Am I the only one who loved the fighter?

I got to swing a big axe, I hurt stuff even when I missed, and I managed to stay almost entirely alive the whole time I played. My DM has always rewarded creativity and I was able to push some barrels and a table in front of a door to keep some goblins trapped with what turned out to be a very angry ogre (Str v Str contest was kind of intense). It was... dare I say it... fun. 
No, but really, aside from like to hit things, the Fighter itself didn't bring much to the table, which people have been complaining about for, like, two decades.
I know some who would like a super simple fighter like this, but I have not play tested with any of them yet. A couple just like playing simple swing every round melee warriors. Others are more situational, in the Friday night game I run, a lot of the players are coming straight from work and the last thing they want to deal with is a character who needs it's own tactical guide book. Several of them have intentionally picked straightforward characters to play when they would go for something more complex most of the time.

Still, they are the minority. Few really like characters this super simple in the long run, and it is particularly bad here because of the comparison to the other characters. It was tolerable back in the old days because the other characters didn't have many options either. The arcane casters often did nothing between spell casting rounds, and the clerics where mostly about healing and being second line warriors.
I was a big fan of the Martial Essential's classes, truth be told. While I think they needed a little pick extra to really drive the awesome home, there is a certain elegence to making the most of not many options. Your play quickens, your turns focus, and you can generally spend less time making a decision.

Of course, you DID get to make decisions.
The problem with the Next fighter in the playtest is that it's the only fighter build we've seen so far. I like this build and honestly, if it were an orc/half-orc, it would be exactly the sort of character I'm trying to make for a game my friend's been saying he's going to run for several months. But a lot of people want to see the flexibility that the fighter class is capable of, especially if they're worried about the fighter class in general being "boring" again. "I roll to hit. I got a 14. I did 6 damage. Your turn."

Honestly, I think WotC could kill a lot of the complaints about the fighter class if they released another pregen build that offers more combat options. A fighter with the defender theme or especially a ranged fighter or duelist-style build would go a long way to easing the concerns of a lot of people that the Next fighters are going to be just as boring as their 1st/2nd Ed counterparts. One of the players in my Pathfinder game (who DMs two other weekly games) has already given up on Next because he sees the slayer build of the fighter as proof that Next is going to have boring fighters that are quickly outclassed by the caster classes like wizard or cleric. I've tried explaining to him that this build is meant to be damn near a barbarian, but he's already made up his mind and the best I was able to do was convince him to keep up with the playtest and keep an open mind.

So yes, you're not the only one who liked the very basic build. And I'd bet that a lot of the people who are complaining about the fighter would hate it less if they also had an example of a fighter that wasn't build specifically to be a damage dealer.

This of course doesn't apply to those who think the Reaper and Cleave abilities are overpowered or who think that the AC is too low or the damage output is too high or any of the other various mechanical problems some people see in the class. That's a different beast altogether.
Yes you are the only one who liked this fighter. I really hope WOTC has more than this to show up. If not i'm very worried about the fate of my favorite game.
Yes you are the only one who liked this fighter. I really hope WOTC has more than this to show up. If not i'm very worried about the fate of my favorite game.

Disagree!

The Fighter is awesome and I would consider it to be the strongest character in the playtest (literally, yes, but in addition to having the best attack bonus and damage by a large margin, the Fighter also has some of the most useful skills yet revealed).

The player in my group that grabbed the fighter loved it, as well, and the spellcasters were jealous (the Rogue was also widely envied).

The silly notion that "all he does is attack" just doesn't match my experience.  All he can do is anything the player thinks of and describes.  Not having rules for something doesn't mean its off limits, it means that there's no set, specific way to handle it.  My group's fighter did plenty of stuff other than just hit--he threw a barrel of ale at a group of goblins (the rogue, of course, added the torch), he pinned orcs behind a door, he wrestled a Medusa, shoved the Ogre down some stairs, herded some kobolds into their own traps, intimidated plenty of goblins to the point that they were throwing coins from around corners, begging the PCs to leave.

I do fear for the future when the full spell list is revealed and spellcasters gain progressively more powerful spells despite the fact that a design goal for the game is the removal of the progression treadmill--I hate quadratic wizards--but at the moment, it seems perfectly fine and we were very happy with the material presented.

Yes you are the only one who liked this fighter. I really hope WOTC has more than this to show up. If not i'm very worried about the fate of my favorite game.

Disagree!

The Fighter is awesome and I would consider it to be the strongest character in the playtest (literally, yes, but in addition to having the best attack bonus and damage by a large margin, the Fighter also has some of the most useful skills yet revealed).

The player in my group that grabbed the fighter loved it, as well, and the spellcasters were jealous (the Rogue was also widely envied).

The silly notion that "all he does is attack" just doesn't match my experience.  All he can do is anything the player thinks of and describes.  Not having rules for something doesn't mean its off limits, it means that there's no set, specific way to handle it.  My group's fighter did plenty of stuff other than just hit--he threw a barrel of ale at a group of goblins (the rogue, of course, added the torch), he pinned orcs behind a door, he wrestled a Medusa, shoved the Ogre down some stairs, herded some kobolds into their own traps, intimidated plenty of goblins to the point that they were throwing coins from around corners, begging the PCs to leave.

I do fear for the future when the full spell list is revealed and spellcasters gain progressively more powerful spells despite the fact that a design goal for the game is the removal of the progression treadmill--I hate quadratic wizards--but at the moment, it seems perfectly fine and we were very happy with the material presented.



Sounds like he had fun.

In spite of his simplicity.  And I'm glad he didn't fall back on that auto damage.

This is the kind of DnD I like to play.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

i'm trying to keep in mind that this fighter is 1st level. i was creative with my actions and was able to make the best of the dwarf fighter. i think that if all a player did was walk up and hit something, it would definitely get old fast. since i did more with my turn, i had fun. maybe that is the solution. the players needs to play the fighter.

If you Improv. well, then the Fighter is pretty good. If your looking for codified rules, then....not so much. But this has the potential to vary from DM to DM. Some might now allow an Improvisation to Bull Rush or Trip or Intimidate into submission. Others might be perfectly fine with these and have a great sub-system to allow it. Basically your imagination fuels the mechanics you want to try. But this is something that I'm not very good at and don't really see myself investing in.


Were I to play the Fighter in another group with another DM, I would probably grab as many 4E powers I could and then attempt to use them ad-hoc. For example, "I want to draw their fire, make them focus on me. How do I do that?" and then hope for a Move-equivalent Charisma [Intimidate] vs. Wisdom check. They fail, they attack me. I fail, they laugh and ignore me. Same goes for attacking a foe and then grabbing him by the throat and tossing him into my allies. I hope for an attack and supplanting my Move action for a Str. vs. Str Contest to grap and pull the guy. If I want to push a guy 5 feet and occupy his square, I move 5-ft into his square and then make a Str vs. Str or Dex Contest. If I win, I can still attack. If I lose, I use my attack. I lose by 10 or more, and I fall prone or gain Disadvantage or something "Hazardous".


And that's the way I'd hope it's run. Yet not necessarily what the DM might say, how he might handle it, or even if he'd allow it at all. Which is why I don't think it's unfair to call this a "DM, May I?" edition.

 All he can do is anything the player thinks of and describes.  



That statement applies to every other character class in the playest. They can also do anything their player imagines and decribes, plus they have (in the case of the wizard and cleric) domains and spells to help fuel their creativity.

The fighter in the playtest certainly works but has no options beyond what the player can imagine and GM fiat allows - at that point why even bother with having a set of rules? The players can just make up character outlines and describe their actions to the GM who then determines what happens. 

You'd save quite a bit of money on rulebooks and dice too.

Having real options and choice points in character classes helps players define their characters and often spurs further creativity during play.
 All he can do is anything the player thinks of and describes.  



That statement applies to every other character class in the playest. They can also do anything their player imagines and decribes, plus they have (in the case of the wizard and cleric) domains and spells to help fuel their creativity.

The fighter in the playtest certainly works but has no options beyond what the player can imagine and GM fiat allows - at that point why even bother with having a set of rules? The players can just make up character outlines and describe their actions to the GM who then determines what happens. 

You'd save quite a bit of money on rulebooks and dice too.

Having real options and choice points in character classes helps players define their characters and often spurs further creativity during play.



It can just as often box in a character and push a player away from further creativity.

In the end, the amount of creativity is up to the player.

Not sure where you're going with the whole "you don't even need a game" argument. This fighter is much like the classes from several previous editions. If they hadn't been successful then later versions wouldn't even exist.

What needs to be kept in mind here is that - for the players who want more of a list of codified actions - there are going to be expansions and modules which will give that. It's easier from a design standpoint to make a bare bones game like the playtest and then add more rules and options than to release something like 4th edition and then publish modules which give large lists of existing rules you should ignore.

So the "free-form" players get to see their game realized first because it's the simple baseline. And the "codified" players will get their game soon (hopefully) after. It's my wish that this will allow most of us to get the game that we want.
The problem with having a lot of options/tactics spelled out on the character sheet is a problem that started popping up in 3rd Edition and became a serious problem in 4th Edition, at least with newer and inexperienced players, where the players would spend the entire game playing their character sheet rather than their character.

What I mean by this is when players (particularly ones new to the game and/or who have a lot of experience with video games) look at their character sheet, they see limitations. This is the list of actions the character is allowed to take. If an action isn't codified on the character sheet, they think that must mean they can't attempt that particular action. So when those types of players look at their character sheet, they only see the option to roll for +X to attack and 1dY+Z damage and assume that's the only thing the fighter can do. They're not playing a character, they're playing a set of numerical statistics.

The fastest way to tell if a player is playing the character or playing the character sheet is to ask them what they're doing on their turn. If the first thing they do is look at their character sheet, odds are they're already limiting themselves by what's printed on there.

That in and of itself is not a bad thing. Inexperienced players may need that kind of hand-holding in order to get a feel for what they can do in the game. Even experienced players may prefer having strict codification of various actions so they have an immediate idea of how likely a particular action will be successful. It's a style choice and neither one is wrong or right because it depends greatly on the particular player and the DM. Some players thrive when given freedom of action, and some freeze because they suddenly have too many options and can't decide. Some players get confused if there's too much on the character sheet and some players see the options on the sheet as launching points for other ideas.

