Calling all Fans of 4 E.!

Hello to you all. I have noticed a real rift in the playtest as seen by the prior editions fans feeling like they have been cast away and being allowed little influence on the Next playtest experience. As an old Grognard as you folks call me who understands that feeling ( and It's not alright) I want to open the floodgates here. Calling all fans of 4e.:
 
  Please share with me what you love about the game and what can be brought into the mix from that Edition to liven up Next and elevate it to the level of Awesome in your estimation. I find I like the fighters New combat superiority system- I'm curious, and want you guys to open up here and be heard. I'm going to get a copy of the rules and read up to better understand your p.o.v.! Please keep all responses positive and avoid all edition warring as I want to see these folks be open and honest,  and this is done in an honest effort to have an open mind as well as eyes. Here's your Platform guys let me have it!
See, if you want to know what 4e fans like about 4e, this is how you do it!

Full response to follow, pending typing/consideration time. 
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.
Cool I'll check back in a few. Lay on Sir!
While not a fan of 4e I'd like to thank Brightmantle for opening this discussion with the intent to bring views other than his own into next.

If you folks don't already know Brightmantle is a 2e fan who felt left in the cold when my preferred edition hit the market.

Good to see you back Brightmantle. This game can be for all of us if we can adopt this spirit of mutual respect.

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

It's a competent designed game, it's not perfect, but it's competent, it workable because the rules works, not because DM Fiat or houserules...wish i can't say for most games out there...It was a gamble of removing all the things that needed to be removed because it didn't worked right or have no porpouse to be there, and replace them with something better.  I always disliked D&D since the 90s, even the videogames based D&D games...but i can stand and enjoy 4e.

That's my huge problem with Next and older editions, i consider them to be incompetent or badly designed games/rules. 

About RPGs isn't about rules and mechanics...then what's the point of rules? might as well play freeform RPG...wish btw, i dislike alot. 
Let me see if I get this. Simple clear workable rules that cover many if not all variables is what you consider a well built ruleset rather than heavy D.M. fiat and control which can be shakey or inconsistant. Is this right Mexrage? You want consistant guidelines that are progressive and clear, easy to rule RAW?
Just a couple of quick bullet points...



  • Balance, the only edition to get even close.

  • Variety of actions, this is the only edition with double digit options for any non-spellcaster

  • Quality of design, this is the only version of D&D to date that actually put thought into design rather than just tweaking the version before or the miniatures rules that came before that.

  • Diferentiation of characters, there are a few options that are too common but it's entirely possible to have 2 level 1 or level 30 monks that have flurry of blows as their sole shared ability.

Qualify and quantify balance with examples so I understand please.
I want control, as a DM and as a player.  4e reduce the "luck" aspect of the game by a big margin,  the results are more toward decisions of the player, or in many cases, the character (me and my players take decisions based on the character, not the player, bad decisions are made in-character more often than not) than by random, brightmantle.

It also gives alot of control and flexibility of what you wanna do as a DM and as a player, it gives heavy rules where it needed and let very loose rules where it need to be.  It gives equal oportunity to all classes, and by this all characters and player to be relevant to the campaing by their actions.

Even as a DM i have control of the world works outside of their influence, i have no control of the players or how they influence the world (i love when they mess with the world, by continue to challenge and chance the status quo). Rules works as a mediator or compromise between the players and between players and the DM.
Qualify and quantify balance with examples so I understand please.



That is multiple threads worth of material and you know it.

One of the biggest cornerstones of that was a uniform power structure.  Trying to balance at-will and vancian is a fools errand, at best you can get a relatively close approximation with a rigid set of assumptions.

Oh a couple more bulletpoints.



  • Ease of DMing.  I could create a nights worth of combat encounters in 5 minutes.  In 1-3 it would take hours. 

Cite me explaniations please so I can understand what you mean Mexrage. You notice I want your opinion and don't share mine. I want to hear you fans.
I guess what I'm asking for is game mechanic examples and senaios so I can better comprehend what you guys mean. Page numbers would be good for reference so I can go proof read the 4e. books I'm getting a hold of to cross reference. Then I can understand by way of both having the p.o.v. as well as the codex to weigh it out. If I had the books in my grasp today it would be easier. But Wizards won't sell me a p.d.f.- hint hint. Therefore I need you guys to spell it out to me for now.
I find I like the fighters New combat superiority system



I like the New fighter's CS system as well, except that it is somewhat poorly set up for multiclassing. (Could be much worse.) We haven't seen what 5e multiclassing will look like yet, but right now it looks questionable. Fighter/Rogue might work fine (as it has in 3.x) but a lot of other combinations are going to be pathetic.
Which gets me to one of my biggest loves about 4e: the multiclass system (primarily hybrid, but augmented by feat based multiclassing). As of PHB3, basically everything in the game was a lego that could be combined with any other lego (but not all combitions.. you couldn't generally pull from 4+ classes, for example). You could make characters out of any 2-3 classes and have them be reasonably functional (to-hit, damage, HP, and defenses all in the typical range, and powers creating effects within the expected range for your level). You maybe traded a bit of specialization for flexibility or such. But the result was that you could make a huge range of vastly different characters that weren't just cookie-cutter expressions of a standardized archetype envisioned by WotC.
A class-based system without multiclassing is anathema to me, and one which makes multiclassing unacceptably weak is essentially the same (as 3.x with regards to caster classes). Meanwhile overpowering multiclassing so that pure classes are a weak choice is unacceptable to me as well. (4e is sort of guilty of this because the MC feats are a bit over typical feat level, but it's fairly ignorable because a single MC feat doesn't really typically make you feal like a member of the class you dipped, especially if you don't play it up. Hybrid or spending multiple feats on MC are both uncommon enough that I feel most classes are functionally single class and do quite well.)

