Hate the player, not the game?

Something I've realized about my own feelings in the debates about different editions and how DDN should be made is that my big problem is not necessarily with certain systems, but instead with the people who think those systems are superior.

I, personally, think that 4e is a vast improvement to 3.5. I could list many things I think it did better than 3.5. There are certain things I miss from 3.5, such as iconic, goofy spells and bizarre characters made from the super liberal multiclassing rules. I even miss saying the words "roll a reflex save." I had many fun years playing 3rd edition D&D, its the game that got me into the hobby, and has a special place in my heart.

However, I cannot bring myself to not have a certain disdain for the players who continue to play the game. The ones that I know personally typically have dismissed 4e without ever properly playing it, and are frankly bad at running the game. I've played in their games before, and more importantly I have heard stories of their games from other players. And they are full of what I consider poor DMing practice. I also see many of the attitudes of these poor players echoed in posts on these forums, and I can't keep myself from thinking of the buffoons who said the same thing in real life.

My point is, I think it is perfectly possible to run a fun 3.5 game. However, I think it is unlikely that I will have a good time playing with people who still run 3.5. All the good players and DMs have switched over to 4e, leaving the people I would rather ignore to play 3.5. Note I mean this highly subjectively. I am certain that there are groups playing every game out there and having fun. In that sense they are "good." But in a personal sense, I judge them not good, or at least not what I find fun. I, personally, would not have much fun in their games. That's ok, because I have my own games to run.

In a certain sense, then, I am happy to see the playerbase fractured. It keeps the people I don't like out of my game, because they're the ones who whine about how 4e is just an MMO.

This tendency makes it very hard to be objective about the playtest though. I very often find myself going, "well, the mechanic might work, but it is way too much like that other thing, and will attract dumb players." I'm sure many anti-4ers feel the same way. "Well, I don't mind this mechanic, but anything called powers will just attract all the crappy MMO munchkins I hate so much." 

Is this a legitimate issue? Is it wrong for me to feel this way? Do you share similar feelings? Post away! 
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
Inb4 flames.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
This probably isn't the best forum to post this in, what with the strict guidelines, but I get what you're saying.  Back when 3.X was the only game in town, you played with a number of people: some of them shared your views (what was good or bad about the game, how things should be approached, etc) and some of them disagreed with your fundamental premises.  It still kind of worked, because you all agreed to go by the rules in the book and whatever concessions anyone could wrangle out of the DM.

When 4E came out, it created a natural split.  Early on, everyone went to try it, and early 4E games were full of those same players: the ones who agreed with your ideals, and the ones who didn't.  Games did not always run smoothly, because players who enjoyed the freedom of 3.X did not appreciate the structure of 4E, and nobody really understood the rules all that well anyway.  Then, the 3.X fans stopped playing 4E and switched to Pathfinder, where they could enjoy playing a game with others who shared their outrage over how 4E ruined everything forever.  The people who actually enjoyed 4E were thereby free to only play with others who agreed on the merits of that system.

DDN is trying to appeal to both groups.  If it is successful, then 3.X fans will have to deal with 4E fans, even though they've shown that they do not appreciate the same types of game.  (That's not even getting into the problem with designing a game that will appeal to both groups in the first place - which is no easy feat.  It is something to consider, but I think they're betting everything they have on modular support, and if that works then both groups should be happy and capable of running their own type of games under 5E rules.)

Conflict will ensue, there is no doubt, but it shouldn't be any worse than the days when 3.X was the only game in town.   If anything, 4E expanded the total base of players between all of the systems, so it should be easier to find a suitable 5E game than it was to find a compatible 3.X group, but it will take some forward action on the part of DMs to list exactly what style of game will be run before the players sign on.

The metagame is not the game.

Every edition has its merits. I have never been the type of person to say new things are "dumbed down" because that argument is ridiculous. Designers have intent for their changes to the system and to imply they are implementing worse mechanics because players are too stupid raises the questions "Why are you still playing the game? If you think so low of the designers and players why not just leave?"

I have played early editions of D&D and the modern editions. I prefer the modern approach of player empowerment and board game style design, but I have no problem with other perspectives. 

The problem I do have is people who feel their edition is perfect and have almost 0% chance of switching to a new system trying to dictate how D&D Next should be developed. They have their game, they should not try to sabotage new systems. 

I disagree with the OP about players of older editions utilizing bad GMing practices. In general this attitude is applying perspective from one system onto another system, which will fail unless the systems are very similar. 
For most of my time as a D&D player the vast majority of my time was spent within the same general cirlce of gamers from the local store. While each DM had there own style, strenghs and weaknesses, over time the games and play styles did devlop thier own similarities. PLaying out side this group or dealing with the new comer could be a jarring experience because right or wrong, we were used to doing things a certain way.  Incidentaly I don't think this is something D&DN is going to adresss because its only going to seperate the gulf between player experiences. What it will do though is create a single product that the company can support regardless of play style.