The main thing to keep in mind, though, is that rules for different actions increases complexity. Right now, they're playtesting the most simple baseline core rules of the system. So the more tactical or specific rules like shifting, flanking, pushing/pulling/sliding enemies, disarm/sunder/trip, etc. are being left out at the moment because it doesn't matter how great those rules work if the underlying system they're based on (ability checks and to-hit numbers) aren't working. If the stripped-down fighter isn't to your playstyle, wait until they start testing the more advanced combat rules or even just the character creation rules so you can customize the character more. You might find something more to your liking once you see those rules.


It can just as often box in a character and push a player away from further creativity.



Fair enough and agreed - the fact that my regular group has been together for 25+ years does often colour my assessments 


In the end, the amount of creativity is up to the player.



Again agreed, which is why player creativity should be kept seperate from discussions of class design. When someone says "the fighter in the playest materials is boring" the response should not be "just play creatively". Since creativity is up to the player then all the classes should assessed on their own merits.


Not sure where you're going with the whole "you don't even need a game" argument. This fighter is much like the classes from several previous editions. If they hadn't been successful then later versions wouldn't even exist.



The current playtest materials rely on plenty "GM Fiat" to run. Player describes an action, GM assigns a DC, player checks results. Taken to the most extreme level, as an experienced GM (30+ years) I really don't need rules for anything. I could assign DC's for anything from hitting a monster to wooing the princess. I could also give the players bonuses based on their description of the characters - no classes or ability scores needed. At this point the question becomes, why do we need the D&D rules at all?

My answer is that they provide a framework on which to build characters and campaigns. I want that framework to have viable choice points and options in the character class design and the playtest material has me worried about the fighter. The following is why - if you look at the character sheets you'll see the following under class features (note that every class gets Armour and Weapon Profs): 
Wizard - Arcane Magic, Cantrips, Spellbook
Cleric - Channel Divinty, Divine Magic, Orisons
Rogue - Rogue Scheme, Skill Mastery, Sneak Attack, Tools of the Trade
Fighter - Weapon Focus (which isn't even a choice, just a flat +2 damage bonus)

This fighter is just far too simple for my tastes. I'd like something akin to the Rogue Scheme - my thought is "Fighting Style"


What needs to be kept in mind here is that - for the players who want more of a list of codified actions - there are going to be expansions and modules which will give that. It's easier from a design standpoint to make a bare bones game like the playtest and then add more rules and options than to release something like 4th edition and then publish modules which give large lists of existing rules you should ignore.

So the "free-form" players get to see their game realized first because it's the simple baseline. And the "codified" players will get their game soon (hopefully) after. It's my wish that this will allow most of us to get the game that we want.



I'll point out that the language you're choosing to use "Free form" and "Codified" each carry a postive and negative vibe. I could just as easily say "Fixed Choice" and "Customizable"when referring to the character classes.

And for the record, I don't need a list of codified actions, I simply want options and choice points for all character classes as they level up. I know that a bare bones fighter from the older editions can work and would prefer not to go backwards.

D&D Next needs to evolve, not devolve.

And thanks again Autoclycus for a reasonable discussion. 
I'll point out that the language you're choosing to use "Free form" and "Codified" each carry a postive and negative vibe. I could just as easily say "Fixed Choice" and "Customizable"when referring to the character classes.


And for the record, I don't need a list of codified actions, I simply want options and choice points for all character classes as they level up. I know that a bare bones fighter from the older editions can work and would prefer not to go backwards.

D&D Next needs to evolve, not devolve.

And thanks again Autoclycus for a reasonable discussion.




Thank you! You've got me really thinking about where I stand: how much is reasoned position and how much is crochety-old-gamer-talk.  
Fair points. I didn't mean to imply a vibe for those terms, but given the tone of the boards I can see what you mean. 

The main difference I see between the playtest and the most recent edition is the powers/manuvers stuff. 4th gives an extensive list of options for a player, like method calls in computer code. It has the advantage of giving a player a bevy of specific options when playing (super awesome for new players) a character in combat - one should never be at a loss of something to do. That's the good side.

The tendency to never look past the method calls when faced with a problem is a potential down side. But we've both already spoken to this.

I think our point of contention is where the game needs to evolve and where it needs to step back. And if that is our primary conflict then this is something that can be resolved to both our satisfaction - if Wizards is up to the task.

How they give us both a simple core game, a moderately simple game with many options for characters, and also a highly customizable game where characters can be empowered with tons of options...this will be the make-or-break point.

Can they give us all what we want without becoming bogged down under the weight of the overall "exstensible framework"?

Here's hoping!
Well, to be honest, our original playtest maybe lasted an hour, until my players were saying they were ready to create their own characters.  As an experienced group, we saw the formulai present, and created comparable ideas and directions.  One player designed the Paladin, gaining only the cleric's smite ability (but not turn undead initially), and then getting to use only Cure Light Wounds (and renaming it Lay on hands) and limiting the spell slots for it.

Long story short, it only took about an hour to see the options that Wizards' didn't even present us with, yet.  Perhaps I'm overly optimistic in thinking that WoTC can bang out the same amount of material with addictive gameplay as my very old, very 'akin to one another' group, but its an optimism I'll cling to, heh.

As far as bogged down, I'm sure its bound to happen.  Its the very reason a lot of my 'inner circle' abandoned Pathfinder, with so many class variants, feats, etc, etc, unless you were a power gamer, the optional material became obsolete.

For Wizards, I hope this equates to core mechanics + core mechanic variables in the PHB, a large plethora of race and class options, and some basic skill 'guidelines' and it'd be pretty well on the mark, at least for me.  2e will always be my favorite edition for the 'players options' type books that seemed to be in near infinite supply.  Another thing I hope to be mimicked here.

@autolycus - I think you're absolutely on the mark.  Simple mechanics with all the frills of 'unique' abilities, powers, and classes, and the freedom to never be weighed down by a class archtype.

Here's Hoping! indeed.

To the Original Point, I was rather fond of the Fighter's basic setup.  It didn't take much imagination to see the potential here.  Taking Mr. Mearls suggestion to double theme the fighter and add guardian, we gave it a couple of tries and it turned out to flow well.

No matter the edition, plain fighters have never really been my thing (cleric being my biggest draw in most editions), but I surprisingly found myself having a blast.  Thats also mostly due to the core mechanics themselves.  Opposed Strength checks (as previously indicated by others), and who needs powers to tell me I can shield bash that kobold and knock his little body down?  Strength check (with a +2 since its versus AC), on hit, deal 1d6 + Strength damage (not adding weapon focus, since its a shield).  Little kobold makes a Constitution check (DC 11 + my Strength modifier), and on a failure, he hits the ground.  I just can't express how that is more important than any individual class.

From that aspect, I loved all the classes.  Just, as always, I loved the clerics more ;)     
@autolycus

Rest assured that you're not the only one with "Crochety Old Gamer Syndrome".

When I first heard some of the details about 4th the lengthy rants I had about "How dare they make my favourite RPG more like an MMO" were frequent and vehement. Then (because I always do this) I bought the core books and gave it a try and despite some of the systems flaws (terrible leveling up math progression - Huzzah for "Bounded Accuracy") the level of character customization and the monster design won me over.

You've helped me get out of my "30+ year of gaming experience" mind set and take a look at the core system mechanics, which do work. The only change I'd propose having is slightly more healing (and not the bandolier of healing potions fix either) to the PC's.

Certainly not an at-will mechanic, as that would be too strong. Someone started a thread on the cleric being able to use Channel Divinity to heal - that would be a good option. I'd also like characters to have a "second wind" type mechanic to be able to spend their hit dice on healing while in combat but it's no a deal breaker.

I'm also hopeful WotC can make a product we'll both like.
My answer is that they provide a framework on which to build characters and campaigns. I want that framework to have viable choice points and options in the character class design and the playtest material has me worried about the fighter. The following is why - if you look at the character sheets you'll see the following under class features (note that every class gets Armour and Weapon Profs): 

Wizard - Arcane Magic, Cantrips, Spellbook
Cleric - Channel Divinty, Divine Magic, Orisons
Rogue - Rogue Scheme, Skill Mastery, Sneak Attack, Tools of the Trade
Fighter - Weapon Focus (which isn't even a choice, just a flat +2 damage bonus)

This fighter is just far too simple for my tastes. I'd like something akin to the Rogue Scheme - my thought is "Fighting Style"



I stupidly jumped in the middle of a massive argument on a third-party forum on this exact same topic, so I'm going to say the same thing I said then but more respectfully and with far less snark.

We really don't know what the fighter class is capable of in terms of variety and flexibility right now.

The only thing we've seen of the fighter so far is just a playtest of a specific build through to level 3. We don't know what damage increases the class will get beyond then. We don't know what other themes are available that might provide more options. We don't even know if they're going to go through with the idea that I think Mearls stated where fighters start off with two themes (suggesting that playtesters who think the fighter is too boring add on the Defender theme from the Moradin cleric and see if that helps or makes the fighter too strong). We just flat out don't know enough right now about the fighter class to try to extrapolate what it will be like under different build options.

If you don't like the slayer-build fighter, wait until you see another fighter build. Maybe the next pregen they release will be a duelist or an archer or a defender. Or wait until the character generation rules come out and you can see in detail exactly what the fighter is capable of. Or for the advanced combat rules where more tactical options are available. Any one of those may fix the problems you're having with the fighter class. Or they might not do anything at all. You've made a clear argument for why you find the current fighter build ineffective and boring. We can go round and round speculating about a class we don't know that much about at this point, defending it and attacking it. Or we can move on and discuss other aspects of the rules we do have access to and nitpick the crap out of those instead.
the only thing i liked about the fighter is its proficiant with "all weapons" meaning i can be proficent with anything i can convince my DM is a weapon.

 
We really don't know what the fighter class is capable of in terms of variety and flexibility right now.

