I feel that the game is being hurt by their attempts to keep battlemaps from being default.

Because honestly it should be the other way around. To me it just doesn't feel like D&D if it doesn't have battlemaps.
Khyber is a dark and dangerous place, full of flame and smoke, where ever stranger things lie dormant.
Because honestly it should be the other way around. To me it just doesn't feel like D&D if it doesn't have battlemaps.



Yeah, it was started with battle maps, and only in 1E did it provide optional rules to play without it. 2E made that style standard and the battle maps optional. 3.xE made battle maps required, though some made up rules to not use battle mats, 4E went back to the roots to play with battle maps...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I like the battle maps alright, but I think they slow down gameplay too much sometimes. It's nice to be able to play the game without and add them when  they're needed, not to have to perform surgery to remove them. 
I've got to say, after playing it both ways, I really prefer it without the battlemap.

I realize there are tradeoffs either way and originally when switching from AD&D to the map I said "Wow this is great, no more ambiguity about where everyone is!"

But after playing on it for a couple editions, my main problem with it is simply that it's just so slow and it leads to odd irrational metagame play. And spending 2 hours on one combat, it just takes the steam out of the story. Also I have never really been a fan of the "shift back and fire a bow" style of play that 3E/4E allowed and some of the other battlemap based absurdities. If the guy is in your face, you shouldn't be able to easily cast a spell or shoot a bow.

I don't have anything against the battlemap on principle, and if people have a group that works well with it where it doesn't detract from the story, I say great, there's no reason there can't be rules to use a map. But given that it's a poor choice to start newbies with, I think it should be in an optional module as opposed to the core idea.
Prefer the default to be no battle map. I can alwas pull one out. I usually use them for "boss" fights.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

No thanks. I too want the default to be "no battlemap." 
3.xE made battle maps required, though some made up rules to not use battle mats,



No it didn't. My group played TotM a whole hell of a lot, and never made up any rules for it. Pretty easy to do since everything was measured in feet.
Most combats in my game are far too dynamic for a battlemap.  3 dimensional combat is far from uncommon, and a battlemap can't even handle a fight where the entire combat takes place mounted.  If my battleground is over two miles of road, complete with twists, turns, and ruts, what good is a battlemat going to be for me?

For a room by room dungeon crawl, a battlemap is fine.  For just about anything else the paradigm quickly breaks down.
I default to battlemaps, but this is one area where I recognize that it's easier to convert a system not of my preference to my preference than it is to go the other way. (I think it's much easier to run 4e gridless than some people seem to think, but in general adding maps is easier than removing them.)
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I prefer to use maps for huge combats and places with complicated terrain and such. I like to run small skirmishes and other fights TOTM.
For one, it's faster.
For two, my players always tend to do more interesting stuff without the map (their problem not the maps, as I don't doubt some people do plenty of crazy stuff with the map)
For three, we record our sessions and, the parts with the maps are AWFUL to listen to ("I go there." vs. "I rush up to the biggest orc.")

Also, as a DM, I find them to be a chore and they increase pre-pro for me.
A few guidelines for using the internet: 1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart. 2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons. 3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves. 4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health. 5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.
Please no battle map, whiteboard does me a lot better in the 1/10 fights where I think it will help or players get confused.
Once battle map is infused, translation becomes a chore. It really kills our immersion, so does the whiteboard, my players think of it as DM punishment for not listening closely. "Don't get the whiteboard out for me... I WAS listening..."
 

My mind is a deal-breaker.

Battle mats are the only way I will play D&D. It will be interesting to see if they are able to incorporate miniature-less combat into the rules. My main concern is if they make it the Core rules that the combat is miniature less and leave miniatures to a stupid module.
Battle mats are the only way I will play D&D. It will be interesting to see if they are able to incorporate miniature-less combat into the rules. My main concern is if they make it the Core rules that the combat is miniature less and leave miniatures to a stupid module.


