What Will Happen to 4E

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Let me preface by saying I'm fairly new to the D&D experience having never played before 4E. I purchased the PHB1, Monster Manual and  DMG not knowing if I would ever be able to use them. My gaming group is made up entirely of people new to D&D (you're welcome WOTC). 

Now that I know everyone is enjoying it and we will likely continue, I've been checking out some of the published campaigns, additional monster manuals, dugeon tiles and even adventurers vault books to add to my collection of resources. It seems like these are hard to find. Most book stores I have been to do not carry a great deal of D&D material. My question is, are 4E books and materials becoming more scarce as everyone moves to the new edition? Are things like the Adventurer's vault going to be even harder to find in future?
 
Short answer is yes, older editions books will become harder to find as stores begin stocking up on D&D Next's manuals. If I may suggest, use online stores: Amazon has everything you may need.
Books will be really easy to find at first, as those who are willing to dump their old stuff for new do so; then it will get gradually harder.

In my home, we will play 4e for the foreseeable future. And if Next manages to produce a finished product that is radically different from my early playtest experiences, then I will give it a try as well.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Short answer is yes, older editions books will become harder to find as stores begin stocking up on D&D Next's manuals. If I may suggest, use online stores: Amazon has everything you may need.


Try Ebay as well, might be cheaper.
between amazon and ebay you can find nearly all of the books for at least half off. that said, the adventurers vault 1 is probably holding its value more than any other early 4e book; still you can find it for less than cover price.
Thanks guys. We will be playing 4E for the forseeable future as well but not because we are unhappy with Next. The learning curve for a bunch of newbies has been a little steep and we've been progressing very slowly so I want to stay with 4E as long as possible since everyone is finally getting the hang of it. I just dont want to be unable to find the stuff I may need in future.


 
If you have any gaming stores within a reasonable driving distance from you, then I would say that now is the time to strike with 4e books. People are dumping them and there is an abundance of them used. As suggested above, Amazon is a great place to look; in fact many of the books in my 4e collection were purchased through amazon for $15 or less. I just saw two copies of Adventurer's Vault at my FLGS recently for $15 each. Probably should've snatched them up but Im in a purging state of mind right now. Last year, you couldn't find a copy of the AV anywhere for less that $40-50 used. Saw one listed at $150 (though I doubt it sold for that).
My two copper.

4e is gonna be like 3.5 after it's gone. Very expensive and hard to find. I bet you anything Core Book prices will jump to near retail value if not more. Keep your 4e books and get as many as you can.

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I expect that the people who like 4e will hold onto their books. The ones that don't like it will probably try to recoup the cost of their 5e books by selling their 4e.

I suggest that if you do not have one already, that you start up ebay and paypal accounts, then go shopping for those cheap auctions. Don't worry about bidding on multiple copies of the same item. If you are lucky and win both (or however many) one of your friends can buy it from you.
How much the books go for depends on how many people sell them.

A couple years ago I sold off a friend's collection of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3.5, and 4e books. Some things went for 2-5 bucks. Some went for 40-80. All on a case by case basis.
If you are up for the challenge, I would suggest buying a copy of Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, an ancient classic 1st ed module. With very little work, it can be converted to 4e, and is a pretty solid story.
Wotc will actually break into your home and destroy all your 4e books.

It's already happened to half the playtesters for 5e.
Always right, 102% of the time.
Wotc will actually break into your home and destroy all your 4e books.

It's already happened to half the playtesters for 5e.


No it's their playtest packets they keep destroying and replacing with junk.
We are blessed with multiple FLGSes (saw it less of a blessing when, six months after we opened the second FLGS in town, three more opened in rapid succession), and one of them is co-owned by the guy who taught us D&D 4e and he has zero interest in DDN so they stay well stocked in D&D 4e books – and they sell everything for 10% off MSRP!

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Well while amazon has lots of 4 e books. They are not cheaper.  Look at adventures vault one
 www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_16?url...  This link shows it selling for 89.99. That waaaaaaymore money.  It like tryi g to find 2 nd edition stuff. It out there but you are gonna pay a premium for it
 
well, yeah, some of those amazon sellers are very inflated and unrealistic.
Other books are much cheaper.
AV1 is out-of-print, and has been for several months (Yeah. I know. What was the thinking there?). That's why. go Ebay--I got mine (slightly used) for less than cover price. 
I've also had incredible luck with Half Price Books.  The company has locations in a good portion of the country, and I'm sure there are local equivalents elsewhere.  I've gotten quite a few 4th books there, and they have shelves full of 3.5, 3, and 2nd Edition goodies too.  A lot of the fluff from 2nd and 3rd Editions are excellent, and can easily work for 4th, especially if you're playing in curated worlds like Eberron, Forgotten Realms or Dark Sun.

