This is really making me appreciate 4e

Maybe I'm not alone?  I've been reminiscing about 3.5 since I heard about these upcoming playtests and since getting the platest rules and remembering all the things I don't like about 4e I'm really starting to appreciate 4e again.

I do plan to fire up a playtest and contribute my feedback but I think I truly appreciate what they did with 4e a lot more now and understand how hard it must have been as well as how hard it must be hearing people make claims such as not being able to roleplay in 4e (which is just plain silly since the roleplay is always player and DM driven not combat rulesets)...  maybe I'm not alone? 
For the fighter I just want combat manuvers that I can perform each round.     If a fighter has 3 attacks per round then have the more powerful manuvers expend all of his attacks in that round.    We don't need to limit the fighter to using a particular power only once or twice a day.      I shouldn't need a power to trip or disarm someone.  Those should be standard combat actions that I can use all the time for any of my attacks.     I don't want a power for that.   I don't want to be limited to N powers per day or N powers per encounter.

I think I'm starting to understand your view - you don't feel like a fighter has nothing to do but "I hit it with my axe. Again." because you place more importance on improvisation and flavor over mechanics. Whereas I see the fighter have exactly one power, and think, "where are the rules for doing absolutely anything else?" Sure, it's up to DM fiat what your trip attempt does, or what benefit flipping over a table has, but I like to have the powers and mechanics that I can put a finger on and say, "this is how accurate this power is. This is how much damage it does. This is how far it pushes" because then I can incorporate that into character design and strategy.

That, and daily fighter powers are awesome. Think Rain of Steel, where everything adjacent takes some damage at the start of their turn. It's a pretty powerful ability, one that I'd have trouble successfuly improvising into a game, but it's powerful enough that you could justify only having the stamina to pull it off once a day. Sure, it's a power, and if that makes it feel like a "spell", then I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree, but it gives a level 1 fighter more to do than just "I hit it with my axe. Again."

@Tektonik - You're counter-arguement is backwards and therefor not relevant. Yes, games have been made off of the 1/2/3e mechanics. Great, that means the games were made off of those and not what the OP said. The OP didn't even say 4e felt like a video game (though it could EASILY be taken as such): he said 4e feels like WoW as a table-top game...and it does. I look at the AEDU system like I would think about the cooldown timers on abilities in WoW: each category having different cooldown speeds. 




No, you are wrong. 4e system is not compatible with a video game, that is why no one has used the 4e system to make a decent if any video game.

People have used the 2/3e system to make video games because it translates very easily over.

You are arguing based on 'feeling' which is subjective. Fact is, developers are happier working with the 2/3e system to make video games than they will with 4e because 4e is not intuitive in making a video game. 4e is much closer to a miniture game, the roots of DnD.
In other words, it's a complaint from people that want some classes to simply be better then others.

4th is certainly like a video game in one, very crutical respect: it's clearly and intentionally designed with an idea of balance and fun for all players in mind. That this approach has been explicitly rejected by some gamers is... disturbing.

Seconded. Linear fighters, quadratic wizards doesn't appeal to me - I want every class to be useful, versatile and balanced, and can't really get why anyone else wouldn't. A wizard that plink-plink-plinks with MM after round two doesn't appeal to me - I want at-wills and encounters that still give wizards a chance to be genuinely useful any time of day. Glad they added cantrips, but all classes felt useful in 4E, in every round of combat (except, ironically enough, Essentials classes - which were a throwback to earlier editions).





I don't have a problem with class balance.   I just have a problem with playing a fighter that feels like a spell caster.     When all the classes are basicaly cut from the same mechanical pizza I get boared really fast.  

For that reason, I'm really hopeing 5e does away with daily and encounter powers for martial classes.     So far I'm not impressed with Fighters Surge.   

For the fighter I just want combat manuvers that I can perform each round.     If a fighter has 3 attacks per round then have the more powerful manuvers expend all of his attacks in that round.    We don't need to limit the fighter to using a particular power only once or twice a day.      I shouldn't need a power to trip or disarm someone.  Those should be standard combat actions that I can use all the time for any of my attacks.     I don't want a power for that.   I don't want to be limited to N powers per day or N powers per encounter.      




So if they have options to play a fighter that does not have interesting options (by having daily or encounter abilities that are as fun as a mage's) will you complain if the have fighters that also DO have those interesting options in a balanced way with the other heroic characters in the game?

Sorry you are not persuasive.
 
I think I'm starting to understand your view - you don't feel like a fighter has nothing to do but "I hit it with my axe. Again."


Well, it's true - one is never limited to what is on their character sheet for gameplay options. But considering classes like the Cleric (and, more importantly, Barbarians, Paladins & their ilk) will probably all have lots of cool abilities, AND they can improvise actions, the Fighter here doesn't even feel like an actual class to me.
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 ****.
No, you are wrong. 4e system is not compatible with a video game, that is why no one has used the 4e system to make a decent if any video game.

People have used the 2/3e system to make video games because it translates very easily over.

