What lessons of 4e would you take with you?

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So we've figured that once Wizards pulls the plug on the 4e builder, we'll likely be reverting back to a "books only" character creation approach as well as spend more time playing other systems.

Just for general discussion as well as for enriching our future, post-4e game experience, what mechanics, rules, or just lessons-learned from 4e would you carry over into other games, even other systems?


I'll go ahead and throw in my appreciation for At-Will, Enconter, and Daily resources. Also the breaking of the AEDU mold in Essentials in how some classes can benefit from and be balanced around not having Daily powers.
I don't use the online tools with DDI (I've always used the books) but the significance of Wizards supporting them is obvious.

I love 4th and I have no intention of leaving it for D&D Next or any other system.

My favorite contribution from 4th was the AEDU, class balance and tactical miniature based rules.
Wouldn't shutting down the CC part of DDI lose a lot of subs? I know that's the big reason my group is signed up. (It is extremely convinent)  I understand they want people to buy their books, but until they complete the next installment or at the very least upgrade the CC I just can't see them shutting it down. 

Hell, but what do I know I just started playing 4E and D&D in general a little over a month ago. 

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Character builder is the main reason for continous subs, otherwise you would sub for a month, download all the 'magazine' content and then unsub.
In my opinion they would be foolish to dump the 4e Char builder even when Next is out, but that doesn't mean they won't do it, thier track record is not amazing for good choices. 
Take with me where? I have no intention of quitting 4e. I do carry a bit of 4e into the classic editions though: individual intiative, ditch segments, get rid of some of the more fiddly movement rules, simplify surprise, etc. Of course, I use a lot of classic edition stuff in 4e as well. As for other games, I primarily only play D&D (OD&D, B/X, 1st, 2nd, and 4th) and Call of Cthulhu, and Call of Cthulhu is pretty much perfect as is. There are a few things from CoC you can port into D&D though : frothsof4e.blogspot.com/2013/03/dungeons...
I've learned that it pays to keep combat length down. Don't introduce too much difficulty to the characters, monsters, terrain and general combat rules. If I got to choose, I would play a version of 4th Edition that had no attack powers that weren't standard actions, and keep powers that require something other than a standard action down to a minimum.
Rituals can add a lot of fun to the game. They separate traditional non-combat spells from daily spell slots which gives any character with "Ritual Caster" (including non-casting classes) the ability to do really fun things multiple times a day. The DM has to be willing to roll with and give the players the freedom to let the rituals have a major impact on the campaign.

Controlling the overuse of rituals is done by limiting the amount of residuum in the game. Ritual components then become another important resource for the players to manage which builds tension when they have to choose which rituals to use with their dwindling stockpile of residuum.

Lots of other things that 4e did right:  healing surges, monster stat blocks that don't require any other reference, ease of DM'ing. Lots more. But for me rituals are an often overlooked part of this game that when done right really set 4e apart from previous editions.
 
I to be honest always like rituals too. As well as the easy to understand monster and NPC math. It made DMing a piece of cake.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

I to be honest always like rituals too. As well as the easy to understand monster and NPC math. It made DMing a piece of cake.



So much this.


Its like 5 basic equations (4 of which are just X+Level) and reading a damage number or two off a chart, add in some creative features, and bam, you havea monster that can often do a much better job representing itself than most pre-4e monsters.


That said, my party isnt done with 4e either.  
I also like the way rituals were handled. It created a clear separation between combat spells (which I love) and roleplaying/story spells (which I rarely used).

I forgot about healing surges. I am a huge fan of them!
Take with me? Where am I going? I don't really have any intention to switch games. People play in my games and I have 2 campaigns running currently, with a couple others that might come together. I could probably run a game every night based on demand. I don't know that the CB and MB, etc will go away either. WotC has never said they would remove them or shut down DDI. Its possible, but if that happened there are alternatives. People built characters using books for years, we can still do that. 4e works fine even without the digital stuff.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Given the poor PR WotC has had lately with the DDI updates issue, I will stop paying any kind of money to the company if they pull the plug on 4E online support software. I will keep playing 4E, but I will most likely buy Paizo stuff. I'm actually thinking of a modified version of Pathfinder more suitable to 4E players without the need for a character creation and managing software.
Not that I plan on taking anything with me, because I'll still be playing 4e for a while, I think, but for other editions of D&D one thing I learned is that PC death is not the only way to create tension.  As a DM, I like presenting the other players with challenges that don't have to result in them ripping up their character sheet, and I think the game is more fun when the PCs are assumed to be the heroes, and assumed to be AWESOME.