All depends on what people bring in, I've picked up a load of old Shadowrun/Earthdawn books too, mostly because the fluff there is excellent.  The most populous stuff on the shelves seems to be flavors of GURPS, followed by 2nd Edition.  Sometimes you also find gems, like a 2nd edition printing of "Chainmail" for $3.  Yoink!

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Well while amazon has lots of 4 e books. They are not cheaper.  Look at adventures vault one
 www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_16?url...  This link shows it selling for 89.99. That waaaaaaymore money.  It like tryi g to find 2 nd edition stuff. It out there but you are gonna pay a premium for it
 



Half my 4e collection came from amazon for $15 or less. I've gotten tons of 2e stuff there too for next to nothing. Perhaps it's a right time right place thing, but my experiences are vastly different from yours.
I want to buy more 4E books... but... I have no interest in the paper they are printed on.

In fact I want to get rid of the paper books I have. Just as soon as I can get LEGAL ebooks, preferably ones that aren't made by scanning the paper books.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Well while amazon has lots of 4 e books. They are not cheaper.  Look at adventures vault one
 www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_16?url...  This link shows it selling for 89.99. That waaaaaaymore money.  It like tryi g to find 2 nd edition stuff. It out there but you are gonna pay a premium for it
 



Half my 4e collection came from amazon for $15 or less. I've gotten tons of 2e stuff there too for next to nothing. Perhaps it's a right time right place thing, but my experiences are vastly different from yours.



same.
Although I'd been playing 4e for nearly 4 years, I didn't venture into DMing it until the last couple of years. The cover prices of these books I found to be wildly overpriced (sorry WoTC). So, as someone above me suggested first, I got myself eBay and PayPal accounts. My book collection skyrocketed from 1 or 2 to nearly every 4e book available, in one year! I got some incredible, fantastic deals buying 4e books on eBay. There are a lot of disgruntled geeks out there and you can turn their butthurt into cheap gaming materials! Be patient and learn the tricks of eBay and you'll save yourself (no lie), thousands of dollars.

Also, I gotta say I'm with you on D&D Next. The playtest is very nice and all, but until I see the published, finished game books, I'll be playing 4e. Do yourself a favor and get a DDI account, if you don't already have one. Download every available article and adventure from Dragon and Dungeon and you are basically good to go for multiple years.


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

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Let me preface by saying I'm fairly new to the D&D experience having never played before 4E. I purchased the PHB1, Monster Manual and  DMG not knowing if I would ever be able to use them. My gaming group is made up entirely of people new to D&D (you're welcome WOTC). 

Now that I know everyone is enjoying it and we will likely continue, I've been checking out some of the published campaigns, additional monster manuals, dugeon tiles and even adventurers vault books to add to my collection of resources. It seems like these are hard to find. Most book stores I have been to do not carry a great deal of D&D material. My question is, are 4E books and materials becoming more scarce as everyone moves to the new edition? Are things like the Adventurer's vault going to be even harder to find in future?
 

Hexgoblin,

I've played D&D a few times, but it wasn't until 4th edition that I got into "seriously" playing D&D. With the new edition on the horizon, I have likewise notice 4E books getting harder and harder to find. Knowing that 4E is going to be going by the wayside (by and large), I have been going to Amazon and buying up what I can.

If you and your group are enjoying 4E as much as I am, I would recommend that you try that route. Amazon is not only selling the books cheaper than suggested retail, but various sellers on Amazon are also selling 4E books (some new and some slightly used) even cheaper than what Amazon is offering the books for.

It is unfortunate, but I think that we are seeing 4E drawing to a close in light of D&D Next.
well, yeah, some of those amazon sellers are very inflated and unrealistic.
Other books are much cheaper.
AV1 is out-of-print, and has been for several months (Yeah. I know. What was the thinking there?). That's why. go Ebay--I got mine (slightly used) for less than cover price. 

