Monte Cook's Numenera, Iorn Heroes, and the D&D Next that could have been...

65 posts / 0 new
Last post

As I realize more and more that my gaming group will not be putting down Pathfinder in favor of Next, I decided that if I want to DM ever again, I’ll have to start twisting and shaping PF to what I want to play.  

I’ve always been in favor of low magic worlds, and hate games that follow Dancy’s character advancement scale of gritty-fantasy hero-wuxa-super hero. I decided to check out E6 and the more I read about halting character advancement at 6th level… the more I realized that E6 really is what I want to be running… but a problem… so far no game is really giving me the cinematic/tactical combat that I enjoy even at higher levels.


Once you start asking people about low magic E6… inevitably they start talking about Iron Heroes.  I was completely unfamiliar with the game but once I heard that it was designed by both Mearls and Cook I really started taking an interest.


I can’t say I love the game, it’s entirely too crunchy, there is little balance between classes magic classes are interesting but greatly flawed… It isn’t really a finished game as far as I’m concerned but I did like some aspects of the combat and resolution systems… in particular…


Iron Heroes has a wonderful stunt and challenge system, similar to what I have seen in other story telling systems where you can use skills to delay or effect combats. I also liked the synergy of some of the classes… just the way that doing what they were designed to do leads to bigger and bigger combat advantages (tokens).


All of this led me to wonder…


Monte Cook left D&D Next due to disagreements with the company but not the other designers… (I still wanna know what all that was about) and was a complete surprise to Mearls… what would have happened if Cook didn’t leave?


Might D&D Next have looked a little more like Iron Heroes?  Would we have the stunt/challenge system included?


I heard that now Cook is working on Numenera, (new men era?) the follow up to planescape. I went to the website and read a little news… the art is pretty amazing, they claim they have been playtesting for several months (Hummm… disagreements or better offers including a way in to the MMO market?) I think when Next comes out, I'll get it and see who did a better job... Cook with his design team of two or Next with all of WotC's resources... should be and interesting comparison...


numenera.com

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
From everything that I have seen and heard of, if you want "The DDN that should have been" check out 13th Age.

If you don't like gritty-low-level adventuring to turn into high-level-wuxia style, but you still want martial to balance with magical, yet you still really appreciate tactical, cinematic gameplay, have any systems at all presented something relevant to your interests?

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Pretty much sums it up, yup.

Oh, and I've heard it whispered that Monte left because the art department refused his repeated requests for more leather straps and buckles. Seriously, whoever said that needs to raise their hand and be recognized.

Um, but seriously... I think Cook left due to better offers from another corner. Sad in some respects, a boon in others. While Cook is very much one of my favorite idea men in the industry (he comes up with great, great setting material), his actual work on system design can be, at times, a little... sketchy.

At this point in the game, I think D&DN needs guys that know how to build systems, not worlds. Mathematicians, not story tellers.

EDIT: Also, Numenera looks like a really, really cool concept.
From everything that I have seen and heard of, if you want "The DDN that should have been" check out 13th Age.



Yes, if you are after a game with a D&D feel for running cinematic fantasy action 13th Age may be worth checking. It's from the lead designer of 3e and the lead designer of 4e, hence it has a lot of D&D DNA going for it. It plays like a streamlined 4e mechanically, but the feel is more akin to 2e, with some 'modern style' features on top. Playtest is over and not available to the public, but the game should release in April. Some resources are available here to get an idea about the product.
I will definately check out 13th Age, so yeah for tatical combat with a slider on the WUXA scale, it was hero games for me, but again.... the core books alone weigh like 25lbs, thats a lot o reading and new gamers really have trouble with it... its like game overload for most folks.

