Thank the gods the grid is GONE!

I'm very much looking forward to DMing this playtest for one reason and one BIG reason only...

I don't have to use a stupid grid anymore!  No more having to use minis!  No more having to waste precious time while players and DM alike try to figure out exact line of sight or movement or "game the system" to "kite" and such other ugly MMO terms.

Please.. PLEASE... PLU-EEEASE.. do NOT add in any powers or abilites that push, pull, slide, do the tango.. whatever...

Wheeeeeeee!

(Runs off to grather is flock.)
The grid isn't gone, it's just been deprecated.
What I mean is that it is possible to play now without using the grid if you want.  With 4E that was impossible sadly and made DMing a PITA for me to such a point I basically stopped playing for the past few years.. at least steadily.

I'm very much a "theatre of the mind" style DM for combat and love describing the action in a cinematic flair which 4E pretty much ruined for me as the minis really cramped my style...
What I mean is that it is possible to play now without using the grid if you want.  With 4E that was impossible sadly and made DMing a PITA for me to such a point I basically stopped playing for the past few years.. at least steadily.

I'm very much a "theatre of the mind" style DM for combat and love describing the action in a cinematic flair which 4E pretty much ruined for me as the minis really cramped my style...



Not impossible... just hard.
No idea how you would ever be able to play a controller type class like Warlord without a grid.  All those pushes, pulls, and slides?

Not feasible in any meaningful way.  That was basically why I hated 4E so much.. well that and the distinct feel that it took a lot of inspiration from MMO's.
The grid's not gone, the grid requirement is gone.  I find this to be good.

Having looked at the rules -- other than the rare tiny enemy, there's no resolution finer than the 5' space/reach of a PC, so if one chooses to use a grid, it's perfectly servicable.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."
On Worldbuilding - On Crafting Aliens - Pillars of Art and Flavor - Simulationism, Narritivism, and Gamism - Shub-Niggurath in D&D
THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

I'm very much looking forward to DMing this playtest for one reason and one BIG reason only...

I don't have to use a stupid grid anymore!  No more having to use minis!  No more having to waste precious time while players and DM alike try to figure out exact line of sight or movement or "game the system" to "kite" and such other ugly MMO terms.

Please.. PLEASE... PLU-EEEASE.. do NOT add in any powers or abilites that push, pull, slide, do the tango.. whatever...

Wheeeeeeee!

(Runs off to grather is flock.)



I also saw no mention of a combat grid.
I would liked to have seen a line somwhere somthing like :

If you have a very complecated combat with lots of enemies you can use a grid to keep track of positioning, 1 square on the grid would represent a 5X5 feet area.
No idea how you would ever be able to play a controller type class like Warlord without a grid.  All those pushes, pulls, and slides?

Not feasible in any meaningful way.  That was basically why I hated 4E so much.. well that and the distinct feel that it took a lot of inspiration from MMO's.

I never hated 4E, I actually quite liked it, but mandatory grid use was certainly a complaint. Anyone saying you could play 4E without a grid is simply guessing. My group and I spent many sessions and dozens of hours trying to make it work. And tons of house rules were required, even to do it with the simplest of classes. To the point we weren't really playing 4E anymore. Needless to say, I'm happy about the way 5E is written as well. But, I'll likely still use the grid for some of the big set piece battles. The grid is not our enemy, but mandatory grid use is definitely a pain sometimes.
HERE!! HERE!!

I agree with the OP! Hello multiple combats in a game! Bring on the hordes! Fast ,imagined combat is my hero!
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
I throw my lot in with all of you who cheer for gridless games.  I'm looking forward to imagining combats the way I did when I was 14 years old (over 32 years ago).  Viva the mind's eye.

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Yes, I once again look forward to the arguements regarding what monsters are threatened, who the cleric of pelor can protect, what do you mean the chieftan is by Tom, wasn't he over by the tapestry you described...

Yes, I once again look forward to the arguements regarding what monsters are threatened, who the cleric of pelor can protect, what do you mean the chieftan is by Tom, wasn't he over by the tapestry you described...




You are more than welcome to keep using the grid, I'm just happy I don't HAVE to.

Forcing one style of play on everyone was one of my biggest problems with 4E... now hopefully gone for Next.
Yes, I once again look forward to the arguements regarding what monsters are threatened, who the cleric of pelor can protect, what do you mean the chieftan is by Tom, wasn't he over by the tapestry you described...




Your gaming problems are not everyone's problems, and as long as the grid is an optional component of the system rather than the center focus of it, this will remain true where mini vs narrative combat is concerned.

Needless to say, I'm pleased by this development. 
I'm fine with a grid optional core assumption so long as they give me an advanced tactical module on release.  That and more complex monsters. 
The grid isn't gone, it's just been deprecated.