You are arguing based on 'feeling' which is subjective. Fact is, developers are happier working with the 2/3e system to make video games than they will with 4e because 4e is not intuitive in making a video game. 4e is much closer to a miniture game, the roots of DnD.



Honestly, nobody's making a video game out of 4e because (surprise) World of Warcraft already cornered the not-playing-on-a-grid part of that market and there are already a thousand and one grid-based tactical RPGs out there: I can name FFT, Tactics Ogre, Disgaea, right off the top of my head as MAJOR and popular game franchises that pretty eloquently refine the AEDU stuff into a video-game format. 

Given that context, there's no need to turn 4e into a video game whereas when 3e came out it actually created a novel new sub-genre of CRPG that wasn't just a clone of the japanese style.

4e's a good game, a solid game. But it's alos a somewhat advanced way of playing the game. 3.5 is also fairly advanced, just in a different direction. The idea of Next is to preserve both these styles of play. The core document is great imo, for a simpler, sort of foundational type of game. Back in the day it was called Basic D&D. Thouogh there are differences, I've noticed several posters comment on how this document feels alot like B/X D&D. But it's just a start, right? I am positive that the 4e options, like powers, advanced combat manuevers, mini based grid combat, attacks of opportunity and the like will all be a part of Next in the months to come.

Keep making the case that these things need added in modules or you won't be interested in playing. And these modules should work into your play seamlessly. But for now we are focused on the core game.
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Hello to all. I would like to spend just few words to say that i'm really happy that people is now understanding how is clear and how mechanics are simply and effective in 4ed. I played all the editions of dnd and i'm actually playing 4ed since start. Of course the 4ed has it's own problems but it's very easy to understand, both for players and for masters. It's linear i would say. Reading the playtest of dndnext i just did found nothing new, it sounded to me like 3.5 ed. 

Actually the goal for wizard is to put on the worktable what of 4ed was not working, fix it and introduce something new (advantage and disadvantage is an interesting system). We used to say that if you want to know where to go you have to remember where you came from ( = don't forget advanced dnd, 3ed, 3.5ed etc and 4ed)
i would suggest to work on a 4.5 edition instead of a brand new 5 edition.

my 2 cents (sry for my bad english)

 
Well, here's one. I'm upset at the lack of class balance. If only someone had learned lessons from video games, where you could have a constructive, versatile and useful play experience no matter what class you chose!



As I said, previously that's just a revenge post.     

We will not see the outrage that 4e generated across every forum and youtube video regarding a perceived(rightly or wrongly) similarty or lack of similarty to WoW and other MMORPG's.  

Do a google search on "D&D 4th edition".   Let me know how many posts and videos you find with people slaming 4e because it's too much like an MMORPG.     

My point is that you won't see that with 5e.     It will have different criticisms, but it won't be flamed for being like an MMORPG.  


I was going to write a detailed response about how 4th edition killed DnD for me, but pretty much just reverse the feelings of Starkiller_ above and you will get the gist of what I feel.  Glad to be on the development floor for Next, hopefully the community can help build a better DnD.



I'm with you there!  I feel like I am coming back to the game I really want to play.  pathfinder is great, but ultimately I like the D&D fluff (before 4e changed it for no good reason).  I have not yet played the rules but I have read the rules and they are AWESOME.  This gives me hope for the future of D&D, where before it looked dire.





+1
 same here 


It will have different criticisms, but it won't be flamed for being like an MMORPG.  


Nah, because Diablo3 is the hot thing of the moment.  It'll be flamed for being like that.

Including the horrible day1 server issues.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
It will have different criticisms, but it won't be flamed for being like an MMORPG.  


Nah, because Diablo3 is the hot thing of the moment.  It'll be flamed for being like that.

Including the horrible day1 server issues.


There are swords in that game right?

There are swords in this game...

Oh sweet mercy. Surprised
Not alone.

I was a pretty reluctant convert to 4e. While I never had the notion stuck in my head that martial classes can't  have cool abilities (I loved Book of Nine Swords), there was just so much that I felt was missing; I missed the massive spell lists, I missed character-build modularity (the freedom to combine anything with anything from anywhere fairly easily), I thought that some of the mechanics were wierd. (I kind of wish that they had chosen a different name for 4e Saving Throws, because that confused a lot of people.) It was definitely a "Who Moved My Cheese?" moment.

With the benefit of hindsight, I no longer see it as "Who Moved My Cheese?" as much as "Fifth Labour of Hercules". 4e, incredibly cinematic, built to play like a game rather than like a simulation, designed for adventures rather than a demonstration of how magic lets heroes circumvent adventures, devoted to letting everyone be cool, elegant and consistant, was the game system it turned out I'd been waiting for all along. The design chats leading up to 4e had spoken to me, spoken to issues that I had felt with 3.5, but I had been initially turned off by the game's weirdness. Once I actually got my hands into it, I was really deeply impressed at how they'd addressed the issues I'd had and had in addition built up what I consider to be a really brilliant (if now always perfectly executed) role system.