reciently checked into Runequest, I really like the way they handle combat with the combat manuvers and I plan to implement something like that into any game I play... if your not familiar, there are attack and defense rolls, if there is a great difference between the two your character will get extra defensive manuvers or offensive manuvers like an attempt to disarm a foe... I plan to work this out for a d20 system based on the difference between your last attack roll, and your oponents attack roll (so if you hit by a lot and they nearly fumble you get the same sort of chance at a bonus attack.) just kind of in the early stages now, will also incorporate some kind of combination between top half of hp and endurance/martial skill I figure this will allow a kind of snowball effect, if a peon gets lucky and stays lucky he may be able to take out or at least hurt a higher skilled/leveled foe, something I'm not seeing in PF now.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
Thats the way it felt to me, every class had magical powers, we had d-dooring fey/tieflings at 1st level. I was playing a paladin who was almost pathetic in comparison with a spellsword who seemed to be a jedi using a light saber that fired 31 flavors of magic crap. no thank you, thats not heroic fantasy, thats super-hero fantasy.



I want low magic, steel on steel with the occasional nuke em spell caster. by cinematic combat I dont mean "I use power no 7 because he is using power no 6", I want the players to actually have to think tatically about what their opponents have done, what they can do, and how they can use the environment, etc. and preferably not something that must be written on a card or an abilities list to be possible. (what do you mean I cant try and throw sand in his eyes because thats a 4th level rogue ability? are you saying I have to be a rogue to fling sand?)
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
does it have to be d20/DnD? maybe you should have a look at Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2e (stay away from 3e...)

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

I played a lot of 1e and didnt like the flavor/art/feel of the world... I know thats sort of a cop out on judgement of a system but kind of hard to divorce warhammer fantasy from the world its in... and yeah I'd say d20 is a must more so because of the players in my group as opposed to personal preference.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
Actually we liked 13th Ages position mechanics so much that we decided to import it in our 4E game. We still put down tokens for relative positions and sketch out the scene on the mat as a reference. Anyway if you are big on grid combat that you may want to look into Savage Worlds.
far as "least powerful across the board" uh... I sort of remember in our group getting a 1-4 hp magic user with his awesome 10 AC from first to fifth was an achievement worthy of putting on a job application, especially when every caster's playstlye seemed to be launching all his spells within three rounds and fleeing for the next 4 levels...
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
far as "least powerful across the board" uh... I sort of remember in our group getting a 1-4 hp magic user with his awesome 10 AC from first to fifth was an achievement worthy of putting on a job application, especially when every caster's playstlye seemed to be launching all his spells within three rounds and fleeing for the next 4 levels...  

but it beggs a big question... I'll make it my next topic...



I said 'across the board' meaning the whole level progression span. 4e characters start definitely tougher but never get even near the level of power of other editions upon progressing. I'm not saying this is good or bad, just stating a fact.

I don't know what a Spellsword class is in 4E. If you are referring to the Swordmage or the Hexblade then they are indeed arcane classes, so yes, they use magic as their power source. But they are not overpowered for that compared to martial classes like the fighter or rogue.
I’ve removed content from this thread because trolling/baiting is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_...

Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively.

If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the Report Post button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
 
Thats the way it felt to me, every class had magical powers, we had d-dooring fey/tieflings at 1st level. I was playing a paladin who was almost pathetic in comparison with a spellsword who seemed to be a jedi using a light saber that fired 31 flavors of magic crap. no thank you, thats not heroic fantasy, thats super-hero fantasy.



I want low magic, steel on steel with the occasional nuke em spell caster. by cinematic combat I dont mean "I use power no 7 because he is using power no 6", I want the players to actually have to think tatically about what their opponents have done, what they can do, and how they can use the environment, etc. and preferably not something that must be written on a card or an abilities list to be possible. (what do you mean I cant try and throw sand in his eyes because thats a 4th level rogue ability? are you saying I have to be a rogue to fling sand?)