Well, I would say optional, which is a very good thing
Ceterum censeo scrinium puniceum esse delendam
I'll definitely be using the grid combat module if I decide to switch over to Next when it releases.  I am a highly visual person, and it takes me a lot less time to make a turn on a grid than it does in a purely descriptive combat.

I routinely ask stuff like, "How many orcs are within 30 feet of me?".  "How far away is the BBEG?", "Where is Redgar in relation to me?", and so on.  And routinely, the DM tells me something other than what I'm seeing in my head.  So, I use the grid because it removes all confusion there and actually speeds up combat for me.
You are more than welcome to keep using the grid, I'm just happy I don't HAVE to.

Forcing one style of play on everyone was one of my biggest problems with 4E... now hopefully gone for Next.

Im thrilled, the grid has become optional. Il be doing without it (most of the time) too.

Hopefully most of the modularity will work this way. I prefer grid based tactical combat, but being able to have the system work both ways is at the heart of the implied mission statement.
HERE!! HERE!! I agree with the OP! Hello multiple combats in a game! Bring on the hordes! Fast ,imagined combat is my hero!



+1
Hopefully most of the modularity will work this way. I prefer grid based tactical combat, but being able to have the system work both ways is at the heart of the implied mission statement.


It would be great if they added in hex-based combat, as well.  It's more able of simulating spell shapes than a grid, and I know a lot of people tried to make hex rules for 4E.  I'm all for more options.
Hopefully most of the modularity will work this way. I prefer grid based tactical combat, but being able to have the system work both ways is at the heart of the implied mission statement.


It would be great if they added in hex-based combat, as well.  It's more able of simulating spell shapes than a grid, and I know a lot of people tried to make hex rules for 4E.  I'm all for more options.



Heck I would much prefer a hex based grid in general I find they aproximate things much better then square grids do (except walls ).
I'm quite pleased that grids are no longer strictly needed. It means I can play D&D over IRC again, which is quite nice.
IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/2.jpg)
TheWok and Mestewart,


Whats preventing you from using the hex map now? It seems like you now can with no problem.  
I'm quite pleased that grids are no longer strictly needed. It means I can play D&D over IRC again, which is quite nice.


my group was talking about running the playtest scenario over skype with no board or minis. This opens up a world of possibilities.
TheWok and Mestewart,


Whats preventing you from using the hex map now? It seems like you now can with no problem.  



Sure you can use a hex map and it works fine, but just using a map isn't going to add much to the tactical complexity of the game.  Pushing, sliding, shifting, flanking ect. are all things that are pretty much missing from Next right now, mostly because they don't work so hot in a theater of the mind game.  However those things are important for a more tactical combat experience.
I prefer Tableau Vivant and we didn't playtest long before abandonning Theater of the Mind.


It took 1 Combat to remember all the things we didn't liked about it. Wink


That Playtest session resulted in a TPK against 21 wild Kobolds in the Caves of Chaos that night.


Its better IMO to see a TPK in Tableau Vivant than Theater of the Mind.  A matter of preferance i guess...

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Gridless combat: core rulebooks,character sheets,pencils and dice 100 dollars  

Grid combat: core rulebooks,character sheets,pencils,dice,battlemat,tiles and minis 200 dollars

Being able to choose wich one you wish to use.....Priceless      
TheWok and Mestewart,


Whats preventing you from using the hex map now? It seems like you now can with no problem.  



Sure you can use a hex map and it works fine, but just using a map isn't going to add much to the tactical complexity of the game.  Pushing, sliding, shifting, flanking ect. are all things that are pretty much missing from Next right now, mostly because they don't work so hot in a theater of the mind game.  However those things are important for a more tactical combat experience.



Sure, but how does hex prevent move tactics?

Push, slide, shift, etc. are in any radial direction, you can do it on a hex map fine.

Flank - is opposite sides around a hexagon. Pretty straightforward without any house rules.

Hex seems fine.




(For mapless, “flanking” just means “two against one”.)



@Spellscarred. LOL!
TheWok and Mestewart,

Whats preventing you from using the hex map now? It seems like you now can with no problem.  


In terms of Next?  Nothing, really, apart from my desire not to introduce things into the test that really aren't being tested.

In terms of 4E?  A few things, including blast shapes, monster sizes above medium, reduced possibilities for flanking, and so on.  I also am not a huge fan of dungeons on hex maps, as seeing partial hexes triggers my non-existant OCD about such things.  I prefer a square grid, even with weird diagonal counting (and, let's face it, it's weird no matter how it's done, whether 1-1-1-1, 1-2-1-2, or 2-2-2-2 like in Saga Edition).