The only thing we've seen of the fighter so far is just a playtest of a specific build through to level 3. We don't know what damage increases the class will get beyond then. We don't know what other themes are available that might provide more options. We don't even know if they're going to go through with the idea that I think Mearls stated where fighters start off with two themes (suggesting that playtesters who think the fighter is too boring add on the Defender theme from the Moradin cleric and see if that helps or makes the fighter too strong). We just flat out don't know enough right now about the fighter class to try to extrapolate what it will be like under different build options.

If you don't like the slayer-build fighter, wait until you see another fighter build. Maybe the next pregen they release will be a duelist or an archer or a defender. Or wait until the character generation rules come out and you can see in detail exactly what the fighter is capable of. Or for the advanced combat rules where more tactical options are available. Any one of those may fix the problems you're having with the fighter class. Or they might not do anything at all. You've made a clear argument for why you find the current fighter build ineffective and boring. We can go round and round speculating about a class we don't know that much about at this point, defending it and attacking it. Or we can move on and discuss other aspects of the rules we do have access to and nitpick the crap out of those instead.



Sorry, I'm really not trying to fuel any arguments, I just think the earlier we discuss issues we've seen the better.

You mentioned the slayer build fighter, my point of contention is that Slayer is currently a "Theme" - not something unique to the fighter class. We've already seen that cleric's can select the Guardian theme (which Mearls suggested get added to the Fighter as a second theme), I assume that Slayer would be a choice for any class.

What I want is some sort of choice (like the Rogues Scheme or Clerics deity/domains which I presume govern the Channel Divinity options) embedded in the fighter class.

Weapon Mastery is nice, but it's not a choice.

And thanks for being another reasonable poster oh AbstruseOne.

Edit - with further thought, depending on how the themes look and the options they offer, the fighters "schtick" being getting two themes rather than one might be enough to placate me.
I've talked with several people who love the fighter.  I'm not one of them, but there are plenty of people I've played with for whom narrative adds enough "variety" to the fighter to make it interesting.  I've also played with a few people who, and I hate to say this but it's true, can't handle characters more complex than the Next fighter as currently written.

I'd like to think that all of us can agree that there's a place for both the 1e-3e "I hit things until they die" fighter and the 4e fighter/3.5e Warblade with lots of options every round.  Two of the most fun characters I've ever played were a warblade who was basically a cuisinart and a fighter/invoker with polearm cheese that did miserable damage but locked enemies down like crazy.  I personally don't see the need for the middle-of-the-road Essentials fighters, which had fewer options than the core fighter but were just as hard to understand.

I'm not sure how you'd balance it--frankly, the warblade was so much more powerful than the fighter it was stupid, although it seemed well-balanced compared to casters--but I'm sure The Powers That Be know we want our maneuvers back.  Hopefully they also see that we want Encounter resources back, and I'm a little worried that none of the characters we've seen so far have them, but we do have a Short Rest, so it would be easy enough.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

I wasn't a huge fan of the fighter but we haven't seen all that many options yet.  The guy who played him in the playtest I ran was OK with the fighter... specifically, how easy it was to do "fighty" things, quick, easy, kept things moving.  AND we all anticipate more detailed options to come... I'm kind of hoping that Fighters get more feats than the other classes to make up for the fact that other than fighting, they don't really do much else.
For example, "I want to draw their fire, make them focus on me. How do I do that?"

If I were your GM, I'd say, "Good question--what do you do?"

Doing it your way goes against of the things that I enjoy most in roleplaying.  I mean, you may not realize it, but you're talking about a pretty radical shift in game-style.  You're describing "Conflict resolution," a very indie-rpg thing, when D&D has always been a "task resolution" based game, and personally, I prefer it that way.

If you just say, essentially, "I do whatever it is that accomplishes my goal," you're missing out on all the problem solving that I so love.  Figuring out what it might take to draw their fire, using your above example, is a huge part of the fun.  And I'm a good GM--you can trust me--my npcs will react logically.  I have no vested interest in you "winning" or "losing," just having fun.

and then hope for a Move-equivalent

Anything that's "move equivalent" is totally out of sync with the design philosophy behind Next's action economy.  You take one action and move each turn.  That's it--there should never be "move equivalents."

In my game, if you wanted to shout taunts at enemies to draw their attention and fire, I'd just, you know, let you do it because it sounds thematic.  I'd only ever make you roll anything at all if the monster was especially intent on another target for some reason.  And talking is not an action, so it wouldn't "waste your turn" or anything.

And that's the way I'd hope it's run. Yet not necessarily what the DM might say, how he might handle it, or even if he'd allow it at all. Which is why I don't think it's unfair to call this a "DM, May I?" edition.

If you don't trust your GM to be fair/impartial/logical/acting in your fun's best interest, why is he your GM?

I totally recognize that 3.x and 4e were definitely taking deliberate steps to protect players from their GMs, but I never understand why that was a thing people wanted or needed.  Frankly, as a GM, I felt like 3rd and 4e were constantly getting in my way, and it was very difficult to run games.  I even eventually jumped ship and started running Savage Worlds and World of Darkness games instead.  I'm loving the direction Next is going so far, though, so I'm hoping to come back to my D&D roots. 

Weapon Mastery is nice, but it's not a choice.

But rolling a minimum of 10, or being proficient in theives tools is not a choice, either.  The Fighter gets more hit points and (probably) attack bonuses.  The Rogue gets a few extra skills.  Are you really upset that the Fighter gets a blanket bonus to all attacks, and the Rogue has to pick where their skill bonuses go with a "scheme?"
@thestoryteller - Amazing points of interest!

I'd like to add, D&D was always intended to be a game about imagination.  That's the first concept anyone in this playtest should understand.  You can't accuse any playtest class of not having options, because they aren't releasing any.  Its your duty as a playtester to use your imagination to see where these roles could take you when options arrive, not contrarily argue they don't exist before there's even any official printed material.  So fantastic proof of concept, thestoryteller.

Secondly, I'm with you whole-heartedly in 3.5 and 4e.  While I've played 3/.5 for over a decade now, it has never felt perfect, just the only thing viable to locally find groups =/  My choice would've been to never leave 2nd edition all this time, where the DM was a mighty arbitrater of invention and creativity.  As a 20+ year player, and 15+ year DM, I can only hope the rules remain this precious and balanced throughout the Next process.

Alas, we too experimented with other gaming systems (and I even created a game mechanic of my own using only ability scores and situational modifiers), but there's just something about having real source material to help the flow of a game.  I found WoD to quickly nominalize all players into the same choices eventually (after campaigns would run to 30+ xp or so).  Warhammer RPG had the same issue; eventually, there was never really any chance of failure.

As far as your point about actions that aren't really actions, I always found it silly to have to spend a 'Minor' or 'swift, move, standard' to provoke an enemy to hate you.  This system breeds the introduction of the 'talking is power' method to a whole generation of players.

My problem is, there aren't that many fantastic DMs to go around, honestly.  As 4e became about power gaming, most DMs have walked the same path.  (Note, I'm not saying all 4e fans are power gamers, but it did bring a larger share of it to the market).  In local pickup groups that I joined just to 'feel' out how 4e was affecting the genre, the 'encounter to encounter' flow was absolutely unappealing.  Turning a chase scene throughout a city into a 10 round skill challenge could be something of beauty with a vivid description and creative narration; but of the several pickup groups I played, I was vastly saddened.

Long sentiment short, I agree with you 100% about how DMs have control for a reason, but many DMs will need to be taught correctly.  So I hope they are truly focusing on the DMG for this edition.
Weapon Mastery is nice, but it's not a choice.

But rolling a minimum of 10, or being proficient in theives tools is not a choice, either.  The Fighter gets more hit points and (probably) attack bonuses.  The Rogue gets a few extra skills.  Are you really upset that the Fighter gets a blanket bonus to all attacks, and the Rogue has to pick where their skill bonuses go with a "scheme?"



I'm not upset that bonus they gave the fighter is poor, but their needs to be some sort of choice points embedded in the class design.

Again - for comparison sake

The Rogue gets:
Sneak Attack (fixed feature) - bumps damage, not as good as straight +2 from Weapon Mastery)
Skill Mastery (fixed feature)
Rogue Scheme: Thief (gives three skills, Thieves Cant and Thief Hiding) - Yes it's an assumption, but this implies that Rogues can select different Schemes with different options (choice point)

The Fighter gets:
Weapon Mastery (fixed feature)

So, how exactty does my fighter differ from yours other than our "RP vision" of the character? I'm not saying RP isn't important, I'm simply asking for the game to have options in class design that support creating characters from the same class that feel and play differently.

One of the best things about 3rd and 4th was that the game mechanics allowed players to make character defining choices within every class.

D&D Next needs to evolve, not devolve.


I totally recognize that 3.x and 4e were definitely taking deliberate steps to protect players from their GMs, but I never understand why that was a thing people wanted or needed.  Frankly, as a GM, I felt like 3rd and 4e were constantly getting in my way, and it was very difficult to run games.  I even eventually jumped ship and started running Savage Worlds and World of Darkness games instead.  I'm loving the direction Next is going so far, though, so I'm hoping to come back to my D&D roots. 



I never got the feeling that 3rd and 4th were trying to protect players from their GM's, but I will agree that running 3.x games was too much work.

I feel the exact opposite about GMing 4th. I loved the variety of monsters, particularly the number of options provided within the various humanoid races. I rarely used monsters with "save or die" mechanics against my groups (and I if I did I often provided a "safety net") so I didn't miss that at all.

For the record I've been both GMing and playing for 30+ years.
So, how exactty does my fighter differ from yours other than our "RP vision" of the character?


If your Fighter and my Fighter chose the same Race, Attributes, Background, and Theme, why would we not choose the same "Fighting Style," too?

Objectively, the Fighter makes fewer choices than the Rogue--but the imporant thing is, it's not 0 choices to 1, it's 4 choices to 5.

I mean, you're not going to tell me that my Human Dex-heavy, Sage, Guardian fighter is even close to your Dwarven Str-heavy, Soldier, Slayer fighter. 

D&D Next needs to evolve, not devolve.

I'm not convinced the Fighter lacking a class-unique choice is devolution.  I can't think of any choices the Fighter had in 3rd edition beyond skills and feats (which they still have).  Pathfinder had non-choices, since none of the alternate options were as good as the core Fighter.  4e had more choices, unquestionably, but there were certainly "best" choices, which kind of degrades the value of having choice at all.  

