Common misunderstandings of various editions

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A lot of the arguments and edition warring that goes on here is caused by common misconceptions and misunderstandings of the various editions. Here I'd like people to state the misconception and then embed a video that proves it wrong or shows an example of play where the misconception is shown to not apply.

How to embed a video in your post

Open your youtube video on the youtube page. Then hit the share link below the video, then hit the embed link below that. copy the text in the box. Hit the post reply button on the WotC forum. hit the video film strip button on the text box. Hit the source tab then paste the text. Hit ok, then post. Usually you'll want to do this last because the video shows up as a blank box until posted.


I'll start off with:

Misconception: You can't role play in 4E

To skip right to it, you can go to around 19:00 and they start role playing around there.

"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.
 You can roleplay just fine in 4th ed the only real downside is the amount of time combat requires IRL may result in less time spent doing other things. I understand it was mostly a problem at higher levels and we did not make it past level 7 so IDK. 

 4th ed wasn't a bad game, not what I want from D&D though YMMV.

My favourite one though is people tranposing problems 3rd ed had like CoDzilla back to AD&D. High level wizard in AD&D being the most powerful class but you did not have CoDzilla at least like 3rd ed anyway.  Clerics were kind of average, Druids could be very creative and were broken in different ways than 3rd ed.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

"Older edition characters are boring."
I think this one is based on the observations of the modern character sheet featuring tons of different codified options. You really could do just about anything with any edition of D&D. Older editions just depended more on referee judgment and creating solutions at the table. I'm not saying these solutions were/are always better, but they were always there. (I would also add that, at least with 2E, you did have a host of things to add via supplements [most of which I didn't use, but, again, they were there]).

"NEXT (or non-4E) monsters are boring."
Again, equating simplicity of expression with inherent lack of interest. Memorable monsters are as much about tactical situation as the monsters themselves. Intelligent monsters are as neasty as intelligent PCs, and can and should be played that way, regardless of the inherent text. In sum, long stat blocks can be interesting to read, but interesting to read and interesting to run are two different things. Further, there's a lot of flavor text to some older monsters. Some are pretty simple, though, as written, so I can see where folks might find them ho-hum, from that standpoint.

"You can't roleplay in 4E."
Yeah, that one just never applied for my groups. 4E is not my go-to system by any means, but no D&D system can eliminate roleplaying, which is a style approach more than anything else. You can RP whole sessions, no dice thrown. If you're not rolling the dice at all, then the system input just doesn't affect the outcome.

Give you an example: my group of younger players lost a pair of party members in a very tough capstone encounter with a main adversary. All of the post-combat stuff involved how to handle the dead PCs: (1) a quest to ressurect the heir to the throne was assumed {a request on the part of the group}; (2) the second "WIld Elf" PC's body was treated with full respect by the Paladin, who found out the PC's traditions, thus earning the friendship of said people; (3) The PCs are justifiably worried about what their adversary will do next, and so sent their fast-moving wilderness types on a long, dangerous trek back to their home base to warn their people of possible attack; the remainder of the martial characetrs remained in the current basetown, a village that has lost its magical wards due to what happened in the adventure. They have remained to train the locals in the use of weaponry and to school them in tactics, just in case the bad guys are planning an attack [I actually had not considered attacking the now weakened village, but, as the PCs have something the adversary wants, threatening the entire village might be a cool thing to throw in, so I am plotting that out, based on what my players' cool actions]). NONE of this has anything to do with system. Their reactions are based on their character's experiences (the Paladin's guilt over many lost party members over the course of the campaign; the Wizard's concerns with their adversary, a former childhood acquaintance; the current "reformed" state of the Dwarf fighter, who has gone from loose cannon **** to a multi-scarred upholder of goodness and law). System can't inhibit that.  Just doesn't.