The thing with Amazon is all that stuff is 3rd party sellers. You have to just keep going back every day and looking. A book could be $89 one day and $12 the next day in better condition. 4e books are almost all technically 'out of print' at this point since they certainly aren't apparently planning on putting them out again, so some of the more popular ones or ones that had short print runs can have volatile prices. AV1 is the most extreme as it was printed in 2008 and I assume never reprinted at all. Being the first supplement (and a pretty important one) it probably sold fairly well.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Honestly I don't care what happens to the books but... if they mess with my DnD Insider account and replace the Charbuilder and Compendium with DnD Next crap I'm going to be a very sad panda.
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I've seen some pretty big lots of 4e selling on ebay over the last few months (I guess the D&D Next announcement had an effect?). Sometimes you can buy an entire lot of books for less than the price of buying the books individually. Sure you'll end up with some extra books you don't need, but you can always give them away to friends. I got a lot of 3.5 books this way when 4e came out.
Honestly I don't care what happens to the books but... if they mess with my DnD Insider account and replace the Charbuilder and Compendium with DnD Next crap I'm going to be a very sad panda.



That's the day I cancel my subscription. What I'm paying for is the character builder and maintaining my character files online. That goes, so do I.

Wotc will actually break into your home and destroy all your 4e books.

It's already happened to half the playtesters for 5e.



Actually while I know this was intended to be a joke, perhaps for the first time in RPG history, it's really not.  4E has gotten to the point where a lot of 4E players need and depend on the online tools (esp Char Builder) to actually play the game because the errata is so bloated and scattered, and the various class abilities and powers are scattered over dozens of "core" books and magazines.

So if when Wotc pulls the plug on 4E character support, they really will be (in effect) breaking into a large section of the 4E fanbase and destroying their 4e books.

-Polaris
Wotc will actually break into your home and destroy all your 4e books.

It's already happened to half the playtesters for 5e.



Actually while I know this was intended to be a joke, perhaps for the first time in RPG history, it's really not.  4E has gotten to the point where a lot of 4E players need and depend on the online tools (esp Char Builder) to actually play the game because the errata is so bloated and scattered, and the various class abilities and powers are scattered over dozens of "core" books and magazines.

So if when Wotc pulls the plug on 4E character support, they really will be (in effect) breaking into a large section of the 4E fanbase and destroying their 4e books.

-Polaris



Yeah, even more because alot of players only have the core books and the rest they get it out of compedium, adventure tools and character build (the need to continue to buy books for content is greatly diminished for them, is the closest thing to digital distribution auto-update with free DLC on D&D)
Honestly I don't care what happens to the books but... if they mess with my DnD Insider account and replace the Charbuilder and Compendium with DnD Next crap I'm going to be a very sad panda.


This, a thousand times this.
Honestly I don't care what happens to the books but... if they mess with my DnD Insider account and replace the Charbuilder and Compendium with DnD Next crap I'm going to be a very sad panda.



Which is why I am happy I kept my off line version and know basic editing to add the things Wizards refused to add. Sure it takes some work but hey it means I will be able to play 4e forever and introduce my own homebrew as well.
Just like what others say, I fully expect WotC to pull the plug on the Online 4E Tools and when that comes I'm just leaving it all behind.

I'm actually in the process of putting together a Game that should be able to carry forward what we know today as 4E.
There's not much point though, in trying to capture EVERYTHING that has been published.
Some material is simply redundant and contributes to bloat. Others are simply so suboptimal offering the Option does not add value. 

My final "Compilation" will probably be something like this
- Basic Rules for Playing the Game
- 6-7 Core Classes 
- Selection of Generally Useful Feats. Reduction of Feat Tax. 
- Role-Specific Rules, for mixing / switching Roles around
- Selection of Generally Useful Items, fewer of them. 
- New Core Classes that have very different Mechanics from 4E. eg. Vancian Systems
- A Few Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies

Along with following, with an intention to maintain Balance in the Game
- Quickplay Options for Players New to the Game
- Guidelines for Creating more Classes and Powers
- Guidelines for Creating Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies
- Guidelines for Creating more Item Properties and balancing Evolving Items
- Guidelines for Creating Feats
- Guidelines for Encounter and Monster Generation 

I've been playtesting some Elements of these in my Campaign, using 4E encounters, and it works pretty well.
The Characters do not outperform 4E Characters either, but are relatively easier to Optimise because the Feat Selection is much more easier to work with and have more blanket boosts to Character performance.
Assuming the Party plays sensibly, Combat typically ends in about 5-7 rounds.