I don't understand your point. The packet is available for free download, just playtest the game if you think it's interesting. You can currently use both...
A few guidelines for using the internet: 1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart. 2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons. 3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves. 4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health. 5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.
Battle mats are the only way I will play D&D. It will be interesting to see if they are able to incorporate miniature-less combat into the rules. My main concern is if they make it the Core rules that the combat is miniature less and leave miniatures to a stupid module.


I don't understand your point. The packet is available for free download, just playtest the game if you think it's interesting. You can currently use both...



I am play testing the packets.  It still remains to be seen if miniature-less combat ends up being the core rules for combat at the exclusion of miniature based combat. I'm still skeptical as to what the final 'core' rules are going to end up like.

Battle mats are the only way I will play D&D. It will be interesting to see if they are able to incorporate miniature-less combat into the rules. My main concern is if they make it the Core rules that the combat is miniature less and leave miniatures to a stupid module.


I don't understand your point. The packet is available for free download, just playtest the game if you think it's interesting. You can currently use both...



I am play testing the packets.  It still remains to be seen if miniature-less combat ends up being the core rules for combat at the exclusion of miniature based combat. I'm still skeptical as to what the final 'core' rules are going to end up like.



You know they can both be core rules right? This isn't a one or the other decision, like most people try to it seem.
My two copper.

Wait - what? Battle maps started to be required in 3e? When was that, 'cause I seem to remember them being optional for every single verison of D&D apart from 4th.


No battle maps please. I haven't used them in 25 years and I'm not about to start.

They were always optional...the game was just designed assuming you would use them.
They were always optional...the game was just designed assuming you would use them.


Which game was that? I did play 4e gridless for a campaign and it wasn't totally impossible or something but it did require a certain amount of mental gymnastics to get it working. AD&D and 3e never required anything of the sort though and the maps were this sideshow to the main attraction.
I play thru virtual tabletop, the better battlemap rules and more streamlined, the more will it help the ones playing thru this mean.  It won't be long before virtual tabletop thru internet is going to be the most commonly way to play RPGs (i won't be surprised that the use of virtual tabletops used around the world already outnumber face to face tabletop RPG already).  People from all over the world playing together...what's more wonderful than that?

That's the huge adventage we found with 4e...it worked perfectly with virtual tabletops such as maptools
there's absolutely no reason why a virtual table top needs to always have a battle map or why a group that is using a virutal table top must use a battle map all the time. I've done plenty of sessions over skype (it's the main way I play) with whiteboard to scratch out things and it works a treat.
Because honestly it should be the other way around. To me it just doesn't feel like D&D if it doesn't have battlemaps.



Yeah, it was started with battle maps, and only in 1E did it provide optional rules to play without it. 2E made that style standard and the battle maps optional. 3.xE made battle maps required, though some made up rules to not use battle mats, 4E went back to the roots to play with battle maps...



No idea what you're saying here, or how much sarcasm is in play, so I'm just gonna walk away.



He is saying that 4e was more in touch with the roots of D&D than your favorite edition in this regard ... no sarcasm required.
  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."

 

Because honestly it should be the other way around. To me it just doesn't feel like D&D if it doesn't have battlemaps.



Yeah, it was started with battle maps, and only in 1E did it provide optional rules to play without it. 2E made that style standard and the battle maps optional. 3.xE made battle maps required, though some made up rules to not use battle mats, 4E went back to the roots to play with battle maps...



No idea what you're saying here, or how much sarcasm is in play, so I'm just gonna walk away.



He is saying that 4e was more in touch with the roots of D&D than your favorite edition in this regard ... no sarcasm required.



As in, minis/map is central in pre D&D and 4th edition, useable in 3rd, and essentially non-existent in D&D, AD&D 1st & 2nd editions? Well duh.



If you are asserting the use of minis and mapgrids were not central assumptions even in 1e... I think you are pushing it but he seems to say that 3e made minis and maps close to required as well? 
  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."

 

They were always optional...the game was just designed assuming you would use them.