I myself preffer 4E but I play Pathfinder as well ( and seriously, if people thought 3.5 was fine as is Pathfinder wouldn't exist.) Over the last couple of years I've made the final determination that the people you play with have a far greater impact on your play experience than the system of choice.
I've made the final determination that the people you play with have a far greater impact on your play experience than the system of choice.



I agree 150% that people make the play experience. No doubts there.

But having said that, I find that I cannot play 3.X at all anymore. I've tried. I can't even play anything that is a derivative of it like d20 Modern/Future, any d20 Star Wars, including SAGA, or anything designed from d20 OGL. I just can't bring myself to go back to it, no matter who is running or playing it. I couldn't tell you what it is, though I wish I could. I've tried to play and run games in several games that were designed on d20 OGL (or non-OGL including 3.5 and SAGA), but I end up not caring after about two or three game sessions.

Funny thing? Despite my absolute love of everything that is 4e (even Essentials, which has oddly grown on me lately), I've been itching to get my hands on some old AD&D 2nd edition stuff lately. If I do, I'll have to house rule the hell out of it, but I believe I will have a lot of fun with it and it's many, many, many, and did I mention many? campaign settings (some of which have yet to see a modern iteration like Planescape as a whole, Birthright, or Mystara).            
Inb4 flames.

LULZ!
Knowing is Half the Battle. The Other Half is VIOLENCE. Imagine a lightsaber duel between Optimus Prime and Batman. You're welcome.

I've been itching to get my hands on some old AD&D 2nd edition stuff lately. If I do, I'll have to house rule the hell out of it, but I believe I will have a lot of fun with it


Currently DM'ing a 2E Planescape campaign. Maybe it's just something that only happens in this forum, but why is every body here such a "rules lawyer" person? Coming from the 2E era, our group is so accustomed with integrating house rules in order to spice things up or to fix stuff, that I find all of these threads on "it's not in the book, so it doesn't count" pointless.


Maybe DnD Next should point out on the first page of its DMG "The DM is in charge, that means he/she can come up with house rules.". Would that fix it for you guys?


On topic: 4E is a great as a boardgame (not so much as an RPG), 3.5E is great for people who love excel sheets and min-maxing, and the older editions are good for role-playing but lack rules on almost everything else, making them bad at table-topping so-to-speak.
I've made the final determination that the people you play with have a far greater impact on your play experience than the system of choice.



I agree 150% that people make the play experience. No doubts there.

But having said that, I find that I cannot play 3.X at all anymore. I've tried. I can't even play anything that is a derivative of it like d20 Modern/Future, any d20 Star Wars, including SAGA, or anything designed from d20 OGL. I just can't bring myself to go back to it, no matter who is running or playing it. I couldn't tell you what it is, though I wish I could. I've tried to play and run games in several games that were designed on d20 OGL (or non-OGL including 3.5 and SAGA), but I end up not caring after about two or three game sessions.



I felt the same way after playing 4E. Though since my group is pretty cool and I'm very familiar with their gaming styles and don't mind v3.5/Pathfinder IF (and it's a big IF) I can have access to the Tome of Battle resources. If I don't have access to that particular supplement, then I fear I often go to the Char_Ops boards for character builds and find things that are often overtly powerful to illustrate the mechanics short-falls. It's a bit.....silly, I know, but with lots of combat options presented in the ToB:Bo9S, I don't feel this need. 

I've made the final determination that the people you play with have a far greater impact on your play experience than the system of choice.



I agree 150% that people make the play experience. No doubts there.

But having said that, I find that I cannot play 3.X at all anymore. I've tried. I can't even play anything that is a derivative of it like d20 Modern/Future, any d20 Star Wars, including SAGA, or anything designed from d20 OGL. I just can't bring myself to go back to it, no matter who is running or playing it. I couldn't tell you what it is, though I wish I could. I've tried to play and run games in several games that were designed on d20 OGL (or non-OGL including 3.5 and SAGA), but I end up not caring after about two or three game sessions.



I felt the same way after playing 4E. Though since my group is pretty cool and I'm very familiar with their gaming styles and don't mind v3.5/Pathfinder IF (and it's a big IF) I can have access to the Tome of Battle resources. If I don't have access to that particular supplement, then I fear I often go to the Char_Ops boards for character builds and find things that are often overtly powerful to illustrate the mechanics short-falls. It's a bit.....silly, I know, but with lots of combat options presented in the ToB:Bo9S, I don't feel this need. 


Are... are... are you me?
Knowing is Half the Battle. The Other Half is VIOLENCE. Imagine a lightsaber duel between Optimus Prime and Batman. You're welcome.


Maybe DnD Next should point out on the first page of its DMG "The DM is in charge, that means he/she can come up with house rules.". Would that fix it for you guys?



Not really, because it's always been implied no matter what edition your playing in. House rules aren't edition specific (except in their effect) and I've played in quite a few that used wonky rules for 2e/AD&D, 3E, Pathfinder, and 4E. Additionally, the DM has always been in charge of the game but if it makes people who DM feel more empowered, *shrugs* then I don't see a problem.

On topic: 4E is a great as a boardgame (not so much as an RPG), 3.5E is great for people who love excel sheets and min-maxing, and the older editions are good for role-playing but lack rules on almost everything else, making them bad at table-topping so-to-speak.



