Revisiting “you can’t improvise”, “all classes are the same”, “it’s not D&D”, etc…

I’d first like to say that I did not write this thread to piss off 4th edition fans. Something didn’t work for me and my friends in that edition and a lot of forum posters showed me that the reasons I didn’t like it might have been more subtle than what I thought.


What is surprising is that when I first joined these forums, I never had spent any time on the Internet reading critics of 4th edition or all the edition wars forum threads. And yet, when I came back to these forums, I too was saying stuff like “magic sucks”, “you can’t improvise in D&D”, “all classes are the same” or “4th edition is not D&D”. I know now that I might have been wrong on a lot of things, but I know that if so many of us felt that way, there’s a reason and that these issues need to be addressed.


So in this thread, I’m going to revisit some of these common 4th edition critics and I’ll try to explain why I originally felt that way. Please remember that the scope of this conversation is the early 4th edition days. If after a year of playing, a game still doesn’t feel right, you can’t expect us to continue trying much longer than that. So don’t get upset if some of the things I say aren’t true anymore, they were when the edition came out and that’s what matters. The only purpose of this thread is to get feedback from other 4th edition detractors and hopefully make sure that none of these things ever happen again.


 


My first problem with 4th edition is that combat feels like a tactical board game. This is where the presentation failed; the fluff is separated from the mechanics and almost everything is codified. To make matters worse, combat feels like a board game because the grid is mandatory. And finally, some rules are fine in a board game but too difficult to believe in an RPG (AEDU for non-casters, square-shaped Fireballs and the simplified diagonal movement). If it feels like a board game then you are very tempted to play it like a board game. Nobody improvises when playing Monopoly or Bloodbowl; the rules are the rules, period. I think that’s why so many people assume that spells aren’t open-ended, that you can’t improvise and that if something isn’t in the rules, it’s because you can’t do it.


The second problem is that (almost) everything is “deal X damage and apply Y condition”. In the earlier editions, spells would either “deal X damage” either “apply Y condition”. These conditions would typically last multiple rounds (and not one or two rounds). Melees always dealt X damage. In late 3.5, melees stopped being lame “deal X damage” and started getting cool attacks that “deal X damage and apply Y condition for 1 round” (Tome of Battle maneuvers and sneak attack feats such as Staggering Strike). So even with the more advanced 3.5 rules, casters could cast dramatic effects that last multiple rounds but deal no damage and melees could spam “deal X damage and apply Y condition for 1 round” attacks. Both were cool and fun but in very different ways. The only two problems were that rogues still didn’t have enough cool moves and some spells were still vastly superior to all other options. Note that AEDU has nothing to do with this. If casters had Web or Wall of Fire as a low level daily power, as a mid-level encounter power, and as a high level at-will power, the game would still have been loads of fun.


The third problem is the lack of utility magic. Charm Person, Sleep that lasts more than a couple of rounds, Invisibility, Silence, Fly, etc… Even if you managed to get them, they weren’t available enough to make a difference (at most once per day). You also had to wait much longer to get these spells (level 6 for Invisibility vs. level 3 for instance; level 16 for Fly vs. level 5). After a couple of months of playing, our PCs weren’t even close to having the out-of-combat magical capabilities of the former editions. We tried playing at higher levels but it didn’t feel the same either. Out-of-combat magic is simply too limited both in effects and availability. I know this is considered a feature by a lot of you guys that hated the “Wizard Toolbox”.


 


Please keep it polite. Let’s not turn this thread into a useless edition war.

Gnarl, one of these days I'm going to disagree with you. It hasn't happened yet, but surely, one day. :P
Just by thumbing through the books (nobody in my circle wanted to play 4E), it certainly seems (from a quick glancethrough in the time it takes the guy at the counter to say "this ain't a library") that the class/power structure ends up being "do pretty much the same thing as that guy, except your effects are purple", essentially being a tabletop version of Gauntlet.

It's pretty easy to see why the 'traditionalists' balked.
Just by thumbing through the books (nobody in my circle wanted to play 4E), it certainly seems (from a quick glancethrough in the time it takes the guy at the counter to say "this ain't a library") that the class/power structure ends up being "do pretty much the same thing as that guy, except your effects are purple", essentially being a tabletop version of Gauntlet.

It's pretty easy to see why the 'traditionalists' balked.



I think this is the main issue with the presentation.  Because in my experiance yes, there is a standardization of class, they play quite differently in actual gaming.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I have been pondering this myself for quite some time as I have noticed many share your sentiment even though I do not. I think there are a few things at play here.

1) caster entitlement: In previous editions casters were gods. They could do anything and everything. They were both the big guns and the problem solvers. Much like an 60s batman episode their utility belt had a solution to everything. Modt of these tools were given to them way too early on as well. Look at the other RPGs out there. Flight and invisibility are not handed out to wet behind the ears adventurers, but in D&D they are. This was the tradition so we grew used to it. We relied on our casters to solve the real problems and groups cheered when a caster pulled out the right spell to "win" the encounter. For those of us who never enjoyed playing casters it left a sour taste in the mouth but we lived and played more and watched the casters power grow. 4e changed this. It made casters have to work as hard as anyone else to accomplish their goals. Few spells gave automatic success like they did in the past and powerful abilities were not handed out like so much candy. The wizard went from being número UNO to a contributing member of the party. In fact in early 4e the casters were actually worse off than their martial counterparts. The tables had turned. Now the casters had to play second fiddle to the guy with the big stick. Turning tradition upside down tends to make people disagree and we certainly saw this at the 4e release (especially for those who loved casters). I might be biased here in my observations, but it seems to me most people who enjoy 4e over previous editions tend to play weapon users.