Which game was that? I did play 4e gridless for a campaign and it wasn't totally impossible or something but it did require a certain amount of mental gymnastics to get it working. AD&D and 3e never required anything of the sort though and the maps were this sideshow to the main attraction.



3e relied on minis just as much as 4e, because they used minis for almost the exact same things. 4e had more forced movement, and 3e had stuff like extra movement for diagonal. Other than that, the rules are almost identical.

Just as an example, both use minis for movement (3e had more complex movement), positioning, cover/concealment, AoE, AoO, distance, forced movement, size, terrain, line of sight, line of effect, reach, etc.

If you can ignore minis in 3e, you can ignore them in 4e by doing almost the exact same thing. The miniature systems are almost a mirror image of one another with minor differences.

3e relied on minis just as much as 4e, because they used minis for almost the exact same things. 4e had more forced movement, and 3e had stuff like extra movement for diagonal. Other than that, the rules are almost identical.


The shift in measurements from real world units to "squares" was a pretty big tell. I know that a square was 5' but the fact that they moved it over made direct reference to battle maps - something 3e never did outside of the miniatures book and some of the combat section.


Of course 3e could be used with battle maps, but to say that it relied on them is a distortion of the facts. 4e could be played gridless and it wasn't as painful as all that to do it, but many of the movement mechanics relied on battle maps to quickly resolve.


Just as an example, both use minis for movement (3e had more complex movement), positioning, cover/concealment, AoE, AoO, distance, forced movement, size, terrain, line of sight, line of effect, reach, etc.


Both could use them, 3e in no way relied on them. I've spent 99% of my time on this hobby in a gridless environment and 3e never once made me have to think in terms of battle mats. 4e does. Maybe that's a point of how the game is presented, but being led to believe something by the text is almost as good as requiring something to play. The practical result is identical.


If you can ignore minis in 3e, you can ignore them in 4e by doing almost the exact same thing. The miniature systems are almost a mirror image of one another with minor differences.


The systems presented may well have been similar (and I'd agree, they work pretty much in the same way), but 4e took it that step further and wrote out effects in terms of the battle mat. It brought in tactcial options that really needed a battle mat to resolve easily, especially when learning the system. The actual tactical combat system's similarities or differences are almost immaterial here: 4e's power set assumed a battle mat, 3e's did not.



But let's not lose sight of something that's come out of this exchange: It's possible to present a rich and detailed tactical approach using battle mats without relying on it. People who don't see how the playtest's current incarnation could possibly support tactical combat would do well to remember that.

3.xE made battle maps required, though some made up rules to not use battle mats,



No it didn't. My group played TotM a whole hell of a lot, and never made up any rules for it. Pretty easy to do since everything was measured in feet.



Yes, they described everything in 5 foot increments, but the game was still designed around the assumption of a battlemat. That many groups were able to ignore the battlemat doesn't change that...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

Wait - what? Battle maps started to be required in 3e? When was that, 'cause I seem to remember them being optional for every single verison of D&D apart from 4th.


No battle maps please. I haven't used them in 25 years and I'm not about to start.




Basic assumed you owned the chainmail game and were using that to play out combats. 1E used miniatures by default, but included optional rules for TotM play (as is evidenced by everything being measured in inches, so not a gridded map, but a map). 2E made TotM play the default, and map play the option. 3E described things in 5 foot increments, but everything revolved around placement and measuring areas of spells and things like that. It was designed around people using a map. Many people from basic on to 3E ignored the inbuilt rules for map play and house ruled in a kind of ToTM play. 4E went back to the roots and required a map or at least was built with the assumption of using a map...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I play thru virtual tabletop, the better battlemap rules and more streamlined, the more will it help the ones playing thru this mean.  It won't be long before virtual tabletop thru internet is going to be the most commonly way to play RPGs (i won't be surprised that the use of virtual tabletops used around the world already outnumber face to face tabletop RPG already).  People from all over the world playing together...what's more wonderful than that?