Don't get me wrong; 4e has some flaws, and I was pretty displeased with Essentials, which I felt addressed very few of them while simultaneously introducing some new ones. The various bandages applied to some of 4e's initial issues helped those problems, but simultaneously drained the system of a lot of its elegance. Some of what I see as major flaws aren't even things new to D&D, just things that I'd never noticed before because they were buried under much more glaring and severe issues.

I'm assuming that using various modules and such it'll be possible to get reasonably close, and hopefully even better. There's already some unfortunate rot at the core with the regression to the old spell resolution system, but nothing that I'm too distressed about. (I'm actually more distressed about how they plan to actually present all these options; it strikes me as super ambitious, and maybe I can be forgiven for being uncertain exactly how much flexibility will make it into the final product.)
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When people say 4E was like a computer game they weren't suggesting it was intended to become one, but rather that it used a lot of the same game mechanics.  I really believe 4E was an attempt to make D&D very approachable for people playing games like WoW.  And I think in that regard it succeeded.  Aggro, DPS, DOT are all familiar concepts.  Character class power advancement worked the same for all classes.  There were 4 basic types of characters.  There were ongoing effects that faded over time.  There was lots of healing in combat.  There were lots of powers that did fantastical things to the bad guys (like making them move to certain spots).  There were lots of conditions that interacted in complex ways with other powers.  Managing all those interactions and effects over time would be a lot easier if a computer was doing it for you.  

I stopped playing 4E because the combat took too long and was too slow.  And it was too slow because of all the very complicated interactions between conditions and powers.  Having people delay so that 4 characters can each do a specific action, in a specific order, at just the right range so that the maximum number of bad guys get the most adverse effect possible.  It takes a lot of planning and coordination.  It's not roleplaying, it's combat simulation.  Your characters wouldn't have time to plan that in a real situation.  But all those same mechanics work fine in a computer game because you're playing in real-time.  You can't do anything more advanced than a few coordinated moves that you can rely on in a pinch.  You can't create a new grand stategy in a second or two.

During, and after we stopped playing, I tried to come up with house rules to address it.  Timed turns punish those players with more considerate playstyles (some people don't react well to being rushed).  I thought about having secret initiative and rerolling it for them each round but that was cumbersome.  I thought about doing away with delays but there were other mechanics that were adversely affected.  The whole 4E system is fairly tightly designed to be a coherent whole.  That's good if you like it.  But making changes can quickly introduce game balance issues for a game system that in my mind had already sacrificed a lot to create that game balance.

At the end of the day, I just got tired of long monotonous battles.  Expecting people to roleplay after one of those was futile.


Honestly, nobody's making a video game out of 4e because (surprise) World of Warcraft already cornered the not-playing-on-a-grid part of that market and there are already a thousand and one grid-based tactical RPGs out there: I can name FFT, Tactics Ogre, Disgaea, right off the top of my head as MAJOR and popular game franchises that pretty eloquently refine the AEDU stuff into a video-game format. 

Given that context, there's no need to turn 4e into a video game whereas when 3e came out it actually created a novel new sub-genre of CRPG that wasn't just a clone of the japanese style.




You couldn't be more wrong. Have you even played those games to their fullest? Combats take around 5-15 min and you have to constantly keep micromanaging debuffs, locations, etc. Seriously, you are just way off base. AEDU is not specific to 4e and is not the reason 4e is like vg or not able to be in a vg.

Powers have existed in every version of DnD, 4e just gave equal set to each class (which is actually what you have a problem with, not AEDU). 3e you had at-will attacks for rogues and rangers and fighters, with other actions they could take (tumble, bull rush). Clerics and Wizards had those too and then they also had a slew of daily powers, called spells. 

4e doesn't transcribe well to a video game because it fits much better in a more tactical medium like minitures. To make a 4e video game true to 4e would require a lack of flow that is required these days. Movement and action economy is very strict in 4e, with interupts and the like. Those things are the norm in 4e whereas in previous additions they were mostly exceptions and things flowed easier for a video game medium.

2e and 3e didn't create a sub genre of CRPG. That existed well before, they are a type of western RPG which is more openeded whereas JRPG tend to be more railroad and main story line driven. 2e and 3e allowed for a medium of of western rpg but NWN and BG could have existed with different rule sets...those rule sets were just already there and transcribed to video games easier.

Your assumptions on 4e, 2e, 3e and video games is just completely off base and has little factual bearing. Lucky this is the internet where false information can be paraded as fact with no consequence other than looking like a fool. 
Not alone at all (as pages after pages of replies shows).  WoTC is going the wrong way.  They are not making the game better they are making the game more like it was, and somehow even worse (new skill system...ug).  There was a reason the game became what it did, they've forgotten all those reasons.

4th Ed brought in new players.  It brought me back as a player and primarily the DM.  There is very little in 5th that makes me want to try it out and a lot that makes me want to avoid it.  Sadly, once 4th is no longer activily supported - I'm likely just to hang up my RPG days.  5th ed makes me not want to role play anymore period

That said - I'll judge it on release day.  I'm still going to try to do everything I can to guide the game into something that can be good.  It's just so far away from that right now, it's hard to know where to even start the feedback...
Combats take around 5-15 min and you have to constantly keep micromanaging debuffs, locations, etc.