I never got the feeling that 3rd and 4th were trying to protect players from their GM's, but I will agree that running 3.x games was too much work.

I feel the exact opposite about GMing 4th. I loved the variety of monsters, particularly the number of options provided within the various humanoid races. I rarely used monsters with "save or die" mechanics against my groups (and I if I did I often provided a "safety net") so I didn't miss that at all.

For the record I've been both GMing and playing for 30+ years.

I actually felt the opposite--I thought running 3.X was worlds easier than 4e.  I hated running 4e with an unbridled passion.  Don't get me wrong, I'd be more than happy to PC 4e, but running it was hell.  It is completely antithetical to the way I run games, and during the few games I tried running, the system fought me at nearly every turn.  I appreciated the lack of quadratic wizards, though, that's for sure.

I'm not actually even 30 yet, but I have been running games for 19 years (since I was 9) starting with AD&D, and I think it just comes down to our styles not meshing.  No big deal.
I tried out the Fighter and had a good time with it.  Usually I do ranged characters, so I picked something different.  It took all of one combat round to figure out this is a pseudo-barbarian.  So maybe they can build in a Charge attack?  I got to do this:
- took guys down with one swing of my axe (both clerics together did as much damage as I did alone)
- missed a few times (and did not always remember damage-on-miss)
- went into a crowd and was down to 4 HP before healing
- tried out both the Healing Kit and the in-combat heal
- got to set up "only the penitent may pass" but since I'm short it should have been "only the SUBMISSIVE may pass" (and I got a CRIT when it mattered most ! )
- Intimidated the last cleric in one room into surrendering
- (due to pseudo-paladin morality issues) left the prisoner tied up in a room with food and water and locked the door behind us
- tried to coup de gras a sleeping paladin in order to steal his plate armor
- plan (not implemented): use chain+1 with signs of Asmodeus to bluff way into room full of defenders

As best as I could, I tried to cooperate with the rogue and the clerics to see what they can do.  Since nobody was familiar with the characters, we all were solo-starring it.  That will improve with time, I am sure.

I liked that our DM was more of a story-teller; the memorable moment for the Wizard was when he walked into a room full of clerics with his hood over his head, announced "koff koff I feel horrible, it's cold and wet outside, I need to rest and warm up koff koff" and he lay down in a bed behind the evil clerics.  This was the prelude to an ambush.

Two things I would like to play with in the future: a "classic tank" fighter, and a swashbuckler (Robin Hood / 3 Musketeers) fighter.  Just because I've never done it.

Best complements I have yet received:

Show

Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

{BRJN} If Bhaal approves of The Joker, does he approve of Jack Nicholson's portrayal or Heath Ledger's protrayal more?

{stigger} That question is utterly classic, and completely on target.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

Show

Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

@BRJN - I absolutely love this post mate.  Just, thanks for sharing =)
For example, "I want to draw their fire, make them focus on me. How do I do that?"

If I were your GM, I'd say, "Good question--what do you do?"

Doing it your way goes against of the things that I enjoy most in roleplaying.  I mean, you may not realize it, but you're talking about a pretty radical shift in game-style.  You're describing "Conflict resolution," a very indie-rpg thing, when D&D has always been a "task resolution" based game, and personally, I prefer it that way.

If you just say, essentially, "I do whatever it is that accomplishes my goal," you're missing out on all the problem solving that I so love.  Figuring out what it might take to draw their fire, using your above example, is a huge part of the fun.  And I'm a good GM--you can trust me--my npcs will react logically.  I have no vested interest in you "winning" or "losing," just having fun.



I'd rather not have to figure it out, because it's probably going to be something that I'll want to do all the time. With a codified rule, to me it feels less cheesy and not requiring DM fiat. If it's something that I can rely on 90% of the time then we've got something. If it works whenever the DM feels like it should "within the framework of the story" then....i'll just pass.

and then hope for a Move-equivalent

Anything that's "move equivalent" is totally out of sync with the design philosophy behind Next's action economy.  You take one action and move each turn.  That's it--there should never be "move equivalents."

In my game, if you wanted to shout taunts at enemies to draw their attention and fire, I'd just, you know, let you do it because it sounds thematic.  I'd only ever make you roll anything at all if the monster was especially intent on another target for some reason.  And talking is not an action, so it wouldn't "waste your turn" or anything.



Right, which is why I'm attempting to change it. If it doesn't fall within Move/Attack-Improv then it can't be done. I find this very limiting. Espically when there are a LOT more dynamic and moving parts in play. I'd rather have the capability of versatility with my actions instead of your only ever going to get 1 move and 1 attack. Everything else is either non-essential but should never require a roll. Which is basically the whole idea of being a Defender in 4E. I understand that simplicity has it's place and people shouldn't feel required to make the most out of every single action they take. They're ok with just not moving and getting nothing in return. I, however, am not that type of person. I like utilizing the most out of my action and if I can force a creature to attack me (regardless of the situation going on) and I have to make some sort of Contest out of it, I should be able to use that and attack. Yes, I'm greedy and I want it all to happen when I see it. 4E (and to some extent 3E) helped me get to this experience and it's not something I'm willing to let go lightly.

And that's the way I'd hope it's run. Yet not necessarily what the DM might say, how he might handle it, or even if he'd allow it at all. Which is why I don't think it's unfair to call this a "DM, May I?" edition.

If you don't trust your GM to be fair/impartial/logical/acting in your fun's best interest, why is he your GM?



Since I'm the DM in my group 75% of the time, I feel responsible for their fun (to a point). And one of those responsibilities is to be consistant in my rulings over the course of an adventure or game. DDN doesn't make me feel like I can keep that sort of consistancy without heavy modificaton on my part or without writing down lots of notes on things like DCs for everything. That's not why I DM, it's why I pay designers for their rules so I don't have to. If you like adjucating on the fly for everything, then that's awesome and more power to you. I hope DDN gives you the sort of flexability that you desire. Me, I require more solidarity in my rules.  


I totally recognize that 3.x and 4e were definitely taking deliberate steps to protect players from their GMs, but I never understand why that was a thing people wanted or needed.  Frankly, as a GM, I felt like 3rd and 4e were constantly getting in my way, and it was very difficult to run games.  I even eventually jumped ship and started running Savage Worlds and World of Darkness games instead.  I'm loving the direction Next is going so far, though, so I'm hoping to come back to my D&D roots. 



What, specifically, got in your way? Codified rules helps maintain consistancy between turns, rounds, sessions, adventures, and even groups. I can go into a v3.5 game at the Mall and have expectations that, on a general level, will be met. I can perform specific skills with the predictability outcomes based on level and resources used. At 3rd level with 6 ranks in Craft (Weaponsmithing) I can guestimate how hard it might be for me to craft a Masterwork longsword or a suite of full plate and how much it might cost and how long it takes. In DDN? Probably all regulated by the DM. And maybe (s)he's cool and works with me to make it happen and maybe it's just like in older editiions, but would that be the case with your group? Or the group at the Mall? Or at Gen-Con? And yes, a DM could be just as inconsistant in other groups, but at least then I know that they're not "on the level" as I put it.

Weapon Mastery is nice, but it's not a choice.

But rolling a minimum of 10, or being proficient in theives tools is not a choice, either.  The Fighter gets more hit points and (probably) attack bonuses.  The Rogue gets a few extra skills.  Are you really upset that the Fighter gets a blanket bonus to all attacks, and the Rogue has to pick where their skill bonuses go with a "scheme?"



Upset? Not really. Bored? Yes, definitly. I just find the Fighter boring to play. I find nothing intrinsic about the class that's theirs. Bigger HP.....*meh*. Good attacks......*meh*. Perhaps I just expect these things at the start. These are given aspects. I want more.
 I'd rather not have to figure it out, because it's probably going to be something that I'll want to do all the time.

This is a divergence of opinion that doesn't seem possible to bridge.  The very fact that you want to do it all the time is exactly why I want it not to be codified--so every time you try it, it's new, fresh, and interesting.  

I find just reading a power from a list to be boring.  

With a codified rule, to me it feels less cheesy and not requiring DM fiat. If it's something that I can rely on 90% of the time then we've got something. If it works whenever the DM feels like it should "within the framework of the story" then....i'll just pass.

Yeah, this is basically where I say, "I like red" and you say, "I hate red" and we're not going to reconcile.  What you want is literally opposite to what I want.

I'd rather have the capability of versatility with my actions instead of your only ever going to get 1 move and 1 attack.

I'd rather your turn take 10 seconds than have you sit and consider and take all your actions.  One action is plenty and keeps things moving.

I like utilizing the most out of my action and if I can force a creature to attack me (regardless of the situation going on) and I have to make some sort of Contest out of it, I should be able to use that and attack.

I'm pretty sure I literally suggested that you could do that, because were I your GM, yelling the right insult at a guy wouldn't be an action at all.  I wouldn't even make you roll except in very specific circumstances.  It'd just come with the caveat that you couldn't be lazy about it and read off a power--you'd have to actually taunt and insult the guy.

Yes, I'm greedy and I want it all to happen when I see it. 4E (and to some extent 3E) helped me get to this experience and it's not something I'm willing to let go lightly.

I apologize, but when what we want is so opposed, I have to hope that I am the one catered to.  You have 4e, it seems.  I miss D&D.  Let me have Next :P

Since I'm the DM in my group 75% of the time, I feel responsible for their fun (to a point). And one of those responsibilities is to be consistant in my rulings over the course of an adventure or game. DDN doesn't make me feel like I can keep that sort of consistancy without heavy modificaton on my part or without writing down lots of notes on things like DCs for everything. That's not why I DM, it's why I pay designers for their rules so I don't have to. If you like adjucating on the fly for everything, then that's awesome and more power to you. I hope DDN gives you the sort of flexability that you desire. Me, I require more solidarity in my rules.

I GM 99% of the time with my groups, and I have no trouble keeping my rulings consistent...

What, specifically, got in your way?