Well if you look at a banana and see a carrot it's hard to communicate effectively.
 and verse visa,  how do you compare an average laborer NPC to a PC in 4e? what about a city guard? what chance would someone like this have against a higher level PC? course we played mostly in a low magic setting where if the mage got one new spell from a session he would be very pleased, and one character death every five sessions was fairly common... 

 but all in all I disagree with the assessment that "across the board" PC's were weaker in 4e tha they were in previous editions, heck healing surges alone made 4e PC death an extremely rare thing that didnt happen once in our 2yr campaign...
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
I have basically one question for you Baalbamoth: If you do all this research that you are doing into other games where your group is emphatic that they are going to stick with Path Finder, what guarantee do you have that your players will be on board to play a game in that system?

It sounds like you are stuck one way or the other with Pathfinder because that is the people you play with.

If you are having to try and "sell" the idea of a new system to your group then you will need to come up with some convincing arguments as to why you want to use a particular system so make sure you have a game plan on that. 
 and verse visa,  how do you compare an average laborer NPC to a PC in 4e? what about a city guard? what chance would someone like this have against a higher level PC? course we played mostly in a low magic setting where if the mage got one new spell from a session he would be very pleased, and one character death every five sessions was fairly common... 

 but all in all I disagree with the assessment that "across the board" PC's were weaker in 4e tha they were in previous editions, heck healing surges alone made 4e PC death an extremely rare thing that didnt happen once in our 2yr campaign...



4e works with levels, as any other edition of D&D. If you pit someone with 10 levels difference against each other there is no match. But that's always been the case.

That said, in 4e if you throw 2x opponents their level to the party you get a very tough fight, potentially deadly. If you get to fight a dragon there is no way they can one-shot it in the first round.

What I agree upon however is that 4e is less swingy, both on the party and the enemy side. I personally like using MM3/MV monsters for greater damage output and 2x crits, and that makes things definitely more spicy (love it when the rogue goes bloodied in one hit from a brute crit!). 

At this point in the game, I think D&DN needs guys that know how to build systems, not worlds. Mathematicians, not story tellers.

There is no way I can express how much I disagree, but whatever blows your skirt up.

Funny you should mention Iron Heroes, I was just discussing it in another thread.  You are correct in saying that it has its flaws, but there were aspects of the system that I really wish WotC (or someone) would pick up and run with.  There was going to be a 2nd edition of IH, but it seems that may have fallen by the wayside.

When I found out Mearls was heading up R&D for 4e, I was excited and hopeful for some IH influence.  I was disappointed by how little there was, but I tried the game out nonetheless, and enjoyed it (though combat can be a chore and I'm looking forward to 5e's streamlining).  One thing that bears pointing out... you can play low-magic in 4e.  I have done so, repeatedly, as that's exactly what I like to play.  One of the boons of 4e is that everything is so easily reflavorable.  If you stumble on verisimilitude, I can understand that, but whether 4e is high magic or low magic relies purely on setting and how you cast the flavor of powers.

D&DN actually seems to be taking things more in the IH direction than 4e did, which is a good thing in my book.  Maneuver dice, for one thing, are a bit like tokens, and also a bit like stunts/challenges (you are effectively taking a penalty -- dealing less damage -- in order to cause some additional effect with your action).

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

drag- yes, I dont know if it was this thread but I mentioned that I wont be able to break them away from pathfinder, but I dont think they'd have a problem with me adding some house rules over time, so thats why I'm reading these other systems... to look into which ones have the features I want and how to mod say a percentage system I like (runequest) to PF d20 AND keep it ballenced.. its gonna take a while and some playtesting but who knows one day it may be perfect.

btw I did run a few short savage worlds games, I like the system but still a little basic and for some reason I have trouble getting people interested in it... maybe just not enough fluff?