To make a 4e video game true to 4e would require a lack of flow that is required these days. Movement and action economy is very strict in 4e, with interupts and the like.



I don't understand how you can make both of these claims in the same post and then tell me that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Seriously.
For the fighter I just want combat manuvers that I can perform each round.     If a fighter has 3 attacks per round then have the more powerful manuvers expend all of his attacks in that round.    We don't need to limit the fighter to using a particular power only once or twice a day.      I shouldn't need a power to trip or disarm someone.  Those should be standard combat actions that I can use all the time for any of my attacks.     I don't want a power for that.   I don't want to be limited to N powers per day or N powers per encounter.

I think I'm starting to understand your view - you don't feel like a fighter has nothing to do but "I hit it with my axe. Again." because you place more importance on improvisation and flavor over mechanics. Whereas I see the fighter have exactly one power, and think, "where are the rules for doing absolutely anything else?" Sure, it's up to DM fiat what your trip attempt does, or what benefit flipping over a table has, but I like to have the powers and mechanics that I can put a finger on and say, "this is how accurate this power is. This is how much damage it does. This is how far it pushes" because then I can incorporate that into character design and strategy.

That, and daily fighter powers are awesome. Think Rain of Steel, where everything adjacent takes some damage at the start of their turn. It's a pretty powerful ability, one that I'd have trouble successfuly improvising into a game, but it's powerful enough that you could justify only having the stamina to pull it off once a day. Sure, it's a power, and if that makes it feel like a "spell", then I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree, but it gives a level 1 fighter more to do than just "I hit it with my axe. Again."




My stance on this is the same as what is found in 2e DMG .    If all you're doing it hit/miss basic attacks then you are playing the game incorrectly.   It's really up to you and the DM to make vivid combat sences come to life.  No amount of powers or mechanics will ever change that fact.   

For this reason I fully support "Improvise" being listed as a combat option in 5e.    It's what the game is all about for me. 

The game play for martial class should be more like, "ok I'm going to leap up on the table kick the lantern full of oil on the troll's face and disarm the orc holding the short bow by severing his wrist."   The dm responds and tells the player make skill checks and a few attack rolls.   At no time did I require a daily power called "Leaping Lanny Poffo's Blinding Disarm".  

That's one reason, I honestly hated playing a 4e fighter.    I always felt like I was being robbed of my multiple attacks per round.  I couldn't do anything that was more powerful or on par with one of my encounter or daily powers.   Unless the DM ruled that improvised actions are more powerfull or on par with encounter and daily powers I was out of luck.    

As a martial class I should be able to perform the action power over and over again.  Sure I might run out of stamina and perhaps I should incur penalties, but I shouldn't be prevented from trying the same thing several times.      If I want to toss halfings out the tavern window each round I don't need a power for that.  Halfling tossing shouldn't be a limited per day power,  and as far as I'm concerned it's an inalienable dwarven right.

I  think that limited actions per day is not the way to design the fighter or any martial class.    Martial classes don't access magic or some other mystical resource.  There just isn't a replenishment/cool down mechanism needed for any fighter manuver.     There are better solutions that fit with the martial class a lot more than simply using the same mechanic as the spell casters. 


Not alone at all (as pages after pages of replies shows).  WoTC is going the wrong way.  They are not making the game better they are making the game more like it was, and somehow even worse (new skill system...ug).  There was a reason the game became what it did, they've forgotten all those reasons.

4th Ed brought in new players.  It brought me back as a player and primarily the DM.  There is very little in 5th that makes me want to try it out and a lot that makes me want to avoid it.  Sadly, once 4th is no longer activily supported - I'm likely just to hang up my RPG days.  5th ed makes me not want to role play anymore period

That said - I'll judge it on release day.  I'm still going to try to do everything I can to guide the game into something that can be good.  It's just so far away from that right now, it's hard to know where to even start the feedback...



Sadly, looking at the forums over the last 24 hours, one thing has become crystal clear: that the two groups of players are interested in mutually exclusive things.

Personally, I see the flaws in 4th, and I would welcome a 4.5 that fixed the flaws but kept the core mechanics. One thing is abundantly clear, 5th is not building off the base of 4th edition.

This is a clear, fundamental aspect of the material we have been presented. It is also, if the goal is to keep players that really like 4th (presuming they think like me), then it is falling down right out of the gate.



Quote from Lesp:
"I was a pretty reluctant convert to 4e. While I never had the notion stuck in my head that martial classes can't  have cool abilities (I loved Book of Nine Swords), there was just so much that I felt was missing; I missed the massive spell lists, I missed character-build modularity (the freedom to combine anything with anything from anywhere fairly easily), I thought that some of the mechanics were weird. (I kind of wish that they had chosen a different name for 4e Saving Throws, because that confused a lot of people.) It was definitely a "Who Moved My Cheese?" moment."