Also currently running TWO 4e campaigns, and may be be playing in a third one soon. 

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

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"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

I've learned that it pays to keep combat length down. Don't introduce too much difficulty to the characters, monsters, terrain and general combat rules. If I got to choose, I would play a version of 4th Edition that had no attack powers that weren't standard actions, and keep powers that require something other than a standard action down to a minimum.

If you want a game with many of the strong points of 4e, without the lengthy combats, try 13th Age.  Or, of course, there are many ways to shorten 4e combats.  My latest method of shortening 4e combats is to use 13th Age's "Escalation Die" rule, except I apply it to damage and not to attack bonus, and it is x2 at Paragon Tier and x3 at Epic Tier.   

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

I do not think that 4E is going anywhere. Even if the online tools will be discontinued, there are other digital options available, like HeroLab (for which you still can use DDI-content). I still have the old offline Monster Builder installed (with the old data). I can use that and, if needed, transfer the necessary data from any book.

The ease of prepping and improvisation is one the big things about 4E for me. I also like that any 4E character can contribute equally to the game. The wealth of options is very good, too. And I can use any background information without a lot of work.
I feel the drawbacks of the system sometimes to be the length of combats at times, although I remedy that by decreasing the amount of hp and increasing the amount of damage.
But all in all, I really like 4E, it is a great edition of DnD, my favorite in almost 30 years. It is a shame it will not be supported any longer I think.
What makes you think DDI 4e will be pulled? Show me where WoTC has said that? If anything evidence suggests they will KEEP it due to the resurgence of "legacy D&D" now available at D&D Classics, they just wouldn't update it further which they wouldn't have to anyway. The current tools can be expanded to include "Next" material I'm sure.


So we've figured that once Wizards pulls the plug on the 4e builder, we'll likely be reverting back to a "books only" character creation approach as well as spend more time playing other systems.

Just for general discussion as well as for enriching our future, post-4e game experience, what mechanics, rules, or just lessons-learned from 4e would you carry over into other games, even other systems?


I'll go ahead and throw in my appreciation for At-Will, Enconter, and Daily resources. Also the breaking of the AEDU mold in Essentials in how some classes can benefit from and be balanced around not having Daily powers.




What makes you think DDI 4e will be pulled? Show me where WoTC has said that? If anything evidence suggests they will KEEP it due to the resurgence of "legacy D&D" now available at D&D Classics, they just wouldn't update it further which they wouldn't have to anyway. The current tools can be expanded to include "Next" material I'm sure.





Thats a very reasonable position, and that is just what scares people. Wizards do not behave rationally or make business decisions that reflect an ability to reason. If they were just going to keep the tools up, they could come out and say so. A wave of relief would wash over people and there would be no need for people to scramble looking for alternatives. Instead, they play the stealth card, and it has likely lost them customers as a result. The lackadasical, apathetic treatment made me quit DDI, and I had subscribed for something like 4 years or so. It wasn't about the money, it is only like 10 bucks a month. It is the principal. Anyways, as crazy as it sounds, the smart bet on Wizards' actions is always to put everything on "dumb", or to bet the farm on "asinine". After all, if they were so sure they were doing things like you suggest, what possible reason could they have not to come out and say it? There is none. It makes no business sense at all to do that. The only explanation is that they are not sure or they are just plain idiots. Or some combination of both.
true Frothsof. The way wotc handled the transition from 3x to 4 was a relations nightmare and cost them players who fled to Pathfinder (I personally prefer DCC-RPG for non-4e games).

But they still haven't said DDI would shut down and a negative can't be proved. You are right though, they need to say something because people are assuming it will be killed and that is bad public relations.
true Frothsof. The way wotc handled the transition from 3x to 4 was a relations nightmare and cost them players who fled to Pathfinder (I personally prefer DCC-RPG for non-4e games).

But they still haven't said DDI would shut down and a negative can't be proved. You are right though, they need to say something because people are assuming it will be killed and that is bad public relations.