The concent of Encounter design and balance, at its core, was a huge issue.  I don't want to run a game and plan fights out and stuff.  I just want to present a realistic situation and let the players go.  I don't want to think about "how many goblins makes a fair fight here?"  I just want to think, "how many goblins makes sense to be here?"  And if it's too many or too few, no big deal. 

In 4e, the AEDU structure was cool as a PC (and the removal of quadratic wizards was a godsend), but as a GM, it was a nightmare because it was balanced so tightly around a 4 encounter per day paradigm.  I want to run games naturally with as many encounters as make sense.

I also saw a total destruction of player creativity and rules were constantly getting in my way when it came to improvising actions.  Example that may or may not have actually happened:

PC1: "I want to shove him off the cliff"
PC2: "Use Tide of Iron"
PC1: "I didn't take Tide of Iron"
PC2: "Then you can't shove him--shoving someone already exists as a power and you don't have it"
PC1: "I just want to shove him!  What the crap?  Anyone should be able to shove!"
GM: "Well, I'm sure we can improvise something--roll an attack..."
PC2: "That's not fair--shoving someone is a power he didn't take, and you're letting him do it anyway--can I use powers I didn't take?"
GM: "Er..."
PC2: "I want to shoot two arrows at once"
PC3: "That's Twin Strike"
PC2: "Exactly!"

And you can substitute the same thing for disarms, trips, throat punches...hell, with alchemist, you even kind of lost the ol' "throw a barrel of booze at a crowd of goblins and set them on fire with a torch."

Codified rules helps maintain consistancy between turns, rounds, sessions, adventures, and even groups. I can go into a v3.5 game at the Mall and have expectations that, on a general level, will be met. I can perform specific skills with the predictability outcomes based on level and resources used. At 3rd level with 6 ranks in Craft (Weaponsmithing) I can guestimate how hard it might be for me to craft a Masterwork longsword or a suite of full plate and how much it might cost and how long it takes. In DDN? Probably all regulated by the DM. And maybe (s)he's cool and works with me to make it happen and maybe it's just like in older editiions, but would that be the case with your group? Or the group at the Mall? Or at Gen-Con? And yes, a DM could be just as inconsistant in other groups, but at least then I know that they're not "on the level" as I put it.

I don't want that stuff to be known--when the system is codified, all games are pretty much equal, regardless of the GM.  Unfortunately, I thought they were equally "eh."  Without that codification, yes, some GMs suck, but the good ones have the freedom to make the game truly amazing.  I'd rather have some great and some bad games than all "eh" games.

Whatever, all I know is that I've had more fun with this 3 level playtest than I've had in years and it's thanks to abolishing the game design attitude you want to bring back.
PC1: "I want to shove him off the cliff"
PC2: "Use Tide of Iron"
PC1: "I didn't take Tide of Iron"
PC2: "Then you can't shove him--shoving someone already exists as a power and you don't have it"
PC1: "I just want to shove him!  What the crap?  Anyone should be able to shove!"
GM: "Well, I'm sure we can improvise something--roll an attack..."

'Bull Rush' is a standard combat option in 4e.  It allows anyone to try to push an enemy.  End of issue.



 

 

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 I'd rather not have to figure it out, because it's probably going to be something that I'll want to do all the time.

This is a divergence of opinion that doesn't seem possible to bridge.  The very fact that you want to do it all the time is exactly why I want it not to be codified--so every time you try it, it's new, fresh, and interesting.  

I find just reading a power from a list to be boring.



It appears we are at an impasse then. Though I should clarify "all the time" not to mean every single round, though 1/encounter might suffice. And it depends on the action requested. If I want to draw the enemies fire, this makes me feel like I'm defending my party. This is something that I'd like to do multiple rounds througout the course of a battle. If I want to deal an incredible amount of damage with an attack and say.....knockin the guy back 10 feet and prone, a 1/day effect seems far more likely (due to how much energy would be required for such a stunt). Hopefully maneuvers/stances and the like which they've promised will fulfill that niché for me, and it'll be fun.    

With a codified rule, to me it feels less cheesy and not requiring DM fiat. If it's something that I can rely on 90% of the time then we've got something. If it works whenever the DM feels like it should "within the framework of the story" then....i'll just pass.

Yeah, this is basically where I say, "I like red" and you say, "I hate red" and we're not going to reconcile.  What you want is literally opposite to what I want.



Which is why DDN's whole design philosophy is so hard to adhere to. There are just some things that people are going to dislike and no amount of modularity will fix this. I'd add that what I meant "do something 90% of the time" i refer to the ability to attempt it, not that it'll be successful. If I have a codified power/ability/rule that says "To Disarm a person, you can do X, Y, and Z" that it should be able to be attempted 90% of the time if the enemy has a weapon with mixed results based on rolls, level, and etc... And I guess this stems from the fact that with spells being codified, they have a lot more lee-way to cast spells without DM permission to do fancy stuff than non-spellcasting people do. That's the main thing that bothers me, that non-spellcasting character must rely on Improv-actions to be flavorful when spellcasters get it automatically.  

I'd rather have the capability of versatility with my actions instead of your only ever going to get 1 move and 1 attack.

I'd rather your turn take 10 seconds than have you sit and consider and take all your actions.  One action is plenty and keeps things moving.



I get that, but if things are simpler and break it down for you such as (using 4E terms here) "You can Mark a guy and make an attack and move" I know that I can do those 3 things and doing so takes approx 10 seconds with rolls and damage. More options doesn't necessarily mean more time waiting IF the player is conscious of the decisions (s)he'll need to make going into their turn. And that's any edition (save this one, where the Fighter just swings).

 
I like utilizing the most out of my action and if I can force a creature to attack me (regardless of the situation going on) and I have to make some sort of Contest out of it, I should be able to use that and attack.

I'm pretty sure I literally suggested that you could do that, because were I your GM, yelling the right insult at a guy wouldn't be an action at all.  I wouldn't even make you roll except in very specific circumstances.  It'd just come with the caveat that you couldn't be lazy about it and read off a power--you'd have to actually taunt and insult the guy.



So is there a wrong insult that doesn't have the same effect? Basically I'm concerned with the mechanics side of it, where as some people, no matter how well RP'ed, doesn't matter because the rules say such-and-such.

Yes, I'm greedy and I want it all to happen when I see it. 4E (and to some extent 3E) helped me get to this experience and it's not something I'm willing to let go lightly.

I apologize, but when what we want is so opposed, I have to hope that I am the one catered to.  You have 4e, it seems.  I miss D&D.  Let me have Next :P



I won't have the disposable cash to buy it when it comes out anyways (buying my first home zaps all that $$) but I do think it's the designers idea to make it modular to everyone. That might exclude 4E people, and if that's so, well they can't take my 4E books away and I'm ok with that. 

Since I'm the DM in my group 75% of the time, I feel responsible for their fun (to a point). And one of those responsibilities is to be consistant in my rulings over the course of an adventure or game. DDN doesn't make me feel like I can keep that sort of consistancy without heavy modificaton on my part or without writing down lots of notes on things like DCs for everything. That's not why I DM, it's why I pay designers for their rules so I don't have to. If you like adjucating on the fly for everything, then that's awesome and more power to you. I hope DDN gives you the sort of flexability that you desire. Me, I require more solidarity in my rules.

I GM 99% of the time with my groups, and I have no trouble keeping my rulings consistent...



Perhaps it's due to your 24% more time DM'ing? Or maybe using the same ruleset? Be that as it may, I can see many people getting DCs mixed up because there is only the very basic skeleton and not having anything "fixed", creates room for varying values. I don't know if I"m OK with that. 

What, specifically, got in your way?

The concent of Encounter design and balance, at its core, was a huge issue.  I don't want to run a game and plan fights out and stuff.  I just want to present a realistic situation and let the players go.  I don't want to think about "how many goblins makes a fair fight here?"  I just want to think, "how many goblins makes sense to be here?"  And if it's too many or too few, no big deal. 

In 4e, the AEDU structure was cool as a PC (and the removal of quadratic wizards was a godsend), but as a GM, it was a nightmare because it was balanced so tightly around a 4 encounter per day paradigm.  I want to run games naturally with as many encounters as make sense.

I also saw a total destruction of player creativity and rules were constantly getting in my way when it came to improvising actions.  Example that may or may not have actually happened:

PC1: "I want to shove him off the cliff"
PC2: "Use Tide of Iron"
PC1: "I didn't take Tide of Iron"
PC2: "Then you can't shove him--shoving someone already exists as a power and you don't have it"
PC1: "I just want to shove him!  What the crap?  Anyone should be able to shove!"
GM: "Well, I'm sure we can improvise something--roll an attack..."
PC2: "That's not fair--shoving someone is a power he didn't take, and you're letting him do it anyway--can I use powers I didn't take?"
GM: "Er..."
PC2: "I want to shoot two arrows at once"
PC3: "That's Twin Strike"
PC2: "Exactly!"




I........don't think that's ever been a problem in my games. For example, my group of 4E players were fighting pirates. The female eladrin Wizard saw the captain near the edge of the deck and attacked him with a spells. She missed. Enraged that he didn't knock him off the edge, she used her Action Point, charged and Bull Rushed him off the ledge. I gave him a save, he failed and fell into the Shark-filled Drink. Was a LOT of fun and she was suprised it worked so easily  


 And you can substitute the same thing for disarms, trips, throat punches...hell, with alchemist, you even kind of lost the ol' "throw a barrel of booze at a crowd of goblins and set them on fire with a torch."



DDN promotes the same exact thing, but it doesn't have rules for it. So 4E didn't have rules so you felt you couldn't accomplish these things but somehow DDN does, even though the same instance applies? Ok, I'm confused.

Codified rules helps maintain consistancy between turns, rounds, sessions, adventures, and even groups. I can go into a v3.5 game at the Mall and have expectations that, on a general level, will be met. I can perform specific skills with the predictability outcomes based on level and resources used. At 3rd level with 6 ranks in Craft (Weaponsmithing) I can guestimate how hard it might be for me to craft a Masterwork longsword or a suite of full plate and how much it might cost and how long it takes. In DDN? Probably all regulated by the DM. And maybe (s)he's cool and works with me to make it happen and maybe it's just like in older editiions, but would that be the case with your group? Or the group at the Mall? Or at Gen-Con? And yes, a DM could be just as inconsistant in other groups, but at least then I know that they're not "on the level" as I put it.