I love the defender role. For me it's the character type that resonates the most. I want to simultaneously be decisively tough and be able to give enemies a real reason to attack me over my squishier friends. Reason enough that I can agree that that is the smartest move for them. I find it frustrating when I know full well the DM is intentionally playing dumb and throwing me a bone by having the enemies attack me instead of my much deadlier and more fragile companions. So catch-22 abilities (such as mark) are a must-have in my book.

I love the combat system overall. If I were the king of D&D, I would basically refine the 4e combat system while spending 90% of my effort on fixing the weaker aspects of 4e: redesigning skill challenges to account for different "shapes" of situation (for example, ticking clock where each PC has X rounds to try to rack up successes and thus sitting out is as bad as failing, which IMO is more common/obvious than situations where X failures leads to failure. The latter is plausible for something like a diplomatic negotation, where screwing up can close offer further opportunities to succeed). Adding more non-combat options to all classes (see some of the cool things rangers, druids and bards got in Essentials). Doing a little better job of siloing flavorful non-combat bonuses/abilities from combat powers. (For example, 4e Utility power slots are basically all devoted to combat typically: what if there were a second set of such that could not contain anything with a combat-centric focus? No AC bonuses, or damage bonuses or even healing powers? ) Include a version of wrecan's SARN-FU (maybe reworded to make it easier to understand? though it didn't seem that bad when I skimmed it) for the gridless players, and in general some more modular options to support different playstyles.


I'm okay with loosening up the power structure, as long as it's done in a way which maintains exchangability: Essentials largely fails for me because many of the components are unusable in hybrid and multiclass. But with a little better guidance and options for controlling the recharge tempo, I could see something like having Encounter Powers and Daily Powers available in the same slot and being able to choose between them, for example. As well as variations like power points. Or even at-wills or static features in the same slots, as options to chose. The key is that at level X you gain something appropriate for a level X character.. not something like a Fighter 9 who takes a level of Wizard getting only things appropriate to a 1st level character.


At the core of it its:
At level X each character generally has level appropriate values for attack, damage, defenses and HP: divergeant enough to make things interesting but close enough to be able to function well in the same encounter. And level appropriate abilities. Nothing like the incompetant level 1 wizards or obsoleted level 20 fighters of 3.x.
At every level of play, PCs have options.. including multiple always-available (at-will) options, and the ability to dig into reserves for climactic moments of awesome.
At every level, all PCs are threatened by the damage monsters can put out, but all can typically survive long enough to realize they are in deep trouble and flee (or otherwise bust out contingencies).
Combats last long enough and involve enough options that your choices matter, and victory is at least as much a matter of tactics and teamwork as it is initiative and other dice rolls. 

I also love the simplicisty and effectiveness of the DM side. I love that I can jot down 3 skill DCs and print some monster stat blocks and be able to run an adventure, and for that matter I can easily and confidently make a custom monster that will just work, including my crazy elite-solo boss monster (that was the equivalent of 10 monsters of his level, and still came out as a dramatic, dynamic, awesome, appriately-challenging fight). When I've tried this in 3.5 it's been a nightmare, one that could easily have been solved by having a simple, basic guideline of what level appriate attack, damage, HP, AC and saves were to go with my cool custom powers/properties.

EDIT to add: I -really- dislike SOD or other forms of one-shots, where I'm one hit from dead (or otherwise incapacitated, like the 8-round stun I faced in a 3.5 module) when I'm at full health and otherwise in peak condition. I want it to be very rare to non-existant for a PC to go from full to down without a chance to respond in between.  Though in all fairness I'm not a fan of PC lethality in RPGs. For wargames its fine, but not for RPGs.
So the multiclassing options you found was a major strength as well as feat or ( ability paths?) that worked together as synergy? Am I right? Take me through a simple example for this so I get it. Let me know if I'm right or wrong. Oh and there were roles each class filled that were beyond the arch typical ones I know? Striker, is one Iv'e heard here ,what are the rest? Help me better understand.
 I want to be transperant here. educate me. My ears are open to you. 
Hello to you all. I have noticed a real rift in the playtest as seen by the prior editions fans feeling like they have been cast away and being allowed little influence on the Next playtest experience.

I can see how you might have gotten that impression from the latest playtest.  The first had a very classic-D&D (maybe 1e & earlier more than 2e) feel, and the new one has a very 3e feel.

Maybe there will be future playtests that get more like BECMI, 4e and/or 2e, as well? Then, when each has been thoroughly panned by the fans of all the other eds, WotC can come out and 'based on that feedback,' deliver whatever the heck 5e they've been working on all this time, that has nothing to do with controversial buzz-generating play-tests?  ;)  Or not.  :shrug:

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

The roles are Striker (make things dead), Defender (get in their way so they can't make us dead), Leader (give us all sorts of advantages including healing) and Controller (keep them from utilizing their actions effectively, through penalties, action denial, etc.).

Some classes were a close combination of more than one archtype and some classes could be build at more than one archtype.  The simplest exampe of that is the fighter.  They're capable of quite significant damage if they choose or they can specialize in totally frustrating the enemy. 
You may be right Tony Time will tell.
As a DM;



  • 4E stabilized what I could expect from the party on every encounter.  It did this by focusing on at will and encounter abilities and allowing full healing to every party between fights.  This meant that I could prep individual encounters and throw them out as appropriate to the story.  It also meant that on days when there were only one or two encounters we didn't have full on nova syndrome (though there was a little of that toward higher levels, just nothing like I'd seen in 2E or 3E).  I knew by and large what I could expect as far as the condition of the party at the start of each encounter, and this was a huge boon to my games.