That's the huge adventage we found with 4e...it worked perfectly with virtual tabletops such as maptools



I play using Fantasy Grounds and I play with people from all over the world...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
there's absolutely no reason why a virtual table top needs to always have a battle map or why a group that is using a virutal table top must use a battle map all the time. I've done plenty of sessions over skype (it's the main way I play) with whiteboard to scratch out things and it works a treat.



No one is saying you couldn't play those games without a map. We are saying they were designed to be played with a map...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.


Of course 3e could be used with battle maps, but to say that it relied on them is a distortion of the facts. 4e could be played gridless and it wasn't as painful as all that to do it, but many of the movement mechanics relied on battle maps to quickly resolve.




When all of the examples of the book are a top down view of a battlemat to show you how it should work... then yes, the game assumes a battle mat.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.


3e relied on minis just as much as 4e, because they used minis for almost the exact same things. 4e had more forced movement, and 3e had stuff like extra movement for diagonal. Other than that, the rules are almost identical.


The shift in measurements from real world units to "squares" was a pretty big tell. I know that a square was 5' but the fact that they moved it over made direct reference to battle maps - something 3e never did outside of the miniatures book and some of the combat section.


Of course 3e could be used with battle maps, but to say that it relied on them is a distortion of the facts. 4e could be played gridless and it wasn't as painful as all that to do it, but many of the movement mechanics relied on battle maps to quickly resolve.


Just as an example, both use minis for movement (3e had more complex movement), positioning, cover/concealment, AoE, AoO, distance, forced movement, size, terrain, line of sight, line of effect, reach, etc.


Both could use them, 3e in no way relied on them. I've spent 99% of my time on this hobby in a gridless environment and 3e never once made me have to think in terms of battle mats. 4e does. Maybe that's a point of how the game is presented, but being led to believe something by the text is almost as good as requiring something to play. The practical result is identical.


If you can ignore minis in 3e, you can ignore them in 4e by doing almost the exact same thing. The miniature systems are almost a mirror image of one another with minor differences.


The systems presented may well have been similar (and I'd agree, they work pretty much in the same way), but 4e took it that step further and wrote out effects in terms of the battle mat. It brought in tactcial options that really needed a battle mat to resolve easily, especially when learning the system. The actual tactical combat system's similarities or differences are almost immaterial here: 4e's power set assumed a battle mat, 3e's did not.



But let's not lose sight of something that's come out of this exchange: It's possible to present a rich and detailed tactical approach using battle mats without relying on it. People who don't see how the playtest's current incarnation could possibly support tactical combat would do well to remember that.




You're ignoring facts. 3e relied on the grid just as much as 4e. The fact remains that they use a grid for the exact same things. 4e also mentions that a square is roughly 5 feet. So, just convert squares to feet and you're good to go. 

3e's power system absolutely did assume a battle mat. The diagonal movement rules alone require a battle mat to work properly, as do AoO due to threatened squares. Moving into a threatened square does not provoke, but moving through or out of does. That is almost impossible to track accurately without a battle mat. Larger creatures occupy more squares than others, which changes the squares they threaten dramatically. 

How about figuring out how many creatures you have hit in an AoE attack or zone. You can not do this without handwaving, which you could just as easily do in 4e. 3e has JUST as many rules, if not more, for a battlemat.

Fact is, it requires a lot of handwaving to make either system work without the mat. There are a lot of precision based rules that rely on a mat in both systems, and to say one system requires them and the other does not is a logical fallacy. They are 95% identical in how they use the mat. Whatever you do to ignore the mat in one can be directly applied to the other. T
You're ignoring facts. 3e relied on the grid just as much as 4e. The fact remains that they use a grid for the exact same things. 4e also mentions that a square is roughly 5 feet. So, just convert squares to feet and you're good to go. 

3e's power system absolutely did assume a battle mat. The diagonal movement rules alone require a battle mat to work properly, as do AoO due to threatened squares. Moving into a threatened square does not provoke, but moving through or out of does. That is almost impossible to track accurately without a battle mat. Larger creatures occupy more squares than others, which changes the squares they threaten dramatically.