Not to get into yet another "edition war", but what rules do we need for role-playing, specifically? What I thougth 4E got right was putting the bulk of the rules into combat because that often has the most amount of conflicts between Players (using PCs) and DMs (using monsters). What I didn't need were DCs for baking pies, crafting a non-magical sword, playing a flute, interacting with NPCs and people of a town or other people at the table.
I've made the final determination that the people you play with have a far greater impact on your play experience than the system of choice.



I agree 150% that people make the play experience. No doubts there.

But having said that, I find that I cannot play 3.X at all anymore. I've tried. I can't even play anything that is a derivative of it like d20 Modern/Future, any d20 Star Wars, including SAGA, or anything designed from d20 OGL. I just can't bring myself to go back to it, no matter who is running or playing it. I couldn't tell you what it is, though I wish I could. I've tried to play and run games in several games that were designed on d20 OGL (or non-OGL including 3.5 and SAGA), but I end up not caring after about two or three game sessions.



I felt the same way after playing 4E. Though since my group is pretty cool and I'm very familiar with their gaming styles and don't mind v3.5/Pathfinder IF (and it's a big IF) I can have access to the Tome of Battle resources. If I don't have access to that particular supplement, then I fear I often go to the Char_Ops boards for character builds and find things that are often overtly powerful to illustrate the mechanics short-falls. It's a bit.....silly, I know, but with lots of combat options presented in the ToB:Bo9S, I don't feel this need. 


Are... are... are you me?



Lol, no but I see I'm not alone in that sort of mentality. Basically it comes from the :facepalm: I do when I hear DMs spout stupid things like "The ToB is SOOO broken!" and "The Warlock is so OP because he can basically spam a magic blast all day long". It's those sorts of DMs that I just want to make a Core character and "win" at D&D to disprove him at the most basic conceptual level.
Hate the playa, not the game.
Though you can hate the game sometimes because it often makes the playa. And game does recognize game, playa.

If you started in late 3.5 or 4E, it's a good chance that you and your favorite group like advanced martial rule systems and some sort of parity.
If you started "back in the day", you usually have no trouble trusting a DM to make knowledgable and smart decisions.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

...You still haven't proven you're not me.

I mean, that's, like, [explicite deleted] verbatim how I look at that. It's almost some sort of primal drive.
Knowing is Half the Battle. The Other Half is VIOLENCE. Imagine a lightsaber duel between Optimus Prime and Batman. You're welcome.
...You still haven't proven you're not me.

I mean, that's, like, [explicite deleted] verbatim how I look at that. It's almost some sort of primal drive.



Perhaps I am........

......and we're awesome!

I've been itching to get my hands on some old AD&D 2nd edition stuff lately. If I do, I'll have to house rule the hell out of it, but I believe I will have a lot of fun with it


Currently DM'ing a 2E Planescape campaign. Maybe it's just something that only happens in this forum, but why is every body here such a "rules lawyer" person? Coming from the 2E era, our group is so accustomed with integrating house rules in order to spice things up or to fix stuff, that I find all of these threads on "it's not in the book, so it doesn't count" pointless.


Maybe DnD Next should point out on the first page of its DMG "The DM is in charge, that means he/she can come up with house rules.". Would that fix it for you guys?


On topic: 4E is a great as a boardgame (not so much as an RPG), 3.5E is great for people who love excel sheets and min-maxing, and the older editions are good for role-playing but lack rules on almost everything else, making them bad at table-topping so-to-speak.

My theory is that most of the people who are able to spend time on these forums, are also likely to try to play the game with strangers on other forums or online in general.  When you play online, you need to stick to the rules or it becomes too hard to navigate.  I could be totally wrong though.
...You still haven't proven you're not me.

I mean, that's, like, [explicite deleted] verbatim how I look at that. It's almost some sort of primal drive.



Perhaps I am........

......and we're awesome!


Ok, let's play a game, alright? On the count of three, name your favorite dinosaur. Don't even think about it, just name it, alright? One, two, THREE...
Knowing is Half the Battle. The Other Half is VIOLENCE. Imagine a lightsaber duel between Optimus Prime and Batman. You're welcome.
So... I've played w/ a lot of groups. Back ten years ago there was another group of kids my age (who I didn't know at the time) playing D&D. While my group was really into 3e, they stood by 2e. When our groups actually met, I remember some of them saying "Oh, 3rd edition is just for people who like anime. I heard there's something where when you kill an enemy you can attack again." ...eventually, I absorbed several players from that group (during college) and heard horror stories about their former DM. Even though he ran a 2e game, he seemed to prefer houseruling in ways which blocked players from improvising... which seems crazy to me.

What I'm getting at is that I agree people make snide remarks about other editions based on just a few things. But, I don't want to avoid playing with them just because of edition differences. But, there are some players I've met who are pretty much abt reducing the fun of others. I don't like having those people at my table.

I worry the snide remark for dndn will be "It's D&D for grognards." Sorta like 4e being "An mmo". I don't expect everyone to like playing the game, but I appreciate it when the criticisms are more than just a writeoff.