The transition from offline to online CB was also extremely rocky.

The offline MB was also sort of in update limbo for a year before it got replaced by a very limited online MB though they did atleast patch that up fairly quickly.

The sudden cancellation of the VTT.

The sudden switch to compiled issues only because its "what we wanted".   

They increased costs during a time of heavy content, but gave us extra stuff and even told us ways to avoid paying extra for a bit, but apparently have not adjusted prices at all despite the massive plummet in content.
It would be great if Wizards keep the 4th crowd in the loop.  Maybe once a month release a blog or newsletter letting us know what's going on. They never officially announced the end of 4th; we had to figure that out after no more products were released.  To be honest- how they have treated the 4th crowd is a major reason why I don't give a flying F$&k about D&D Next.
I am hoping that WoTC also keeps up 4th edition even if they don't release any new products. I would also be fine with showing support for all the editions like with all the reprints and PDFs coming out. I feel that doing what they have been with the reprints and PDFs are a step in the right direction to try and unite the editions. Now if they could do something for 4th edition like announce they are keeping the character builder and other 4th edition tools would be even better.


Now if they can keep Mike Mearls from inserting his foot into his mouth everyone he posts something that would be even better. As everything he says just enflames most people especially the fans of 4th edition.


As far as D&D Next they are many other reasons not to worry about piece of garbage edition. The old saying about too many cooks in the kitchen is never more true than with this edition.


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Love 4e? Concerned about its future? join the Old Guard of 4th Edition

It would be great if Wizards keep the 4th crowd in the loop.  Maybe once a month release a blog or newsletter letting us know what's going on. They never officially announced the end of 4th; we had to figure that out after no more products were released.  To be honest- how they have treated the 4th crowd is a major reason why I don't give a flying F$&k about D&D Next.

Yeah, I'm not really impressed. I am not really impressed with the "Oh, we sold you all this stuff, now we're blowing you off" thing to start with, but WotC needs to seriously wake up and have an honest discussion about 4e and stop ****ing around. Once in a while you just have to make up your minds guys, because at this point most of the people that bought 4e and like it and have been your customers for the last 5 years are not happy.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I'm not leaving 4E, and I think what makes a great Game is making it accessible to both Players & DMs.
Also, the simple Encounter creation tools and all that have been a huge blast to be part of last few years.

The online Tools have made it accessible, but at a price, and that's a great business model.

That said. I'm not leaving 4E so I'm not really taking anything "away" per se, heh.

But, I think WotC is definitely going "away" from 4E. What did they learn?
Nothing, I suppose.

I am Blue/White

So we've figured that once Wizards pulls the plug on the 4e builder, we'll likely be reverting back to a "books only" character creation approach as well as spend more time playing other systems.

Don't have DDI so don't personally care what they do with the tools. We've always used books, pencil, clipboard, and character sheets for character creation. The only digital tools we use are the spreadsheets I created to help us narrow down which books we need to grab off the shelf for a particular character. One has all of the races in the game (including all of the crunch except racial powers), another has all of the weapons and armors scattered among the various books, and another is slowly accumulating all of the feats we'd ever actually use, sorted into categories. But, as I said, even those spreadsheets are only so we don't waste time sifting through our entire collection every time we want to make a character.

We have only twice in our lives ever purchased any kind of game subscription. The first was the HackMaster Association back when we ran an FLGS, and even then it was only to get the HackJournal and in hopes of getting some official events run at our store. The second was to the dearly departed free-to-play MMORPG Dungeon Runners. Sadly, two or three months after we bought those six month subscriptions, NCSoft mismanaged the game into extinction. We're just not big on subscribing to anything other than magazines.


On the other hadn, if they gave us the option, there are several issues of Dragon we'd like to buy (especially #399 for all of the Themes, whichever one has the Hengeyokai, and #395 so I can play my beloved highly-teleporty Eladrin Knight without needing a friend to give me the details). Kenzer and Company's quarterly magazine (the aforementioned HackJournal) is only $3, so we've always hoped that WotC would start doing something similar with Dragon and Dungeon (perhaps $2 each and $3 for the pair since DDI is $5 and they'll probably sell way more copies than K&C?).


