggest it be 1/2 to 1/4th of a magic item of equal level to the party.


Provided that the player got more powers but not more uses per day/encounter, and provided that they did not replace wholesale or significant portions the utility of a class and provided that the game would not be unbalanced, I could totally get behind it as an option.


Also, as a side note, I have mentioned my dislike of daily power of any kind, and much prefer recharge mechanics, as they feed a player's desire to go on with the adventure rather than rest.



So, simply put having all classes have power in "separate but equal" amounts (the defender classes mainly defend, the controllers control, etc, with influence from a secondary source) is great, in particular at-wills.  The dailies and encounter powers could stand more rigging, but the concept of a limited or less accessible pool of powers also helps level the playing field.  It's not a perfect system, but it could be so much worse, and by most accounts had been before the AEDU came along.  At least for my preferences.

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I like it.

It's give every class some tricks to play and make every class more unique because every class has differrent powers to use.
I liked the options that it offered non-caster classes.  Previously, fighters and rogues didn't have much more than just attack (though rogues mixed that in with moving to flank).  AEDU gave melee classes the ability to do cool things without having to expend a feat to do it (and you often had to expend 3 or more feats to do something as well/reliably as you can with a 4e power).

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

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#BoobsNotBlood

The main things I like about AEDU are (a) it's not vancian, (b) it provides interesting options for all classes, and (c) it discourages spamming the same move over and over again. I like the book of nine swords method better for fighters, but I'm not willing to put up with 3e casters.
I like At-Wills because they mean you never have nothing interesting to do. As long as you have at least two at-wills you never run out of options.

I like Encounter Powers because they allow you more tactical options than solely at-wills would. Also: There's a limit to the number of meaningful at-wills you can have. Encounter powers are not subject to that limit because even if another encounter power is always better, you can only use that power once, so you need to use it at the right time.

I like daily powers because they allow you more strategic options than solely encounters+at-wills; do you expend the resources now, to save healing for later, or do you save them for another fight, expending more healing on this one.
I mostly-like AEDU because:


  • It is easy to equalize both overall power (how much power you deliver over a day) and plot power (how much power you can deliver at a particular crucial moment) across all classes in combat - granted that they didn't manage to do it, but the gap between the best and the worst AEDU classes is smaller than the gap between the worst decent full caster and the best non-caster in 3.5E.

  • It lets every class be useful in combat all the time, while also giving every class resource-management responsibilities.

  • It gives every class and character a variety of interesting things to do in combat. 

  • It is easy to rationalize in game-world terms for all classes. This doesn't mean that every class gets the same rationalization though.



The one thing I dislike about AEDU is that the "D" stands for "Daily" - that is, you gain more plot power by spending three days on an adventure rather than doing it in two, and can gain even more by stretching it to a fourth day. Some other reset mechanic is needed for those powers (and for healing surges), better tied to progress on the adventure plot. But those things should NOT reset every encounter, because then the only encounters that matter at all are those that risk killing PCs.

(Although, for when a party does badly and is really down, I might add something like "for each full day and night of rest in a fixed location with no strenuous activity, you can regain ONE healing surge and the use of ONE 'D' attack or utility power". You'd recover faster by continuing on the adventure and reaching the next reset - but if that's too risky...)
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Most of what I'd say is already in here, but some of the things I like about AEDU are:

- More combat options for non-caster classes. (Doing basic attacks over and over always seemed a little boring to me.)

- Slightly simpler bookeeping than spell slots and spell points.  (Used or not-used is a little easier than tracking points/slots)

- At-wills for casters appeals to me. (Always seemed a little silly that in older editions casters use weapons a lot more than spells at low levels.)

- If you understand how AEDU works then you can play most 4e classes in the game right off the bat. That's generally a plus for teaching new players the game.


Obviously no system is perfect, but AEDU seems to work just fine and even maybe slightly better than some older systems, as I mentioned above.
i agree with most points given.

there is 1 thing i did not like about hoe AEDU was implemented in 4th edition.

it is thefact that you have to replace powers as you level.
i know it helps to keep the number of powers you have down so it doesen't get to complicated.
but it seems stranger to me that if you have been using a cartain power/attack for a long time you suddenly forget how to do it.
but it seems stranger to me that if you have been using a cartain power/attack for a long time you suddenly forget how to do it.