I had this exact experience.  I had started playing right as 3.5 hit and I loved being able to take an archetype and then apply mechanics to it.  When I make a character I don't touch a character sheet or rule book first, I grab a notebook and jot down some "core" things that the character will be able to do.  Then I reach for the rule books and find mechanics that do what I want.  3rd edition was fantastic in this way, there were so many options that you could re-create with a pretty good degree of accuracy any archetype you had in your head.  One thing I didn't even realize was wrong (I played mainly casters) was game balance.  When 4th hit I hated the REALLY BAD multiclass rules and limited options.  It was only the insistence of one of my roommates that our group made the switch one weekend just to test the waters.  I was immediately in love with AEUD, and the fighter was surprisingly useful!  

I have no problem with one unifying mechanic that pulls things together from a rules/meta perspective.  My group has enough problems with "dropping out of game" or "leaving character" as it is.  The main thing that continuously surprise me as I read comments to articles or forum posts is that people blame 4th for not having enough role playing.  I think AEUD was the best thing to happen to role-playing, once you have played one character you can play anything with very little "training"!  So you want to play a wizard this time instead of a fighter, it works the same except you want to be 20 foot away instead of next to the bad guy.  "High level" (as in top down) mechanical consistency cannot be understated as a firm foundation for making good players play better.  

I have not had a chance to play the 5th play test set yet, but I have read them through multiple times (except the DM guide thing, read it once and recycled that page).  My main concern is that you are setting up a system where the DM has nothing to stand on but their own hot air.  For experienced players/DMs or master thespians (actors and orators) this would be like taking off shackles and running around in a meadow of wildflowers and songbirds.  The only thing I need to add to this analogy is that you always had the key to those shackles...  Rule 0 is called rule zero because it comes before all other rules.  I cannot count the number of times that I have had to specifically state "Rule 0" to make particular players stop arguing.  When I have to crack the whip or bring down the hammer, choose your analogy, it puts fractures in the group.  Someone is mad because they didn't get their way or someone else is just as mad because I let so-and-so do it before.  DnD is a social game with a social dynamic, I have never seen a DnD group break up due to anything but social issues.  This could be bullying in the group, incompatible personalities, narcissism, or just flat out middle school tattle tailing/he said she said/bull $h1t.  This can be avoided by giving the DM some ground to stand on with clear rules.  Rule 0 always applies, a DM can always change the rules.  So far the rules as I see them are so open to DM interpretation that the players will always have to ask "mother may I" to see if they can do something on their turn.  You think combat or action resolution takes forever in 4th, try having every player barter with the DM for what you can and can't do every turn.  This system will work fantastically for those groups that have an established social contract and everyone behaves civilly.  If these forums are any indication of the fan base of DnD, you may want to reconsider making them your sales representatives.  There is as much middle school drama here as I have seen on a playground, except no one can blow a whistle and pull the two 5th graders apart at the local coffee shop or FLGS.  

In closing to this thesis on game philosophy, I would like to ask the people who read this post to be the model DnD players that I would hope to run into at a FLGS.  It is only through us players and DMs that we can bring other people into our hobby, it is also through us that we lose many interested parties due to petty issues and differences in opinion.  Keep it civil, keep it academic and we can all at least walk away a little more enlightened than we started.

I, for one, will not miss 4th Ed a bit. I bought it when it came out, tried several times to play it and like it, and ultimately couldn't.

I like my RPG games with some RP in them. I know I'm saying that a lot, but it's true. 4th Edition just felt like it was built for people who wanted to roll dice and run from combat to combat.



This is a statement I've never understood. I've played several editions, and I've never had a problem with the RP side of things in 4e. In fact, I've built a live D&D comedy show around 4e rules and Essentials characters.  Of the 75 minutes of stage time (45-minute 1st act, 15-minute intermission, 30-minute final act), about 15 of those are devoted to combat encounters. The remaining time is role-playing, character exploration, and a lot of puns.

But back on topic, I enjoy 4e, and I know that these rules are in a super-early form right now. I totally hear what everybody is saying on both sides of the subject, and I hope to see the feedback from fans of 4e make its way back to WotC so those of us who enjoy that edition can see some of the better stuff make its way in.

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I feel like the designers failed to ask an important question as they made D&DN: Is there a compelling reason for things to work this way?

Take random hit points. Is there a reason for them to be random? Clearly it wasn't for balance, because the more chaotic your  numbers are, the less you can predict the effect of those numbers. Was it for a fun factor? I hope if that was the thinking that they considered whether it was just fun for them or if they thought it would be generally fun for everyone. Personally, I think if I'm a fighter who happened to roll 2, 5, 3 on my first three HP rolls, I'd be pretty angry. I wouldn't yell, "Eureka, what challenge!" Likewise if I roll 10, 8, 12, I might find the game easier than it should be.

Sure, the DM can normalize the results, let the player reroll, ignore certain numbers, whatever - but why even have the random HP system, then?

It just seems like the #1 reason for many of the decisions is nostalgia. D&DN should aspire to be a better game, whether that's one that resembles 2nd, 3rd or 4th edition most, but it seems as though progress in game design was ignored in favor of making a product that the designers hoped long-time players would cheer for. 
On a side note, the argument weaving in and out of this thread about what systems are more like video games/have had video games made of them is not at all productive to this thread or forum.  This thread/forum is about reactions to the playtest material and our thoughts on how to improve them, not exchanging (sometimes) logically faulty arguments about things that are (mainly) not even Wizards supported/products.
I, for one, will not miss 4th Ed a bit. I bought it when it came out, tried several times to play it and like it, and ultimately couldn't.