Getting back on topic: The benefit of preferring to make characters by hand is that we can keep on playing the game even after all the tools die. When WotC and K&C's contract for HackMaster 4e expired so K&C could no longer sell it, that didn't stop us from playing it? Granted, we like 5e so much better that we're not likely to play 4e very often anymore (although group nostalgia has my wife planning a campaign in the near future), but the same may be true of the next edition of D&D. Then again, look how many people kept playing D&D 3.x even before Pathfinder came along and gave it a shot in the arm.


Just for general discussion as well as for enriching our future, post-4e game experience, what mechanics, rules, or just lessons-learned from 4e would you carry over into other games, even other systems?

Before I say anything, I must reiterate, since I haven't posted here in ages, that I don't actually like class-based games. Our group mostly plays GURPS, but I'm currently running HackMaster (because it is half point buy, which helps offset the limitations of being class-based, and because 5e's real time combat and opposed rolls make combat the most fun one I've ever come across in a trpg), and another guy is running D&D 4e.

Despite our general dislike of class-based systems, D&D 4e is decent enough that I run Encounters, and my wife runs Lair Assault and most Game Days. One of the things I liked most in the beginning was the fairly small weapons list. In both GURPS and HackMaster, there is page after page of weapons, and most of them are very similar. D&D, on the other hand, simply had light and heavy versions of a few basic weapon types and called it a day. The table took up less than half a page. With Gamma World they took it a step further and (having never played it I can only go on my dubious memories of hearsay) weapons are "light one-handed", "heavy one-handed", etc. When I heard about that from some on here I likes the idea so well that I incorporated it into the system I'm designing. My wife and I are working on a similarly slimmed-down list for GURPS. Fortunately, someone on the SJG forums already did that for fantasy armor.


While not strictly on topic, something in the DDN ("D&D Next" is still just about the stupidest name they could have come up with; what happens when the game releases? Will it then "D&D Now"? "D&D Crap We Should Have Thought of a Better Name Years Ago"?) likewise impressed me. For about a year development of my trpg stalled because I couldn't come up with a viable skill system. In the first playtest, Skills were made up by the players and simply added to attribute rolls when relevant. As my system is built around attribute checks, that idea was a perfect fit. If my game ever gets published instead of just used by our group, I'll have to include WotC in the acknowledgements for those two ideas.


I'll go ahead and throw in my appreciation for At-Will, Encounter, and Daily resources. Also the breaking of the AEDU mold in Essentials in how some classes can benefit from and be balanced around not having Daily powers.

Honestly, every character being a Vancian caster is my least favorite thing about the game (aside from the thoroughly pointless half-level bonus, which, via DDN, Wizards has all but confessed they think is pointless too). That may well come from the fact that GURPS was our first trpg, and in its default magic system you can keep casting until you pass out or die. In addition to HP, which is based on Strength, GURPS characters also have Fatigue Points, which are based on Health (basically CON). Spells consume various amounts of FP. When you run out of FP you are exhausted but can continue casting, with an exhaustion penalty to your rolls, but you'll consume HP instead.

Thus the only thing that limits you is your stamina and how far you're willing to push your luck. Even though there are dozens of other magic systems available for GURPS, and it's pretty easy to come up with your own, I still find myself using the default system just because it's so much fun. I'd truly love to see something like that in D&D. ... and have veered off topic again, so back on the tracks.


So it should come as no surprise that the Essentials classes were a breath of fresh air. The Knight is now tied with the Shielding Swordmage as my favorite class (followed by the ill-supported Runepriest). So I heartily agree with you that it's awesome that those of us who hate dailies can get by without them while playing alongside our friends who do like them and it all works great.

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Just for general discussion as well as for enriching our future, post-4e game experience, what mechanics, rules, or just lessons-learned from 4e would you carry over into other games, even other systems?

Use of the D20.
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More "per encounter" abilities, and less "per day" abilities. And substantial use of the Tome of Battle.
That's what I'll take from 4E to use in my preferred game - Dungeons & Dragons.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
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Im taking with me that NPCs and PCs should always be built with different rules and that they dont nessessarly need to play by the same rules.

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

Just for general discussion as well as for enriching our future, post-4e game experience, what mechanics, rules, or just lessons-learned from 4e would you carry over into other games, even other systems?

Use of the D20.