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A - Your signature moves, be they martial arts, cantrips, or orisons. Better than "I attack again" or "Guess I pull out my crossbow."

E - Your best reliable attacks, draining words of power or fighting techniques that require some setup. I figure these replace the act of casting lower-level spells, or performing a grapple/disarm/sunder in one of those impossibly rare instances where it'd be useful and possible.

D - Nova power, proper spells and special moves that require just the right opening. This is where parity is truly achieved, since everyone has a 'big gun' they can bust out when needed. Only casters used to have this because, as they used to say pre-4e: "Fighters can't have nice things."

U - Fancy footwork and magic used to grant either defense, tactical maneuvering, healing, or bolster skill use. These are exceedingly nice to have, but not necessary. Again, casters used to get such things, while noncasters might get feats or something.

I liked the retraining aspect of powers, seeing them not as you forget how to perform a lower-level attack, but more like there's no reason to bother with them. Allowing a player to upgrade powers at higher levels would have been a nice option, though.

I know some dislike how AEDU makes all classes work with the same resources to manage, but those resources are often used in different manners based on the class and individual power.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.

I just discovered that code of conduct forbids some forms of sense of humor. I guess it’s just another one of those “Wayne’s World” vs. “Monty Python” things…


I’ll try to tone it down this time to avoid getting my thread deleted. Maybe it’s for the best, the thread was not going at all the way I was hoping it would. God people are sensitive…


Anyways, what is it that you like about AEDU as implemented in 4th edition?


I know that when I was playing 4th edition, I would get very frustrated having to choose a level 7 encounter powers when I wished I could use my level 3 encounter power twice. I also found if very frustrating to find myself in combat and wish I had chosen a different power because it would have been the perfect moment to use it.


Wouldn’t you prefer having some kind of choice either during combat or out of combat to make your character flexible? Something like the D&D Essentials Wizard. Or for a melee character, maybe having a choice of 3 level 3 encounter powers and you can use either one of them once per encounter.


I just feel that tactical combats would be even more fun with more options than what you have with the AEDU system implemented in 4th edition. But apparently a lot of you disagree with this. I was wondering why.


Sorry if I offended anyone with the original post. As I mentioned, it wasn’t meant to be offensive.


Many good points were mentioned already, but on the "pooled" powers idea I want to repeat one:

Repeating the same move over and over is not great for the overall game. Encounter powers create variance, and since most fights last something like 3-6 rounds, you don't need to use at-wills too many times to make them repetitive. Some characters might repeat moves like charging always or something like that, but I don't particularly care for those "builds" to be in the game.
As I sit here thinkng about AEDU, trying to come up with positive things to say.

Unfortunately, I cannot help but conclude that everything I would list as a positive has nothing to do with the actual AEDU structure, but rather, could be accomplished in a number of different ways which I would prefer to the AEDU structure.  Things like maintaining parity between character classes at each level doesn't require AEDU at all. 



That is exactly what I'm trying to understand!

I wonder if it's the mechanics you guys like or the balanced system where every class has something fun to do. 
Either I didn't understand something, or I missed it. But so far, the only mechanical advantage to AEDU I found is the "variance" aspect. In other words, you have to use all your encounter powers and you can't spam the same one over and over again. That's a valid point. I still haven't figured out whether I think it's a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, I find it more fun to see more colorful effects on the battlefield. On the other, encounter powers also deal more damage and in my (short) 4th edition experience, we would often burn our encounter powers just for the extra damage and not the tactical component. I'm not sure that having to use a power makes things more interesting.
Either I didn't understand something, or I missed it. But so far, the only mechanical advantage to AEDU I found is the "variance" aspect. In other words, you have to use all your encounter powers and you can't spam the same one over and over again. That's a valid point. I still haven't figured out whether I think it's a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, I find it more fun to see more colorful effects on the battlefield. On the other, encounter powers also deal more damage and in my (short) 4th edition experience, we would often burn our encounter powers just for the extra damage and not the tactical component. I'm not sure that having to use a power makes things more interesting.

Actually I have an opposite experience. In 4e usually the damage dice are not all that important, and the potential to "control" enemies is more important when picking powers. Some exceptions exist where the encounter attack power has enough damage that it stands out from the others as a "killer" instead of "control" or "buff" but not all that often.