I like my RPG games with some RP in them. I know I'm saying that a lot, but it's true. 4th Edition just felt like it was built for people who wanted to roll dice and run from combat to combat.



This is a statement I've never understood. I've played several editions, and I've never had a problem with the RP side of things in 4e. In fact, I've built a live D&D comedy show around 4e rules and Essentials characters.  Of the 75 minutes of stage time (45-minute 1st act, 15-minute intermission, 30-minute final act), about 15 of those are devoted to combat encounters. The remaining time is role-playing, character exploration, and a lot of puns.

But back on topic, I enjoy 4e, and I know that these rules are in a super-early form right now. I totally hear what everybody is saying on both sides of the subject, and I hope to see the feedback from fans of 4e make its way back to WotC so those of us who enjoy that edition can see some of the better stuff make its way in.





Agreed. Anyone who watched the penny-arcade dnd events saw tons of role play

 If these forums are any indication of the fan base of DnD, you may want to reconsider making them your sales representatives.  There is as much middle school drama here as I have seen on a playground, except no one can blow a whistle and pull the two 5th graders apart at the local coffee shop or FLGS.  




IS NOT AND IF YOU DON'T TAKE THAT BACK IMA PUNCH YOU IN THA NOSE 

(said in my best outraged 5th grader voice)
 

 If these forums are any indication of the fan base of DnD, you may want to reconsider making them your sales representatives.  There is as much middle school drama here as I have seen on a playground, except no one can blow a whistle and pull the two 5th graders apart at the local coffee shop or FLGS.  




IS NOT AND IF YOU DON'T TAKE THAT BACK IMA PUNCH YOU IN THA NOSE 

(said in my best outraged 5th grader voice)
 



MAKE ME YOU DRAGON TAIL LOOLY DOO!

(again in best outragious 5th grade voice) 
My stance on this is the same as what is found in 2e DMG .    If all you're doing it hit/miss basic attacks then you are playing the game incorrectly.   It's really up to you and the DM to make vivid combat sences come to life.  No amount of powers or mechanics will ever change that fact.   

For this reason I fully support "Improvise" being listed as a combat option in 5e.    It's what the game is all about for me. 

The game play for martial class should be more like, "ok I'm going to leap up on the table kick the lantern full of oil on the troll's face and disarm the orc holding the short bow by severing his wrist."   The dm responds and tells the player make skill checks and a few attack rolls.   At no time did I require a daily power called "Leaping Lanny Poffo's Blinding Disarm".  




All classes can improvise (or at least they have in every edition of the game I've played). The problem (IMHO) is that the fighter (and to some extent the rogue) presented in the playtest materials offer players very few choices to make with respect to their characters development compared to say a wizard who gets to select and cast new spells as they level up. While I didn't like everything about 4E, my players who favoured the melee classes loved the choices they could make at each level with respect to their characters flavour and development. I don't think we necessarily need to have the AW-E-D mechanism to accomplish this.

As an aside, I am often mystified by people disliking fighters having powers that can be used on a limited basis because it's unrealistic. This is a gameworld that features dragons and magic spells plus a system that contains an accepted convention like hit points, which is one of the most abstract representations of a characters durability out there. Plus it also features concepts like a barbarians rage (which is generally limited in it's uses - guess they can only get so mad). Sorry if this seems like "edition wars", it's not meant to be, just proposing that the 4E "melee powers" can be abstracted as physically taxing attacks that can't constantly be used.

What I'd like to see from D&D Next for the fighter (and all the other melee classes - I really don't want rangers and paladins to get spells akin to druids and clerics) is some sort of mechanic embedded in the class that gives a player the chance customize his character as they level up so they feel unique from every other fighter out there. This was one of my biggest issues with AD&D and 2E - a fighter was defined by (other than how they were role-played, which is common to all classes) the weapons he carried rather than how he fought.

The only idea I currently have would be "fighting styles" combined with "weapon mastery" - examples of fighting styles would be dual wielding, two handed, weapon and shield, archery - weapon mastery would be the weapons chosen with the given fighting style. I think that early choices should open up other options as a fighter levels up and that a character should be able to either choose to heavily specialize in a few areas or dabble in several. The game mechanics could offer a mix of static bonuses and limited effects.

I believe that the game can be made better by having mechanics that support the players imagination. To everyone that suggests all is fine because melee classes have access to the "Improvise" action then I counter with why not remove the those pesky spell lists that force wizards into choosing pre-determined ways to affect game play and replace them all with a simple ability called "Magic Spell". Just set the damage that it can do at a certain amount and then the wizard is free to use their imagination and ability to improv (along with DM fiat) to have the same exciting experience being offered by the fighter class.

Perfect solution, right?