Being able to hyper roid up your imagination because the defaults sure as hell don't have any quality fluff?

There really isnt' anything I learned from 4e that I didn't learn from other better games.

D&D really hasn't taught me anything after second edition. But then D&D is the Budweiser of rpgs anyway.
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Just for general discussion as well as for enriching our future, post-4e game experience, what mechanics, rules, or just lessons-learned from 4e would you carry over into other games, even other systems?

Use of the D20.


I dunno, weapon groups were a good idea, though they really needed to be looted and converted to, say, 3.5.
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Im taking with me that NPCs and PCs should always be built with different rules and that they dont nessessarly need to play by the same rules.



See, I'd take the opposite.  After experiencing it with 4e, I have to say I didn't like it.  In fact, it was no small source of annoyance for my group as a whole, too.  I like things to be consistent (well, as much as they can be) and this just never felt right.  That said, I can't deny the massive contribution this philosophy made to game prep.  Damn sure made DMing easier in that it took a lot less time to build out combat scenarios.  Like, a lot easier.  Still, I didn't like how it felt.  Oh well, no?
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[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Im taking with me that NPCs and PCs should always be built with different rules and that they dont nessessarly need to play by the same rules.



See, I'd take the opposite.  After experiencing it with 4e, I have to say I didn't like it.  In fact, it was no small source of annoyance for my group as a whole, too.  I like things to be consistent (well, as much as they can be) and this just never felt right.  That said, I can't deny the massive contribution this philosophy made to game prep.  Damn sure made DMing easier in that it took a lot less time to build out combat scenarios.  Like, a lot easier.  Still, I didn't like how it felt.  Oh well, no?



Yup, different strokes.

Personally I have gotten into Savage worlds and embraced the FFF mentality, especially with npcs. 

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

Just for general discussion as well as for enriching our future, post-4e game experience, what mechanics, rules, or just lessons-learned from 4e would you carry over into other games, even other systems?

Use of the D20.


I dunno, weapon groups were a good idea, though they really needed to be looted and converted to, say, 3.5.

You're right. I also like 4e action points, but, honestly, is anything else salvageable?
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Just for general discussion as well as for enriching our future, post-4e game experience, what mechanics, rules, or just lessons-learned from 4e would you carry over into other games, even other systems?

Use of the D20.


I dunno, weapon groups were a good idea, though they really needed to be looted and converted to, say, 3.5.

You're right. I also like 4e action points, but, honestly, is anything else salvageable?


The action economy system they used is an improvement on the previous one, and easy to switch over.
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You're right. I also like 4e action points, but, honestly, is anything else salvageable?



Didn't Action Points originate in 3.5 Eberron or am I way, way off?
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

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[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

You're right. I also like 4e action points, but, honestly, is anything else salvageable?



Didn't Action Points originate in 3.5 Eberron or am I way, way off?

There were action points in Eberron, but 4e action point are completely different from 3.5 action points.
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I like Force Points and Destiny Points from Saga the best.
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There were action points in Eberron, but 4e action point are completely different from 3.5 action points.



So I'm only a little off.  I can deal.    Thanks for the clarification.  Oh, and I didn't like AP all that much myself but whatevs.
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Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]


What makes you think DDI 4e will be pulled? Show me where WoTC has said that? If anything evidence suggests they will KEEP it due to the resurgence of "legacy D&D" now available at D&D Classics, they just wouldn't update it further which they wouldn't have to anyway. The current tools can be expanded to include "Next" material I'm sure.





Thats a very reasonable position, and that is just what scares people. Wizards do not behave rationally or make business decisions that reflect an ability to reason. If they were just going to keep the tools up, they could come out and say so. A wave of relief would wash over people and there would be no need for people to scramble looking for alternatives. Instead, they play the stealth card, and it has likely lost them customers as a result.


Spot on.  Wizards, grow a pair and state the plan one way or another.  Hint:  keeping the CB up for 4e will net you more $$$


To the OP, what I like most about 4e is class balance.   For the first time in all versions, high level non wizards aren't glorified porters to high level wizards.


When does the CB suppsed to go off?
dood, they won't tell you.  Like, WotC is known for handling digital stuff pretty much as terribly as possible - and yes, it most certainly extends to their customer 'service'.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]