Actually that is also something I'd like to fix from 4e. A proper evaluation of 1W + stun vs. 3W and nothing else shows that the 1W + stun is superior. Yet, this kind of evaluation was clearly not done in some cases.
AEDU as a class design paradigm created useful structural similarity across all classes.



  • Structural similarity allowed roughly the same lime-light time. It gave potentially significant choices in the form of mechanically defined gct, game changing turn,  inherent to every class not just someone with spell caster in their concept.

  • This structural similarity allowed swapping out in themes and multi-classing and hybriding in smooth ways adding non-aedu in essentials broke that and forces themes in to a power creep form.

  • Encounter powers allowed fluctuation of play tempo within every encounter even if you ran out of dailies effectively making the out of dailies status less important than otherwise, encourages pressing on, it is a non-absolute anti incentive for the n minute day.

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Loads of things, really

1. It eliminates the need for class sub-systems. I can pick up a Wizard and know how to build him straight away, and understand how it operates. I don't need to go back over the core rules, re-learning how to "play" as a Wizard

2. It provides me with something interesting to do every turn. I just built a Human Paladin, 1st Level, who can debuff the enemy, THP buff herself, or DS the enemy with her at-wills. Her Encounters and Dailies are her channeling her powers of the divine to make awesome stuff happen

3. Awesome synergies in the party. Every single turn we're buffing, debuffing, firing off combos, nova-ing with Action Points and debuffs. It's a veritable mardi gras of cool.

I was sick, in third edition, of one trick ponies. Of the spiked chain fighter. Of the Wizard who, at first - third level, would blow all his spells and spend the rest of the time shooting a cross bow. Of each turn saying "I hit it with my Axe...". It's just TEDIOUS. Now I can look at my powers and feel inspired - something can happen each and every turn.

Those people who insist powers choke creativity at the table, IMHO, are too focused on just using powers. I would still say I am as enthused about diving off tables, using Acrobatics to flip off the wall and perform an awesome attack - it's just now, with Utilities, I have a power that lets me do that stuff.

Really, AEDU made combat a parade of FUN for everyone at every level, and that is something that is well worth keeping. Could it be made better? Of course.

Interestingly, Gnarl, your frustrations are what players *should* feel in my opinion - there should be so many cool powers, and cool abilities, that people should feel like each choice is a pain, and some regret that "Oh that *awesome thing* would have fit just right here". Because that means the powers and the choices are meaningful.

As an aside, I am fairly certain you can select Encounter and Utility powers that are lower level with higher slots. If not, I am certain most DMs would be like yeah sure have it dude. I don't see any issue.
Rapidly beceoming a 4orgnard
i agree with most points given.

there is 1 thing i did not like about hoe AEDU was implemented in 4th edition.

it is thefact that you have to replace powers as you level.
i know it helps to keep the number of powers you have down so it doesen't get to complicated.
but it seems stranger to me that if you have been using a cartain power/attack for a long time you suddenly forget how to do it.



A little odd maybe but not that much. I think of it as the character simply subconciously not bothering with or overlooking that ability. It's like in a TV series where a character does something one episode but in later episodes doesn't seem to do that again.
Loads of things, really

1. It eliminates the need for class sub-systems. I can pick up a Wizard and know how to build him straight away, and understand how it operates. I don't need to go back over the core rules, re-learning how to "play" as a Wizard

2. It provides me with something interesting to do every turn. I just built a Human Paladin, 1st Level, who can debuff the enemy, THP buff herself, or DS the enemy with her at-wills. Her Encounters and Dailies are her channeling her powers of the divine to make awesome stuff happen

3. Awesome synergies in the party. Every single turn we're buffing, debuffing, firing off combos, nova-ing with Action Points and debuffs. It's a veritable mardi gras of cool.

I was sick, in third edition, of one trick ponies. Of the spiked chain fighter. Of the Wizard who, at first - third level, would blow all his spells and spend the rest of the time shooting a cross bow. Of each turn saying "I hit it with my Axe...". It's just TEDIOUS. Now I can look at my powers and feel inspired - something can happen each and every turn.