USK- I think thats why no 2e game EVER played the same no matter where I went in the 90's, every DM had their volumes of house rules to deal with all the issues people here regularly complain about as gaping errors in the system... for crits we used a modified rolemaster table with every 1 you made on the back up roll by a 10% increase to the serverly killy rolemaster crit tables... (roll over 60% and  we also cut HP in half at 5th level (for everything) to quicken up the combats, all in all it worked very well for a very lethal semi-cinematic very fast paced combat system, we also added some combat manuvers from champions (sweep etc) really, I still havent exactly found a system that has improved our 2e houserules system but try advertising "2e with major changes to house rules" on pen and paper.com and you sure wont see many replys from players at least in my area. where as PATHFINDER RISE OF THE RUNE LORDS will get many.

Soul- I agree with the wonderings about a IH/D&D next, but I dont think their going there or anywhere near there even with the dice pools. funny thing... that 13th Age game is using "stunts" in an almost identical way to IH it seems. RE: 4e, na not for me everything was too controlled, which was good for the DM but bad I think for creativitiy and the players, I tended to agree with some others that at least for me it was more small unit tactics wargaming than what I liked about more a freestyle RPG.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
I have basically one question for you Baalbamoth: If you do all this research that you are doing into other games where your group is emphatic that they are going to stick with Path Finder, what guarantee do you have that your players will be on board to play a game in that system?

It sounds like you are stuck one way or the other with Pathfinder because that is the people you play with.

If you are having to try and "sell" the idea of a new system to your group then you will need to come up with some convincing arguments as to why you want to use a particular system so make sure you have a game plan on that. 



lol@ you telling him to stick with Pathfinder. He always seemed like an AD&D guy to me.  
I think this fellow is looking for a game that simply doesn't exist (and honestly, I can't see quite how it could exist).

He wants d20-based; gritty with plentiful individual character death BUT cinematic and tactical combat; non-magical martial characters (perhaps open to super-human feats of strength, but nothing else?)  BUT they need to be balanced with magical casters.

Any system he runs will have to be house-ruled to hell and back, so the starting point doesn't even matter all that much.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

rory yeah pretty much, ad&d/2e skills and powers, were my primary games, followed by champions, car wars, gurps, torg, twilight 2000, morro project, top secret, james bond, oh god and every game that came out from the late 80's -2000 (name something old and I probably played it)+ one 2 yr game of 4e which was honestly my worst gaming expirence except for maybe the origional conan game with its flip a coin heads you crush your enemies tails you die combat system.  

blacksheep- ya but its not so much that the system does not exist (mutants and masterminds had one... I think wizards and warlords) but more that no system has exactly what I'm looking for and if I must start with pathfinder, I need something I can port in without too much trouble or radical changes to the character generation systems (which is what the players care most about...) but like the Cylons... I have a plan...
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
At this point in the game, I think D&DN needs guys that know how to build systems, not worlds. Mathematicians, not story tellers.

There is no way I can express how much I disagree, but whatever blows your skirt up.




Maybe if you replaced mathematicians with game designers?  
One of my groups has been having a great time with The Dresden Files, so I went out and picked up Legend of Anglerre to see if the Fate system can scratch my low fantasy itch. I'm only part way into it but it looks quite servicable.
name something old and I probably played it

Top Secret S.I.
Ooh, no, no, no, that would be the last thing 5th Ed wants to do.

I was operating under the assumption that "the DDN that should have been" was a new game that did things in a new and interesting way; a game that is innovative and offered a new way of doing things.

If you want "D&D: the same thing, again, but slightly different" then yes, 13th Age looks like a poor choice.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

At this point in the game, I think D&DN needs guys that know how to build systems, not worlds. Mathematicians, not story tellers.

There is no way I can express how much I disagree, but whatever blows your skirt up.




Meh. Look, I'm a D&D cosmology guy. I'm all about the fluff and history, but I'm not about to say, "Hey, who cares about having a workable system! Just make sure that you include the 2e planar model and I'll be happy, bro! Oh, and don't forget to retcon the 4E Forgotten Realms, 'kay? All of my hate!"