  • The way 4E handles enemies allows me to create interesting and varied combat encounters with the confidence that they were going to be challenging but not force a TPK.  The categories and classifications, and the great work they did designing the basic monster abilities were a huge help there.  They did a little rebalancing at one point to make the math work better, but it was far more solid and consistent from day one than any other edition I've DM'd.

  • Terrain powers and page 42 made players doing awesome stuff in combat very common. 

  • Healing surges gave me a cool currency to push and pull against with various effects and things.


I'm sure there's more, but that's what jumps to mind first thing.
Formerly Batshido, Captain America of the 4vengers
What I like most about 4e is that it has been 're-imagined' (as I call it).  They took D&D and made it their own, unique from anything seen under the old makers.  I can understand how that might alienate some fans but I really enjoy it.

There's a new cosmology, the World Axis, for instance.  I  even love the names they came up with:  The Feywild and its shadow the Shadowfell, the Astral Sea, Elemental Chaos.  Contrasted with the Great Wheel (the long-running cosmology from 3e and before), the World Axis feels fantastic where the other often felt sci-fi. 

4e has a fresh take on some D&D races.  The Tiefling is given a more *iconic* appearance.   The Aasimar has been re-imagined as the Deva.  There's even a *new* race, Dragonborn.  I hate the name ;) but otherwise, I like 'em-- I'd call 'em Dray myself, that's what they're called in Dark Sun.

= = =

4e took a while to grow on me (almost a year, believe it or not).  I missed Vancian casting (and I'm looking forward to its return in Next).  Also, I had a heck of a time wrapping my head around the battle grid.  Long story short, I learned to love the game.  In a nut-shell, here's how I imagine grid-based combat:

I see things differently with my mind's eye, depending on what's going on in the game.  If my PC is talking to an NPC for instance, then I see things in first-person, face-to-face.  When it's time for a fight, my mind's eye pulls up and out for a more tactical, third-person view of the action.  It's a trick I've seen used in video games a hundred times, so why not in my head ;)?

Anyway it works for me and I really started getting into the 4e way of doing things.  It's hard for me to explain precisely but I really like the way the rules are structured (it's a tight game, if ya know what I'm getting at).  Take racial traits for instance (I'll use Dragonborn as an example):

On my character sheet, I make note of the Skill Bonuses, then the the traits (Dragonborn Fury, Draconic Heritage, Dragonbreath).  It's all encapsulated in a neat little box; all I need to do is write down the names (and I can reference the actual write-up as needed).  In other games of D&D, I often had to hunt-n-peck for such info, even within the racial write-up.

Anyway, 4e has a lot of rules structures just like that, whether its class powers or racial traits.  I like it.

= = =

Don't want to ramble too much so I'll wrap up.  4e is the first game of D&D where I enjoy not only the lore but the actual mechanics.  As a result my expectations have changed; retro has lost much of its appeal for me (the approach of Next), I much prefer the approach 4e takes.

Still, to end on a positive, I love D&D and each game has something that I've enjoyed about it (and something I've not ;)).  I expect I'll feel the same about DDN.  I'm very much in wait-n-see mode right now.
/\ Art
The roles are Striker (make things dead), Defender (get in their way so they can't make us dead), Leader (give us all sorts of advantages including healing) and Controller (keep them from utilizing their actions effectively, through penalties, action denial, etc.).

Some classes were a close combination of more than one archtype and some classes could be build at more than one archtype.  The simplest exampe of that is the fighter.  They're capable of quite significant damage if they choose or they can specialize in totally frustrating the enemy. 



Alright I see the value of these roles in combat. Go on. Were they concrete in their design? Did they hold you to your role in every fight?
As a DM;



  • 4E stabilized what I could expect from the party on every encounter.  It did this by focusing on at will and encounter abilities and allowing full healing to every party between fights.  This meant that I could prep individual encounters and throw them out as appropriate to the story.  It also meant that on days when there were only one or two encounters we didn't have full on nova syndrome (though there was a little of that toward higher levels, just nothing like I'd seen in 2E or 3E).  I knew by and large what I could expect as far as the condition of the party at the start of each encounter, and this was a huge boon to my games.

  • The way 4E handles enemies allows me to create interesting and varied combat encounters with the confidence that they were going to be challenging but not force a TPK.  The categories and classifications, and the great work they did designing the basic monster abilities were a huge help there.  They did a little rebalancing at one point to make the math work better, but it was far more solid and consistent from day one than any other edition I've DM'd.

  • Terrain powers and page 42 made players doing awesome stuff in combat very common. 

  • Healing surges gave me a cool currency to push and pull against with various effects and things.


I'm sure there's more, but that's what jumps to mind first thing.

What allowed you to heal between fights? This happened instantly? Is this a healing surge?Is that the current hit die healing mechanic for Next?
Lots of things I LOVE about 4e as well as numerous things I don't like so much and I will give all.

Let me first say I am an unabashed FAN of 4e- it brought me back into the game after I became so disillusioned during the 3e run.

1) The ability to play a character of MANY different classes that could fulfil a specific party role (my personal preference is usually the defender role) but with different mechanics and a different "feel".  I know many non 4e fans see sameness due to the same advancement table but I have never seen that.