Those people who insist powers choke creativity at the table, IMHO, are too focused on just using powers. I would still say I am as enthused about diving off tables, using Acrobatics to flip off the wall and perform an awesome attack - it's just now, with Utilities, I have a power that lets me do that stuff.

Really, AEDU made combat a parade of FUN for everyone at every level, and that is something that is well worth keeping. Could it be made better? Of course.

Interestingly, Gnarl, your frustrations are what players *should* feel in my opinion - there should be so many cool powers, and cool abilities, that people should feel like each choice is a pain, and some regret that "Oh that *awesome thing* would have fit just right here". Because that means the powers and the choices are meaningful.

As an aside, I am fairly certain you can select Encounter and Utility powers that are lower level with higher slots. If not, I am certain most DMs would be like yeah sure have it dude. I don't see any issue.

You can pick powers of lower level if you want, but you can't pick the same power twice.
Most of the benefits of AEDU have already been mentioned: player choice (both in character customization and in anti-tedium), parallelism across classes, resource management.  I think it did a pretty good job with all those things, and I really don't see how ToB did it better.  I would definitely like one of you who preferred that system to explain it to me, but from what I can see it makes no more sense fluff wise (why should making an attack or flourish recharge your ability to do the same trick?  Maybe from a realism standpoint they should all be at-will, but I see a five minute rest as a much more plausible recharge mechanic than ToB, with the possible exception of the Crusader which made sense provided your powers were being granted on the whim of a god of luck), and had minimal advantages in terms of variety over an at-will system (at least for warblades).  But I didn't play much with ToB, so maybe I'm just not seeing it.

Anyway, the point is that while I think AEDU did a pretty good job, it was far from perfect.  To my mind, it suffers from three problems.  The first is that the sheer number of powers you have available at high levels slowed down combat.  First round at 11th level, you had 9 powers to choose from for your standard action alone.  Assuming you used a daily or encounter, you then had 8.  Then 7.  Even by the time the encounter was over, you had a huge number of choices so you pretty much stopped using at wills by paragon (unless you were a charge build) and combats took forever.  Second, while they did a good job of ending, "I'm a fighter, so I do the exact same thing every round of every encounter of the entire campaign" (be that basic attack, improved trip, or what have you), in the end they replaced it with "Everyone does the same sequence of 6 things for every encounter of the tier."  I'm exaggerating somewhat, there were reasons to change up the order a bit, but I can't tell you how many times an encounter in my last campaign started with "The druid wins initiative, he moves up to the bad guys, thornsprays them for a -7 penalty to their defenses, then action points to use another blast 5 power on the same bad guys to daze them all."  It was just such an awesome combination that there was never a reason to do anything else.  I also play a lot of stormsoul genasi, in which case almost eery encounter includes a sequence, "I promise of storm, and then I use the same sequence of lightning encounter powers to hit as many people with the extra damage as possible."  Substantial similarity across encounters beats the crap out of substantial similarity across rounds, but it isn't perfect.  Third, hoarding dailies led to the same power-spike issues that encouraged 5 minute workdays and made encounter balancing so hard.

My suggestion?  Much the same as the OP.  Have a pool of encounter powers each of which scale with level, but only be able to use a small number of them in a given encounter.  So a 7th level character might still know 3 encounter powers (maybe more, maybe less, maybe more if you're a wizard, you'd have to playtest it), but he could only USE one of them(/tier).  That way you'd take a variety of powers useful in a variety of situations (an AoE, a multi-attack, and a status effect, for instance), and you would decide for tactical reasons which one to use this encounter (rather than taking all the multi-attack ones you can get, because lets face it they're better than anything else).  You still have player choice both in combat and at creation, but you only make that choice once (because once you've used one of them you're down to a more manageable selection of at-wills).  The same would apply to dailies: you would know a handful of them, but only be able to use one /encounter (maybe a second at epic).  That way there's still a bit of strategic resource management (which one do I want to save for the biggest fight of the day, do I want to use any in case there are more encounters than dailies today?) without the huge powerspike when they use all of them in the same encounter.  

I'm also a fan of dragon age stunt points, which throw a bit of randomness into the mix that, when added to situationality, results in way more variety.  But that would involve a substantial departure from D&D's traditions so I doubt anyone at WotC will bite.
 I think it did a pretty good job with all those things, and I really don't see how ToB did it better.  