If you've got a weak base, you've got nothing, especially when you consider the number of excellent systems out there. Just "being D&D" isn't going to be enough to sustain the new edition's sales, especially when you consider the number of customers interested in Dungeons & Dragons as a more universal engine around which they can build settings and stories. As important as I believe D&D's universal history to be (there aren't many around that can outshine me with regards to that topic), I understand that the history can be found in setting books.

You want a strong game? Well, nowadays especially... you've got to have a strong system to back it up. It's not enough to have one without the other.

Edit: And stop imagining me in women's clothing, ya friggin' perv. Trust me, it wouldn't be a pretty picture. Skirts, sheesh. Indeed!
You mean a derivative of 4th Ed; yeah, operate under another assumption



So, DDN should have absolutely no inspiration or qualities of 4th edition, either bad or good? Because the game I'm seeing in 13th edition has certain things from 4E that were good, but is so greatly different from 4E that referring to it as some sort of 4.5 is ridiculous in the extreme.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

I was operating under the assumption that "the DDN that should have been" was a new game that did things in a new and interesting way; a game that is innovative and offered a new way of doing things.



You mean a derivative of 4th Ed; yeah, operate under another assumption

13th Age shouldn't be called a derivitive of 4e at all. It does contain some 4e-inspired elements (as does Next, although Next's are not as elegantly applied), but it's generally wrong to think of 13th age that way. I think that the extent to which that's the case gets overstated, because a lot of people are too quick to make the 3.5:Pathfinder::4e:13th Age analogy, which isn't very apropos. 13th Age is a new system. It's overall D&D enough that it feels like it could be an edition of D&D, but it's not a repackaging of any existing system. That's very far off the mark. In fact, "The DDN that should have been" is a pretty good way to describe it. It combines what I see as the strongest elements of every D&D edition into a cleaner, simpler and more coherant whole than I would have thought possible. It does differ from Next in that it does not try to be everything to everybody. It's happy to decide that things work some way or another, although the rules are naturally somewhat modular. I wouldn't expect every last human to like 13th Age, but it's hard for me to imagine someone who enjoyed any edition of D&D (and isn't absurdly closed-minded about the very idea of 13th Age) to find it pretty exciting.
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.
Soul- I agree with the wonderings about a IH/D&D next, but I dont think their going there or anywhere near there even with the dice pools. funny thing... that 13th Age game is using "stunts" in an almost identical way to IH it seems.

I'm hoping the Advanced game and/or modules/houserules will get me where I want to go with DDN.  I'll have to take a closer look at 13th Age though, if they're using "stunts" like in IH.

RE: 4e, na not for me everything was too controlled, which was good for the DM but bad I think for creativitiy and the players, I tended to agree with some others that at least for me it was more small unit tactics wargaming than what I liked about more a freestyle RPG.

I've grown tired of 4e's shortcomings myself, so I'm not arguing with you; my point was not on the style of gameplay but the fact that high magic vs. low magic isn't baked into the game, because it's so eminently reflavorable.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

As someone who loves both D&D 4E and 13th Age (as well as a bit of 3.5E), here's what I have to say on the matter: 13th Age is NOT D&D 4E. At all.


  • 4E is supposedly tied to a grid, 13th Age uses zones.

  • 4E is strictly AEDU up to Player's Handbook 3 -- and even then there isn't much diversity, as Power Points effectively serve as encounter abilities, while Essentials trade off martial dailies for empowered basic attacks -- whil 13th Age classes are each built differently but the power of their abilities are restricted by a combination of level availability + frequency of use (for example, it is completely possible to build a Sorcerer that's 100% daily spell-centric, while most non-casters heavily use basic attacks even though they can take up a per-battle or even a per-day ability depending on build and class).

  • 4E class features are barely customizable (I'm guessing no one ever dared try swapping, let's say, Hunter's Quarry with Combat Challenge), 13th Age class features are expected to be swappable if it fits the character's story.