"Older editions encourage imagination more than recent editions."
A creative player is a creative player, regardless of system. I haven't seen a system yet that completely discourages that. The main differece I see between older and newer editions is the ability to hardwire more of that flavor into specific effects. Even with that, not everything can be codified, nor should it. Players are, by and large, VERY creative (and VERY devious little bastards [and I mean this in a good way]).
 You can roleplay just fine in 4th ed the only real downside is the amount of time combat requires IRL may result in less time spent doing other things. I understand it was mostly a problem at higher levels and we did not make it past level 7 so IDK. 



Yeah, "You can't roleplay in 4E" is hyperbole. The correct criticism is "There's less time for roleplaying in 4E"

 You can roleplay just fine in 4th ed the only real downside is the amount of time combat requires IRL may result in less time spent doing other things. I understand it was mostly a problem at higher levels and we did not make it past level 7 so IDK. 



Yeah, "You can't roleplay in 4E" is hyperbole. The correct criticism is "There's less time for roleplaying in 4E"

And I would even say that is still not quite correct.

They system does not force you to play a certain way.  A group that likes to have exploration and interaction for 90% of the time, and combat for 10% of the time isn't suddenly forced to have combat for 90% of the time in 4E.

Minions in 4E allow you to have very quick fights just like in the past in which monsters die in a single hit.  The simple act of cutting standard, elite, and solo HP in half (or even more) makes them die fast too.  If you want to have Fights that last only 1 or 2 rounds, you can do so in 4E very easily.  What 4E does is allow you to also have very long, tactically involved fights that can last 4 or more rounds.

I think the mistake 4E made was not making it clear to the DM (in the DMG) that options exist.  While it was clear to me that I could do the above, it doesn't seem to have been clear to everyone (based on the complaint).

And this is my hope for Next: that the books make the default assumption that every group plays differently, and contains built in advice for how we can make the game the best possible game for us.

They system does not force you to play a certain way.  A group that likes to have exploration and interaction for 90% of the time, and combat for 10% of the time isn't suddenly forced to have combat for 90% of the time in 4E.



Well the system does force a combat to be a certain length. So if you try to tell the exact same story in 4E versus AD&D, the 4E version of the story will have much more of a percentage devoted to combat simply because combats take a lot longer.

That's about the best objective measure you can do is to run the same adventure and plot in one edition versus another. And 4E quite simply emphasises the combat end of it, and that does have everything to do with the system, because combats are longer. So when you have a finite amount of time to devote to the game session, more of that time is spent moving figures on a battle grid and less of it is spent interacting with NPCs.


They system does not force you to play a certain way.  A group that likes to have exploration and interaction for 90% of the time, and combat for 10% of the time isn't suddenly forced to have combat for 90% of the time in 4E.

Well the system does force a combat to be a certain length. So if you try to tell the exact same story in 4E versus AD&D, the 4E version of the story will have much more of a percentage devoted to combat simply because combats take a lot longer.

That's about the best objective measure you can do is to run the same adventure and plot in one edition versus another. And 4E quite simply emphasises the combat end of it, and that does have everything to do with the system, because combats are longer. So when you have a finite amount of time to devote to the game session, more of that time is spent moving figures on a battle grid and less of it is spent interacting with NPCs.

Did you ignore the rest of my post on purpose or accidentally?
Give me an adventure and I can tell you how to run it in 4E with the same percentage devoted to combat. 
No I think he got it, however your suggestion was to change the basic way 4th worked in order to fix the combat length issue. If you play 4th then combat takes a specific percentage of the time you can alot to the game by design. Simply halving monster HP will remove any chance of player death or dramatic action since the whole game is designed arround a specific combat length. Halving Hp is a inataquit fix to the game design to replicate any other edition of DnD.
DMG pg 263 "No matter what a rule's source, a rule serves you, not the other way around."
Did you ignore the rest of my post on purpose or accidentally?
Give me an adventure and I can tell you how to run it in 4E with the same percentage devoted to combat. 



If you modify the adventure, then you're just trying to work around 4E's emphasis on combat by reducing the amount of combats or making minion-only combats.

That's not an objective measuring stick because you're just covering up 4E's emphasis on combat and basically altering the numbers to make 4E look better.
Magic was run-away powerful in AD&D

Categorically false when played using all of the RAW about how to implement magic.