Flavor of mechanical elements and presentation with a gameworld story context, my impression anyway.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I really like AEDU due to many of the reasons indicated by previous posters (no need to learn a new mechanic for each class, availability of at-will powers all the time so no crossbow shooting wizards, variety of options for all classes) but I'm in the field of those who prefer Tome of Battle's mechanic (with one caveat) and I'll explain why.

As you level up and get access to stronger powers you often find that they have knowing a given number of powers from the same school as a prerequisite. First of all this helps in giving a certain flavour to your PC and make a difference between PCs who specialise in one school and get high level powers in that school and PCs who prefer more variety and flexibility and thus do not attain such high levels of specialisation in a given school.
Moreover I like the fact that you don't have dailies in ToB, as I don't like them and any other "Vancian" system.

What I don't like in ToB are the refreshing mechanics. As somebody said before there's no reason why a flourish will let you recover your powers. I would prefer a mechanic where you have to use some resource to refresh your powers, say spending an action point without any other effect or spending your second wind as a standard action (otherwise we'll see a lot of dwarves).

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

i agree with most points given.

there is 1 thing i did not like about hoe AEDU was implemented in 4th edition.

it is thefact that you have to replace powers as you level.
i know it helps to keep the number of powers you have down so it doesen't get to complicated.
but it seems stranger to me that if you have been using a cartain power/attack for a long time you suddenly forget how to do it.



A little odd maybe but not that much. I think of it as the character simply subconciously not bothering with or overlooking that ability. It's like in a TV series where a character does something one episode but in later episodes doesn't seem to do that again.



well they did change this for the essentials mage.
he never loses daily powers from his spellbook but can only prepare 3 daily powers. ( + 1 from PP or epic i think)

 

I just discovered that code of conduct forbids some forms of sense of humor. I guess it’s just another one of those “Wayne’s World” vs. “Monty Python” things…


I’ll try to tone it down this time to avoid getting my thread deleted. Maybe it’s for the best, the thread was not going at all the way I was hoping it would. God people are sensitive…


Anyways, what is it that you like about AEDU as implemented in 4th edition?


I know that when I was playing 4th edition, I would get very frustrated having to choose a level 7 encounter powers when I wished I could use my level 3 encounter power twice. I also found if very frustrating to find myself in combat and wish I had chosen a different power because it would have been the perfect moment to use it.


Wouldn’t you prefer having some kind of choice either during combat or out of combat to make your character flexible? Something like the D&D Essentials Wizard. Or for a melee character, maybe having a choice of 3 level 3 encounter powers and you can use either one of them once per encounter.


I just feel that tactical combats would be even more fun with more options than what you have with the AEDU system implemented in 4th edition. But apparently a lot of you disagree with this. I was wondering why.


Sorry if I offended anyone with the original post. As I mentioned, it wasn’t meant to be offensive.


I think one of the advantages of AEDU is that it LIMITS your most important options. Not that it prevents you from doing things outside of those, but say you're a fighter; You have a couple of good solid bread-n-butter moves and which you choose will help define the sort of fighter you are. Then you have a couple of special moves you've polished so you can execute them often and pretty reliably (your encounter powers), and you have the ability to do some kind of big guns fancy moves once in a great while.

This setup gives you a lot of flexibility. You can take on some less important adversaries and say just work on them without burning offensive resources (hit them with at-wills). Your goal is maybe just to tie up these enemies, or they represent little threat and you're just mopping them up (maybe minions). Maybe you're even just holding a chokepoint or making a delaying action.

When you need to up the intensity you can unleash encounter powers, or use them as tricks that you pull off when they give maximum tactical benefit, maybe to disable an enemy somewhat at a key point, or get past one. When you need to go all out, you can dig out a daily, use an AP, etc.

If you want to do something out of the ordinary, you can use page 42 and modify one of your powers to do something a bit different or pull off something cool. It will be less reliable than using a power in the standard way, but it gives you access to anything you can imagine.

Utility powers really need little discussion. They fill the same sort of role as some class features did in the old days, but the player actually gets to pick them.