Quote from Alpha_dork:
As an aside, I am often mystified by people disliking fighters having powers that can be used on a limited basis because it's unrealistic. This is a gameworld that features dragons and magic spells plus a system that contains an accepted convention like hit points, which is one of the most abstract representations of a characters durability out there. Plus is also features concepts like a barbarians rage (which is generally limited in it's uses - guess they can only get so mad). Sorry if this seems like "edition wars", it's not meant to be, just proposing that the 4E "melee powers" can be abstracted as physically taxing attacks that can't constantly be used.

This is one of the main contention points it seems between the "old guard" and "4vengers".  With a game that is by its very definition fantasy and divorced from reality, why do we have to conform to blood and guts reality?  How else is a heroic knight supposed to kill the 50 foot long dragon?  Isn't that one of the iconic things we are trying to reproduce?
To everyone that suggests all is fine because melee classes have access to the "Improvise" action then I counter with why not remove the those pesky spell lists that force wizards into choosing pre-determined ways to affect game play and replace them all with a simple ability called "Magic Spell".



Love that one.
  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 feel like the designers failed to ask an important question as they made D&DN: Is there a compelling reason for things to work this way?

For several hours now, I've been trying to find the right words to say just this.  If you don't mind, I'll bounce off this with my own thoughts.

I like what fixed and 'average' hit points can do for a game.  Rolling for HPs feels backward now and there's no nostalgia for me to grab on to, not any more.

This is just my own feelings of course; there may be some compelling reason for random HPs that I'm just not seeing.  I get the feeling though, that the question was left un-asked:  Is there a compelling reason for random, rolled HPs vs. fixed?  Or do we simply need an excuse to showcase some legacy mechanics, as a means to evoke some nostalgia?

= = =

Low hit points are always a possibility when rolling.  They've never been much fun in my XP.  The option of adding a Con bonus (and nulliying a low roll) might compensate; we'll see (it might be the equivalent of average hit points-- from v3.5).  Fixed hit points (as seen in 4e) have definitely helped though.
/\ Art

Heh, I wonder what the 4th edition analogue to Pathfinder will be called?



There already is one. It's called 13th Age designed by Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet. Only it isn't an analogue to Pathfinder. They didn't simply throw a fresh coat of paint on 4e. They started from the same design goals and foundation and built up from there in some new directions. It definitely resembles 4e in many ways, but it is far more improved/modified than PF was over 3.5.

Not alone.

I was a pretty reluctant convert to 4e. While I never had the notion stuck in my head that martial classes can't  have cool abilities (I loved Book of Nine Swords), there was just so much that I felt was missing; I missed the massive spell lists, I missed character-build modularity (the freedom to combine anything with anything from anywhere fairly easily), I thought that some of the mechanics were wierd. (I kind of wish that they had chosen a different name for 4e Saving Throws, because that confused a lot of people.) It was definitely a "Who Moved My Cheese?" moment.

With the benefit of hindsight, I no longer see it as "Who Moved My Cheese?" as much as "Fifth Labour of Hercules". 4e, incredibly cinematic, built to play like a game rather than like a simulation, designed for adventures rather than a demonstration of how magic lets heroes circumvent adventures, devoted to letting everyone be cool, elegant and consistant, was the game system it turned out I'd been waiting for all along. The design chats leading up to 4e had spoken to me, spoken to issues that I had felt with 3.5, but I had been initially turned off by the game's weirdness. Once I actually got my hands into it, I was really deeply impressed at how they'd addressed the issues I'd had and had in addition built up what I consider to be a really brilliant (if now always perfectly executed) role system.

Don't get me wrong; 4e has some flaws, and I was pretty displeased with Essentials, which I felt addressed very few of them while simultaneously introducing some new ones. The various bandages applied to some of 4e's initial issues helped those problems, but simultaneously drained the system of a lot of its elegance. Some of what I see as major flaws aren't even things new to D&D, just things that I'd never noticed before because they were buried under much more glaring and severe issues.

I'm assuming that using various modules and such it'll be possible to get reasonably close, and hopefully even better. There's already some unfortunate rot at the core with the regression to the old spell resolution system, but nothing that I'm too distressed about. (I'm actually more distressed about how they plan to actually present all these options; it strikes me as super ambitious, and maybe I can be forgiven for being uncertain exactly how much flexibility will make it into the final product.)

I think you hit the nail on the head.  4E was a game about heroes in cinematic larger than life activities, overcoming foes.  It's a game about heroic events right out of the gate and it does it well.  This is probably what spoke so clearly to me when I first picked it up.  Your entire party were strong capable adventures ready to go out and take on the world.  There was something grand and exciting about this tone of play that appeals to a lot of 4E fans I bet.

Yes, 4E had its problems, but they aren't insurmountable.  I'm willing to concede that some problems absolutely needed to be fixed, and I'm willing to compromise to find solutions on other problems as well.  But I want to be able to preserve the heroic feel of gameplay, flavor, and mechanics.  Right now I don't think the fighter in the playtest lives up to that goal in terms of gameplay, but it'll get there with accurate feedback.  I also think the wizard could use a little boost in terms of power.