I am Blue/White

I'm going to be moving to from an annual subscription to something more frequent when my sub runs out in late December. If/when they pull the plug on 4E tools, unless I've completed the home campaign I'm running through 30, and the two LFR EPIC runs that I'm involved in (one as DM and one as player), I won't be resubscribing and will be switching to board games.

Board games that are in no way produced by WotC or Hasbro, that is.


Board games that are in no way produced by WotC or Hasbro, that is.



Credit where credit is due, Lord of Waterdeep is a fantastic boardgame.

I think Ravenloft is pretty awesome too

I am Blue/White

Honestly I don't care what happens to the books but... if they mess with my DnD Insider account and replace the Charbuilder and Compendium with DnD Next crap I'm going to be a very sad panda.



Which is why I am happy I kept my off line version and know basic editing to add the things Wizards refused to add. Sure it takes some work but hey it means I will be able to play 4e forever and introduce my own homebrew as well.



Yup this exactly.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 Same thing tahs happened to every other edition. A couple of years after the end 4th ed will be restricted to a handful of holdouts and it will be difficult to find players for it.
I dunno Zardnaar.  I get the feeling that if Next ends up getting the product shelved then Pathfinder and 4e are going to be the systems of choice amongst folks who still want to play D&D.
Actually while I know this was intended to be a joke, perhaps for the first time in RPG history, it's really not.  4E has gotten to the point where a lot of 4E players need and depend on the online tools (esp Char Builder) to actually play the game because the errata is so bloated and scattered, and the various class abilities and powers are scattered over dozens of "core" books and magazines.

So if when Wotc pulls the plug on 4E character support, they really will be (in effect) breaking into a large section of the 4E fanbase and destroying their 4e books.

-Polaris


If a player makes himself reliant on a set of online tools, knowing from the start (at least from the switch to online instead of downloaded tools) that the plug can be pulled at any time, and knowing that there is a perfectly viable alternative (books), then he has no one to blame but himself.

Fortunately, there are plenty of us that still get along just fine with pen and paper.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
 Same thing tahs happened to every other edition. A couple of years after the end 4th ed will be restricted to a handful of holdouts and it will be difficult to find players for it.


I don't know. It seems that there was a pretty sizable 3e (or Pathfinder, I consider them to be pretty much the same anyway) following while 4e was out.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
Actually while I know this was intended to be a joke, perhaps for the first time in RPG history, it's really not.  4E has gotten to the point where a lot of 4E players need and depend on the online tools (esp Char Builder) to actually play the game because the errata is so bloated and scattered, and the various class abilities and powers are scattered over dozens of "core" books and magazines.

So if when Wotc pulls the plug on 4E character support, they really will be (in effect) breaking into a large section of the 4E fanbase and destroying their 4e books.

-Polaris


If a player makes himself reliant on a set of online tools, knowing from the start (at least from the switch to online instead of downloaded tools) that the plug can be pulled at any time, and knowing that there is a perfectly viable alternative (books), then he has no one to blame but himself.

Fortunately, there are plenty of us that still get along just fine with pen and paper.



I think that's a little disengenous for a couple of reasons.

1.  Until this last year there was no reason to think that 4E was going to last any less time than any other edition (i.e 8 years or so).  That was Wotc's own projection btw and not mine.

2.  There are over 100 pages of errata in 4E many of which almost completely rewrite entire sections of 'core' books, and because 'everything is core' critical information is scattered over many books (somtimes as many as a dozen or more).

It's this last explosion of information that very often makes it nearly impossible to make a character without some sort of computer support, and the only current support is on line.  Likewise the huge amounts of errata make it difficult to trust any rules sort other than the most current compilation......which is entirely online.

-Polaris
I think that's a little disengenous for a couple of reasons.

1.  Until this last year there was no reason to think that 4E was going to last any less time than any other edition (i.e 8 years or so).  That was Wotc's own projection btw and not mine.

2.  There are over 100 pages of errata in 4E many of which almost completely rewrite entire sections of 'core' books, and because 'everything is core' critical information is scattered over many books (somtimes as many as a dozen or more).