I don't want that stuff to be known--when the system is codified, all games are pretty much equal, regardless of the GM.  Unfortunately, I thought they were equally "eh."  Without that codification, yes, some GMs suck, but the good ones have the freedom to make the game truly amazing.  I'd rather have some great and some bad games than all "eh" games.

Whatever, all I know is that I've had more fun with this 3 level playtest than I've had in years and it's thanks to abolishing the game design attitude you want to bring back.



I actually think that Good DMs take that freedom regardless of what the rules say. If I hate the mundane item creation rules for 3E, I'm going to change them. My PCs know this because I announce it to them and they act accordingly. By making it up as I go, what's their base for any rationalization?

And I guess this stems from the fact that with spells being codified, they have a lot more lee-way to cast spells without DM permission to do fancy stuff than non-spellcasting people do.

This is why I see 3rd and 4e as trying to protect players from their GMs.  You're talking about the spells (and by extension, all the powers from 4e) having the leeway to be used, basically despite the GM.  The way you phrased it as getting "GM permission" just baffles me.  The GM represents the game world--if it makes sense in the game world, it happens.  There's no "permission" needed, there's just--I don't know--quality assurance.  Is it just me that views the GM as someone working with the players, not against them?

 That's the main thing that bothers me, that non-spellcasting character must rely on Improv-actions to be flavorful when spellcasters get it automatically.  

Whereas the main thing that bothers me is that I don't want my actions to be codified the way spellcasters' are, because they're boring and repetetive.

 So is there a wrong insult that doesn't have the same effect? Basically I'm concerned with the mechanics side of it, where as some people, no matter how well RP'ed, doesn't matter because the rules say such-and-such.

Yes, I would assume certain things (and not just words, but actions as well) would fail to get someone's attention, absolutely--doubly so for say, a troll, with barely above animal intelligence--or hell, an actual animal.  I'm specifically avoiding the mechanical side of this, because I don't want to codify it.  Sometimes, your attention grabbing action is so perfect, it wouldn't take a roll.  Sometimes, it would.  Sometimes, it's pointless and can't succeed.  I want that flexibility. 

DDN promotes the same exact thing, but it doesn't have rules for it. So 4E didn't have rules so you felt you couldn't accomplish these things but somehow DDN does, even though the same instance applies? Ok, I'm confused.

No, Next has no specific, codified rules for anything, so everything falls under general guidelines and I have the freedom to adjucate as I please.  4e does have specific codified rules for almost everything, so I am constrained by the material that exists and I lack freedom because the game is designed to protect the players from me doing exactly that.

And this is not just theory talk--I have run and played 4e, and it happend all the time.  Note that I don't dislike playing 4e--I still think it's fun to play.  I just found it to be a nightmare to run.

I actually think that Good DMs take that freedom regardless of what the rules say. If I hate the mundane item creation rules for 3E, I'm going to change them. My PCs know this because I announce it to them and they act accordingly. By making it up as I go, what's their base for any rationalization?

Their "given" is that the world is a consistent and logical place.  They should be making their decisions based on the game world, and not some meta world of mechanics.  They should not be disarming people because it's easier than hitting them or shuffling back and forth through a narrow hallway splitting their moves so that they can all hit the one enemy blocking the way.  They should make decisions because they make sense in the world, and it is my job to translate that into mechanics.  The players are people, the GM is physics (and well, science in general).  When the rulebook is physics, then what am I doing?  I'm just the guy with the index?  No, thanks.

This is why I see 3rd and 4e as trying to protect players from their GMs.  You're talking about the spells (and by extension, all the powers from 4e) having the leeway to be used, basically despite the GM.  The way you phrased it as getting "GM permission" just baffles me.  The GM represents the game world--if it makes sense in the game world, it happens.  There's no "permission" needed, there's just--I don't know--quality assurance.  Is it just me that views the GM as someone working with the players, not against them?

There are good DMs and bad DMs.   No system is so bad that a good enough DM can't help his players have fun with it, and no system is so good that a bad enough DM can't ruin it for everyone.  For that matter, there are DMs so talented at storytelling that they don't need a rule system /at all/ to give players an enjoyable RP experience.  

There are, however, a lot of DMs and potential DMs inbetween those extremes.  For those DMs - and their players - the qualities of the system do matter.



 

 

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This is why I see 3rd and 4e as trying to protect players from their GMs.  You're talking about the spells (and by extension, all the powers from 4e) having the leeway to be used, basically despite the GM.  The way you phrased it as getting "GM permission" just baffles me.  The GM represents the game world--if it makes sense in the game world, it happens.  There's no "permission" needed, there's just--I don't know--quality assurance.  Is it just me that views the GM as someone working with the players, not against them?

There are good DMs and bad DMs.   No system is so bad that a good enough DM can't help his players have fun with it, and no system is so good that a bad enough DM can't ruin it for everyone.  For that matter, there are DMs so talented at storytelling that they don't need a rule system /at all/ to give players an enjoyable RP experience.  

There are, however, a lot of DMs and potential DMs inbetween those extremes.  For those DMs - and their players - the qualities of the system do matter.




The best that we can hope for with D&DNext is that the core rules allow for less restrictions and DM heavy adjudication, while optional mods within the launch materials will give more codefied rules/options, examples of play, examples of improvised actions with adjudication guidelines for those who want them.  This version must appeal to all of the D&D Playing audiences (1970s through 2013).

The interesting irony of this design goal is that for many beginners, having codified rules makes it easier to play.  Many beginners have more difficulty with free-form, improvised actions, DM adjudication, etc.   It is much easier to look at a set of given option cards and play one each round.  In a way, a good DM and gaming group has to teach newer players how to improvise, get into character, roleplay.  Reading lots of the playtest reports, for me, seems like a great way to teach the game.  I'm hoping that WotC uses a lot of examples of play to illustrate how to make the game richer and more rewarding.  

 

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

This is a divergence of opinion that doesn't seem possible to bridge.  The very fact that you want to do it all the time is exactly why I want it not to be codified--so every time you try it, it's new, fresh, and interesting.  

I find just reading a power from a list to be boring.

Yeah, this is basically where I say, "I like red" and you say, "I hate red" and we're not going to reconcile.  What you want is literally opposite to what I want.



I don't think this was what was being said at all.  I think that by trying to deal in absolutes you are instead drawing lines in the sand when none are needed.  D&DNext is supposed to be the edition that ends all of this "line drawing" and instead you are arguing that the lines should be drawn even more...

I'm pretty sure I literally suggested that you could do that, because were I your GM, yelling the right insult at a guy wouldn't be an action at all.  I wouldn't even make you roll except in very specific circumstances.  It'd just come with the caveat that you couldn't be lazy about it and read off a power--you'd have to actually taunt and insult the guy.



There are two problems that I have with this:

1: How do I, as the player, know what the "right insult" is according to you, the DM?


Am I always going to have to guess? Is the "right insult" going to be the same or different with every monster? What about every monster type? Can I use the same "right insult" against all goblinoids, or just goblin insults with goblins and hobgoblin insults with hobgoblins? What if I, the player forget which insult is "right" for which monster? Do I no longer get the auto effect and now have to roll because I didn't use the "right" one? (should I be writting down all the insults I may need to use in the future to make sure I get the "right" effect?)


2: Why does reading an option off of a power make me lazy?


Wasn't I the one that studied the powers offered and picked the one that fits my idea of my character? The study up front helps me streamline my game play on the backside, this does not make me lazy it makes me efficient.  I don't appreciate the implication that selecting powers to build my character the way I want to makes me lazy, but asking/describing those same actions/powers to you, the DM, doesn't.


I apologize, but when what we want is so opposed, I have to hope that I am the one catered to.  You have 4e, it seems.  I miss D&D.  Let me have Next :P



I honestly hope this was a joke, because that's the way that I took it.  If not, then I don't know why you're posting on here at all.  D&DNext is for everyone, not just the anti-4E crowd.

I GM 99% of the time with my groups, and I have no trouble keeping my rulings consistent...



I DM about 99% of the time as well, and I would have to say that I'd be lying if my on-the-spot rules adjudications were 100% the same all of the time.

The concent of Encounter design and balance, at its core, was a huge issue.  I don't want to run a game and plan fights out and stuff.  I just want to present a realistic situation and let the players go.  I don't want to think about "how many goblins makes a fair fight here?"  I just want to think, "how many goblins makes sense to be here?"  And if it's too many or too few, no big deal.



It's funny that you talk about 'realism' and lack of codified rules as though they are the same thing. I see them as diametrically opposed.  Since we have no "real world" goblin tribes to reference, how do you know how many goblins make sense in an encounter? I think that the encounter design of 4E made this near flawless.  Instead of a "huge issue", it became a "non issue".  I no longer had to guess, it was plainly spelled out for me.

A normal encounter = parties level. Challenging was parties level +1. Hard was parties level +2 or higher. How was this a "huge issue" to figure out? It was easy to figure out total XP to give to players and then spend that XP by loading in the correct amount of goblin fodder to match that XP total. Much easier than figuring out an arbitrary thing like 20 goblins make sense to be here "...because I said so".


In 4e, the AEDU structure was cool as a PC (and the removal of quadratic wizards was a godsend), but as a GM, it was a nightmare because it was balanced so tightly around a 4 encounter per day paradigm.  I want to run games naturally with as many encounters as make sense.



So the assumption here is that 4 encounters per day does not make sense?  Are you arguing that it should be more?  or less?  See, when everything is vague and spoken of in generalities it's hard to pin down what exactly it is that you are trying to say here...  Since fighting monsters with swords and spells is not natural to human beings, I don't know what you mean by this statement?

I also saw a total destruction of player creativity and rules were constantly getting in my way when it came to improvising actions.  Example that may or may not have actually happened:

PC1: "I want to shove him off the cliff"
PC2: "Use Tide of Iron"
PC1: "I didn't take Tide of Iron"
PC2: "Then you can't shove him--shoving someone already exists as a power and you don't have it"
PC1: "I just want to shove him!  What the crap?  Anyone should be able to shove!"
GM: "Well, I'm sure we can improvise something--roll an attack..."
PC2: "That's not fair--shoving someone is a power he didn't take, and you're letting him do it anyway--can I use powers I didn't take?"
GM: "Er..."
PC2: "I want to shoot two arrows at once"
PC3: "That's Twin Strike"
PC2: "Exactly!"