Class/Race/Level restrictions did in no way balance the game in
AD&D


Categorically false when played using RAW, the game was much more balanced.



"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
Magic was run-away powerful in AD&D

Categorically false when played using all of the RAW about how to implement magic.

Class/Race/Level restrictions did in no way balance the game in
AD&D


Categorically false when played using RAW, the game was much more balanced.




Well the first I agree and with the second I disagree. IMO, the limits were more of a railroad than a balance. Can't see how dwarves can't be wizards balances anything. *shrug* I'd list it under likes and not a universal truth that it was balance.

 You can roleplay just fine in 4th ed the only real downside is the amount of time combat requires IRL may result in less time spent doing other things. I understand it was mostly a problem at higher levels and we did not make it past level 7 so IDK. 

 4th ed wasn't a bad game, not what I want from D&D though YMMV.

My favourite one though is people tranposing problems 3rd ed had like CoDzilla back to AD&D. High level wizard in AD&D being the most powerful class but you did not have CoDzilla at least like 3rd ed anyway.  Clerics were kind of average, Druids could be very creative and were broken in different ways than 3rd ed.

In my experience, 4e combats took up about 80% of play time and another 10% was exploration. This left very little time for interaction style stuff. It was better in the lower levels and terrible at higher with all the status effects. Very boardgame feel to it as a consequence.

In prior editions combat was about 50% of play time I think. Left a lot more room for the rest of the game. In Next our combats so far take up about 30-50% of the time. All sorts of options open up with that extra time, I greatly prefer it as a DM and player.
The length of combat in 4E, in my experience, often is determined by the players not by the amount of HP the monsters have. Most of our combats run 35 to 50 minutes. Players who know their character capabilities and have all the math sorted out prior to their turn often take only a minute or so to roll, add, describe their action. Combat seems to only lengthen when we have a lot of "misses".
4e combat took more time because there was more to do. Everyone had alot of moves and other people's moves depended on the one what you did. So alot of thought goes into it.

Chess is a very popular game. But so is diablo, where you simply click alot.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I feel like this thread is going to rapidly devolve into "things where some people's experiences with a system were different from other people's experiences with a system" and "my one data point disagrees with the collective experiences of a large number of other people (and with the math), and standard monks are actually super powerful in Pathfinder."

There are certainly places the way things generally worked isn't the way that they work in the mass hallucinations of people who have minimal experience with a system, and there are things that are genuinely misunderstandings about the rules that inform a lot of people's opinions about the system (for example, a lot of people think that 3.5 Wizards prepare their spells at the beginning of each day, simply because it's generally a good idea to prepare many of your spells as soon as you wake up.)

But I feel like a lot of "misunderstandings" are more "D&D doesn't guarantee a tightly defined experience, so things that some people have issues with for some reason (ranging from "willingness to exploit bugs" to "not magically knowing you're supposed to houserule that" to "aggressively bad-faithing the system" to "never actually played, but this seems like this might be an issue in theory" to "different types of people and personalities creating different dynamics" to "this is actually a problem") are sometimes things that other people do not have problems with (for reasons ranging from "players didn't notice or were unwilling to exploit bugs" to "handwaving" to "houserules" to "didn't actually play the system enough to notice" to "was twelve, didn't care" to "different types of people and personalities creating different dynamics" to "actually not a problem".)
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.
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EDIT: This post was about PF monks in UC and is no longer relevant.
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.
Did you ignore the rest of my post on purpose or accidentally?
Give me an adventure and I can tell you how to run it in 4E with the same percentage devoted to combat. 



If you modify the adventure, then you're just trying to work around 4E's emphasis on combat by reducing the amount of combats or making minion-only combats.

That's not an objective measuring stick because you're just covering up 4E's emphasis on combat and basically altering the numbers to make 4E look better.


I would just like to point out that official adventures are not the system itself.  As a DM that has never used a published adventure, I can attest to that.  4e's options in combat make combat longer than the other editions, but the amount of game time that is devoted to combat depends entirely on the DM and the adventure he/she made or chose to buy and use.