Also... I'm a little impressed that everyone's so far being pretty chill w/ admitting there are some people who are a drag to play with.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
Hate the playa, not the game.
Though you can hate the game sometimes because it often makes the playa. And game does recognize game, playa.

If you started in late 3.5 or 4E, it's a good chance that you and your favorite group like advanced martial rule systems and some sort of parity.
If you started "back in the day", you usually have no trouble trusting a DM to make knowledgable and smart decisions.



I've only been playing D&D for about 18 years or so, which for many still makes ame a green horn rookie. It's been a long time since I've trusted DMs implicity in thier decision making process. That's becasue DM's are human, and humans are never infallable.

...You still haven't proven you're not me.

I mean, that's, like, [explicite deleted] verbatim how I look at that. It's almost some sort of primal drive.



Perhaps I am........

......and we're awesome!


Ok, let's play a game, alright? On the count of three, name your favorite dinosaur. Don't even think about it, just name it, alright? One, two, THREE...



Stegosaurus
...You still haven't proven you're not me.

I mean, that's, like, [explicite deleted] verbatim how I look at that. It's almost some sort of primal drive.



Perhaps I am........

......and we're awesome!


Ok, let's play a game, alright? On the count of three, name your favorite dinosaur. Don't even think about it, just name it, alright? One, two, THREE...



Stegosaurus

*sigh of relief*

Ok. Good, that means that there are more people out there like me, but not actually me, and that fills me with hope.

If you had said either velociraptor (a la Step Bros.) or triceratops (my real favorite), then things would have gotten weird.
Knowing is Half the Battle. The Other Half is VIOLENCE. Imagine a lightsaber duel between Optimus Prime and Batman. You're welcome.
I think the thing to hate on is divisiveness. If you want a good game then you simply want good players. I run a 4e game and I run a practically systemless freeform game. Both are equally fun and interesting, and people cross over from one to the other now and then without problems. This is just a fun pastime, not a religion. Never yet has anyone said they weren't going to play in ANY game I've ever set up in 30+ years of running games because of the system. I've heard some criticism of different systems on various points and I pick and choose what I like to run, but there's no 'type of player' that is bound to one game or another. Neither are there huge differences between editions of D&D. The same people can enjoy any edition. Some people convince themselves that one is bad or another is good. They've deluded themselves if you ask me. Stop worrying about it and just have fun.

That is not dead which may eternal lie

Ok, let's play a game, alright? On the count of three, name your favorite dinosaur. Don't even think about it, just name it, alright? One, two, THREE...



Stegosaurus

*sigh of relief*

Ok. Good, that means that there are more people out there like me, but not actually me, and that fills me with hope.

If you had said either velociraptor (a la Step Bros.) or triceratops (my real favorite), then things would have gotten weird.



Haha, I had thought of Step Bros. but decided on the real favorite (the spiked plates of a Stegosaurur are pretty awesome, IMO).

Back to the Original Topic: I think it definitly depends on the players and less about the system. While I completely detect everything that is 2E/AD&D, I'm sure there's a group out there that could get me to play that system and probably like it on some level. And I've gotten people who've not liked 4E's debut to actually try it and enjoy some elements of it.

I'm pretty certain I could take any of you claiming your love for 4E and 'convert' you to 2E pretty fast, or at the very least get you to (grudgingly) admit you had a heck of a time and didn't run into any of the problems you see trumpeted across the internet (unless, of course, your whole problem is 'but a DM had to make a judgement call' -- and even then I'd get half of you).

The system helps a bit (or hurts, in some cases) but most of it is in the quality of the DM and their experience.  I ran into a guy I hadn't seen in 20 years the other day at a restaurant and the second sentence from his mouth was "So, are you still running games?  Think I can get in one?"  Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Smile

Sure, there are some people I'd rather not run in a game given a chance, but that kind of echo-chamber approach is eroding the hobby, also (imo).  Usually you can pick them out online, though -- they're the ones who overly use the following terms.  "Objectively, conflate, game design, bad design, poor design, robust, factually..."  You know.  The ones who sound like they're leftovers from the VHS - Betamax wars trying to convince people that because Betamax is, to them, better...that it must be that everyone else is simply stupid that they don't agree.  And while it's true that many of those individuals prefer a particular system, that's not universal at all so please, don't think I'm labelling all the players who prefer one system or the other.  I'm not.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

I'm pretty certain I could take any of you claiming your love for 4E and 'convert' you to 2E pretty fast, or at the very least get you to (grudgingly) admit you had a heck of a time and didn't run into any of the problems you see trumpeted across the internet (unless, of course, your whole problem is 'but a DM had to make a judgement call' -- and even then I'd get half of you).