Like I said in the ill-fated earlier thread- I haven't seen a lot of suggestions that are even close to the ease of use and flexibliity of AEDU. I'd happily go with it if there was one, but AEDU is honestly about the most solid power mechanic I've seen yet in any RPG. It just works.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Most of the benefits of AEDU have already been mentioned: player choice (both in character customization and in anti-tedium), parallelism across classes, resource management.  I think it did a pretty good job with all those things, and I really don't see how ToB did it better.  I would definitely like one of you who preferred that system to explain it to me, but from what I can see it makes no more sense fluff wise (why should making an attack or flourish recharge your ability to do the same trick?  Maybe from a realism standpoint they should all be at-will, but I see a five minute rest as a much more plausible recharge mechanic than ToB, with the possible exception of the Crusader which made sense provided your powers were being granted on the whim of a god of luck), and had minimal advantages in terms of variety over an at-will system (at least for warblades).  But I didn't play much with ToB, so maybe I'm just not seeing it.



Well, there's a few things.  The first, and maybe most important, is how it effectively prevented the issue of class bloat that's really one of the biggest problems with how 4E structures powers.  It's not really a flaw of the AEDU system, but it's a flaw of assigning each power to one class and one class only.  A single 4E class has around 100 powers if you're just offering four-five choices per level.  The fighter has in excess of 300.  You run into a lot of reprinting with that, situations where the sorcerer gets a power that's almost exactly like Scorching Burst because they can't have Scorching Burst, that's a wizard power already, or things where every martial class has a Careful Attack at-will.  It also makes homebrew nearly impossible.  I think I've seen four, maybe five 4E homebrew classes of any note?  Furthermore this creates problems when you get into things like psionics, which kind of had all of its niche for abilities taken up by the other Controllers already.  Because it has to have all-new powers, the solution was augmentation, which as I already said I don't like.

The way Tome of Battle's system does this that's better is it says "okay, powers are divided into these nine disciplines.  Each class gets this, that, and these disciplines."  The flexibility to expand easily on classes with this is insane.  I've seen people whip up new disciplines and let you plug them into an existing class, whip up new classes and use some mix of the existing and homebrew disciplines - hell, I've seen a project make a spellcasting system called spellshaping that are basically spells which work exactly like maneuvers, to the point where one of the classes in that system pulls off a gish character by just giving you access to some spellshaping circles and some martial disciplines.  It's a really clean, elegant and flexible design.  Since you build everything as an encounter power, and there's only nine levels of power instead of twenty, balancing powers even by sight is drastically easier.

The other thing it does that I like more is it handles nonattack abilities and support abilities more cleanly and more flexibly than utility powers.  Strikes are the bread and butter, but boosts, counters and stances are really what gives the system its flair.  Boosts and stances give you a way to spice up your attack, to give it something signature or customized to the situation, or to improve your defenses in some way, while counters offer basically the same thing immediate interrupt powers do.

What refresh mechanics do is it offers a valve on pacing.  If you pick a very boost-heavy style, you're going to be throwin a lot of boost and strike combos, get some awesome moves in, but then you're going to run out of steam.   Sometimes that's fine, and you just finish the fight out with your basic attacks (or in spellshaping, the at-will spells you get).  Other times, especially if it's a longer fight or the kind of thing where you're dealing with enemies in waves, say you're in a sky pirates game and the enemy crew's boarding the freighter you're guarding, you want to be able to recharge in the middle of a fight.  It also offers more distinction in fighting styles even for classes that have similar maneuver lists.  A swordsage with Adaptive Style plays noticably differently from a warblade, the swordsage is more loath to refresh because they lose a turn in doing so but gains flexibility by being able to pick the moves that are most useful in that situation.  The swordsage is basically what I see the wizard as, someone who can pull the right trick out of their hat, and the refresh mechanic supports that.  It's why I propose the warblade, Adaptive Style and crusader mechanics be used for martial, arcane and divine characters.  Basically what it does is it prevents the fight from becoming a slugfest, where you've run out of your encounter powers and now you're mostly just using the one at-will you regularly use for cleanup.  Instead you can always choose to refresh and bring out your interesting toys again, but on the other hand since refreshing is always worse than using a maneuver, a character who takes mostly strikes and focuses on not needing to refresh often is still rewarded for that decision.