2) The expanded "sweet spot" in previous versions of DnD there was a sweet spot where the mechanics worked well.  Before this characters could be fairly easily killed by an angry housecat and that never worked for me.  After this point the game just seemed to break down- Before 3e we stayed in the sweet spot longer due to the 9th level parking break that occured but if you did try to run an adventure in the teens it just didnt seem to work well.  3e the parking break was gone and rocket tag ramped up very early ( this is a bit different than the LF/QW problem discussed below but that problem does factor in to this one also)

3) Linear fighter/ quadratic wizard-  I love playing folks in heavy armor using a shield and smacking folks in the face.  4e allows me to do that and feel like I am able to contribute to the group which I was not able to do in previous editions.  Yes I know others didnt have that issue but you asked for what I loved about 4e and thats one of mine.

4) I liked the paring down of the skill list.  I like skills as an option so long as they are done well but 3e didn't work well for me.  I preferred 2e NWP to 3e skills after a certain point due to the overly fiddly nature of the 3e  skill system.  Also add in the fact that the archtypes I liked to play often got screwed over in terms of skills in 3e.

5) Unified systems- I LIKE the fact that the classes use the same advancement table - I could see giving wizards more options for memorizing as a concession to fans of previous editions but in general I like the effects of everyone starts with 2 at wills, 1 encounter, 1 daily and goes up at the same speed.  Not so much from a balance standpoint but from a symmetry standpoint.  Likewise I LIKE the way defenses/saves work.  Attacker always rolls against a certain defense makes more sense to me than the mishmash of previous editions.  I thought they made some advancements in this from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 and I just saw some of the changes going from 3 to 4 as continuation of that line.

6) Rituals- love the idea even if I dont like the implementation.

7) Encounter powers- LOVE these.  They give me options that are more powerful than at wills and can be regained after a short rest.  I could see making some changes to this (for instance saying you can use your encounters in any combination up to the number of times your level would allow - if you need to use come and get it 3 times in a fight you can)

8)  Everybody gets cool stuff- not the same as LF/QW this deals with FUN not power.  I loved that my fighter got to do cool stuff that was hardcoded in the system and not dependent on dm fiat.  

9) Healing surges instead of the "bag of potions" or "cleric on a stick" from previous editions or even worse the "fight one encounter rest for a few days because someone got knocked to negatives" that I remember from 1e.

10) The leader role allowed for more than just the "healbot" cleric and healing could be done WITHOUT giving up your entire turn- watching red bars go up and down in mmo's isn't too fun and it's not in pen and paper either (and My favorite character of all time was my 1st edition cleric)

11) Mostly I could make the sort of characters and play the sort of games that I often couldnt in previous editons very easily.


Now for the things I am not so fond of

1) Magic items- I hate the christmas tree effect.  I think DDN is on the right track with bounded accuracy- hopefully magic items will be more special than "oh another +1 to hit and damage +3 versus regenerating creatures".  In 4th edition this was bad as the +'s you got from your magic items were a vital part of the games balance (yes I know they added stuff later that meant you didnt have to do this but I still hated it)

2) The economy- I HATED the assumptions that were built into the game regarding the economy.

3) Implementation of rituals and skill challenges.  Hated both of those.

4) Combat length - holy crap could they go long.  Some math problems here (especially when fighting higher level soldiers), some analysis paralysis, and sometimes just plain old hitpoint bloat on the part of the monsters.  Want to keep challenge level equal up the damage for the monsters and reduce their hp by 1/3 or so.

probably left some off of both lists but thats a good start.
 
The roles are Striker (make things dead), Defender (get in their way so they can't make us dead), Leader (give us all sorts of advantages including healing) and Controller (keep them from utilizing their actions effectively, through penalties, action denial, etc.).

Some classes were a close combination of more than one archtype and some classes could be build at more than one archtype.  The simplest exampe of that is the fighter.  They're capable of quite significant damage if they choose or they can specialize in totally frustrating the enemy. 



Alright I see the value of these roles in combat. Go on. Were they concrete in their design? Did they hold you to your role in every fight?


Your role definitely had an impact on every fight, but there was nothing to hold you in place and tell you "no you can't do that, you're a striker".

Everybody deals damage (the Striker thing), anybody can step up and take hits for the team to some degree (the Defender thing), anybody trained in Heal had access to powers that gave people hit points back (a Leader thing) and just about every class had some degree of multiple targeting abilities or debuff powers (the Controller thing).

Then you can add in terrain powers or effects, rule 42 improv effects (I drop a chandelier on them, I push them into the water, etc) and PCs can be extremely versatile.

The Strikers are still going to be dealing a ton of damage, the Defenders are still going to be holding the line, etc, but it's not a hard lock so much as it is a general type of class ability that provides a certain type of leverage in combat.
Formerly Batshido, Captain America of the 4vengers
What I like most about 4e is that it has been 're-imagined' (as I call it).  They took D&D and made it their own, unique from anything seen under the old makers.  I can understand how that might alienate some fans but I really enjoy it.

There's a new cosmology, the World Axis, for instance.  I  even love the names they came up with:  The Feywild and its shadow the Shadowfell, the Astral Sea, Elemental Chaos.  Contrasted with the Great Wheel (the long-running cosmology from 3e and before), the World Axis feels fantastic where the other often felt sci-fi. 

4e has a fresh take on some D&D races.  The Tiefling is given a more *iconic* appearance.   The Aasimar has been re-imagined as the Deva.  There's even a *new* race, Dragonborn.  I hate the name ;) but otherwise, I like 'em-- I'd call 'em Dray myself, that's what they're called in Dark Sun.