  • 4E has detailed equipment complete with feat support, 13th Age equipment are played up for laughs more or less (utilizing Gamma World 7E's weapon/armor list, and encouraging DMs to not be so serious on the price lists, since each town would likely have a different price list, not only on a per-town basis, but also on a per-event basis [e.g. a world-famous event would likely jack up prices like crazy]).

  • 4E magic items were part of the system math, 13th Age (like D&D Next) does not take magic items into mathematical consideration and expects them to make you REALLY powerful but at a price (mostly in the form of roleplaying quirks).


The only things I can find as common to 4E and 13th Age would be


  • Difference in monster/PC design (made obvious with mooks and Large/Huge enemies, as Huge enemies take 3x longer to kill than normal enemies and hit 3x as hard, while mooks are designed to be run in swarms and die fast, much like 4E minions)

  • Unification of the attack/save roll


    • saves are, like in 4E, restricted to save ends effects, like death saving throws [which are deadlier in 13th Age on account of needing a 16 to succeed, although unlike in 4E rolling a 16 on your death saving throw in 13th Age lets you heal up; either way, you're not going to be rolling death saving throws for more than 3 rounds]

    • following the footsteps of 3E's simplification of saves and 4E's unification of the rolls, 13th Age further simplifies defenses from AC/Fort/Ref/Will to AC/Physical/Mental


  • Recoveries/healing surges


    • except healing in 13th Age is MUCH more limited than in D&D 4E; for one, everyone gets only 8 recoveries [unless the DM says so, and/or they take class features that increase their number of recoveries]


  • Similarity in character creation algorithm


    • ability scores, ability modifiers, and a bunch of other math-related stuff





- - - - -
Aside from "a love letter to D&D", 13th Age is often cited as "a book of every houserule you didn't know you wanted" (or something to that degree, memory fails me on that one).  So I think this is the part about 13th Age that Baalmoth would like: most of 13th Age's features are so modular in design he can, as desired, take most of the system and houserule them into his Pathfinder game with little to no changes.


  • One Unique Thing

  • Icons and Icon Relationships

  • Magic Items and the Karma system 

  • Rituals (only similar to 4E's Ritual in the fact that it's an out-of-combat resource; otherwise it's more like Ars Magica's freeform magic at least)


The background system (which is basically the same as FATE's Aspects, but without being tied to Fate Points) requires quite an amount of hammering to get it to fit Pathfinder / 3.5E design since it's tied to 13th Age's character progression system, but it's still possible Also, specific class features might catch his fancy if he likes 'em.
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Pretty much sums it up, yup.

Oh, and I've heard it whispered that Monte left because the art department refused his repeated requests for more leather straps and buckles. Seriously, whoever said that needs to raise their hand and be recognized.

Um, but seriously... I think Cook left due to better offers from another corner. Sad in some respects, a boon in others. While Cook is very much one of my favorite idea men in the industry (he comes up with great, great setting material), his actual work on system design can be, at times, a little... sketchy.

At this point in the game, I think D&DN needs guys that know how to build systems, not worlds. Mathematicians, not story tellers.

EDIT: Also, Numenera looks like a really, really cool concept.


Actually, the rumours I've heard is that Mr. Cook didn't really want to work under a former 'employee'.  Especially one he thought didn't have a chance to go anywhere without his own name on the products this employee made.

That employee?  Mike Mearls.
Pretty much sums it up, yup.

Oh, and I've heard it whispered that Monte left because the art department refused his repeated requests for more leather straps and buckles. Seriously, whoever said that needs to raise their hand and be recognized.

Um, but seriously... I think Cook left due to better offers from another corner. Sad in some respects, a boon in others. While Cook is very much one of my favorite idea men in the industry (he comes up with great, great setting material), his actual work on system design can be, at times, a little... sketchy.

At this point in the game, I think D&DN needs guys that know how to build systems, not worlds. Mathematicians, not story tellers.