I'm just all about giving people the options they want.  I do know a guy who loves him some hex maps.  But, he plays GURPS and is trying to work out his own RPG system, and he's not got a lot of love for D&D.  Still, if he were to play, he might like hexes more than squares. 
What I mean is that it is possible to play now without using the grid if you want.  With 4E that was impossible sadly and made DMing a PITA for me to such a point I basically stopped playing for the past few years.. at least steadily.

I'm very much a "theatre of the mind" style DM for combat and love describing the action in a cinematic flair which 4E pretty much ruined for me as the minis really cramped my style...

We're playing 4e at the moment without a grid. The grid is only coming out for larger fights. It's been going okay.
if we aren't using a grid we're using a tape measure.
I'm glad they are offering it.  I'll probably play in a mixed environment but it is nice to not have it be required.  (Hard to fix is practically required.)

 
"Chainmail" understand if u can.


Grid dont really go away, the trap is good! Just convert 5ft to 1 square. and Grid is back. Grid is a tool, helpin' all players and dms to have the same vision of the position. With a grid: no arguing frustration and angry about misunderstandin' the combat situation.
"Chainmail" understand if u can.


Grid dont really go away, the trap is good! Just convert 5ft to 1 square. and Grid is back. Grid is a tool, helpin' all players and dms to have the same vision of the position. With a grid: no arguing frustration and angry about misunderstandin' the combat situation.



I am happy it is easy for those that LIKE the grid can still use it.  I really am.  Heck, I might still use it for important fights once in a blue moon.

But having to pull all that crap out for each and EVERY fight was getting silly.
I've gotten so used to grid based combat that when the scenario desribed 6 kobolds in a single square, or 18 rats in six squares... my first thought was that I was going to need to adjust the map an awful lot.

I like 4e but the combat takes too long and prepping battlemaps is a bit of a pain so I'm in the camp of people looking forward to playing without grids in DDNext.

I loved 1e when I didn't have to use the grid and the game was entirely in my mind's eye, but I must admit, the grid has been intellectually satisfying as I've been forced to use it as a player and DM in 4e.
My current group is continuing with our 4e campaign this weekend, but the next session has already been dedicated to playtesting DDN. I think that we'll try a couple of encounters with and without the battle mat. I'm sure each will have it's pros and cons.

Viva la DDN!
What I mean is that it is possible to play now without using the grid if you want.  With 4E that was impossible sadly and made DMing a PITA for me to such a point I basically stopped playing for the past few years.. at least steadily.

I'm very much a "theatre of the mind" style DM for combat and love describing the action in a cinematic flair which 4E pretty much ruined for me as the minis really cramped my style...



Not impossible... just hard.

My DM does just that and is awesome at it.
I'm very much looking forward to DMing this playtest for one reason and one BIG reason only...

I don't have to use a stupid grid anymore!  No more having to use minis!  No more having to waste precious time while players and DM alike try to figure out exact line of sight or movement or "game the system" to "kite" and such other ugly MMO terms.

Please.. PLEASE... PLU-EEEASE.. do NOT add in any powers or abilites that push, pull, slide, do the tango.. whatever...

Wheeeeeeee!

(Runs off to grather is flock.)



Is there really that big a difference between having to multiple by 5 (4e) vs having to divide by 5 (3e)? Because that seems like the the only really meaningful difference I see.

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TheWok and Mestewart,


Whats preventing you from using the hex map now? It seems like you now can with no problem.  



Sure you can use a hex map and it works fine, but just using a map isn't going to add much to the tactical complexity of the game.  Pushing, sliding, shifting, flanking ect. are all things that are pretty much missing from Next right now, mostly because they don't work so hot in a theater of the mind game.  However those things are important for a more tactical combat experience.



Sure, but how does hex prevent move tactics?

Push, slide, shift, etc. are in any radial direction, you can do it on a hex map fine.

Flank - is opposite sides around a hexagon. Pretty straightforward without any house rules.

Hex seems fine.

(For mapless, “flanking” just means “two against one”.)

@Spellscarred. LOL!



Are you talking about tactical movement in 4e?  I already use hex based in my 4e game, it works pretty much as well as square for most things.  Blast and burst are a little more complicated and monsters bigger than medium feel like they take up way to much space but for the most part it works.
The only thing we use grids for is to resolve large combats. (We play 3.5). I do like the grid as a sort of focus point for the group though. Even if we don't use it for combat, it's nice to have out on the table, and I also like to lay out pencils and dice on the grid as a way to give the general layout of environments. So I'm gald the grid is optional. The way I see it, the more optional stuff, the better. That way everyone's happy to some extent, and groups can expirement with what they like.