It's this last explosion of information that very often makes it nearly impossible to make a character without some sort of computer support, and the only current support is on line.  Likewise the huge amounts of errata make it difficult to trust any rules sort other than the most current compilation......which is entirely online.

-Polaris

Nonetheless, it was known that 4e would end at some point. There was no way of knowing when it would come, but even if it was after 20 years, there's no way to be certain that you would like what replaced it.

Errata can be printed. It's organized by book so despite it covering many supplements, it's not hard to locate the pertinent material. I prefer to print it and keep it with the book. You could also have it in pdf form so that you can search it. As for large portions of the books being rewritten, often it is a minor change but if they change one word, they reprint the entire stat block.

Anyway, the point remains that there is a viable alternative. WotC can turn off DDI but they can't turn off the game. So whether or not you continue to play will be entirely up to you. If you choose not to, there's nothing wrong with that, just don't blame WotC for it.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I think that's a little disengenous for a couple of reasons.

1.  Until this last year there was no reason to think that 4E was going to last any less time than any other edition (i.e 8 years or so).  That was Wotc's own projection btw and not mine.

2.  There are over 100 pages of errata in 4E many of which almost completely rewrite entire sections of 'core' books, and because 'everything is core' critical information is scattered over many books (somtimes as many as a dozen or more).

It's this last explosion of information that very often makes it nearly impossible to make a character without some sort of computer support, and the only current support is on line.  Likewise the huge amounts of errata make it difficult to trust any rules sort other than the most current compilation......which is entirely online.

-Polaris

Nonetheless, it was known that 4e would end at some point. There was no way of knowing when it would come, but even if it was after 20 years, there's no way to be certain that you would like what replaced it.

Errata can be printed. It's organized by book so despite it covering many supplements, it's not hard to locate the pertinent material. I prefer to print it and keep it with the book. You could also have it in pdf form so that you can search it. As for large portions of the books being rewritten, often it is a minor change but if they change one word, they reprint the entire stat block.

Anyway, the point remains that there is a viable alternative. WotC can turn off DDI but they can't turn off the game. So whether or not you continue to play will be entirely up to you. If you choose not to, there's nothing wrong with that, just don't blame WotC for it.



I disagree.  Wotc made it deliberately difficult to nearly impossible to play 4E without using online support, more so than any other edition of DnD in history.  Moreover, they made the on-line support an integral part of the game from almost the beginning, and made it basically impossible to keep up with the latest errata and changes without using online support.  Certainly they made it so that going completely online was so inconvenient that many have found it basically impossible.

I do blame Wotc for this especially when they look to pull the online rug out from under their own customers to force an edition change with forced obsolescence.

-Polaris 
Actually while I know this was intended to be a joke, perhaps for the first time in RPG history, it's really not.  4E has gotten to the point where a lot of 4E players need and depend on the online tools (esp Char Builder) to actually play the game because the errata is so bloated and scattered, and the various class abilities and powers are scattered over dozens of "core" books and magazines.

So if when Wotc pulls the plug on 4E character support, they really will be (in effect) breaking into a large section of the 4E fanbase and destroying their 4e books.

-Polaris


If a player makes himself reliant on a set of online tools, knowing from the start (at least from the switch to online instead of downloaded tools) that the plug can be pulled at any time, and knowing that there is a perfectly viable alternative (books), then he has no one to blame but himself.

Fortunately, there are plenty of us that still get along just fine with pen and paper.



I think that's a little disengenous for a couple of reasons.

1.  Until this last year there was no reason to think that 4E was going to last any less time than any other edition (i.e 8 years or so).  That was Wotc's own projection btw and not mine.

2.  There are over 100 pages of errata in 4E many of which almost completely rewrite entire sections of 'core' books, and because 'everything is core' critical information is scattered over many books (somtimes as many as a dozen or more).

It's this last explosion of information that very often makes it nearly impossible to make a character without some sort of computer support, and the only current support is on line.  Likewise the huge amounts of errata make it difficult to trust any rules sort other than the most current compilation......which is entirely online.

-Polaris



Most 4e players i know only have the core books, DMG1, PHB1 and rules compedium, some of them don't even have DMG1...all the rest of content they need is from DDI...(adventure tools, compedium, character builder)