How about figuring out how many creatures you have hit in an AoE attack or zone. You can not do this without handwaving, which you could just as easily do in 4e. 3e has JUST as many rules, if not more, for a battlemat.

Fact is, it requires a lot of handwaving to make either system work without the mat. To say otherwise is a logical fallacy as they are 95% identical in how they use the mat. 



I can only speak from my own experience, of course, but I would love an explanation why I dove into 3e totally gridless without any trouble whatsoever and no need for handwaving at all but 4e required me to do conversions in my head.


If it boils down to presentation then that's fine; I all ready said that it could be the only thing in it.

You're ignoring facts. 3e relied on the grid just as much as 4e. The fact remains that they use a grid for the exact same things. 4e also mentions that a square is roughly 5 feet. So, just convert squares to feet and you're good to go. 

3e's power system absolutely did assume a battle mat. The diagonal movement rules alone require a battle mat to work properly, as do AoO due to threatened squares. Moving into a threatened square does not provoke, but moving through or out of does. That is almost impossible to track accurately without a battle mat. Larger creatures occupy more squares than others, which changes the squares they threaten dramatically.

How about figuring out how many creatures you have hit in an AoE attack or zone. You can not do this without handwaving, which you could just as easily do in 4e. 3e has JUST as many rules, if not more, for a battlemat.

Fact is, it requires a lot of handwaving to make either system work without the mat. To say otherwise is a logical fallacy as they are 95% identical in how they use the mat. 



I can only speak from my own experience, of course, but I would love an explanation why I dove into 3e totally gridless without any trouble whatsoever and no need for handwaving at all but 4e required me to do conversions in my head.


If it boils down to presentation then that's fine; I all ready said that it could be the only thing in it.




They use the same rules. If you had applied your methods from 3e to 4e, you would have been fine. Both systems require tons of handwaving to operate without a mat.

You can't honestly tell me you can determine exactly where all players are at all times AND use all of the combat rules without a mat. There's just too much going on at once and too many rules to know. Flanking requires very specific positioning.

If there are 20 enemies on the field and someone casts an AoE spell, how do you know how many you hit?

How do you know which squares the dragon is threatening? How do you track your traps? How do you set up a zone and know exactly when someone does or does not enter it?

How do you know if you are flanking something directly across from your ally, or if you are 1 square too far in either direction to be considered flanking?

How do you know if you have line of sight when someone is standing right next to a wall?

How do you charge something and know how to adjust for obstacles that are in the way, and know whether or not they are in range?

How do you use the tumble skill. You have to track the movement, the extra movement from the tumble, the extra movement from diagonal squares (if applicable), and know exactly how many enemies are there to make the potential AoO.

These are just a few examples. They all have the same solution. You handwave it. Do it in both systems, and it works the same.
Battlemats are one of those issues that changes the underlying game in a lot of subtle ways. What sort of powers and character concepts in general work well mechanically in ombat varies depending on what style of combat your run. Some mechanics, such as short ranged area of effect attacks, short ranged push/pull/slide powers and movement control effects, don't work well unless you can precisely pin down where everybody is. Certain other character concepts play better without a battle map, but this varies more from DM to DM. Commonly characters who like to move off on their own come out ahead. Without a battle map, they rarely take as many opportunity attacks as they should, don't usually get surround and overwhelmed as much as they should and can usually reach the enemy targets faster then they should.

I would like to see combat without a battle map and gridded combat supported in the base game, with an optional module for tactical miniatures without a grid.
I can only speak from my own experience, of course, but I would love an explanation why I dove into 3e totally gridless without any trouble whatsoever and no need for handwaving at all but 4e required me to do conversions in my head.

If it boils down to presentation then that's fine; I all ready said that it could be the only thing in it.


They use the same rules. If you had applied your methods from 3e to 4e, you would have been fine. Both systems require tons of handwaving to operate without a mat.