EDIT: Also, Numenera looks like a really, really cool concept.


Actually, the rumours I've heard is that Mr. Cook didn't really want to work under a former 'employee'.  Especially one he thought didn't have a chance to go anywhere without his own name on the products this employee made.

That employee?  Mike Mearls.



Interesting.

I'm still puttin' my money on the lack of leather straps and buckles in the artwork, however!
Having largely bailed on 3e, my primary familiarity with Cook is from Labyrinth of Madness. If that's indicative of his usual work, I'd say DDN dodged a bullet.

As I realize more and more that my gaming group will not be putting down Pathfinder in favor of Next, I decided that if I want to DM ever again, I’ll have to start twisting and shaping PF to what I want to play.  

I’ve always been in favor of low magic worlds, and hate games that follow Dancy’s character advancement scale of gritty-fantasy hero-wuxa-super hero. I decided to check out E6 and the more I read about halting character advancement at 6th level… the more I realized that E6 really is what I want to be running… but a problem… so far no game is really giving me the cinematic/tactical combat that I enjoy even at higher levels.


Once you start asking people about low magic E6… inevitably they start talking about Iron Heroes.  I was completely unfamiliar with the game but once I heard that it was designed by both Mearls and Cook I really started taking an interest.


I can’t say I love the game, it’s entirely too crunchy, there is little balance between classes magic classes are interesting but greatly flawed… It isn’t really a finished game as far as I’m concerned but I did like some aspects of the combat and resolution systems… in particular…


Iron Heroes has a wonderful stunt and challenge system, similar to what I have seen in other story telling systems where you can use skills to delay or effect combats. I also liked the synergy of some of the classes… just the way that doing what they were designed to do leads to bigger and bigger combat advantages (tokens).


All of this led me to wonder…


Monte Cook left D&D Next due to disagreements with the company but not the other designers… (I still wanna know what all that was about) and was a complete surprise to Mearls… what would have happened if Cook didn’t leave?


Might D&D Next have looked a little more like Iron Heroes?  Would we have the stunt/challenge system included?


I heard that now Cook is working on Numenera, (new men era?) the follow up to planescape. I went to the website and read a little news… the art is pretty amazing, they claim they have been playtesting for several months (Hummm… disagreements or better offers including a way in to the MMO market?) I think when Next comes out, I'll get it and see who did a better job... Cook with his design team of two or Next with all of WotC's resources... should be and interesting comparison...


numenera.com



I don't know if these points have been cleared up yet but...

1) Numenara is not a followup to planescape. The original developers of Planescape: Torment wanted to make a new planescape game, but the Torment setting is currently owned by WotC. So they had to use a new backdrop and Numenara just happened to fit the bill. The two are completely different things.

2) Monte Cook has never outright said it, but we've heard enough talk from fellow employees with similar issues that he probably left due to creative rights. Wizards claims creative rights over anything created by its employees in certain departments. This includes any non D&D related projects, such as Numenara. Once he was sure that the company wasn't going to let him publish Numenara outside of WotC, he decided to leave. Another employee had the exact same situation happen to him and he left because of it too. I'll try and dig up the article if I can find it.  

Just a couple of things I wanted to clear up.
My two copper.
what do you mean I cant try and throw sand in his eyes because thats a 4th level rogue ability? are you saying I have to be a rogue to fling sand?


If that's the way you think 4e worked, then you either had a poor DM or haven't actually played it.  You could do plenty of things outside the abilities explicitly granted by your class, you just had to have a DM that actually read the DMG.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

what do you mean I cant try and throw sand in his eyes because thats a 4th level rogue ability? are you saying I have to be a rogue to fling sand?


Really? You really think this is the way it worked? Just...wow.
Color me flattered.

LIFE CYCLE OF A RULES THREAD

Show
Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Most complaints made against 4e are made from people who have no clue how 4e actually worked. It is generally pretty amusing to listen to them.