The system helps a bit (or hurts, in some cases) but most of it is in the quality of the DM and their experience.  I ran into a guy I hadn't seen in 20 years the other day at a restaurant and the second sentence from his mouth was "So, are you still running games?  Think I can get in one?"  Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

Sure, there are some people I'd rather not run in a game given a chance, but that kind of echo-chamber approach is eroding the hobby, also (imo).  Usually you can pick them out online, though -- they're the ones who overly use the following terms.  "Objectively, conflate, game design, bad design, poor design, robust, factually..."  You know.  The ones who sound like they're leftovers from the VHS - Betamax wars trying to convince people that because Betamax is, to them, better...that it must be that everyone else is simply stupid that they don't agree.  And while it's true that many of those individuals prefer a particular system, that's not universal at all so please, don't think I'm labelling all the players who prefer one system or the other.  I'm not.

Meh, 2e had some very nice presentation, but as a system it was mechanically pretty crappy. 1e worked well enough basically because it totally avoided any attempt to provide characters with meaningful options. As soon as they tried to graft optional stuff onto that core it fell apart like wet cardboard. There's plenty to recommend 2e as a model of presentation, but it needs a 4e-like set of core mechanics to be built around. I'd say in many ways the 5e playtest points in that kind of direction with a rational system of themes that does what kits tried and failed to do, and at least possibly some attention to making classes actually functional at some baseline.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I'm pretty sure your experience is limited on it. I've been playing 3.5 with my friends for roughly 10 years now, and I don't consider myself a bad DM. Neither do my players, apparently, since I pretty regularly get asked to run campaigns for the group, despite other DMs being available. I just find the system more comfortable to me. I've even converted several 4e players (who'd never done 3.5) to playing 3.5 almost exclusively. It sounds like you're thinking in black and white terms. Yes, it's about the players, not the game, but it's about the INDIVIDUALS, not whether they're player type A or player type B.  
Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such sport, And the Dish ran away with the Spoon. He ran from conviction, and fed his addiction as the Dish heated the Spoon... The Spoon begged to go, but the Dish shouted : "NO!!" "The heroin will be ready soon!" "Any time doing the right thing is funny as hell, it's probably Chaotic Good." IMAGE(http://i46.tinypic.com/2jcu9fs.png)
I'm pretty certain I could take any of you claiming your love for 4E and 'convert' you to 2E pretty fast, or at the very least get you to (grudgingly) admit you had a heck of a time and didn't run into any of the problems you see trumpeted across the internet (unless, of course, your whole problem is 'but a DM had to make a judgement call' -- and even then I'd get half of you).

I'm afraid I'd disapoint you.  I played and ran AD&D, 1 & 2, for 15 years.  I might play a single session of 1e once in a blue moon for nostalgia, but 2e has nothing to offer me.  Yes, even though 2e is technically the better-done system.

A really good DM can run a good game using any system, including no system at all.  I'm afraid WotC has taken that little truism and and concluded that the quality of a system counts for nothing.  

Usually you can pick them out online, though -- they're the ones who overly use the following terms.  "Objectively, conflate, game design, bad design, poor design, robust, factually..."

I think the mistake you're making is that you conflate play experience with system quality.  If you look at systems objectively, you can see the difference between good and bad design.  Poorly designed systems brake easily, while better-designed ones are more robust.  If you have an exceptional DM, you can compensate for a poor design, but that doesn't absolve the game designer from all responsibility for the play experiences of groups with less stellar DMs.  

Damn, left out "factually."  :sigh:


 

 

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I honestly gave 4e a very fair shake.  I went in optimistically and thinking it would be fun.  So I am not your stereotype.  I have learned after many hours of play that I dislike 4e and it's playstyle.

@OP
I understand your feelings.  I feel the same way but in reverse.  If I were recruiting players for my campaign, I'd look for those playing Pathfinder and not 4e.  I am not so convinced that I couldn't find a 4e player.  Many people play along with their groups even when they personally don't like the edition.  They are middle of the road people and it's not a dealbreaker.  But if you really feel like 4e is vastly superior to 3e then you probably aren't the right person for my campaign and my campaign is likely not right for you.

Edit:
I don't feel offended in the least that you like something different than me.  I do though think it is absurd for you to ascribe mental or moral qualities to a game preference.   I don't think 4e preferers are stupid.  They just get different things out of RPGs than I do.

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For me personally, the big rift is not between 3e players and 4e players, it's between 3e/4e players and 1e/2e players.
I had a lot of fun playing 3e, even as I acknowledged the flaws in its mechanics.  I think 4e is a better system, one which corrected a lot of the flaws in 3e, while introducing a few (smaller, easier to fix) flaws of its own.  I'm having a lot of fun playing 4e now.