As a final note, I also really like the known vs. readied thing.  It lets you know a wider array of moves, even if you don't use all of them all the time, you have to be in the right mindset to pull them off.  There's really a lot more room for picking some situationally useful things because of that, not every maneuver you pick has to be something you think you'll want to use in every fight.  You have enough of both to be able to come up with a lot of interesting tricks, enough so that I've never seen anyone get bored playing a ToB class.
AEDU

It seemed like battles had some uniqueness at first....but then it all came out the same in the wash at the end. You got to choose from 5 "x's" when you leveled and simply really only chose from about 2...maybe considered a third cause the other ones .....well nobody chose those ones. After awhile the battles felt all the same.....whoever went first blew off an AP ...did a daily and some combos...then the rest of the players were on cleanup. You always led in with the same instant effects to ramp up your powers ....every battle, then commneced with the same standard powers you used almost every battle ...the reason why you chose those.....they worked.
The only major thing that changed was terrain and monster interaction.....but that quality isn't inherrant to that system. The problem with saying that fireball is only a combat active ability....you can't really do anything with it other than that....combat. So many spells that were oriented to combat scenarios were good outside of combat as well...try melf's acid arrow on a door lock (or similar). What i did like about the AEDU was that completely novice players felt like they always had something to do. But therein lies the problem with development of imagination....if they always look at their cue cards.....they'll never go beyond those cue cards (especially as an entry level novice to the game). I'm not considering "exceptions" b/c this impacts more on what we discover to be the "normative".

One of the greatest things about not having a set of powers that are classified AEDU is that you can literally do anything you can dream up your character to do (within reason)....the drawback is that some players may lack "imagination" and therefor can't come up with anything for their character to do. Many of the verterans will understand this clearly.
I give an example...and obviously there would be 1000's. A cleric uses his silence 15' rad. and sneeks up behind a group of three archers who are perched on a cliff shooting at his comrades below. He finds a stout branch, holding it sideways, and charges them intending to knock all three off the cliff face simultaneously. Well thats no problem in earlier editions......or is it classified as 3 bull charges trying to be pulled off at once? Do the other players feel shorted cause the warrior needed to wait till level 25 to attain a like-styled power? I'm not intending to solve this issue, but pointing out the obvious concerns that would arise. Although having powers gives you the freedom from imagination except in the regard to interacting those powers on the "chess board" i find it hinders more than frees up. Its more akin to a hacker not wanting to use windows (a user friendly interactive system that is extremely rigid by comparison in its use....i think) as oposed to using Linux (a more sophisticated system that allows for massive customization per the individual....or even a self-created operating system. You can easily see in each step the level of possibilities becomes more and more open ended. But in obvious nature there would be present, a breaking point for open-ended behaviour unless the game catered directly to that endevour.

In closing.....AEDU is fine for some things.....but ultimately restricts open ended imagination on how to interact with the surroundings as it becomes extremly rigid in the execution of those said powers. Its not the powers that are directly the issue....but how they lack imaginative interaction on the field. Using powers to pull opponents into a large cluster to drop an AOE on them with the next character is not creative....its expected and anything less would not have players using powers wisely. But not letting the character have the ability to use a sonic blast at the ceiling to collapse an unstable tunnel on the opponents rather than just using it as it says on the power to stun opponents is restrictive in power execution (and the DM is fully justified to not let them use powers like that if the game is designed to be that rigid).


Now although once again the AEDU ae not so much the problem....but with fast leveling and the pile of powers one has to use....some players will have to shop through their powers until they find just the right one (even though earlier editions may have had even more choices of things to do on certain characters) but for whatever reason....the combats go soooo slow [part of this issue is that in the ealier editions you rolled initiative and modified it based on what you were going to do that round....so it was already pre-chosen....you "could change" but took an initiative penalty if things developed and you need to change your intended action]. I know others felt this as well and i just chalked it up as new players ....but after the second year of playing....the combats were still too slow (we were starting to open 5 doors worth of encounters at a single time by the time we were level 25 just to get through encounters faster and the powers that said "till end of encounter" would essentially get more milage.....b/c 99% of the doors we opened led to combat).
@true mallowman: spot on about ToB. I once played a swordage focused on Tiger Claw and Shadow Hand and it was the best assassin I've ever played.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

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