You can't honestly tell me you can determine exactly where all players are at all times AND use all of the combat rules without a mat. There's just too much going on at once and too many rules to know. Flanking requires very specific positioning. If there are 20 enemies on the field and someone casts an AoE spell, how do you know how many you hit? How do you know which squares the dragon is threatening? How do you track your traps? How do you set up a zone and know exactly when someone does or does not enter it? How do you know if you have line of sight when someone is standing right next to a wall? You handwave it. Do it in both systems, and it works the same.



I honestly can. In the context of round by round gameplay you really don't need a battle mat at all. Flanking requires that someone be "on opposite sides" of the target. No need for a mat for that; the player just says "I'll tumble to the other side of him" and it's done.


If there are 20 enemies on the field and someone casts an AoE spell, I determine in my head how much space that takes up and ask the player where they position the thing. Then it's simple devision unless the given circumstances push the formation into an odd shape. At that point, an AoE spell wouldn't hit a totally even spread anyway and I can decide how many are in what place and how the blast funnels (if it's a blast - might not be).


I don't think in terms of squares; the dragon is just threatening everything near it.


I track traps the same way I track aoe spells: pick a spot, determine the radius if it goes off and keep track of where things are moving in my head. Usually through distinctive description: "anyone who touches that table" or  "anyone who walks on the blue carpet".


Zones are determined through landmarks and descriptive language.


Someone's got LOS when the character can see them.



You might call it handwaving but to be honest the results are pretty consistent and often make more narrative sense than a grid on a map.

I can only speak from my own experience, of course, but I would love an explanation why I dove into 3e totally gridless without any trouble whatsoever and no need for handwaving at all but 4e required me to do conversions in my head.

If it boils down to presentation then that's fine; I all ready said that it could be the only thing in it.


They use the same rules. If you had applied your methods from 3e to 4e, you would have been fine. Both systems require tons of handwaving to operate without a mat.

You can't honestly tell me you can determine exactly where all players are at all times AND use all of the combat rules without a mat. There's just too much going on at once and too many rules to know. Flanking requires very specific positioning. If there are 20 enemies on the field and someone casts an AoE spell, how do you know how many you hit? How do you know which squares the dragon is threatening? How do you track your traps? How do you set up a zone and know exactly when someone does or does not enter it? How do you know if you have line of sight when someone is standing right next to a wall? You handwave it. Do it in both systems, and it works the same.



I honestly can. In the context of round by round gameplay you really don't need a battle mat at all. Flanking requires that someone be "on opposite sides" of the target. No need for a mat for that; the player just says "I'll tumble to the other side of him" and it's done.


If there are 20 enemies on the field and someone casts an AoE spell, I determine in my head how much space that takes up and ask the player where they position the thing. Then it's simple devision unless the given circumstances push the formation into an odd shape. At that point, an AoE spell wouldn't hit a totally even spread anyway and I can decide how many are in what place and how the blast funnels (if it's a blast - might not be).


I don't think in terms of squares; the dragon is just threatening everything near it.


I track traps the same way I track aoe spells: pick a spot, determine the radius if it goes off and keep track of where things are moving in my head. Usually through distinctive description: "anyone who touches that table" or  "anyone who walks on the blue carpet".


Zones are determined through landmarks and descriptive language.


Someone's got LOS when the character can see them.



You might call it handwaving but to be honest the results are pretty consistent and often make more narrative sense than a grid on a map.




You don't know exactly where everything is at all times, especially with all of the movement going on. You're improvising. That's fine. Just don't say you can do it in one, but not in both. They mostly use the same rules for the same things requiring a mat. Just use what you do in one and apply it to the other. 
double post
For 'big end boss' battles I do like a map and always have even when I play AD&D.

I think that some situations are best left to the theater of the mind.  Not every encounter needs to be tactical in nature either.  IMO, the pace of the game drastically changes when you free yourself of the grid.   


Because honestly it should be the other way around. To me it just doesn't feel like D&D if it doesn't have battlemaps.