P.S. for everyone who thinks level 1 PCs are superheroes in 4e. Run them against 4 orcs from the MM1 and watch your superhero PCs get pounded to a pulp. Then run the same battle in any other edition of D&D and watch the PCs wipe the board with those Orcs. (3e and below Sleep spell could take the Orcs out singlehandedly).
P.S. for everyone who thinks level 1 PCs are superheroes in 4e. Run them against 4 orcs from the MM1 and watch your superhero PCs get pounded to a pulp.


That's true, the superhero comparison really falls apart when you compare the 4e PCs to 4e monsters/encounters instead of monsters or PCs of past editions.  And, given that a stiff wind could kill a 2e or 3e 1st level wizard (exaggeration, I know, but a housecat can which is just . . . wow), it's hard for 4e PCs not to look like superheroes by comparison.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Most complaints made against 4e are made from people who have no clue how 4e actually worked. It is generally pretty amusing to listen to them.

P.S. for everyone who thinks level 1 PCs are superheroes in 4e. Run them against 4 orcs from the MM1 and watch your superhero PCs get pounded to a pulp. Then run the same battle in any other edition of D&D and watch the PCs wipe the board with those Orcs. (3e and below Sleep spell could take the Orcs out singlehandedly).



No joke. I can take a level 1 fighter in 1st through 3.5 and wax 4 orcs by myself. In 4th, not so much.
Color me flattered.

LIFE CYCLE OF A RULES THREAD

Show
Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

the fling sand situation actually happened in our 4e game, we had a very good dm, but the issue was that there was already a rogue ability to do exactly what I wanted to do, the DM didnt want to piss off the rogue saying "now anyone can do that expensive feat you just paid for" but at the same time didnt want to tell me no. so on the fly the very good DM made up some rules so my flinging sand would be much less effective (when it wasnt too effective to begin with) and have a very slim chance of success... so now both of us should be happy right? wrong. It was a great dissapointment, a reasonable request for an action being altered to slim and worrthless because of rules. 

regarding the superhero issue, again it wasnt so much that combat was not ballanced, mostly it was, it was more the list of superheroic like abilities and options that most characters had available to them, including a glut of magic items that each added even more options. IE more teleporting/d-door like abilities, more invisible or obscuring abilities, more movement options, more "this is the perfect power to use for this exact situation" type abilities.

It was extremely difficult to get a PC or NPC in a situation they could not escape from, a PC death was essentially impossible assuming the PC knew when to get out of combat.

Options were carefully controlled so optimization was not as much an issue (which to 4e's credit is pretty amazing, generally more options means a greater environment for rule breakage due to one trick ponydom.)

but all in all, it felt way too controlled and PC's seemed superpowered even at 1st level, all grittyness seemed to be lost, the necessity for planning and strategy really wernt as much of issues (because real threats were rare and escape was always possible) and outcomes were generally predictable. The whole thing reminded me more of WoW than the gritty and suprising game I such nostalgic feelings for. 

I understand for some people it was the first game they really had great expirences with, and maybe the good old days always seem better wearing the nostalgia glasses, but really even with a DM that was incredible at plot and subplot formation, role playing, etc.. the rules themselves were killing my fun at every session, and for that reason I cant ever get on teh 4e bandwaggon, and really would prefer less rather than more 4e type rules making it into the 5th edition. 

PS. the wonderful description of 13th age a few postings ago... I wont be playing it, too close to a game I feel was pretty terrible and the whole thing sounds too wacky-whimsyish to me, but I will take a look at the rules. Tthere are a few things I find worthy of theft already... I'll likely steal the escalation die mechanic and for the short encounters I might employ the threat range simulation for when i run off the grid (I already do similar things for when I run persuits and chases... I'm a big believer in trying to include as many chace and race situations in a game as it really worked for Star Wars, Willow etc.) 
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
Sign In to post comments