= = =

4e took a while to grow on me (almost a year, believe it or not).  I missed Vancian casting (and I'm looking forward to its return in Next).  Also, I had a heck of a time wrapping my head around the battle grid.  Long story short, I learned to love the game.  In a nut-shell, here's how I imagine grid-based combat:

I see things differently with my mind's eye, depending on what's going on in the game.  If my PC is talking to an NPC for instance, then I see things in first-person, face-to-face.  When it's time for a fight, my mind's eye pulls up and out for a more tactical, third-person view of the action.  It's a trick I've seen used in video games a hundred times, so why not in my head ;)?

Anyway it works for me and I really started getting into the 4e way of doing things.  It's hard for me to explain precisely but I really like the way the rules are structured (it's a tight game, if ya know what I'm getting at).  Take racial traits for instance (I'll use Dragonborn as an example):

On my character sheet, I make note of the Skill Bonuses, then the the traits (Dragonborn Fury, Draconic Heritage, Dragonbreath).  It's all encapsulated in a neat little box; all I need to do is write down the names (and I can reference the actual write-up as needed).  In other games of D&D, I often had to hunt-n-peck for such info, even within the racial write-up.

Anyway, 4e has a lot of rules structures just like that, whether its class powers or racial traits.  I like it.

= = =

Don't want to ramble too much so I'll wrap up.  4e is the first game of D&D where I enjoy not only the lore but the actual mechanics.  As a result my expectations have changed; retro has lost much of its appeal for me (the approach of Next), I much prefer the approach 4e takes.

Still, to end on a positive, I love D&D and each game has something that I've enjoyed about it (and something I've not ;)).  I expect I'll feel the same about DDN.  I'm very much in wait-n-see mode right now.

Thank you for sharing that with me. I see now that the changes you are talking about and understand how come you found it fresh. Dragon borne seem like what I know as Draconians. So these changes were at the core of the game and not a setting option you say?
So the multiclassing options you found was a major strength as well as feat or ( ability paths?) that worked together as synergy? Am I right? Take me through a simple example for this so I get it. Let me know if I'm right or wrong. Oh and there were roles each class filled that were beyond the arch typical ones I know? Striker, is one Iv'e heard here ,what are the rest? Help me better understand.
 I want to be transperant here. educate me. My ears are open to you. 




Actually, that's my biggest selling point for 4e, as a player, as of now, i have a huge flexibility to build the character i want...at low levels, mixing diferent archtypes around synergy, not more power, you don't get behind other classes on xp, level or spells, anything, you are just diferent and play around synergies to do things in a very diferent way that your parent classes would separated, and you don't have to play a class for 7 levels investing levels on 2 diferent classes you don't like (and being subpar), just to reach a prestige class that will allow to make your character concept you want to acomplish workeable.
Examples of ease of GMing in 4e over previous editions: 

4e had the experience point budget.  Say each level 1 pc is worth 100xp per encounter, so for a standard five man, you want 500pts worth of xp (not actual numbers)  So you can look through the MM and find monsters that add up to this total.  An even level monster was 100xp.  an elite was 200xp, and a solo was 500xp.  Minions (1 hitpoint/flat damage mooks) would be worth 25.  

The monsters also had levels.  You could usually dip a level or two lower, or a level or two higher and things would still work out okay.  Easier encounters, you would go below the 500 points.  tougher, you would go above.  

Mix that with the monster builder and printing out the stat blocks, it was pretty quick and easy to set up an adventure.  Mechanical?  It could be, but with experience you could make it flow.  Either way, it was simple enough for a beginer DM to step in and run a game without having his players embarass his encounters, or die outright.

Another benefit: no one was completely useless at any time.  Especially after the first PHB, classes started keying off of one prime attribute for attack rolls, and a secondary stat for bounes.  There were some classes that flirted with three stats, (paladins, clerics, and to a degree rangers...but rangers were uber and could handle it)

Fighters weren't just a bag of hitpoints.  They had mechanics that allowed them to control the battlefield around them.  If a fighter marked you, you would be minus 2 (huge) to attack his friends, plus he could smack you for free.  If you tried moving away from him, even with a shift (disengage) he could hit you and stop you in your tracks. 

Personal opinon: the cosmology was beautiful.  I'm not talking alignments, (i was fine with the changes) I'm talking how the feywild and shadow fell interacted with the prime and astral sea and abyss and far realm, and the back story to all of it.
I also liked the core gods.  Simple and covered the basis, while showing some familiar faces.

At least up to the phb3, it was exciting to see the new releases coming out.

The DMG 2 was in my opinion possibly the most useful DM ever written in DnD for experienced DMs.

I'm not saying that any of that was perfect, but for the sake of this thread, that was part of what I saw as positives of the system. 
As a DM;



  • 4E stabilized what I could expect from the party on every encounter.  It did this by focusing on at will and encounter abilities and allowing full healing to every party between fights.  This meant that I could prep individual encounters and throw them out as appropriate to the story.  It also meant that on days when there were only one or two encounters we didn't have full on nova syndrome (though there was a little of that toward higher levels, just nothing like I'd seen in 2E or 3E).  I knew by and large what I could expect as far as the condition of the party at the start of each encounter, and this was a huge boon to my games.