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.

Not sure what point this thread has, re: D&D Next. The question is not, and never has been, the defense of anyone's "perceptions" of any particular edition. It's which version of that element fits best with DDN's goals. For example, the designers have determined, thus far, that 4e's mechanized three-tries-or-you're-out skill-challenge approach to role playing, and its emphasis on combat, do not fit with the new design. Case is closed. Move on.
Have they actually said that skill challenges with the successes over failures model is out?  I've never seen them saying that they are specifically not going to be part of DDN.

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.

I sure hope not. 4e is my favorite edition, but I absolutely loathe the "skill challenge" system it had. 
Heya everyone, here are my homebrew threads: (yes there is only one right now, but there are more to come!) And Let There Be Fish-Men: KUO-TOA
I sure hope not. 4e is my favorite edition, but I absolutely loathe the "skill challenge" system it had. 


Are you accounting for the changes made by the DMG 2?  There was an online article that was reprinted in the DMG 2 that vastly improved skill challenges over their initial implementation.

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.

Did you ignore the rest of my post on purpose or accidentally?
Give me an adventure and I can tell you how to run it in 4E with the same percentage devoted to combat. 



If you modify the adventure, then you're just trying to work around 4E's emphasis on combat by reducing the amount of combats or making minion-only combats.

That's not an objective measuring stick because you're just covering up 4E's emphasis on combat and basically altering the numbers to make 4E look better.



Where does 4e say that using all-minion fights in order to have fast combats that end in only a few rounds is "not allowed" or somehow "not 4e"?

Yes, 4e combat could potentially be significantly more involved and complex than earlier editions, but using only minions to have a simpler fight is not somehow "not 4e".  It is a perfectly valid means to create a dynamic that the DM wants; in this case, quick fights that are over in a few rounds.

Big misconceptions that people had with 1e/2e/3e...

5mwd was a problem.  It was an incompetent DM problem if it was one.
Fighters were weak sauce relative to wizards or clerics.
Low level wasn't fun.
 

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

"Non-4e characters are inherantly expendable at low level"
Like a lot of myths, this one has a seed of truth in it: at low level in pre-4th editions, it is both easier to create and integrate a new PC, and you have less of a safety net so it's easier to die in a "fair" combat (compared to higher levels).

But, unless you're playing a blatantly lethal game (Many of the famous modules are notorious killers, leading to the belief in pre-4th and ESPECIALLY pre-3rd expendability.  Many of the famous modules were also designed to be 1-shot affairs for tournaments.), the frailty of starting PCs, and perhaps PCs overall, represents not as much some concept that characters should not be treated as actual characters, and more that, with the Players knowing the lethality of combat, you should perhaps think of ways to avoid it when possible.

Read an AD&D Module... maybe one of the ones that was sold as part of a boxed set in 2e, not the early 1e tournament modules.  You might notice that compared to a similar 3rd or 4th edition adventure, they geature fewer unavoidable combats.  My personal comparison is between a chunk of "Squaring the Circle" (AD&D 2e Planescale) and "Tower in the Ice", a mini-module Wizards released free online in the 3e days: both are modules designed for characters level 9/20.  The chunk I picked out from Squaring is about equivalent in Adventuring time to the whole of Tower (1 modest dungeon).  Tower expects you to have at least 7 full-on combat encounters, while Squaring the Circle, in a similar amount of actual adventuring, only challenges you with two essentially unavoidable battles: the PCs can get into more, but basically have to provoke them.  Yet, I think it would take longer real time to get that far in Squaring The Circle than it would to clear the Tower in the Ice, because of the much higher focus put on interaction encounters and exploration.  Certainly, it has more pages there.

What I'm trying to get at is that the Paragdim is different.  Thrown up against the same challenges, the older edition characters are less survivable than their later counterparts... but they weren't expected to face the same challenges in the same way.  The game we've been playing, not just the tools we've been playing it with, has changed.  Which leads somewhat into my next point...