Back when I was playing 1e/2e, though, I pretty much had to fight against or (more often) ignore the rules as written to get a decent game.  Anyone who claims that 1e or 2e was playable by the book is lying.  And anyone who seriously defends 1e/2e's mechanics, aside from a few nifty ideas here and there, has no sense of proper game design.  That doesn't mean you can't have a fun 1e/2e game.  But I practically guarantee, any fun you have is in spite of the mechanics. 
i can have fun in a pathfinder game but that's more because the group is awesome then any particular merit of the game itself. there is, however, a certain breaking point and 3rd ed and it's derivatives (heck AD&D and it's derivatives too) have reached that for me: the system simply has nothing to offer me anymore that i can't get with other systems.

if i wanted to play a game that focuses on teamwork i have 4th edition.
if i wanted to play a game that focuses on customization and teaking i have GURPS.
if i wanted to play a game that focuses on theme and characterization i have games like Mouseguard or Fate
if i wanted to play a game that focuses on mages being awesome i have Ars Magica/Mage:the Awakening. 
if i wanted to play....

needless to say i have a lot of options and that's only with TTRPGs.

going outside that comfort zone i can have a whole bunch of other options when it comes to having a fun evening with friends via board games, videogames, movie night, etc... i loves me some Pokemon, Street Fighter and Team Fortress 2

very rarely my issues with a game are the players. i have my one or two groups i stick to for a very real reason: they're fun guys to be around. i drop games because i simply don't care for them and they don't do anything in particular i care for and this isn't just TTRPGs, but any sort of game. if someone offers to run a game in a 3rd ed derivative i simply refuse. i'd probably have little interest in the mechanics of the game and end up surfing the internet or meandering away.

basically: why should i use a fork to eat my soup, when a spoon is within arm's reach?

system matters for many reasons, and i see no reason to play a game that's not fun just because your friends play it also. i have other nights and opportunities i can use to hang out with them, so seems like a win-win IMO.  
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
I find the pitfall of the 4E rules stand out quite a lot when you try to implement them online, whether it be a chatroom or pbp format. And these sort of formats kind of need to be attended to because game stores and the like have been disappearing for a very long time now. It isn't always possible to attend an in-person session for 5 hours, but checking into boards a few times a week or going online for a few hours on your day off, no matter where you are in the world, is considerably more managable.

If I am going to attend an in-person session and the DM has created the map or at least there is a standard grid and everyone has their miniatures or at least a dice to stand in for one... well... in that case, outside of the really terrible new races and that the basic techniques of every single class (and the economy as presented in the books to some degree) REQUIRE the world to be a high-magic one,  I would prefer to use 4E. In fact, the main problem I had with 3E games was often (as I ususally played an unoptimized Fighters, Rogues or Bards) that I found that whenever there was a battle, I could get up, walk away for 10 minutes and come back only when I needed to roll my 1 or 2 dice, then leave again because no input would be needed from me for the remainder of the time except to know how many hitpoints I lost or if I needed to roll a save. The wizard, cleric and ultra optimized Ranger or Druid would generally just clear the whole battle without needing any help from me beyond providing an extra target. In 4E, there was a higher level investment in the actions of everyone in the party, because any change in the positioning of any of my allies or the monsters would greatly impact my decisions on the following rounds-- in addition I always had 3-5 options that I could choose from as actions to perform instead of "basic attack" or nothing.

However, in online play... well... the fact that to use all the basic techniques in the game you need to know precisely where every single monster and party member is on a grid and the game has more interrupts (attacks of opportunity, readied actions, etc.) to the basic game-turn flow makes the system entirely unmanagable unless you have everyone sitting at a table. It takes literally 3 times as long and you have to write considerably more mechanics to explain your action in text than was necessary in the earlier editions. In the earlier editions, while ranged attacks and area attacks did require one to know the generally positioning of enemies, it wasn't so vitally important and those particular attacks didn't arise very often (sure, rangers are always firing arrows, but it wasn't really all that important to know whether they were 25 or 45 feet away, in 4E that makes all the difference in the world).

And, in either case, there is a lot more one has to remember. Instead of merely one's chance to hit and the damage dice one deals, you need to remember all of your various powers and both their damages and additional effects from both success and failure.

@Oxybe
I agree with your final conclusion even if I dispute your givens.

I think D&D as embodied by 1e,2e,3e, and Pathfinder was a thing.  It was D&D.  If I wanted indie or some other type of game I'd play that.  I like D&D though as it's thing.  4e was a new game and not one I preferred but even if it was fun, it would not have been D&D.  I'd still be missing D&D.

 
I find the pitfall of the 4E rules stand out quite a lot when you try to implement them online, whether it be a chatroom or pbp format. And these sort of formats kind of need to be attended to because game stores and the like have been disappearing for a very long time now. It isn't always possible to attend an in-person session for 5 hours, but checking into boards a few times a week or going online for a few hours on your day off, no matter where you are in the world, is considerably more managable.

If I am going to attend an in-person session and the DM has created the map or at least there is a standard grid and everyone has their miniatures or at least a dice to stand in for one... well... in that case, outside of the really terrible new races and that the basic techniques of every single class (and the economy as presented in the books to some degree) REQUIRE the world to be a high-magic one,  I would prefer to use 4E. In fact, the main problem I had with 3E games was often (as I ususally played an unoptimized Fighters, Rogues or Bards) that I found that whenever there was a battle, I could get up, walk away for 10 minutes and come back only when I needed to roll my 1 or 2 dice, then leave again because no input would be needed from me for the remainder of the time except to know how many hitpoints I lost or if I needed to roll a save. The wizard, cleric and ultra optimized Ranger or Druid would generally just clear the whole battle without needing any help from me beyond providing an extra target. In 4E, there was a higher level investment in the actions of everyone in the party, because any change in the positioning of any of my allies or the monsters would greatly impact my decisions on the following rounds-- in addition I always had 3-5 options that I could choose from as actions to perform instead of "basic attack" or nothing.