  • The way 4E handles enemies allows me to create interesting and varied combat encounters with the confidence that they were going to be challenging but not force a TPK.  The categories and classifications, and the great work they did designing the basic monster abilities were a huge help there.  They did a little rebalancing at one point to make the math work better, but it was far more solid and consistent from day one than any other edition I've DM'd.

  • Terrain powers and page 42 made players doing awesome stuff in combat very common. 

  • Healing surges gave me a cool currency to push and pull against with various effects and things.


I'm sure there's more, but that's what jumps to mind first thing.

What allowed you to heal between fights? This happened instantly? Is this a healing surge?Is that the current hit die healing mechanic for Next?



Each character had a number of healing surges, which were kind of like the healing dice for Next but much more concrete in application.

Each surge was worth 1/4 of your maximum hit points (rounded down).  Defenders (Fighters, Paladins, etc) had somewhere in the low teens, while controllers might have 5 or 6 and everyone else was somewhere in between.  When you spend a surge, you get your surge value in hit points back.  You can do this as many times as you want (and have surges) outside of combat during a short rest (5 minutes).  3-4 surges gets pretty much anybody back to full.

Healing in combat also costs surges, but tends to have a little extra bonus tacked on depending on where it came from. 
Formerly Batshido, Captain America of the 4vengers
Lots of things I LOVE about 4e as well as numerous things I don't like so much and I will give all.

Let me first say I am an unabashed FAN of 4e- it brought me back into the game after I became so disillusioned during the 3e run.

1) The ability to play a character of MANY different classes that could fulfil a specific party role (my personal preference is usually the defender role) but with different mechanics and a different "feel".  I know many non 4e fans see sameness due to the same advancement table but I have never seen that.

2) The expanded "sweet spot" in previous versions of DnD there was a sweet spot where the mechanics worked well.  Before this characters could be fairly easily killed by an angry housecat and that never worked for me.  After this point the game just seemed to break down- Before 3e we stayed in the sweet spot longer due to the 9th level parking break that occured but if you did try to run an adventure in the teens it just didnt seem to work well.  3e the parking break was gone and rocket tag ramped up very early ( this is a bit different than the LF/QW problem discussed below but that problem does factor in to this one also)

3) Linear fighter/ quadratic wizard-  I love playing folks in heavy armor using a shield and smacking folks in the face.  4e allows me to do that and feel like I am able to contribute to the group which I was not able to do in previous editions.  Yes I know others didnt have that issue but you asked for what I loved about 4e and thats one of mine.

4) I liked the paring down of the skill list.  I like skills as an option so long as they are done well but 3e didn't work well for me.  I preferred 2e NWP to 3e skills after a certain point due to the overly fiddly nature of the 3e  skill system.  Also add in the fact that the archtypes I liked to play often got screwed over in terms of skills in 3e.

5) Unified systems- I LIKE the fact that the classes use the same advancement table - I could see giving wizards more options for memorizing as a concession to fans of previous editions but in general I like the effects of everyone starts with 2 at wills, 1 encounter, 1 daily and goes up at the same speed.  Not so much from a balance standpoint but from a symmetry standpoint.  Likewise I LIKE the way defenses/saves work.  Attacker always rolls against a certain defense makes more sense to me than the mishmash of previous editions.  I thought they made some advancements in this from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 and I just saw some of the changes going from 3 to 4 as continuation of that line.

6) Rituals- love the idea even if I dont like the implementation.

7) Encounter powers- LOVE these.  They give me options that are more powerful than at wills and can be regained after a short rest.  I could see making some changes to this (for instance saying you can use your encounters in any combination up to the number of times your level would allow - if you need to use come and get it 3 times in a fight you can)

8)  Everybody gets cool stuff- not the same as LF/QW this deals with FUN not power.  I loved that my fighter got to do cool stuff that was hardcoded in the system and not dependent on dm fiat.  

9) Healing surges instead of the "bag of potions" or "cleric on a stick" from previous editions or even worse the "fight one encounter rest for a few days because someone got knocked to negatives" that I remember from 1e.

10) The leader role allowed for more than just the "healbot" cleric and healing could be done WITHOUT giving up your entire turn- watching red bars go up and down in mmo's isn't too fun and it's not in pen and paper either (and My favorite character of all time was my 1st edition cleric)

11) Mostly I could make the sort of characters and play the sort of games that I often couldnt in previous editons very easily.


Now for the things I am not so fond of

1) Magic items- I hate the christmas tree effect.  I think DDN is on the right track with bounded accuracy- hopefully magic items will be more special than "oh another +1 to hit and damage +3 versus regenerating creatures".  In 4th edition this was bad as the +'s you got from your magic items were a vital part of the games balance (yes I know they added stuff later that meant you didnt have to do this but I still hated it)

2) The economy- I HATED the assumptions that were built into the game regarding the economy.

3) Implementation of rituals and skill challenges.  Hated both of those.

4) Combat length - holy crap could they go long.  Some math problems here (especially when fighting higher level soldiers), some analysis paralysis, and sometimes just plain old hitpoint bloat on the part of the monsters.  Want to keep challenge level equal up the damage for the monsters and reduce their hp by 1/3 or so.

probably left some off of both lists but thats a good start.
 

So point #8 is were the new combat system comes from right? Explain the economy to me. P.S. Come one you guys I'll feild your post as I can. Just post and check back if you want.
Thank you for sharing that with me. I see now that the changes you are talking about and understand how come you found it fresh. Dragon borne seem like what I know as Draconians. So these changes were at the core of the game and not a setting option you say?


Dragonborn, Tiefling, the new gods and the Dawn war stuff were all in the PHB.