"2e Characters are dull"
2e (and older) characters are cut from a different cloth than WotC-era characters.  They don't have a lot of codified options or choices at generation/on level-up (Even caster classes, when compared to their 3/4 counterparts, make a LOT fewer choices).

But characters of ANY edition are what you make of them, and are exactly as engaging as you let them be.  I've played a lot of 3e characters and my favorite happens to have been a fighter.  I can say with confidence that I could absolutley recreate her, every detail that was actually important to my enjoyment of the character, with the exact same (low) amount of DM assistance, out of the 2e PHB as I did out of the books I used (3e PHB, Complete Warrior, DMG, PHB2, Complete Scoundrel).  Her feats were nice frills, yes, very shiny... but shiny toys are not what makes a character come alive, and they never will be.  Compared to D&D characters, characters from Blizzard's RPGs (Diablo 2/3, WoW) have a lot more shiny options to choose from, and depending on when you take your snapshot a lot more choices, even meaningful choices, to make when levelling up... but for most of us, they aren't interesting the same way our D&D characters are.  Not that they aren't fun, of course, but we don't tend to make them come alive the same way we do our personal PCs.

What makes a character fun, exciting, interesting as a person?  It's not mechanics, not numbers or powers or shiny things.  Like any cheesy children's TV special from the 1980s could tell you, it's love that makes something real.  Our characters are engaging when, and because, we care about them.

Second edition characters are fine for their game.  Third and Fourth edition characters are fine for their game.  Neither complexity nor simplicity, at least as far as we've seen them taken, prevents you from loving and enjoying your character.


"3e is all about CoDzilla/Casters and Caddies"
There is a difference -- a very critical difference -- between Theorycrafting and Practice.  In theory, casters (Especially Clerics and Druids) in 3e are categorically better than non-casters or more limited casters.  In practice, you had to go out of your way to build and bring to the table a game-breaking wizard or even cleric.  While hyper-optimized builds of casters (and other beyond broken builds like the Hulking Hurler, Cancer Mage, or Pun-Pun) certainly existed in some sense, most people understnad that bringing such a thing to the table is not kosher: many exploits require tissue paper DMs, and many more flagrantly ignore internal logic in the same way the infamos Bag-o-Rats fighter does.

So, in short, many of the problems with 3e's system (and they do exist) don't often make it to the table because when playing 3e as with ANY OTHER e, you're in a game with your friends and there to have fun.


"4e is a Videogame"
This has gotten quoted a lot, and shot down nearly as often, but other people have taken on the other big false complaint at 4e, so I might as well take on the other one.

The kernel of truth in this is that 4e -- especially early in the life of the edition -- had a very homogeneous system.  That is, every class was functioning on roughly the same framework of powers... sort of like Diablo 3, actually.  This feels a bit like there could be a machine running the show, and perhaps the proliferation of statuses to track will make the DM wish he was one sometimes, but that's another thing alltogether.  And in some ways, while I don't prefer it, it's easy to see how this can be a good thing.  It's less bookkeeping, or at least fewer memory issues as to what kind of bookkeeping you're supposed to be using.

The basic, negative trait of Videogames, the one that is being implied if not stated by this argument, though, is that videogames do not allow for improvision.  Even the most complex, deep videogame -- something like Nethack or Dwarf Fortress -- is going to have very precise, codified ways objects can interact.  The dev team may think to have the game give you a funny message in certain perishingly unlikely circumstances, but Nethack will NEVER allow you to topple the (presumably heavy) Statue of a Plains Centaur onto the (presumably squishable) Grid Bug and defeat the monster with your own improvised trap.

And that's something any edition of D&D -- including 4th with its codified powers -- would let you do trivially.  The line between a Videogame and D&D in any edition is the DM: that wonderful human being with his or her wonderful, adaptable human brain that can utilize logic to adjucate the situation when the rules (which can never account for every possible circumstance) fail.  This is at least as true in 4e as it is in any other e.