2) presentation: In 4e everything looks the same. This is key here. People reading through the book do not see subtle differences in play style. They do not realize that classes can have the same mechanics but play very differently. Again, these people see this sameness and shout that fighters can cast spells and this doesn't "feel" like D&D. Even if fighters cannot shoot blasts of energy or summon demons, the similarity in the power structure rubbed some people the wrong way.

3) page 42 in the DMG: Seriously, if it had been in the PHB people would have read it and seen that you can (and are encouraged to) improvise.

4) rituals: There were many good things about rituals but they tend to be overlooked. Thy needed better advertising. I love the idea of separating combat and non combat character resources and rituals allow a caster to be a master of utility, but they were too restrictive. I'd say most are too expensive to encourge use. A trivial component cost eould be well placed here Hell use bat guano for some, people love bat guano. Make rituals for low level flight and invisibility that functionally ends (or is impossible to maintain) in combat. Make some rituals standard actions so players can page 42 em. Have rituals be the reason a wizard has a spell book, and leave combat spells as something a wizard knows so well he doesn't need a book for. If rituals become fun, exciting, and cheap to use without being "win" spells then 5e casting can feel magical again.

I think this is the main issue with the presentation.  Because in my experiance yes, there is a standardization of class, they play quite differently in actual gaming.



It's not just presentation. All the fun spells had a duration greater than 1 or 2 rounds and usually didn't deal any damage at all. That was the difference between magic and maneuvers.

Compare Bless vs. Vanguard Strike for instance. One deals zero damage and gives a bonus to hit for most of the encounter, the other deals damage and gives a bonus to hit for one round.
Have rituals be the reason a wizard has a spell book, and leave combat spells as something a wizard knows so well he doesn't need a book for. If rituals become fun, exciting, and cheap to use without being "win" spells then 5e casting can feel magical again.



Little comment over here. Why do not do it all the way round? why do not let a wizard know noncombat spell that should logicaly use more often when he is not adventuring and having books for killing stuff spells?

I never liked that so many spells are combat focus, and 4th edition brought this to an even further degree. 
Note: I am speaking as a former 1e players who has only played 2e and 3e as video games. I have ordered the 4e essentials line, but have not yet begun to actually read the books and play it.

To me DnD is about creating a high fantasy world (as opposed to a steampunk, post apocolyptic, superhero, or sci-fi setting) where players can have a lot of fun playing a wide range of classes and races. This fun should apply at all character levels and  monsters should remain challenging at all levels. The DM wants to encourage players to play a class or race because they want to, not becuase they heard it was the most powerful...etc. The DM also wants to be able to create level appropriate encounters without worrying about how the specific party composition makes a group overpowered against some opponents.

The DM and players both want fast combat and fast noncombat, so they can have a fun game in a limited amount of time. Some people have jobs/education, spouses and children to consider. There are also a wide range of entertainment options and games that are only fun if you play them for a few hours at a time are likely to fall by the wayside. If a typical game session takes longer than a feature length movie (90 minutes to 2 hours) we have a big problem.

4e does a good (though certainly not flawless) job of delivering on "class equalization". I also think it retains the high fantasy "feel" of previous editions. It certainly fails on the front of fast combat. I agree that 4e is too tactical, which is the main reason I've never played it. I agree that most powers cause both damage and condition effects, which is annoying. I don't like condition effects to begin with and just want to combine everything into the hit point system. (I expect I'll be "homeruling" the Essentials rules a fair amount).

However, I'm no fan of the tactics heavy combat in 3.xe either. There are plenty of condition effects in 3.xe and lots of complicated combat maneuvers (grapple, disarm, knockdown...etc) to deal with. I actually consider 4e an improvement in noncombat rules, due to the simplification of the skills system and more open-ended rules for other situations. I hated the skills system in the Neverwinter Nights series.

As far as magic goes, I don't have a problem with diverse utility spells and potent combat spells. However, I think that spell power has been an issue since at least 1e and I would like to see spellcasters reigned in. The designers need to look with a very careful eye at the spell list and level requirements in 5e. The difference between a spellcaster and non-spellcaster shouldn't be what they do. The difference is that spellcasters use magic to do things and non-spellcasters use training, equipment...etc. There shouldn't be utility spells that allow a spellcaster to do something that a same level non-spellcaster can't do with level-appropriate "equipment" (potion, magic item...etc).

This flies in the face of some people's expectations about magic, but I don't really care. This is a fantasy roleplaying game and everyone has a place at the table. Some of us like the more toned down magic seen in Tolkien, Brooks, Eddings...etc. Magic can still do a lot of things, but it doesn't confer omnipotence or "superpowers" relative to same-level non-spellcasters. I don't think fighters need fancy "encounter powers" or "daily powers", but I don't think spellcasters need them either. Again, this may not seem "realistic" to some people, but I haven't seen Smaug lately, and I don't think you have either.

Let me preface this by saying that I like every edition of D&D that I have played.  That list includes 1e, 3.5e, and 4e.  I recognize their differences, celebrate their strengths, and honestly criticize their weaknesses.

My first problem with 4th edition is that combat feels like a tactical board game. This is where the presentation failed; the fluff is separated from the mechanics and almost everything is codified. To make matters worse, combat feels like a board game because the grid is mandatory. And finally, some rules are fine in a board game but too difficult to believe in an RPG (AEDU for non-casters, square-shaped Fireballs and the simplified diagonal movement). If it feels like a board game then you are very tempted to play it like a board game. Nobody improvises when playing Monopoly or Bloodbowl; the rules are the rules, period. I think that’s why so many people assume that spells aren’t open-ended, that you can’t improvise and that if something isn’t in the rules, it’s because you can’t do it.


Completely accurate.  The thing that people like you didn't get, and that those that ended up liking 4e did, was that we no longer had to rely on the G to tell us how to RP.

That's the big thing.  4e recognized the inherent division between the RP and the G, recognized that if you're good at RP you don't need rules for it, and that if you're new at RP you still don't need rules for it, just guidance, and that rules only really serve a purpose when we need adjudication that can't be handled by RP. 

If you're the person who wants to read the spell description to tell you how a fireball interacts with other flammable objects in the room, then you'll like 3e far better than 4e.  If, on the other hand, you fully accept and recognize the intentional limitations within the 4e fireball statblock and understand that it isn't designed to tell you everything you could possibly need to know and that you need to fill it in yourself, that's where your improvization and creativity come in.  It was up to you to figure out RP for why your fighter could only use Come And Get It once per fight, rather than the rulebook.  And yet, people say that 4e stifled creativity and discouraged roleplaying.

It's certainly not for everyone, and they did an absolutely terrible job of communicating this point, but that's the key distinction between people who liked 4e and people who didn't.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
1) caster entitlement



I can understand the need to limit how often you can use those magical tricks. If you can cast Fly or Invisibility as often as you need (like in 3rd edition because of scrolls), there's no use for the Climb or Hide skills anymore.
 
Rituals were a great idea because even a group of melees could still use these magical stunts. 4th edition didn't just nerf casters, it nerfed magic in general though.

I don't play in a fantasy setting to do mundane things. Rogues can hide in plain sight, wizards can become invisibility. That's the kind of experience I'm looking for.

2) presentation: In 4e everything looks the same.



It's not just presentation.
 
We were used to having much more drastic difference between classes. It doesn't matter if the Y condition is different from one class to another. Everybody is dealing damage nearly every round and that is new. Casters were spaming non damaging spells and melees were dealing all the damage.

Whenever someone says "all the same", you have to understand not different enough compared to what we were used to.
     
3) page 42 in the DMG



Even I know the page number! And I didn't play 4th edition much.

It's not because the book says you can that you feel you should. The cover also says Roleplaying Game. Why does the game feel like a board game 80% of the time.

4) rituals



I really hope these will make it to D&D Next. It's really sad that they forgot to add fun rituals in the early 4th edition era.
I have edited the name of this thread to be less offensive. We must be careful to not incite edition wars, including with our thread titles. 

If you are unsure as to what is appropriate, please review the Code of Conduct: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_...  
Anyone that says that 3.xE or before was better because their spells had multiple round durations clearly hasn't seen the SUSTAIN {MINOR, MOVE, STANDARD} at the bottom of many of the 4E spells.

Also I'll throw in the fighters encounter and daily powers that were RELIABLE (which meant if they missed, they didn't lose the use of that power).
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

That's the big thing.  4e recognized the inherent division between the RP and the G, recognized that if you're good at RP you don't need rules for it, and that if you're new at RP you still don't need rules for it, just guidance, and that rules only really serve a purpose when we need adjudication that can't be handled by RP. 



I think this entire assertion depends on definitions of RP and G that don't jibe at all with my own.
1) caster entitlement: In previous editions casters were gods. They could do anything and everything. They were both the big guns and the problem solvers. Much like an 60s batman episode their utility belt had a solution to everything. Modt of these tools were given to them way too early on as well. Look at the other RPGs out there. Flight and invisibility are not handed out to wet behind the ears adventurers, but in D&D they are. This was the tradition so we grew used to it. We relied on our casters to solve the real problems and groups cheered when a caster pulled out the right spell to "win" the encounter. For those of us who never enjoyed playing casters it left a sour taste in the mouth but we lived and played more and watched the casters power grow. 4e changed this. It made casters have to work as hard as anyone else to accomplish their goals. Few spells gave automatic success like they did in the past and powerful abilities were not handed out like so much candy. The wizard went from being número UNO to a contributing member of the party. In fact in early 4e the casters were actually worse off than their martial counterparts. The tables had turned. Now the casters had to play second fiddle to the guy with the big stick. Turning tradition upside down tends to make people disagree and we certainly saw this at the 4e release (especially for those who loved casters). I might be biased here in my observations, but it seems to me most people who enjoy 4e over previous editions tend to play weapon users.


I've seen this argument -a lot- on these forums, and it has become pretty apparent that casters left a bitter taste in a lot of players' mouths, almost all of which now seem to be in the pro-4e camp, and, as you note, prefer martial classes. I just want to say that I have never, ever had this problem in my groups. Granted, we were not the epic-level campaign type, but a view from the other side: 'my type' have always seen this 'casters are op' problem as a result of either poor DM setup, selfish players, or some combination of the two. And, at least in my case, defending the old caster design has nothing to do with entitlement, nor power gaming, nor being a "special snowflake". It has to do with feeling like it wasn't broken in the first place, and that rules were made unnececcisarily 'gamey' to fix a percieved problem in the system which was actually a problem in the players. 

I would be perfectly fine with toning down some of the more broken wizard spells if it meant getting the more open style back. Similarly, I'm all for diversifying and complexifying the martial classes, but make them unique and appropriate.
That's the big thing.  4e recognized the inherent division between the RP and the G, recognized that if you're good at RP you don't need rules for it, and that if you're new at RP you still don't need rules for it, just guidance, and that rules only really serve a purpose when we need adjudication that can't be handled by RP.



And I certainly hope that this will be the spirit of the rules in D&D Next.
I'd argue that if you assert you don't need rules to RP, to be honest you must then assert that you don't need rules to play D&D at all. Because it's all RP. Picking the parts of the game you prefer, and then contriving post-hoc rationales why, just coincidentally, those are the parts the designers 'should' focus on and provide rules for, is kind of dirty pool.
That's the big thing.  4e recognized the inherent division between the RP and the G, recognized that if you're good at RP you don't need rules for it, and that if you're new at RP you still don't need rules for it, just guidance, and that rules only really serve a purpose when we need adjudication that can't be handled by RP.



And I certainly hope that this will be the spirit of the rules in D&D Next.



If you really believe this, then it's a shame that you never got a true 4e experience, the way it was intended.  You'd have liked it immensely.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

That's the big thing.  4e recognized the inherent division between the RP and the G, recognized that if you're good at RP you don't need rules for it, and that if you're new at RP you still don't need rules for it, just guidance, and that rules only really serve a purpose when we need adjudication that can't be handled by RP. 



I think this entire assertion depends on definitions of RP and G that don't jibe at all with my own.



The difference they are talking about is when a player argues with the DM that because their character is a wizard they should be able to fly around at will without having to memorize the fly spell, and the DM going along with it because they don't know any better.

As opposed to the book saying "here are your limits. The DM doesn't have to argue."
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I want to be able to take players from levels 1-30 (or 20 or whatever the designers decide should be the max). Magic rules therefore need to maintain the spellcaster/non-spellcaster balance for all levels of play. I agree that the purpose of the game is not for players to do mundane things. However, this power needs to be balanced with the powers of monsters in order to maintain the challenge. Likewise, the abilities of spellcasters and non-spellcasters still need to be roughly equivalent at every character level.
Completely accurate.  The thing that people like you didn't get, and that those that ended up liking 4e did, was that we no longer had to rely on the G to tell us how to RP.

That's the big thing.  4e recognized the inherent division between the RP and the G, recognized that if you're good at RP you don't need rules for it, and that if you're new at RP you still don't need rules for it, just guidance, and that rules only really serve a purpose when we need adjudication that can't be handled by RP. 

If you're the person who wants to read the spell description to tell you how a fireball interacts with other flammable objects in the room, then you'll like 3e far better than 4e.  If, on the other hand, you fully accept and recognize the intentional limitations within the 4e fireball statblock and understand that it isn't designed to tell you everything you could possibly need to know and that you need to fill it in yourself, that's where your improvization and creativity come in.  It was up to you to figure out RP for why your fighter could only use Come And Get It once per fight, rather than the rulebook.  And yet, people say that 4e stifled creativity and discouraged roleplaying.

It's certainly not for everyone, and they did an absolutely terrible job of communicating this point, but that's the key distinction between people who liked 4e and people who didn't.

100% agreed, particularly the bolded part.  Well said.

Celebrate our differences.

Anyone that says that 3.xE or before was better because their spells had multiple round durations clearly hasn't seen the SUSTAIN {MINOR, MOVE, STANDARD} at the bottom of many of the 4E spells.



I never said that you didn't have them in 4th edition.

I said that in the older editions, the difference between a spell and a Tome of Battle maneuver was that the tome of battle maneuver dealt damage and had a 1 round duration and that a spell dealt 0 damage and had a multiple round duration. Without Tome of Battle, melees just deal damage and have 0 round duration effects because they never have effects.

The same generalization can't be made about 4th edition spells vs. 4th edition maneuvers because all at-will and encounter powers I've ever seen have a 1 round duration. Remember, the scope of the convesation is early 4th edition when the old grognards were giving it a try before giving up.

I'm not trying to explain why one edition is better than another. I'm trying to explain that the difference between magic and maneuvers has evolved and that if we search for our old patterns in 4th edition, we won't find them. 


Also I'll throw in the fighters encounter and daily powers that were RELIABLE (which meant if they missed, they didn't lose the use of that power).



As a side note, look how many technical words you used! This is the perfect illustration of why it feels like you're reading a rules compendium for some kind of war game.
The thing that people like you didn't get, and that those that ended up liking 4e did, was that we no longer had to rely on the G to tell us how to RP.


What about those of us who never, in any edition, felt like you had to "rely on the G to tell us how to RP"? Sure, 3.x told you things like how a Fireball interacts with flammable objects, but how is ignoring or houseruling that any different from including or houseruling it in 4e, where that text is absent? No matter what the edition, it has always been 'the DM and group trump the written rules'. I always saw that as just a fleshing-out of the effect, giving you an idea of the intended design, not a maze of shackles.

That's the big thing.  4e recognized the inherent division between the RP and the G, recognized that if you're good at RP you don't need rules for it, and that if you're new at RP you still don't need rules for it, just guidance, and that rules only really serve a purpose when we need adjudication that can't be handled by RP.


If I'm understanding you correctly, I completely agree with your conclusion, but completely disagree with your premise. To me, there should be no division between the rules and the RP; they should flow together so organically that you only see them as "rules" when out of character.

Granted, I'm totally guessing at what you mean by "G", so I may be arguing something completely different. ^_^;

If you really believe this, then it's a shame that you never got a true 4e experience, the way it was intended.  You'd have liked it immensely.



I do mean it because that's the way I was playing in AD&D. I'm the "yes" type of DM. If you want to try something cool that's not in the rules, you'll usually get away with it in my games.

But even in AD&D, these things didn't happen that often. Most combats were straightforward basic attack spaming and using spells the way they were intended to. Most fights were just foreplay before the boss fight that usually involved some kind of tactical decisions.

Combat length is the reason we didn't play 4th edition for more than a couple of months. We like having 5-10 minute meaningless combats. That was the one and only deal breaker. That doesn't mean I liked all the other changes though but I was ready to deal with most of them because I was sick and tired of spending hours 'fixing' monsters in 3rd edition.
Anyone that says that 3.xE or before was better because their spells had multiple round durations clearly hasn't seen the SUSTAIN {MINOR, MOVE, STANDARD} at the bottom of many of the 4E spells.



I never said that you didn't have them in 4th edition.

I said that in the older editions, the difference between a spell and a Tome of Battle maneuver was that the tome of battle maneuver dealt damage and had a 1 round duration and that a spell dealt 0 damage and had a multiple round duration. Without Tome of Battle, melees just deal damage and have 0 round duration effects because they never have effects.

The same generalization can't be made about 4th edition spells vs. 4th edition maneuvers because all at-will and encounter powers I've ever seen have a 1 round duration. Remember, the scope of the convesation is early 4th edition when the old grognards were giving it a try before giving up.

I'm not trying to explain why one edition is better than another. I'm trying to explain that the difference between magic and maneuvers has evolved and that if we search for our old patterns in 4th edition, we won't find them. 


Also I'll throw in the fighters encounter and daily powers that were RELIABLE (which meant if they missed, they didn't lose the use of that power).



As a side note, look how many technical words you used! This is the perfect illustration of why it feels like you're reading a rules compendium for some kind of war game.



You do realize "Tome of Battle" was a beta test for 4E right? It was one of the last books published and they did it to get the reactions of players.

Also so they added some words and defined some things. It's called keywords so everyone is on the same page. How does that take away your immersion? Once you learn what the words mean its just like before, you know after you learned the technical definitions for 3.xE or 2E, or 1E.

I'm sorry, but your going to have to be more precise. Maybe you had a 'feeling' you didn't like about 4E, but try to dig deep past the surface perceptions and find out what really turned you off? Was it that you had to learn an entirely new set of key words and rules?
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Also so they added some words and defined some things. It's called keywords so everyone is on the same page. How does that take away your immersion? Once you learn what the words mean its just like before, you know after you learned the technical definitions for 3.xE or 2E, or 1E.

I'm sorry, but your going to have to be more precise. Maybe you had a 'feeling' you didn't like about 4E, but try to dig deep past the surface perceptions and find out what really turned you off? Was it that you had to learn an entirely new set of key words and rules?


I've started to suspect it's that 4e built the game around the rules, rather than the other way around.
Also so they added some words and defined some things. It's called keywords so everyone is on the same page. How does that take away your immersion? Once you learn what the words mean its just like before, you know after you learned the technical definitions for 3.xE or 2E, or 1E.

I'm sorry, but your going to have to be more precise. Maybe you had a 'feeling' you didn't like about 4E, but try to dig deep past the surface perceptions and find out what really turned you off? Was it that you had to learn an entirely new set of key words and rules?


I've started to suspect it's that 4e built the game around the rules, rather than the other way around.



I believe they did that on purpose, as their primary goal was to balance the classes (something that was lacking in previous editions). What part of the game seemed derived from the rules...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I've started to suspect it's that 4e built the game around the rules, rather than the other way around.



I believe they did that on purpose, as their primary goal was to balance the classes (something that was lacking in previous editions). What part of the game seemed derived from the rules...


The structure in general, and a host of small things, many of which would be negligable alone, but all combined create a very different feel. The keywords are a good example. In previous editions keywords existed, but were only used as neccesary. They were created and molded to the individual circumstance. For example, the sleep from a Sleep spell used the same keyword as mundane sleep to unite it with sleep-related powers, but the effect iself was tailored to the spell (cannot be woken by loud noises, etc.). In 4e, sleep simply becomes "unconscious". Technically, it's almost the same, but it doesn't sit right in my mind that the state created by a "Sleep" spell is the as the one from profuse loss of blood.

But really, wizards are among the least of the things that seem off. One that has always stood out in particular to me was the warlord, whose powers of mundane motivation can somehow grant extra actions, or that everyone was shoehorned into ADEU, whether they thematically belonged, or even made sense there or not.
I've started to suspect it's that 4e built the game around the rules, rather than the other way around.



I believe they did that on purpose, as their primary goal was to balance the classes (something that was lacking in previous editions). What part of the game seemed derived from the rules...


The structure in general, and a host of small things, many of which would be negligable alone, but all combined create a very different feel. The keywords are a good example. In previous editions keywords existed, but were only used as neccesary. They were created and molded to the individual circumstance. For example, the sleep from a Sleep spell used the same keyword as mundane sleep to unite it with sleep-related powers, but the effect iself was tailored to the spell (cannot be woken by loud noises, etc.). In 4e, sleep simply becomes "unconscious". Technically, it's almost the same, but it doesn't sit right in my mind that the state created by a "Sleep" spell is the as the one from profuse loss of blood.

But really, wizards are among the least of the things that seem off. One that has always stood out in particular to me was the warlord, whose powers of mundane motivation can somehow grant extra actions, or that everyone was shoehorned into ADEU, whether they thematically belonged, or even made sense there or not.



We are having some kind of disconnect here.

The choice between 3.xE and 4E is at-will(I attack it with my sword or trick the DM into something better) and AEDU (I attack it with my sword, slice a group, or whirl around the battlefield hitting many enemies, or page 42 it will realistic guidelines that I don't have to argue with the DM)...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Also no edition is going to have the same 'feel', so don't expect 5E to re-capture that 'feel' of your favorite editon. I can say for sure it won't...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.


We are having some kind of disconnect here.

The choice between 3.xE and 4E is at-will(I attack it with my sword or trick the DM into something better) and AEDU (I attack it with my sword, slice a group, or whirl around the battlefield hitting many enemies, or page 42 it will realistic guidelines that I don't have to argue with the DM)...



I think the problem is that by using phrases like "trick the DM into something better," it seems to suggest editions prior to 4E involved the players vs. the DM. I've never had that problem, and never had an issue in any edition with a player wanting to do something cool in combat. Your mileage may vary.

As for different editions having the same feel - perhaps not precisely the same, but 1st, 2nd, and 3rd all felt far more similar to each other in my opinion than 4th did to any of them.

I will fully admit that my dislike of 4th edition is subjective, and that I can't properly qualify it. The best way I can put it is that, for the first time playing D&D, I felt like I was playing a game instead of crafting a story. For folks that like 4th edition, have a good time with it, and craft cool stories - great! It's just not for me. As such, I'm hoping to get some cleaner mechanics in DDN, but with the feel of editions 1 through 3.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.



We are having some kind of disconnect here.

The choice between 3.xE and 4E is at-will(I attack it with my sword or trick the DM into something better) and AEDU (I attack it with my sword, slice a group, or whirl around the battlefield hitting many enemies, or page 42 it will realistic guidelines that I don't have to argue with the DM)...



I think the problem is that by using phrases like "trick the DM into something better," it seems to suggest editions prior to 4E involved the players vs. the DM. I've never had that problem, and never had an issue in any edition with a player wanting to do something cool in combat. Your mileage may vary.






Mine has. My experience is based on "DM rules Precedent." If the rogue was fighting in a kitchen and decided to throw a bag of flour at the assassin and the DM decided that if it hit he would be blinded for a round, then in most rpg systems this would be considered some kind of stunt effect and the table would be impressed with the rogue's player improvisation. Some games would give bonuses (instead of the penalties D&D would assign) to the action. And there would be penalties involved because in my D&D group of friends however this sets a "rule precedent" that flour is blinding powder that can be bought for 1 sp/pound, and every combat would start off with a flour barrage to blind the enemy if the penalties were low enough. Or the penalties would be too high and the initial attempt would fail and the rogue just wasted a turn that he should have been full rounding. 
I blame D&D's faux-simulation bent because if the players start abusing a clever stunt and the DM has to either talk to them OOC to tell them to knock it off or assign a bigger penalty which will result in arguments of "an inconsistent world" or engage in an arms race and later encounters have all the orcs are equipped with anti-flour goggles. Other systems that aren't simulationists don't pretend to be simulationists and just state that overusing stunts or combos means they get less effective (Exalted stunt system for example). And since this is stated plainly the rules arguments are lessened. 
Which brings me to an aside that I flew more empowered as a DM in 4e than 3.X because 4e just lets me do whatever I want with NPCs, monsters etc. How many zombies does the evil cleric command? 
4e answer: as many as I want. How?: evil cleric ritual/blessing of the Dark One/whatever.
3.X answer: based on the cleric castor level to determine how much HD worth of zombies he can command. How? command undead attempts or create undead spells only. 
Which makes me wonder how much "empowerment" I'm going to get from 5e.  

Flavor in the 4e phb. 
Three words: Golden. Wyvern. Adept.  If you don't recognize them, I wouldn't blame you. During the build up to 4e, WOTC released a preview of some wizard feats one of which was GWA and talked about the three main schools of wizards each one focused on the different implements wizards could pick in the phb (wand, orb or staff). If you picked wands you were familiar with the golden wyvern wizard guild, you went there for school, your master mentored you in it, or yourself taught style just happened to use wands as well. The internet promptly flipped its **** over it. 
"What's with all this backed in fluff"
"My homebrew setting doesn't even have wyverns in it, why should I have to have a school with that name?" etc, etc. 
So it all got removed, GWA was released as the feat Spell Reach and the different wizard schools weren't mentioned at all. Now the question is how much over fluff was removed? Was there stuff about rogue guilds? Longer power descriptions? No idea and impossible to say. Though it was a design goal to let players decided how exactly their powers worked and looked (but they still gave you the flavor blurbs on every power to work off of) so maybe it was just a wizard thing that got dropped. But I do blame the edition wars for at least some of the "dryness" while reading the phb.

That's the big thing.  4e recognized the inherent division between the RP and the G, recognized that if you're good at RP you don't need rules for it, and that if you're new at RP you still don't need rules for it, just guidance, and that rules only really serve a purpose when we need adjudication that can't be handled by RP.


If I'm understanding you correctly, I completely agree with your conclusion, but completely disagree with your premise. To me, there should be no division between the rules and the RP; they should flow together so organically that you only see them as "rules" when out of character.

Granted, I'm totally guessing at what you mean by "G", so I may be arguing something completely different. ^_^;


The rules exist to take the G part beyond the five-year-old Cowboys & Indians game.  "Bang!  I got you!  No you didn't!  Yes you did!  No you didn't!