The Dawn War got fleshed out more in later books.  At first it was pretty vague, with a few hints here and there.
Formerly Batshido, Captain America of the 4vengers
Another big plus for 4e for me (along with many things stated above) was that you could play whatever character you wanted, and so could everybody else.  In previous editions, healing was pretty much stuck with divine classes, so you had the 'who gets stuck playing the cleric' effect.  4e had Martial leaders, Arcane leaders, Primal leaders, and Psionic leaders.  And it was easy to pick up 'non-class' skills, so you didn't have the 'someone has to play a rogue' crap to deal with traps and such.  While having a mix of roles was certainly an advantage, it was in no way a requirement.

More freedom, more flexibility, more good.

Another aspect of that is the ease of reflavoring.  Mechanics and flavor were almost entirely separate, making it very easy to reimagine your race, class, feats, powers, anything.  For example, the 4e bard is a very solid class design, but I can't stand the flavor of it.  But nothing in the mechanics requires musical goofiness, so I can discard it and just be a standard type of spellcaster.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I want your opinions. And I want to understand so we can end this stupid edition war and get this bad boy up and rocking to its full potential as a fanbase! Then the game wins the company wins and we win as fans! People fear what they don't understand folks. I'm not going to demigog you. Lets get to understanding each other.
So the multiclassing options you found was a major strength as well as feat or ( ability paths?) that worked together as synergy? Am I right? Take me through a simple example for this so I get it. Let me know if I'm right or wrong. Oh and there were roles each class filled that were beyond the arch typical ones I know? Striker, is one Iv'e heard here ,what are the rest? Help me better understand.
 I want to be transperant here. educate me. My ears are open to you. 




Actually, that's my biggest selling point for 4e, as a player, as of now, i have a huge flexibility to build the character i want...at low levels, mixing diferent archtypes around synergy, not more power, you don't get behind other classes on xp, level or spells, anything, you are just diferent and play around synergies to do things in a very diferent way that your parent classes would separated, and you don't have to play a class for 7 levels investing levels on 2 diferent classes you don't like (and being subpar), just to reach a prestige class that will allow to make your character concept you want to acomplish workeable.

One xp. chart and goal for all characters and synergy in multiclass builds that allow the player control . Check. Thanks Mexrage.
Examples of ease of GMing in 4e over previous editions: 

4e had the experience point budget.  Say each level 1 pc is worth 100xp per encounter, so for a standard five man, you want 500pts worth of xp (not actual numbers)  So you can look through the MM and find monsters that add up to this total.  An even level monster was 100xp.  an elite was 200xp, and a solo was 500xp.  Minions (1 hitpoint/flat damage mooks) would be worth 25.  

The monsters also had levels.  You could usually dip a level or two lower, or a level or two higher and things would still work out okay.  Easier encounters, you would go below the 500 points.  tougher, you would go above.  

Mix that with the monster builder and printing out the stat blocks, it was pretty quick and easy to set up an adventure.  Mechanical?  It could be, but with experience you could make it flow.  Either way, it was simple enough for a beginer DM to step in and run a game without having his players embarass his encounters, or die outright.

Another benefit: no one was completely useless at any time.  Especially after the first PHB, classes started keying off of one prime attribute for attack rolls, and a secondary stat for bounes.  There were some classes that flirted with three stats, (paladins, clerics, and to a degree rangers...but rangers were uber and could handle it)

Fighters weren't just a bag of hitpoints.  They had mechanics that allowed them to control the battlefield around them.  If a fighter marked you, you would be minus 2 (huge) to attack his friends, plus he could smack you for free.  If you tried moving away from him, even with a shift (disengage) he could hit you and stop you in your tracks. 

Personal opinon: the cosmology was beautiful.  I'm not talking alignments, (i was fine with the changes) I'm talking how the feywild and shadow fell interacted with the prime and astral sea and abyss and far realm, and the back story to all of it.
I also liked the core gods.  Simple and covered the basis, while showing some familiar faces.

At least up to the phb3, it was exciting to see the new releases coming out.

The DMG 2 was in my opinion possibly the most useful DM ever written in DnD for experienced DMs.

I'm not saying that any of that was perfect, but for the sake of this thread, that was part of what I saw as positives of the system. 

So D.M.ing was way simpler va the monster manuals builtv in reference or cheat sheet. So more people could D.M. with out worrying about falling short and ending up a failure. That's positive indeed.
I like the idea of guidelines to D.M. with some competancy. This allows for a D.M. experience curve that results in success. Keep them coming folks.



4E put forward a list of concise skills that worked as rough groups of capabilities. It had mostly the right amount of them in the right set-up for me to like 'em.

I was especially happy after having to get Hide, Move Silently, Search, Spot and Listen. Instead I now have Stealth and Perception.

Point of criticism: I feel they botched the number and availability of skills. No class should come with forced-upon skills to ease reflavoring (the old problem of "I don't want my archer to have nature, why should I have to play a ranger?!").



I don't consider myself a fan, but I support this statement about 4E skills

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

Do character abilities tie the D.m.'s hands? see the good rules post above as a reference. Does he still have fiat and power to over rule and place control for the saske of common sense and such? This is important to me as a D.M. personally.
So the multiclassing options you found was a major strength as well as feat or ( ability paths?) that worked together as synergy? Am I right? Take me through a simple example for this so I get it. Let me know if I'm right or wrong. Oh and there were roles each class filled that were beyond the arch typical ones I know? Striker, is one Iv'e heard here ,what are the rest? Help me better understand.
 I want to be transperant here. educate me. My ears are open to you. 