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The basic, negative trait of Videogames, the one that is being implied if not stated by this argument, though, is that videogames do not allow for improvision.  Even the most complex, deep videogame -- something like Nethack or Dwarf Fortress -- is going to have very precise, codified ways objects can interact.  The dev team may think to have the game give you a funny message in certain perishingly unlikely circumstances, but Nethack will NEVER allow you to topple the (presumably heavy) Statue of a Plains Centaur onto the (presumably squishable) Grid Bug and defeat the monster with your own improvised trap.

And that's something any edition of D&D -- including 4th with its codified powers -- would let you do trivially.  The line between a Videogame and D&D in any edition is the DM: that wonderful human being with his or her wonderful, adaptable human brain that can utilize logic to adjucate the situation when the rules (which can never account for every possible circumstance) fail.  This is at least as true in 4e as it is in any other e.


This has made me realize... There should be a kind of Turing Test for DMs. If your DM can't be easily distinguished from a computer program, it's time to find a new DM lol.
Big misconceptions that people had with 1e/2e/3e...

5mwd was a problem.  It was an incompetent DM problem if it was one.
Fighters were weak sauce relative to wizards or clerics.
Low level wasn't fun.
 



Third one is subjective.

Second one is fact (in 3.0/3.5 at least), and denial won't change that.

First one is  either way.
Big misconceptions that people had with 1e/2e/3e...

5mwd was a problem.  It was an incompetent DM problem if it was one.
Fighters were weak sauce relative to wizards or clerics.
Low level wasn't fun.
 



Third one is subjective.

Second one is fact (in 3.0/3.5 at least), and denial won't change that.

First one is  either way.



And yet, thousands of campaigns are played every week with fighters that shine just fine.  Maybe thats a DM issue too.  Not sure.  It definitely wasn't a problem in any of my 3e games.

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Big misconceptions that people had with 1e/2e/3e...

5mwd was a problem.  It was an incompetent DM problem if it was one.
Fighters were weak sauce relative to wizards or clerics.
Low level wasn't fun.
 



Third one is subjective.

Second one is fact (in 3.0/3.5 at least), and denial won't change that.

First one is  either way.



And yet, thousands of campaigns are played every week with fighters that shine just fine.  Maybe thats a DM issue too.  Not sure.  It definitely wasn't a problem in any of my 3e games.



I'm not sure how you DM'ed your games, but if you built everyones characters I'd probably be against that.

And of course there's thousands more where Wizards, CoDzilla roam free, and unlike the anecdoctal methods used for proving fighter superiority there's actual mechanical fact proving it within the game system itself that casters are just better in every, single, way. Though thanks to some actual helpful players, I've learned 2E had far better checks and balances for Casters, so I will make sure to properly address when I'm talking about overpowered casters, I'm speaking of 3E/3.5.
Big misconceptions that people had with 1e/2e/3e...

5mwd was a problem.  It was an incompetent DM problem if it was one.
Fighters were weak sauce relative to wizards or clerics.
Low level wasn't fun.
 



Third one is subjective.

Second one is fact (in 3.0/3.5 at least), and denial won't change that.

First one is  either way.



And yet, thousands of campaigns are played every week with fighters that shine just fine.  Maybe thats a DM issue too.  Not sure.  It definitely wasn't a problem in any of my 3e games.


Meh, not all players are interested in character optimization. It sounds like you had a great group who played well together, and was presumably not terribly interested in munchkining out their characters. But it is a fact that in 3.5 an optimized wizard or cleric is always going to be better than an optimized fighter. Due to the highly subjective nature of the game, there will always be goups who never experienced this, or did experience it but didn't see it as a problem. But the math tells us objectively that wizards and clerics (as well as druids, sorcerers, and other heavy spellcasting classes) had the potential to be more effective in and out of combat than fighters had the potential to be. At least as far as hard coded rules go. There's really no accounting for improvisation.
While all editions have their stereotypes I personally find most of those stereotypes to be fairly accurrate in practice, in particular if your using published adventures.

For example AD&D is usually run a dungeon crawling game and in my personal experiance this has always been very true.  Its often said to be very DM fiaty and that's also a very accurate in my own experiance.  Its got the reputation of being very deadly and that has been my experiance, characters often die instantly on a single die roll, so it was very swingy.

4th edition is known as story light and very tactical combat oriented and this too has been my personal experiance with the game.  I found the characters in 4th edition to be very epic and super heroic, which is the repuation 4th edition has and I found that the large majority of combats where extremly long.  Anything under an hour was rare.  After 7-8th combats typically ran 1.5 to 2.5 hours.  So its repuation as a tactical combat RPG I think is quite accurate.

Of all the editions of the game I have found that 3rd edition got the most versitale treatment and I think that can be attributed to the generous license arrangement.  Their was a tremendous amount of 3rd party material and each 3rd publisher had their own take on how 3rd edition was used.  3rd edition sometimes got extremly tactical combat treatment, often a dungeon crawling game but there was also tremendous amount of content for it as a purely narrative game and pretty much everything inbetween.  It all depended on who wrote the material you where using.  As such 3rd edition had the most stereotypes but I found them all kind of inaccurate.  I mean I ran a 4 month campaign in which we never had a single combat and I have run campaigns that where almost entirely combat.  Under 3rd edition I think I have played and run the largest variety of playstyles.

I don't think these stereo types however are fully accurate in the sense that I think they could all be broken through DM/player effort.  But I do think that typically the stereotypes matched how most people used said system.  For the most part I attribute this to the style in which adventures for said systems where written.

"Edition wars like all debates exist because people like debates"

http://www.gamersdungeon.net/

For example AD&D is usually run a dungeon crawling game and in my personal experiance this has always been very true. 




Not for me, since I started DMing in in 1987, dungeon crawls have never really entered into it (small forays, a tomb, etc, but that's about it).
Not sure what point this thread has, re: D&D Next. The question is not, and never has been, the defense of anyone's "perceptions" of any particular edition. It's which version of that element fits best with DDN's goals. For example, the designers have determined, thus far, that 4e's mechanized three-tries-or-you're-out skill-challenge approach to role playing, and its emphasis on combat, do not fit with the new design. Case is closed. Move on.



Its to put to rest a lot of the misunderstandings that start arguments based on X edition and to help us get to the mechanics that we can use to make 5E a game we can all play...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.
Big misconceptions that people had with 1e/2e/3e...

5mwd was a problem.  It was an incompetent DM problem if it was one.
Fighters were weak sauce relative to wizards or clerics.
Low level wasn't fun.
 



It was possible to have a 5MWD problem in those editions, just like it was in 4e. Some didn't have that problem because they artificially inhibited it through storytelling.

So your half right. For some it was not a problem at all. For others who didn't restrict their games in some ways it was a problem...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.
Not sure what point this thread has, re: D&D Next. The question is not, and never has been, the defense of anyone's "perceptions" of any particular edition. It's which version of that element fits best with DDN's goals. For example, the designers have determined, thus far, that 4e's mechanized three-tries-or-you're-out skill-challenge approach to role playing, and its emphasis on combat, do not fit with the new design. Case is closed. Move on.



Its to put to rest a lot of the misunderstandings that start arguments based on X edition and to help us get to the mechanics that we can use to make 5E a game we can all play...




What specific mechanics, aside from AEDU classes, do you really dig?Smile
Not sure what point this thread has, re: D&D Next. The question is not, and never has been, the defense of anyone's "perceptions" of any particular edition. It's which version of that element fits best with DDN's goals. For example, the designers have determined, thus far, that 4e's mechanized three-tries-or-you're-out skill-challenge approach to role playing, and its emphasis on combat, do not fit with the new design. Case is closed. Move on.



Its to put to rest a lot of the misunderstandings that start arguments based on X edition and to help us get to the mechanics that we can use to make 5E a game we can all play...




What specific mechanics, aside from AEDU classes, do you really dig?



I don't 'dig' AEDU at all really. I 'dig' what it allowed me and my group to do, which is to tell high fantasy high heroice adventures with each player being engaged with interesting options from round to round with the ability to make tactical decisions to change the outcome of encounters (combat or otherwise). Any system that meets those requirements will work for me...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.
Not sure what point this thread has, re: D&D Next. The question is not, and never has been, the defense of anyone's "perceptions" of any particular edition. It's which version of that element fits best with DDN's goals. For example, the designers have determined, thus far, that 4e's mechanized three-tries-or-you're-out skill-challenge approach to role playing, and its emphasis on combat, do not fit with the new design. Case is closed. Move on.