And you can substitute the same thing for disarms, trips, throat punches...hell, with alchemist, you even kind of lost the ol' "throw a barrel of booze at a crowd of goblins and set them on fire with a torch."




This whole portion of the post just tells me that you haven't done a good job of reading the combat rules in 4E at all. Bull Rush, as has been stated, is always a combat option for all classes, not just the Fighter and would have worked perfectly in the example given.  The only destruction to player creativity was the DM and his stance that if a character didn't have a certain power he couldn't get a certain effect, which doesn't aid your DM fiat argument very well, and actually argues against it; because the DM didn't make a fair ruling based on the rules given...


The rest of the example is just a Strawman argument that you threw in to garner emotional support to your appeal that your opinion is more correct than those of us who like the codified rules. You can light monsters on fire with alcohol and a torch, you'd just need to roll to hit with both the alcohol and the torch. One being a ranged basic attack and the other a ranged or melee basic attack, you know; the simple attacks to make in 4E. Monsters would then take 5 points ongoing fire damage until the end of their next turn or until they make a savings throw - DMs choice, depending on the potency of the alcohol - dwarven ale being 300 proof and all...


I don't want that stuff to be known--when the system is codified, all games are pretty much equal, regardless of the GM.  Unfortunately, I thought they were equally "eh."  Without that codification, yes, some GMs suck, but the good ones have the freedom to make the game truly amazing.  I'd rather have some great and some bad games than all "eh" games.

Whatever, all I know is that I've had more fun with this 3 level playtest than I've had in years and it's thanks to abolishing the game design attitude you want to bring back.




First of all 'Fun' ≠ 'quality game mechanics' which is what a playtest is used to exercise.  Fun is a by-product of good games, with good mechanics, and while Fun is the intent of the game; the backbone (or rules) facilitate this, not hinder it.


There is no 'game design mechanic' that any of us are trying to bring back. The game design mechanic that you speak of already exists in older editions of the game. This is fact.  This is also the reason why they are in the older editions of the game, they are dated.


D&D should evolve taking all of the best features of the past editions and include them in future editions. This is called evolution, and is what all things must do in order to survive in the future. Mutations, such as taking a new game and using a "dated" mechanics system, will do what all mutations do - die out.


As for "good" DMs making D&D amazing; I know I want D&DNext to be designed only for the "good" DMs. That way all the "bad" DMs will quit leading players in "bad" games. Lack of rules will also get rid of "bad" players, you know the ones that like shopping on the mundane items list, or crafting their own stuff between adventures, or researching their own spells to use in future adventures, or making their own rituals, or their own magic items, or designing their own castle, church, or theives guild. [yes, this is sarcasm. generalized statements used in arguments evoke my sarcasm button.]


Lack of codified rules restrict players from ever knowing that the options I mentioned above are even options, and especially options that they can work towards. Lack of codified rules doesn't help players decide how they would like to build and play their characters, and I will always argue that it limits them to what they think is possible within the system as it is written.  

ie, Player A says, "It never occured to me that I could build a wizard tower because the players handbook never talked about it.  If I'd have known 5 levels ago I could have, I would have built one and taken on apprentices..."


DM Fiat as the only rule that matters does a much more mediocre job of even letting players know that they have such options. If I needed you to, on the fly, tell me how much money I would need to save up to build a Keep in 5E, what would you say? Would you reference an older edition to find out? Would you tell me it's impossible? At what level could I even attempt it?  If you give me a huge amount of gold as the requirement and I really want to have one I would have to start saving at 1st level to make it happen.  With your rules style, a player wouldn't even know he could consider that as a course of action.


What if my dwarven slayer only wanted to use weapons forged by his own hand? Could I smithy them out myself? Is it reasonable to suggest that a 1st level character could do this on his own?  Is this something we should just hand wave?  What's to stop me from hand waving the crafting of many weapons to turn around and sell them for profit?  Could you justify hand waving one and not the other?  Should you?


Most people on the forums are talking about the rules as they pertain to combat and improvised actions and nothing else. Isn't there more to playing D&D than exploring dungeons and killing monsters?

ie, Is making a sword in a Smithy an improvised action, or is it a skill, or do you have to have the blacksmith background or is the Soldier background sufficient? I know the playtest rules don't tell me, but should it really be left up to each DM to decide? Can the player decide?

I think the player should decide, it's his character after all, but what do we do when the DM says, "Nope, that's DM fiat, so I'll tell you how this is going to work..." Does that enhance a players fun or empower him to "role play" his character?


I don't think these questions can honestly be answered with simple DM fiat alone. You can argue your point of view, but that's all it will be. I will continue to argue that all of these rules already exist in previous editions of the game and were put there because Players were not satisified with DM Fiat alone, they wanted and needed something more.


The Brave Knights of WTF are for the holistic evolution of the game by taking what worked/s and bringing it forward, not regression for "simplicities" sake. I do wholeheartedly believe that they can both exist in the same system.


I wouldn't be posting if I didn't.
@Autolycus,

I promise that I am not hunting you out to make this point, you just seem to be the only person whom keeps posting this, so I will maintain my consistency also...

What needs to be kept in mind here is that - for the players who want more of a list of codified actions - there are going to be expansions and modules which will give that. It's easier from a design standpoint to make a bare bones game like the playtest and then add more rules and options than to release something like 4th edition and then publish modules which give large lists of existing rules you should ignore.

So the "free-form" players get to see their game realized first because it's the simple baseline. And the "codified" players will get their game soon (hopefully) after. It's my wish that this will allow most of us to get the game that we want.




I've said this before in different threads (Roleplaying Required), and I'll say it again here:


My hope is that they don't make those of us who like a little more "mechanical" meat to our game have to wait an undetermined amount of time to get what we want out of the game.


I like mechanical rules, or mechanical combat so I have to wait 3-6 months for the modules to come out to play 5E D&D - how does that make any sense?


This also implies that 'mechanically' minded DMs and players should be the ones spending more money on Modules and expansions and that the 'simple' system players won't have to pay to play their way.


Should I have to pay more to play 5E D&D than the simple group just to get to the content that I want to use? Are you going to buy it for me so that we can both enjoy our play experience?


I'd much rather see a larger book as the initial release that has 'simple' up front and 'mechanical' in the back; or 'simple' as a base with 'mechanical' injects in the margins; or whatever makes for the best Core Rulebook. Yes 'simple' gaming groups would have to pay a little more for their 'simple' game, but there may be elements from the 'mechanical' rules that simple gaming groups may like.


I've never liked this argument, and I like it even less that it's still floating around out there and that it doesn't invoke an emotional response from more people.

2L San, you've pretty much summed up everything I had to say but did so far more eloquently, lol. Great posts. You bring up the "This might not be your edition" phrase that I think seems very counter-intuitive to what they're (WotC) is trying to bring to the table. This IS supposed to be an edition that should be so flexible to fulfill anyone's RPG needs, be it heavy crunch mechanics, very light RP-driven mechanics, or somewhere in between. Hopefully that'll happen. As I see it, I could possibly see my group trying it out when it's released and I even hope to do another playtest when more material presents itself, just not right now with what we have so far.

Though I do pose a question; we're told that at some future date the Fighter (and hopefully, other non-spellcasting classes) will get the opportuinity for "powers" ala-4E style and I'm wondering, how will they be implemented? Will they be Vancian-ish with a strong emphasis on resource management or though stances or even as rechargeable powers through other aspects? Any speculations based on what we've seen so far on the Action Economy and spellcaster's abilities?
I don't think this was what was being said at all.  I think that by trying to deal in absolutes you are instead drawing lines in the sand when none are needed.  D&DNext is supposed to be the edition that ends all of this "line drawing" and instead you are arguing that the lines should be drawn even more...

Sorry, I really don't believe they can actually accomodate everyone, considering that some people want the exact opposite to someone else.

And I want to say I'm not any kind of edition crusader.  I like to play and GM 2nd.  I like to GM 3rd but dislike PCing it because casters are too powerful and I hate casters.  I like to PC in 4e but loathe GMing it for lots and lots of reasons.  I'm only advocating a style of game design that gives me great basics for adjucating things (which they've already done) and then stays the hell out of my way.

1: How do I, as the player, know what the "right insult" is according to you, the DM?

First, it's not according to me, it's according to the situation and the game world logic.  I don't decide that gravity works and falling off the Grand Canyon will kill you--physics decides that, I just speak on behalf of physics (and other game world laws).   

Second, you don't know what it is, and that's the point of not codifying it.  You can't and shouldn't automatically know what it is.  

Am I always going to have to guess?

If you can't use logic to figure it out, then yes.

Is the "right insult" going to be the same or different with every monster?

Good question--how are you going to find out the answer?

Can I use the same "right insult" against all goblinoids, or just goblin insults with goblins and hobgoblin insults with hobgoblins?

What was the insult?  That'll probably determine it.  Can I upset all people of a given race into hitting me in the real world with the same slur?  Probably not.  

What if I, the player forget which insult is "right" for which monster?

Come up with another good one?  Or don't forget?  Or better yet, forget so I don't get bored hearing the same insult over and over.

Do I no longer get the auto effect and now have to roll because I didn't use the "right" one? (should I be writting down all the insults I may need to use in the future to make sure I get the "right" effect?)

Holy crap, dude, you're pretending to be an elf yelling an insult at an imaginary goblin--this is fun and spontaneous, not homework.

2: Why does reading an option off of a power make me lazy?

Because you're relying on game mechanics to do what you should be doing yourself.  You're not actually picking an insult and using it--we might not hear any insult at all at the game table.  Your character is picking the insult and we're rolling to see if it was a good one.

It's like playing a fighting video game without any punch or kick buttons, only a "win fight" button.  Every time you hit the button, a random process runs to determine if you win or not.  If RNG is in your favor, you win.  Hooray, what a great game...

Wasn't I the one that studied the powers offered and picked the one that fits my idea of my character? The study up front helps me streamline my game play on the backside, this does not make me lazy it makes me efficient.  I don't appreciate the implication that selecting powers to build my character the way I want to makes me lazy, but asking/describing those same actions/powers to you, the DM, doesn't.

I don't think choosing a power makes you lazy--I love doing that kind of stuff.  I like PCing in 4e!  

I was using hyperbole as a rhetoric device.  You're not lazy.  But using a power to insult someone in some codified fashion is a million times less interesting to me than actually insulting someone and discovering their reaction.
I honestly hope this was a joke, because that's the way that I took it.  If not, then I don't know why you're posting on here at all.  D&DNext is for everyone, not just the anti-4E crowd.

I am not anti-4e, though.  I just hate running it and I like other stuff better.  Specifically, I like improv with general guidelines using game world logic for consistency over codified powers.  It is kind of a joke  but it sounds like you really like 4e already.  If you like it already, why do you need a new game to do the same stuff?  Tangent question: what about 4e do you dislike that you'd like to see changed for Next?

I DM about 99% of the time as well, and I would have to say that I'd be lying if my on-the-spot rules adjudications were 100% the same all of the time.

I didn't say they were the same, I said they were consistent.  No situation is the same as any other--but game world logic can still keep us consistent.  If game world logic led me to believe a certain roll should be DC 11, why would game world logic lead me to think that same situation should be a different DC at a later time unless it was a sufficiently different situation to warrant a change?

Since we have no "real world" goblin tribes to reference, how do you know how many goblins make sense in an encounter?

I don't look to the real world, I look to the game world.  I'm absolutely not after realism in my rules--no way.  

I think that the encounter design of 4E made this near flawless.  Instead of a "huge issue", it became a "non issue".  I no longer had to guess, it was plainly spelled out for me.

A normal encounter = parties level. Challenging was parties level +1. Hard was parties level +2 or higher. How was this a "huge issue" to figure out?


Because I don't think about encounters in terms of how challenge they are?  That does not work for me.  I don't think, "Oh, this fight should be Hard."  I don't know how to think in those terms, sorry.

I'm not planning anything when I run rpgs--I just present situations and the players go.  If the PCs encounter goblins, they encounter goblins.  Fighting is not inevitable, and I don't care how difficult it is to beat them if they do fight.  They encountered goblins--it's their job to deal with that.  

I'm having trouble putting this into words, but I don't like to design encounters, I want them to just happen.  

It was easy to figure out total XP to give to players and then spend that XP by loading in the correct amount of goblin fodder to match that XP total. Much easier than figuring out an arbitrary thing like 20 goblins make sense to be here "...because I said so".

I use game world logic to decide--it's not arbitrary.  So, let's say the PCs go to the Goblin's warrens--this is where they live--but the XP budget calls for only 4 goblins.  Now what do you do?  That doesn't make any sense--the goblins live there, there has to be more than 4...
So the assumption here is that 4 encounters per day does not make sense?  Are you arguing that it should be more?  or less?

I'm arguing that it is entirely situational and that there can be no general statement made about the number of encounters you should face per day.  Some days, you face no encounters.  Others 1.  Yet others 2.  Maybe sometimes it makes sense to face 10.  Balancing the game entirely around 4 encounters per day makes it pretty easy for those who are interested in planning out 4 encounters for every day.  It is extremely aggravating for those of us that do not want to plan any set amount of encounters and would instead like to just see how it goes and run everything on the fly.  

This whole portion of the post just tells me that you haven't done a good job of reading the combat rules in 4E at all. Bull Rush, as has been stated, is always a combat option for all classes, not just the Fighter and would have worked perfectly in the example given.  The only destruction to player creativity was the DM and his stance that if a character didn't have a certain power he couldn't get a certain effect, which doesn't aid your DM fiat argument very well, and actually argues against it; because the DM didn't make a fair ruling based on the rules given...

You have misread my example.  First, it was all joking hyperbole.  Second, it was another PC arguing with the player, not the GM.  The GM in the example wanted to just improvise and another player was angry that the first player was being allowed to improvise something that normally requires a certain power selection and wanted to use that precedent to duplicate other, more powerful powers that he also did not have.  I'm also not specifically anti-4e.

The point of the story was that--well ok, let's say Fighters get powers.  Two options for those are a power to trip some guy and a power that deals double damage and sends the enemy flying back 20' from him.  Now, let's say there's a fighter who, instead chose a power that disarms and a power that reduces an enemy's AC for a turn.

That Fighter wants to trip someone and describes how he does it.  As the GM, I now have a problem on my hands.  

If I let him do it, precedence says he can improvise powers.  Having powers is now pointless because you can just improvise them and in fact hurts the game because everyone is doubling their damage every turn by improvising that power.

If I don't let him do it, well, I'm a douche.  I mean, why the hell shouldn't he be able to trip someone?  His description was a good one.

This dilemma is what I want to avoid.  

There's also the fact that I like passive bonuses.  I really, genuinely and interested in having and excited by stuff like +2 damage.

 The rest of the example is just a Strawman argument that you threw in to garner emotional support to your appeal that your opinion is more correct than those of us who like the codified rules.

I don't think my opinion is more correct.  That's ridiculous, it's an opinion.  I am trying to explaining where I'm coming from, though.  I'm a perfectly reasonable person who disagrees with you.  It's that simple.

 D&D should evolve taking all of the best features of the past editions and include them in future editions. This is called evolution, and is what all things must do in order to survive in the future. Mutations, such as taking a new game and using a "dated" mechanics system, will do what all mutations do - die out.

Yes.  And clearly we disagree on what the best features are.

Lack of rules will also get rid of "bad" players, you know the ones that like shopping on the mundane items list, or crafting their own stuff between adventures, or researching their own spells to use in future adventures, or making their own rituals, or their own magic items, or designing their own castle, church, or theives guild. [yes, this is sarcasm. generalized statements used in arguments evoke my sarcasm button.]

Why would any of those things make (sarcastic) "bad" players?  All those things sound awesome and like things I want players to do.

ie, Player A says, "It never occured to me that I could build a wizard tower because the players handbook never talked about it.  If I'd have known 5 levels ago I could have, I would have built one and taken on apprentices..."

That's pretty dumb.  Why would you not know you could try and build a wizard tower?  Game world logic, people!  What the heck?  If wizard towers exist, of course someone can build one.  

Do your player characters asphyxiate because the game rules don't mention that they need to breathe? (I like hyperbole)

If someone wants to build a wizard tower, they should say, "Hey, can I try and build a wizard tower?" 

If I needed you to, on the fly, tell me how much money I would need to save up to build a Keep in 5E, what would you say?

If this is a serious question, I'd tell them they have absolutely no idea--they'd need to do some research to find out.  They'd have to talk to contractors and builders, find land that was open, etc.  Then, I'd take a look at the supplies and maybe do some research myself on castles and stuff in between sessions, and give them a figure next game.  Either that, or I'd say, "a lot," and at some point down the line let them find "enough money to build a keep."  

Or I'd look it up in the book because having a price list and codifying special maneuvers for Fighters have absolutely nothing to do with each other and I never objected to including gold prices for keeps.

With your rules style, a player wouldn't even know he could consider that as a course of action.

I don't see why my rules style would interfere with someone's ability to see that, in the game world, people can build stuff, and that, by extension, they can build stuff, too.  Or what this tangent actually has to do with my style in the first place.

What if my dwarven slayer only wanted to use weapons forged by his own hand? Could I smithy them out myself? Is it reasonable to suggest that a 1st level character could do this on his own?  Is this something we should just hand wave?  What's to stop me from hand waving the crafting of many weapons to turn around and sell them for profit?  Could you justify hand waving one and not the other?  Should you?

First, this is an unfair question (for you) because there are tradeskill rules in the game thanks to the Commoner background that the Rogue has.  That said, I'd think it was a cool touch to only use weapons he forged himself.  I'd totally let him do it.  And if you want to start selling hand made weapons for profit, you're making a new character because running a business is kind of a full time job.  Either that, or I'd assume your "job" makes enough money to cover mundane expenses like a house and whatever, but you need another source of money for crazy purchases.

Most people on the forums are talking about the rules as they pertain to combat and improvised actions and nothing else. Isn't there more to playing D&D than exploring dungeons and killing monsters?

Unquestionably--in fact, speedy combat is something I value highly because I don't want to spend all that much time killing monsters. 

ie, Is making a sword in a Smithy an improvised action, or is it a skill, or do you have to have the blacksmith background or is the Soldier background sufficient? I know the playtest rules don't tell me, but should it really be left up to each DM to decide? Can the player decide?

My answer is, telling me that someone wants to be a blacksmith is sufficient for me, because blacksmithing is not interesting or dramatic enough for me to force rolls for it.  And yes, I do believe it should be up to each GM.

 I think the player should decide, it's his character after all, but what do we do when the DM says, "Nope, that's DM fiat, so I'll tell you how this is going to work..." Does that enhance a players fun or empower him to "role play" his character?

That's a playstyle issue.  My group has always preferred highly immersive play--they want to be their characters, so they want to interact with the world strictly via methods available to their character.  They don't want to make decisions like how a subsystem should work--they just want to say, "I want to craft a sword" or whatever.
Though I do pose a question; we're told that at some future date the Fighter (and hopefully, other non-spellcasting classes) will get the opportuinity for "powers" ala-4E style and I'm wondering, how will they be implemented? Will they be Vancian-ish with a strong emphasis on resource management or though stances or even as rechargeable powers through other aspects? Any speculations based on what we've seen so far on the Action Economy and spellcaster's abilities?



Diffan, thanks for the support.  I'm not the most popular on here, but I'm doing what I can to try to make this game better.

I think WoTC, with it's current R&D crew, like At-Wills and Vancian magic and they've already posed an example of how they'd like to bring it back.

I can see them using this same style for fighters.  Stances will be the "At-Will" powers and then they'll have vancian style dailies that you can use for that guaranteed combat effect.  If you really need to push the BBEG, or knock him prone, or stop his movement, you'll have those options guaranteed, but only a few times per day.