Yeah, it was started with battle maps, and only in 1E did it provide optional rules to play without it. 2E made that style standard and the battle maps optional. 3.xE made battle maps required, though some made up rules to not use battle mats, 4E went back to the roots to play with battle maps...



No idea what you're saying here, or how much sarcasm is in play, so I'm just gonna walk away.



He is saying that 4e was more in touch with the roots of D&D than your favorite edition in this regard ... no sarcasm required.



As in, minis/map is central in pre D&D and 4th edition, useable in 3rd, and essentially non-existent in D&D, AD&D 1st & 2nd editions? Well duh.



If you are asserting the use of minis and mapgrids were not central assumptions even in 1e... I think you are pushing it but he seems to say that 3e made minis and maps close to required as well? 



Ummm please provide ANY direct citations suggesting that this was true. There was NO assumption of maps/minis in Basic, 1st, or 2nd. In ALL of 1st edition it was mentioned twice: pgs 10-11 in the DMG, and pg 69 in the DMG. The info on page 10-11 is essentially an adverstisment fo 'official advanced dungeons and dragons' miniature figures (which, btw, weren't out until 6 months after the game came out). The 'rule' on pg 69 concerned facing of miniatures, hex versus square, and how many could attack figures of different sizes. That's it. That's the entire sum of overt map/mini rules in 1st edition D&D. Even if you back off of direct references, the ONLY other thing in the entire game that can in any way be construed as 'miniatures based' is rendering distance in inches. However, it was always done as a conversion, not an assumed rule.

In all 3 editions of the game it was mentioned in passing as an option that 'might add color to play and make refereeing far easier' to quote Gygax (pg 10, 1st edition DMG). In Basic it's mentioned only once in the Rules Cyclopedia (pg 87): "Your campaign group might like to use miniature figures to represent all characters and monsters..." It then gives one rule (inches to feet), and that's it. 304 pages of text, 4 paragraphs on maps/minis. Tell me again how it's 'central' and 'assumed'?

Did D&D come from a miniature wargame? Yes, certainly. Were miniatures in any way assumed or heavily entwined in the first 23 years (3 editions) of the game? Not remotely.



OD&D references Chainmail several times. Right on the cover it says "Rules for fantastic medieval wargames campaigns playable with paper and pencil and miniature figures".

It has this to say for what is needed to play the game on page 5 of Men and Magic:

"RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT:
Dungeons and Dragons (you have it!)
Outdoor Survival (available from your hobby dealer or directly from Avalon Hill
Company, 4517 Harford Road, Baltimore MD 21214)
Dice — the following different kinds of dice are available from TSR
1 pair 4-sided dice 1 pair 20-sided dice
1 pair 8-sided dice 1 pair 12-sided dice
4 to 20 pairs 6-sided dice
Chainmail miniature rules, latest edition (available from your hobby dealer or
directly from TSR Hobbies, POB 756, Lake Geneva, Wi. 53147)
1 3-Ring Notebook (referee and each player)
Graph Paper (6 lines per inch is best)
Sheet Protectors (heaviest possible)
3-Ring Lined Paper
Drafting Equipment and Colored Pencils
Scratch Paper and Pencils
Imagination
1 Patient Referee
Players".

So it literally says you have to have miniatures to play.

Basic has this to say on page 57 of the basic rules book:

"Miniature Figures
As you try to imagine your characters and the areas they explore, it is helpful to use miniature figures to represent the characters and monsters. Several types of miniature figures are available from toy and hobby shops worldwide, made of metal or plastic and suitable for painting. You should be able to find figures that look very similar to your characters. Official DUNGEONS & DRAGONS@ figures are available. To keep track of the party marching order, line up the miniature figures on the playing table. You may use a large piece of graph paper to draw the rooms and corridors found by the characters, and simply move the figures around on the paper. Several types of more permanent playing surfaces are available in plastic and vinyl, and the rooms drawn on them can be easily erased."

It goes on to explain how to convert inches to feet. The glossary also suggest you use them. So I would say Basic recommended you use them.