However, in online play... well... the fact that to use all the basic techniques in the game you need to know precisely where every single monster and party member is on a grid and the game has more interrupts (attacks of opportunity, readied actions, etc.) to the basic game-turn flow makes the system entirely unmanagable unless you have everyone sitting at a table. It takes literally 3 times as long and you have to write considerably more mechanics to explain your action in text than was necessary in the earlier editions. In the earlier editions, while ranged attacks and area attacks did require one to know the generally positioning of enemies, it wasn't so vitally important and those particular attacks didn't arise very often (sure, rangers are always firing arrows, but it wasn't really all that important to know whether they were 25 or 45 feet away, in 4E that makes all the difference in the world).

And, in either case, there is a lot more one has to remember. Instead of merely one's chance to hit and the damage dice one deals, you need to remember all of your various powers and both their damages and additional effects from both success and failure.



First of all why take a shot at the races 4E introduced in yet another thread when your arguments fell flat on thier face when they were actually germain to the disscussion at hand? Second, while the virtual table top is showing up way too late, there have been a variety of similar tools available for online for a few years.

I find the pitfall of the 4E rules stand out quite a lot when you try to implement them online, whether it be a chatroom or pbp format. And these sort of formats kind of need to be attended to because game stores and the like have been disappearing for a very long time now. It isn't always possible to attend an in-person session for 5 hours, but checking into boards a few times a week or going online for a few hours on your day off, no matter where you are in the world, is considerably more managable.

-

However, in online play... well... the fact that to use all the basic techniques in the game you need to know precisely where every single monster and party member is on a grid and the game has more interrupts (attacks of opportunity, readied actions, etc.) to the basic game-turn flow makes the system entirely unmanagable unless you have everyone sitting at a table. It takes literally 3 times as long and you have to write considerably more mechanics to explain your action in text than was necessary in the earlier editions. In the earlier editions, while ranged attacks and area attacks did require one to know the generally positioning of enemies, it wasn't so vitally important and those particular attacks didn't arise very often (sure, rangers are always firing arrows, but it wasn't really all that important to know whether they were 25 or 45 feet away, in 4E that makes all the difference in the world).

And, in either case, there is a lot more one has to remember. Instead of merely one's chance to hit and the damage dice one deals, you need to remember all of your various powers and both their damages and additional effects from both success and failure.


You know, I've been playing 4e in a play by post format since about 2010, and it really isn't all that bad.  Spoiler blocks hide the mechanics neatly at the bottom of the post with an IC narration for the post body.  Having to remember things isn't a big deal, because everything that's happened is right in front of you in text.  The games don't even take longer, ime, because the main limiting factor on game speed is how frequently the others can post, that is, waiting for people to get home from work and slow posting on the weekends and whatnot.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
@Oxybe
I agree with your final conclusion even if I dispute your givens.

I think D&D as embodied by 1e,2e,3e, and Pathfinder was a thing.  It was D&D.  If I wanted indie or some other type of game I'd play that.  I like D&D though as it's thing.  4e was a new game and not one I preferred but even if it was fun, it would not have been D&D.  I'd still be missing D&D.



for me it's more like 4th ed finally became the game it was failing to be previously. 4th ed was finally the version of D&D that did what i wanted from the game and it did it in spades. it focused on the things i wanted it to focus on and it stepped out of the way where i wanted it to.

if 4th ed isn't D&D, then D&D is simply not a game i could care for.
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2

However, I cannot bring myself to not have a certain disdain for the players who continue to play the game. The ones that I know personally typically have dismissed 4e without ever properly playing it, and are frankly bad at running the game. I've played in their games before, and more importantly I have heard stories of their games from other players. And they are full of what I consider poor DMing practice. I also see many of the attitudes of these poor players echoed in posts on these forums, and I can't keep myself from thinking of the buffoons who said the same thing in real life.


These people certainly exist, and do make up a lot of the 3.x community, but it isn't everyone. I know good people who still play 3.x.


One thing that IS true is that a lot of the people who still play 3.x DON'T get the complexity of 4th edition, or don't like D&D Tactics.

@Oxybe
I agree with your final conclusion even if I dispute your givens.

I think D&D as embodied by 1e,2e,3e, and Pathfinder was a thing.  It was D&D.  If I wanted indie or some other type of game I'd play that.  I like D&D though as it's thing.  4e was a new game and not one I preferred but even if it was fun, it would not have been D&D.  I'd still be missing D&D.



for me it's more like 4th ed finally became the game it was failing to be previously. 4th ed was finally the version of D&D that did what i wanted from the game and it did it in spades. it focused on the things i wanted it to focus on and it stepped out of the way where i wanted it to.

if 4th ed isn't D&D, then D&D is simply not a game i could care for.