But the main point is this: I want the game to be able to encourage different styles of play: mine and yours, and everyone else included.  The current iteration of the playtest doesn't accomplish my style of play.  I hope that by the end of it, the game doesn't feel like 2E or 3.XE or 4E, but all of them included.  And I hope that I and other people in the playtest can try to help along the process with honest and accurate feedback.
http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/979299305_WsMkV-L.jpg
Quote from Artifact:
I like what fixed and 'average' hit points can do for a game.  Rolling for HPs feels backward now and there's no nostalgia for me to grab on to, not any more.

This is just my own feelings of course; there may be some compelling reason for random HPs that I'm just not seeing.  I get the feeling though, that the question was left un-asked:  Is there a compelling reason for random, rolled HPs vs. fixed?  Or do we simply need an excuse to showcase some legacy mechanics, as a means to evoke some nostalgia?

I would direct your attention to the provided character sheets.  When you level up the characters that are provided, they add a fixed value every time.  Again, without knowing character generation rules it appears as if this is staying as a set number.  The confusion hit me first when they started re-using terms that 90% of us know from previous editions but changing their definition.  Hit Dice are "healing surges", not so far defined as used for determining your max HP.  This is just some interpolation of what they provided us, but I think that this is a far too prevelant assumption and Wizards should look at their use of "already defined jargan" and not double dip.
Quote from Alpha_dork:
As an aside, I am often mystified by people disliking fighters having powers that can be used on a limited basis because it's unrealistic. This is a gameworld that features dragons and magic spells plus a system that contains an accepted convention like hit points, which is one of the most abstract representations of a characters durability out there. Plus is also features concepts like a barbarians rage (which is generally limited in it's uses - guess they can only get so mad). Sorry if this seems like "edition wars", it's not meant to be, just proposing that the 4E "melee powers" can be abstracted as physically taxing attacks that can't constantly be used.

This is one of the main contention points it seems between the "old guard" and "4vengers".  With a game that is by its very definition fantasy and divorced from reality, why do we have to conform to blood and guts reality?  How else is a heroic knight supposed to kill the 50 foot long dragon?  Isn't that one of the iconic things we are trying to reproduce?

Fighters hack and slash with tactics, not with powers. This is D&D not world of warcraft.
Fighters hack and slash with tactics, not with powers. This is D&D not world of warcraft.


Fighters fight with skills and talents, not with button-mashing.  This is D&D not Gauntlet.

Red Fighter Needs Food Options Badly!
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Ok, can someone explain the hate to me?  Now, I like 4e.  I think it's better than 3e.  I've felt that every edition change so far has been good (except 3e => 3.5, which was largely unnoticeable, save for buying new books, in the group I was in).  So far, I like what I'm seeing.  It retains some significant elements of 4e, namely the following: power-like attacks (only the pregen rogue and cleric of Moradin don't have one), Integrating Constitution score into starting HPs, full healing after a long rest, and skills that everyone can use on a similar level (but that training provides a distinct bonus to).

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.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I would direct your attention to the provided character sheets.  When you level up the characters that are provided, they add a fixed value every time.  Again, without knowing character generation rules it appears as if this is staying as a set number.

I hadn't noticed that.  Page 4 of the 'How to Play' booklet seems to indicate that HPs will be rolled for but yeah, there are no character creation rules yet, so the numbers on the character sheets will work for now.  

Hope you're right about hit dice meaning 'healing surges'; that's something from 4e that I've really liked ;).

/\ Art
Fighters hack and slash with tactics, not with powers. This is D&D not world of warcraft.


Fighters fight with skills and talents, not with button-mashing.  This is D&D not Gauntlet.

Red Fighter Needs Food Options Badly!

tactics = feats and special manuvers, not powers
Fighters hack and slash with tactics, not with powers. This is D&D not world of warcraft.


Fighters fight with skills and talents, not with button-mashing.  This is D&D not Gauntlet.

Red Fighter Needs Food Options Badly!

tactics = feats and special manuvers, not powers


special maneuvers and powers are the same thing.

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.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

After an hour or so checking out the playtest materials, I realized that 4th may just end up being the last edition for me, and this is coming from someone with the original boxed sets (red to black!) still in his attick.

It seems like every single page has something to annoy me, and it's something I thought dead and buried when 4th came out!




This is just the opening of the playtest, so we may see more changes to come--though I'd guess they'll be tweaks and nothing close to a "major" design element change is likely.

So, while I will reserve full judgment until this path comes to its end, like you I've all the previous editions within reach (or downstairs in boxes) and--at the moment--my initial impression is that IF this were the final product (and it's not) then I would not be sufficiently interested to pursue playing 5e or purchasing anything related to it.

I quite enjoy 4e, I've got Pathfinder and all the prior D&D editions, and--again, for now--I'm not experiencing that "gotta have it" feeling towards 5e.

And, fwiw, I have always loathed Vancian magic, Spells per Day and 8hr rests...

I agree I love the power system in 4e. I loved that they dropped the Jack Vance magic system and too see it come back I don't know if I even to finish reading anything else in the pretest.
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