If you're good enough at RP to know when it's appropriate to just say "I leap forward and slice my greatsword, three orc heads hit the floor" then you don't need rules.  You're doing improv theater, more or less.  When someone starts doing that every turn all session long, that's when you have a problem and that's when the rules step in.

In an idealized RP environment, we wouldn't need a rulebook because all participants would just know.  If that describes your group, then you're not the kind of people I'm really talking about.  For you, what's in the rulebooks really doesn't matter.

But there's another more advanced style of play that goes beyond Cowboys & Indians, yet appreciates the game as a game.  For you, and many other people who dislike 4e, the game was a means to an end:  a skeleton upon which you drape the flesh of the story.  For people like me, who enjoy doing things like watching professional starcraft matches, the game is an end in and of itself.  If you're getting bored after 5-10 minutes, then I would argue that the fight isn't interesting enough.  Now, it'd be nice if each turn didn't take 5-10 minutes, but that's just due to inexperience.  A well-oiled group of 4e players that know each other's styles and how to work together will tear through encounters far faster than the average group.  Not just because they're stronger players, but because they don't spend ages agonizing over the potential choices (which is another odd apparent contradiction:  people say that 4e stifles creativity on one hand, and then on the other hand complain about choice paralysis).  To me, watching a dynamic, engaging fight with multiple phases unfold as a challenge to the players is as fulfilling as what happened with the story.  To others, it's not.  But recognizing that distinction is key to understanding how the different camps view the same printed pages.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

You do realize "Tome of Battle" was a beta test for 4E right? It was one of the last books published and they did it to get the reactions of players.

Also so they added some words and defined some things. It's called keywords so everyone is on the same page. How does that take away your immersion? Once you learn what the words mean its just like before, you know after you learned the technical definitions for 3.xE or 2E, or 1E.

I'm sorry, but your going to have to be more precise. Maybe you had a 'feeling' you didn't like about 4E, but try to dig deep past the surface perceptions and find out what really turned you off? Was it that you had to learn an entirely new set of key words and rules?



You'll have to try seeing things from a different perspective if you want to understand what we're talking about. But as I mentioned in my original post, this thread isn't for you, it's for people that didn't like 4th edition.

Anyways, I'll still try to answer your post but I have a feeling we're disconnected (to use your own words). It's not just the keywords that give this "board game" impression, it's a combination of multiple things. AEDU for non casters, seperation of fluff and mechanics (the text in italic), use of codified keywords, powers represented as "cards", diagonal movement, square-shaped fireballs, measurement expressed in squares, etc... All of these things just add up and give me the overall impression that the PHB contains rules to playing a board game.
I think Mand12's post above sums up what creates the "board game" feel. In previous editions, the rules existed to guide RP, and to give go-to mechanics for how you might represent the world and how it reacts to your influence. In 4E, the rules trusted that you could roleplay without their help, and instead focused on difining balanced mechanics that could be used for the game aspect. My preference is for the latter, but I'd be fooling myself to think that it isn't a very different feel from previous editions' approach. I can certainly see why this drastic change in approach would feel alienating to those who greatly enjoyed the way things worked before, and I wish there was a system that could accomodate both styles.
In 4E, the rules trusted that you could roleplay without their help, and instead focused on difining balanced mechanics that could be used for the game aspect.

When everybody gets a couple dozen combat powers (and not much else), it's just inevitible that combat will take over the bulk of the table-time.
Anyone that says that 3.xE or before was better because their spells had multiple round durations clearly hasn't seen the SUSTAIN {MINOR, MOVE, STANDARD} at the bottom of many of the 4E spells.


Or "Save ends."

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
In 4E, the rules trusted that you could roleplay without their help, and instead focused on difining balanced mechanics that could be used for the game aspect.

When everybody gets a couple dozen combat powers (and not much else), it's just inevitible that combat will take over the bulk of the table-time.



It is certainly the most likely outcome, given that the system lends itself to that. It makes sense to play to the game's strengths - it does combat well, so it's kind of a waste if you don't have frequent, tactical combat. However, it is not inevitable. I'm currently playing in a 4E game where we regularly go multiple sessions in a row with no combat at all. The expectation for 4E is three combat encounters in a session, and we usually have one combat encounter every three sessions. It does help that the group is all people who LARP primarily - we're all very used to going through an entire night of roleplay and only making a few tests (or rolls, as the case may be) the entire time.

I won't pretend our circumstances are the norm. Far from it, I fully expect that most play groups will end up in combat the majority of the time, and I can't blame them for it. but the truth of the matter is, combat isn't inevitable. And I would prefer to have a balanced, streamlined system for combat on the occasion that it does happen, and other than that, I don't really need rules. Hell, I would be happy playing improv games and then switching to Warhammer 40k to resolve combat.

 That's not the case for everyone. I completely understand the desire for more explicit guidence on non-combat aspects of the game. These things don't get in my way, I use the rules I like and change the ones I don't. As I said, it's very obvious why such a shift in focus would be alienating to those who liked the game the way it was. I was simply pointing out what I believe to be the origin of the "boardgame feel." It feels like a boardgame because that was the focus - creating efficient game rules, rather than simulated realism in roleplay. No judgment one way or the other, both have their own merits.
I like a bit more G in my RP.  RP rules that feel like they are the equivalent of playing five-year-old Cowboys & Indians if you dont think too much about them or look at them sideways.

Maybe even henchmen with more then 1 hp.