Expert says this on page 23 of the Expert Rules:

"Mass Land Combat: Large-scale battles are beyond the scope of these rules; role playing is often neglected in such situations. Miniatures rules from TSR, such as CHAINMAIL, are recommended, and should be available at your local hobby shop."

So they recommend using them too.

This can be found on page 39 of the 1E Players Handbook:

"Distance scale and areas of effect for spells (and missiles) are designed to fit the game, The tripling of range outdoors is reasonable, as it allows for recreation of actual ranges for hurled javelins, arrows fired from longbows, or whatever. In order to keep magic spells on a par, their range is also tripled. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT OUTDOOR SCALE BE USED FOR RANGE ONLY, NEVER FOR SPELL AREA OF EFFECT (which is kept at 1” = 10’) UNLESS A FIGURE RATIO OF 1 :10 OR 1 :20 (1 casting equals 10 or 20 actual creatures or things in most cases) IS USED, AND CONSTRUCTIONS SUCH AS BUILDINGS, CASTLES, WALLS, ETC. ARE SCALED TO FIGURES RATHER THAN TO GROUND SCALE. Note that the foregoing assumes that a ground scale of 1” to 10 yards is used."

Now why would they talk about converting inches to feet and yards and buildings, castles, walls, etc. being scaled to figures rather than to ground scale. This is exactly the kind of talk that happens when you are assumed to be using a map. You can find this kind of talk all throughout the books. They may not come right out and say 'you should use miniatures and a battle mat with this game', but they definitely assume you are using one.

The 3.5 Players hand book has this to say on page 135:

"The Battle Grid
Use a battle grid (such as the one in the Dungeon Master's Guide) to visualize combat situations. On a battle grid, each 1-inch square represents a 5-foot square in the game world."

So in both 3.5E and 4E it is assumed that you are using a battle grid.
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.


If there are 20 enemies on the field and someone casts an AoE spell, how do you know how many you hit?




I much prefer to play without a battlemap, but then again I have played literally hundreds of RPGs that don't use one at all.  I find that lack of a battlemat and handwaving gives me more control over the flow and pacing of a battle.  If things are dragging and the PCs are hard pressed (and for narrative reasons they shouldn't be, just having crappy luck) then a blast can catch more.  If the battle is going too fast, then it catches less.  Same with flanking.  If I think so drama needs to be injected I can get the Rogue to make a Skill roll to get into the exact right position to stab someone in the kidney, if they need to put someone down quick then I can say "yes you get Flanking".

In the end it really does come down to what you and your players prefer.  No one is better than the other and it's really not an either/or situation.  The rules can easily explain both.  If everything is measured in feet, then divide by 5.  Piece of cake.

You don't know exactly where everything is at all times, especially with all of the movement going on. You're improvising. That's fine. Just don't say you can do it in one, but not in both. They mostly use the same rules for the same things requiring a mat. Just use what you do in one and apply it to the other.



I don't consider that a requirement for gameplay. Anyway, you haven't really answered my initial question:


Why do you suppose I had such a hard time doing to 4e what I found easy in 3e? I think I know why; I'm interested in hearing other ideas. I'd love to learn.

You don't know exactly where everything is at all times, especially with all of the movement going on. You're improvising. That's fine. Just don't say you can do it in one, but not in both. They mostly use the same rules for the same things requiring a mat. Just use what you do in one and apply it to the other.



I don't consider that a requirement for gameplay. Anyway, you haven't really answered my initial question:


Why do you suppose I had such a hard time doing to 4e what I found easy in 3e? I think I know why; I'm interested in hearing other ideas. I'd love to learn.




Psychology. You were predisposed to dislike the game. Your subconscious threw up obstacles that weren't there to affect your ability to play. You probably also didn't take enough time to learn the rules and/or didn't fully read the rule books. The combat systems are nearly identical. If you had problems with 4E and not 3.xE, then it was purely you and had nothing to do with the game...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.