This disscussion highlights an unsual paradox, if the 4e material was released 20 or so years ago as D&D 2nd edition, it would have been highly different, but unmistakeable recognized as D&D. Yet in teh moder era of gamign there are so many systems that games are defined by there minutia.  I think of 4E as D&D through and through, yet I'm not totally unsympathetic to those who miss certian elements of the game.

This disscussion highlights an unsual paradox, if the 4e material was released 20 or so years ago as D&D 2nd edition, it would have been highly different, but unmistakeable recognized as D&D. Yet in teh moder era of gamign there are so many systems that games are defined by there minutia.  I think of 4E as D&D through and through, yet I'm not totally unsympathetic to those who miss certian elements of the game.



So how do you think 4e would be recognized if it were called something else?

OD&D, BECMI/Compendium, AD&D, AD&D2e, 3x, & Pathfinder.  Line these up and look at them.  Yes, they differ edition to edition.  But it's a progression.  You can see that all of these are versions of the same game.
But if you re-titled 4e to something not including "Dungeons & Dragons"?  You'd see that it was an RPG.  But you wouldn't mistake it as belonging in the OD&D - Pathfinder line.  Because like so many pre-OGL games it bears very little rules resemblance to D&D.
This disscussion highlights an unsual paradox, if the 4e material was released 20 or so years ago as D&D 2nd edition, it would have been highly different, but unmistakeable recognized as D&D. Yet in teh moder era of gamign there are so many systems that games are defined by there minutia.  I think of 4E as D&D through and through, yet I'm not totally unsympathetic to those who miss certian elements of the game.



So how do you think 4e would be recognized if it were called something else?

OD&D, BECMI/Compendium, AD&D, AD&D2e, 3x, & Pathfinder.  Line these up and look at them.  Yes, they differ edition to edition.  But it's a progression.  You can see that all of these are versions of the same game.
But if you re-titled 4e to something not including "Dungeons & Dragons"?  You'd see that it was an RPG.  But you wouldn't mistake it as belonging in the OD&D - Pathfinder line.  Because like so many pre-OGL games it bears very little rules resemblance to D&D.


I feel like if it weren't called D&D, 4e would have been properly seen as a game that was working to emulate a lot of the feel of D&D, but doing it with more modern game design principles, and a high focus on standardizing the game and making it more easily understandable as a system.

I still see it as being in the spirit of D&D, just with different mechanics. The soul is very similar.

"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar

I disagree with the OP about players of older editions utilizing bad GMing practices. In general this attitude is applying perspective from one system onto another system, which will fail unless the systems are very similar.


Actually, good GMing practice is universal. It is good game design which isn't. You can apply the same principles from 4th edition to Alternity or what have you. Encounter design, ect. changes by game, of course, but good GMing practice (let players try what is reasonable, don't railroad unless necesary, be flexible, be adaptive, don't let players completely derail things, try to keep some amount of focus, ect.) are very system independent. Some systems just make you do a lot more busywork than others - its very easy to design an encounter in, say, Battle! Its somewhat more complicated in Alternity. It is more complicated in 4th but you have great tools for building interesting encounters. It is awful building encounters in 3.x and GURPS that require you to make bad guys, or even use half the existing ones.


But having said that, I find that I cannot play 3.X at all anymore. I've tried. I can't even play anything that is a derivative of it like d20 Modern/Future, any d20 Star Wars, including SAGA, or anything designed from d20 OGL. I just can't bring myself to go back to it, no matter who is running or playing it. I couldn't tell you what it is, though I wish I could. I've tried to play and run games in several games that were designed on d20 OGL (or non-OGL including 3.5 and SAGA), but I end up not caring after about two or three game sessions.


Same here. Its just too flawed.


Though I have fun playing M&M, despite how silly that system is.


Funny thing? Despite my absolute love of everything that is 4e (even Essentials, which has oddly grown on me lately), I've been itching to get my hands on some old AD&D 2nd edition stuff lately. If I do, I'll have to house rule the hell out of it, but I believe I will have a lot of fun with it and it's many, many, many, and did I mention many? campaign settings (some of which have yet to see a modern iteration like Planescape as a whole, Birthright, or Mystara).


I'm currently playing in a 2nd edition AD&D campaign which ws basically "I am bored, let's roll up some characters and play." You know what? We're having fun.


The fact that I have more fun playing 2nd edition than 3.x probably says something.


Maybe DnD Next should point out on the first page of its DMG "The DM is in charge, that means he/she can come up with house rules.". Would that fix it for you guys?


Thing is, honestly, rule zero isn't something that everyone is good at playing with. House rules are generally bad, and mostly, you have to make sure if you do make them they need to be SHORT.


However, in online play... well... the fact that to use all the basic techniques in the game you need to know precisely where every single monster and party member is on a grid and the game has more interrupts (attacks of opportunity, readied actions, etc.) to the basic game-turn flow makes the system entirely unmanagable unless you have everyone sitting at a table.


This is what virtual tabletop programs are for. I actually used them back in the 3.x days, but in 4th edition they're pretty much necessary (thoguh play by post has some other options). There is something to be said for combat abstraction; 4th simulates combat very well. The system I'm working on right now won't require a VTT to play; it is an important design objective.