Member of the Axis of Awesome

Show
Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
What made me not like 4th Edition? Many things. I admit that these are all instances of taste and
preference. I also admit that if 4th Edition had not been called "Dungeons and Dragons," I probably
would have liked it.

The first thing that broke the feel of D&D for me was NOT the Wizard. It was the Cleric. For me, a D&D
Cleric casts a healing spell, and it heals. That Healing spell does NOT make the TARGET use up any of
their resources. In 4th Edition, though, a Cleric's Cure Wounds would cause the target to use a Healing Surge,
but get a bonus on the healing.

I did not like the At Will/Encounter/Daily/Utility set up, either. First, a Wizards should NOT have "at will" spells
without some commitment of resources to get them. Either the Wizard would have to spend the time to
make a wand that can cast the spell, have to spend a feat(with potential pre-requisites) or give
something up. Wizards, to me, were the "I have to shepherd my spells until they are truly needed, because
otherwise, I will be a sitting duck." Fighters should have either their combat styles(2nd edition Players Options),
or their combat feats, which provide great effect, but for lower damage then the burst damage a wizard provides. Of course, over the course of a fight, the Fighter would, ultimately, deal about the same amount
of damage as the Wizard, however, the Wizards was all front-loaded.  That did not really happen with the AEDU
setup. The Wizard always used their At Will Power until things got desperate. The Figher also used his
At Will Power, and, in fact, there was never a reason to just do a basic attack with their weapon.

I did not like the lessening of the importance of the 9 Schools of Magic. Heck, did we even have Necromancy,
Enchantment, Conjuration/Summoning, Abjuration, Divination spells? It seemed like most of them were Invokation and Evokation. And, wasn't feath Fall a 1/day Utility?(It has been a while since I dusted off the 4E books). Similarly, Wizards were the ones who researched and created new spells, while in 4E, it seemed pretty much that Wizards did not get that ability anymore.

Also, frankly, the whole "Page 42 DMG" option is not the same thing as allowing improvisation. Improvisation is when there is something your character can do, and it is not covered by the rules. Like, say, I wanted my Elven Ranger to hang upside down from a tree branch and shoot a target, then drop down onto the bad guy underneath...4E goes "That is not one of your powers, and thus is unbalanced, so no, you cannot do it." 2 E goes "Make a dexterity and strength check, and give yourself a -2 penalty on your attack roll for the arrow shot, and then make an attack roll with a -4 penalty, while I roll Save v Breath Weapons." 3.X would handle it "OK..make an Acrobatics check with Synergy bonus from Climb, DC 20. Give yourself a -2 penalty on the shot. Make an attack roll on the guy under you, while I roll a reflex save for him."

Now, to the people who go "But the classes aren't all the same" in 4E..Yeah, they are different..sort of. However, all their powers are pretty much combat only. The skills rules are very poor. Heck, there really is
no way in it of learning new skills, Multiclassing was pretty much gone(Seriously: A fighter/Wizard is not someone who can cast 3 spells....), and over all, it just had a very different feel because the system seemed
more a marketing tool to sell miniatures(right down to the whole making monster stat cards and putting them
in the miniatures in some cases, instead of putting them in the Monster Manuals).
I like a bit more G in my RP.  RP rules that feel like they are the equivalent of playing five-year-old Cowboys & Indians if you dont think too much about them or look at them sideways.


I agree completely. The rules should be very solid, and able to handle disputes efficiently and impartially. This is the major failing of the "cowboys & indians" style, wherein all options are available, but there is no unbiased source to turn to when players disagree how the results of an action should be resolved. This is why I prefer rules that most 4E detractors call "gamey." I want enough "game" in my roleplay so that there is a definitive answer right there in the book when rules disputes arise. This allows me to improvise to my heart's content, and if disputes arrise, they can be dealt with with very little fuss, and we can get back to the roleplaying.

Maybe I don't understand the previous edition camps' preference of balance between "roleplaying" and "game". The argument that you need more game in your roleplay seems contrary to the criticisms of 4E that I usually see, which are more along the lines of there not being enough roleplay in the tactical mini's game/mmo that they imply 4E is too similar to.
I think Mand12's post above sums up what creates the "board game" feel. In previous editions, the rules existed to guide RP, and to give go-to mechanics for how you might represent the world and how it reacts to your influence. In 4E, the rules trusted that you could roleplay without their help, and instead focused on difining balanced mechanics that could be used for the game aspect. My preference is for the latter, but I'd be fooling myself to think that it isn't a very different feel from previous editions' approach. I can certainly see why this drastic change in approach would feel alienating to those who greatly enjoyed the way things worked before, and I wish there was a system that could accomodate both styles.


That's not the case for everyone. I completely understand the desire for more explicit guidence on non-combat aspects of the game. These things don't get in my way, I use the rules I like and change the ones I don't. As I said, it's very obvious why such a shift in focus would be alienating to those who liked the game the way it was. I was simply pointing out what I believe to be the origin of the "boardgame feel." It feels like a boardgame because that was the focus - creating efficient game rules, rather than simulated realism in roleplay. No judgment one way or the other, both have their own merits.


I had arrived at pretty much the same conclusion. Unfortunately, this might be a much harder issue to resolve than mechanical disputes. It's a fundamentally different approach to the game. Although I agree that neither style of play is inherently more "right" than the other, and hope both styles can peacefully coexist in 5e, it reminds me of a quote one of my friends/DMs/players once said: "[4e] is a game for people who'd really rather be playing miniatures."