Its to put to rest a lot of the misunderstandings that start arguments based on X edition and to help us get to the mechanics that we can use to make 5E a game we can all play...




What specific mechanics, aside from AEDU classes, do you really dig?



I don't 'dig' AEDU at all really. I 'dig' what it allowed me and my group to do, which is to tell high fantasy high heroice adventures with each player being engaged with interesting options from round to round with the ability to make tactical decisions to change the outcome of encounters (combat or otherwise). Any system that meets those requirements will work for me...




So, what specific mechanics do you want to see from 4th Ed?Smile

And in all editions you have had interesting options and been able to make tactical decisions to change the outcome of encounters, that is not exclusive to 4th Ed. Smile
Not sure what point this thread has, re: D&D Next. The question is not, and never has been, the defense of anyone's "perceptions" of any particular edition. It's which version of that element fits best with DDN's goals. For example, the designers have determined, thus far, that 4e's mechanized three-tries-or-you're-out skill-challenge approach to role playing, and its emphasis on combat, do not fit with the new design. Case is closed. Move on.



Its to put to rest a lot of the misunderstandings that start arguments based on X edition and to help us get to the mechanics that we can use to make 5E a game we can all play...




What specific mechanics, aside from AEDU classes, do you really dig?



I don't 'dig' AEDU at all really. I 'dig' what it allowed me and my group to do, which is to tell high fantasy high heroice adventures with each player being engaged with interesting options from round to round with the ability to make tactical decisions to change the outcome of encounters (combat or otherwise). Any system that meets those requirements will work for me...




So, what specific mechanics do you want to see from 4th Ed?

And in all editions you have had interesting options and been able to make tactical decisions to change the outcome of encounters, that is not exclusive to 4th Ed. 



Not really. Yes you had some tactical options in previous edtions but 4E was all about tactical play. Of course this is all off-topic, how about you start a thread about it...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.
Not sure what point this thread has, re: D&D Next. The question is not, and never has been, the defense of anyone's "perceptions" of any particular edition. It's which version of that element fits best with DDN's goals. For example, the designers have determined, thus far, that 4e's mechanized three-tries-or-you're-out skill-challenge approach to role playing, and its emphasis on combat, do not fit with the new design. Case is closed. Move on.



Its to put to rest a lot of the misunderstandings that start arguments based on X edition and to help us get to the mechanics that we can use to make 5E a game we can all play...




What specific mechanics, aside from AEDU classes, do you really dig?



I don't 'dig' AEDU at all really. I 'dig' what it allowed me and my group to do, which is to tell high fantasy high heroice adventures with each player being engaged with interesting options from round to round with the ability to make tactical decisions to change the outcome of encounters (combat or otherwise). Any system that meets those requirements will work for me...




So, what specific mechanics do you want to see from 4th Ed?

And in all editions you have had interesting options and been able to make tactical decisions to change the outcome of encounters, that is not exclusive to 4th Ed. 



Not really.




Totally really, any choice your character makes (run away, hide, throw a carrot, etc) has a tactical impact.Smile

You seem to be avoiding my question: What mechanics, specifically, do you dig in 4th Ed, and want to see in 5th Ed.Smile
You seem to be avoiding my question: What mechanics, specifically, do you dig in 4th Ed, and want to see in 5th Ed.



The options in 4th seemed to have a bigger impact.
A daily power could change what looked like a losing situation in a winning one.

As one of the players in out group who is a math probebility buffsaid it.

in AdnD 2nd I could predict with 90% accuracy who would win a fight based on the stats if no spellcasters where involved.
but in 4th using the right power at the right time could totaly change the tithe of battle. 
It no longer is a game where if 2 fighterd do a duel the one with the batter stats almost automaticly wins. 
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