Multiclassing through feats worked for someone who wanted to dabble a bit- it was not good for anything beyond that.  

However the Hybrid system is GREAT.

For example you can have a Paladin/Sorcerer that at 5th level has the same number of abilities that either a single class paladin or a single class sorcerer has at the same level and while it won't necessarily have the sheer power of the single class in the specific role filled by those other classes your flexibility should be able to compensate- so long as you pick classes and abilities that synergize well.

Others have responded regarding roles but I will throw my 2c in also.

Striker- generally single target damage dealers - some have more control or aoe than others.

Defender- these are your frontline meatshields- think 1ed sword and board fighters or paladins who actually have ways of protecting their companions.

Leader- Take the healbot and buffbot cleric from previous editions and make him more interesting and fun to play.  Give him more options than just being a cleric.

Controller- Some of these are aoe damage dealers.  Some do more specific "control" (ie stuns immobilizes etc).

Different classes often have different "sub-roles"
For example my paladin in our tabletop game is a defender with a STRONG subclass of leader while our party's fighter is a defender with a moderate strong subclass of controller (he does a lot of aoe control)




4E put forward a list of concise skills that worked as rough groups of capabilities. It had mostly the right amount of them in the right set-up for me to like 'em.

I was especially happy after having to get Hide, Move Silently, Search, Spot and Listen. Instead I now have Stealth and Perception.

Point of criticism: I feel they botched the number and availability of skills. No class should come with forced-upon skills to ease reflavoring (the old problem of "I don't want my archer to have nature, why should I have to play a ranger?!").



I don't consider myself a fan, but I support this statement about 4E skills


So skills were lacking and needed a rework kind of like NWPs did? More could have been done with them? They could have been really cool?
So the multiclassing options you found was a major strength as well as feat or ( ability paths?) that worked together as synergy? Am I right? Take me through a simple example for this so I get it. Let me know if I'm right or wrong. Oh and there were roles each class filled that were beyond the arch typical ones I know? Striker, is one Iv'e heard here ,what are the rest? Help me better understand.
 I want to be transperant here. educate me. My ears are open to you. 



Multiclassing through feats worked for someone who wanted to dabble a bit- it was not good for anything beyond that.  

However the Hybrid system is GREAT.

For example you can have a Paladin/Sorcerer that at 5th level has the same number of abilities that either a single class paladin or a single class sorcerer has at the same level and while it won't necessarily have the sheer power of the single class in the specific role filled by those other classes your flexibility should be able to compensate- so long as you pick classes and abilities that synergize well.

Others have responded regarding roles but I will throw my 2c in also.

Striker- generally single target damage dealers - some have more control or aoe than others.

Defender- these are your frontline meatshields- think 1ed sword and board fighters or paladins who actually have ways of protecting their companions.

Leader- Take the healbot and buffbot cleric from previous editions and make him more interesting and fun to play.  Give him more options than just being a cleric.

Controller- Some of these are aoe damage dealers.  Some do more specific "control" (ie stuns immobilizes etc).

Different classes often have different "sub-roles"
For example my paladin in our tabletop game is a defender with a STRONG subclass of leader while our party's fighter is a defender with a moderate strong subclass of controller (he does a lot of aoe control)


Cool I get it thanks for expounding.
Do character abilities tie the D.m.'s hands? see the good rules post above as a reference. Does he still have fiat and power to over rule and place control for the saske of common sense and such? This is important to me as a D.M. personally.


No, not at all.  In fact, without daily spell prep and hundreds of utility spells available the DM has a lot more leeway than I felt like I had in previous editions.  I didn't ever have to worry about the Wizard prepping something that would cause my adventure to fall apart.

Beyond that, all the same methods are there for DMs that always have been.  It was a big step back in that direction from 3E.
Formerly Batshido, Captain America of the 4vengers
So the multiclassing options you found was a major strength as well as feat or ( ability paths?) that worked together as synergy? Am I right? Take me through a simple example for this so I get it. Let me know if I'm right or wrong. Oh and there were roles each class filled that were beyond the arch typical ones I know? Striker, is one Iv'e heard here ,what are the rest? Help me better understand.
 I want to be transperant here. educate me. My ears are open to you. 



Multiclassing through feats worked for someone who wanted to dabble a bit- it was not good for anything beyond that.  

However the Hybrid system is GREAT.

For example you can have a Paladin/Sorcerer that at 5th level has the same number of abilities that either a single class paladin or a single class sorcerer has at the same level and while it won't necessarily have the sheer power of the single class in the specific role filled by those other classes your flexibility should be able to compensate- so long as you pick classes and abilities that synergize well.

Others have responded regarding roles but I will throw my 2c in also.

Striker- generally single target damage dealers - some have more control or aoe than others.

Defender- these are your frontline meatshields- think 1ed sword and board fighters or paladins who actually have ways of protecting their companions.

Leader- Take the healbot and buffbot cleric from previous editions and make him more interesting and fun to play.  Give him more options than just being a cleric.

Controller- Some of these are aoe damage dealers.  Some do more specific "control" (ie stuns immobilizes etc).

Different classes often have different "sub-roles"
For example my paladin in our tabletop game is a defender with a STRONG subclass of leader while our party's fighter is a defender with a moderate strong subclass of controller (he does a lot of aoe control)




I only had PHB1, how many classes did they eventually come up with, and how were they placed into the roles?  For instance cleric was put into the leader role, fighter - defender, etc.  I never subscribed, got any more books nor errata.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey