I Love 4th Edition(and the "next" game will have to be special to lure me away)....

Just had to say it.  I know it is "cool" to claim what a failure it is but I think it is a great system.  Furthermore, part of me really wonders if WotC agrees with me and not the naysayers.  I just get the sense that, as they develop Next and vacillate on a bunch of changes to things that are highly functional in 4e, if the developers know in their heart that their current edition(not the "next" one) is just fine. 

Sure there are things that could be tweaked and improved(true of any rpg), but I really believe if they move a great distance away from 4e they'll end up with an inferior product.  I won't be one of the 3.5 grognards who says "I WILL NEVER BUY OR LIKE THE NEXT EDITION NO MATTER WHAT" even before it's release.  However, it's going to take something really special to pull me away from 4e.  The more I see the development team tinker and re-tinker with basic mechanics such as saving throws, the more convinced I become that they aren't sure how to top what they've done already.  Furthermore, although inviting the D&D community into a grand scale playtest is a noble and transparent approach, I believe there is so much noise out there and such a volume of feedback that they are now rudderless.

I am rooting for Next...I want it to be the greatest D&D game of all time.  However, if they think it has to be 180 degree change from 4e, they'll send Dungeons and Dragons into the abyss and end up with a system that, rather than appealing to a broader base, is a hodge podge of community-generated concepts without clear leadership having designed the core. 

I understand that there were hiccups with the 4e rollout.  The Red Box, Essentials and culminating adventures like Madness at Gardmore Abbey are probably the type of quality that the edition should have launched with.  That being said...at it's refined state now, it will be hard sale to his customer to make the case that 5e that is clearly superior. 


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Pretty much agree with you 100% on everything you said.

I still have hope for Next, but right now watching the sausage being made is not an exercise in encouragement.

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'm in complete agreement as well, could 4e been improved? yeah, but i feel like Next is the opposite- it's shaping up to be significantly worse, maybe it'll start to look more palatable- but for the time being, i feel like i'm getting off the train at 4e

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

4e and Next are shaping up to be very different kinds of games (even if they do both say D&D on the cover ;)).  So, my plan is to stick with 4e for certain games, while at the same time hooking up with DDN for more *traditional* D&D games. 

DDN doesn't have to 'lure' me away from 4e; I'm simply not gonna play favorites.  Each game does their own thing, and that's okay 'cause I have ideas for both.

4e is the system I've used for some homebrew settings.  Our Runegate campaign for instance, had 4e-style dragonborn, tieflings, genasi, devas (but no 'classic' dwarves, elves, or halflings).  The games were inspired by the world-hopping adventures of SG-1.  

DDN is the game I'll (eventually) be using for an old-school (if you will) adventure campaign I plan on calling Gauntlets -&- Cauldrons (I checked, the name hasn't been taken --it's all mine ;)). Traditional fighters, wizards, and clerics, dwarves, elves and halfings (no dragonborn, tieflings, genasi, or devas tho).  Two very different settings, two very different systems.
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I'm in complete agreement as well, could 4e been improved? yeah, but i feel like Next is the opposite- it's shaping up to be significantly worse, maybe it'll start to look more palatable- but for the time being, i feel like i'm getting off the train at 4e


Everything I read about Next, every play test....makes me agree with you more.  I think many 3.5 loyalists decided not to like 4e before they even saw the system, whereas I am a 4e enthusiast who sees what they're doing with Next and I couldn't be less excited.  

To me the open playtest began as a developer concept that invited player feedback....but it is morphing into an endless series of vacillations and muddied approaches which will never do what WotC wants it to....please everyone.  If two years into development the lead developer is soliciting feedback on a core mechanic such as saving throws....something is truly off the rails.

To a 4e player who feels that the game he plays makes sense and works, watching the youtube videos and podcasts of the developers struggling with their ideas for a new approach is a little scary.  I would trust them more at this point if they canned the public playtest, locked themselves in a room and brainstormed D&D 4.5.  

If I am wrong and D&D Next is fantastic....I will be very happy and certainly admit it on these forums!
I agree 100%, Gareson. D&D 4E finally gave me the D&D game I was promised with the original Red Box waaay back in 1982. A game of heroic adventure, not a game of strategic resource management. Does 4E have those kind of elements? Yes, absolutely, and the DM can tailor things to create that style of play. But it is not the default style which, apparently, "feels like D&D" to some ill-defined segment of the D&D gaming community. DDN seems to want to embrace that style of play as being the "core" of the D&D experience, while treating everything else as an afterthought. 



That being said, if there are materials in the core rules of DDN that allow me to recreate the cinematic, heroic, and story-based style of play that I feel 4E provides and does so with clear, improved, and well-designed rules...then I will switch. Any failure to deliver on that, and there is no way I will switch. I have found my D&D edition of choice. Mearls & co. will have to work really hard to sell me on another. Based on the state of the playtest right now, that ain't happening.
4th ed at least had a goal and vision. One I did not like at all but it is what it is. I was a 3.5 loyalist I suppose but I bought the 4E books back in 2008 and had DDI for a few years. Also bought PF but it is to 3.5 for my tastes and it has been 13 years of 3.x problems. 

 More or less buying retroclones over 4E, PF and losing interest in D&DN as one only has so much time in a day to play something and the weekly or bi weekly games may as well be spent playing something you like. Just completed B5 Horror on the Hill and the PCs are on the way to Mirros. 

 Not going to buy D&DN sight unseen like I did with 4E.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I must say that had 4E not come along, I too would have switched to some sort of retroclone by now. I know a lot of people who, like you Zardnaar, stuck with 3.x  & PF (probably past the point of it being truly fun) despite the system's generally accepted problems (LFQW being the foremost). Most end their campaigns by level 10 to avoid the difficulty of high-level play. I think I am going to mention some of those games to them, just to see if they can find something that scratches that itch for them without the attendant problems. All I know is that I personally was just DONE with D&D after 3.x, at least until I got a chance to play 4E extensively and found that it was exactly what I was looking for.

Hey, at the end of the day if people don't like it, that's fine. As I have grown older and wiser, I have realized that not every game is for every gamer. If I don't like what they do with DDN, I can take my own advice - and won't play it! The experience I am looking for is not necessarily the experience someone else is looking for. At this point, regardless of our preferred edtion or playstyle, I think there is a sizeable number of us among the D&D gaming community who agree that DDN (at least so far) isn't the game we are looking for. Hopefully WotC can reach their intended design goals and create a new edition that is truly "something for everyone." I remain content to wait and see. 

BTW, what retroclones are you playing? I have taken a look at a few just out of curiousity and it seems like Castles & Crusades is closer to what I wanted out of 2nd Ediiton than the actual game was. I figure trying something different and dipping my toes in the OSR pool from time to time would be a nice change of pace.
We were playing Myth and Magic which is a d20 based retroclone of 2nd ed and it seems compatable enough with 2nd ed material to keep using it. 

Bought Adventurer Conquer King (ACKs) the other day without knowing to much about it. Seems to be a retroclone of D&D circa 1981 with various build options and economic/domain rulership rules and you go to level 14. Have not played it yet.

 Also looked at Labyrinth Lord which is a revised BECMI over 20 levels and Clerics get spells at level 1, seems compatable with BECMI product but has some AD&D influence.


 Currently playing a homebrew clone using the 4E core with various classes stapled onto it. Martial types resemble SWSE, spells are from Pathfinder, spellcasters are based on 2nd ed ones and CoDzillas do not have level 8 and 9 spells. We're playing on Mystara in 1012 AC. 

 Ideally I think some sort of D&D d20 BECMI with the AD&D classes  added to it and a basic talent system would suit us best YMMV.I do not think my players will go as far back as BECMI/1st ed but I'll see if they will try ACKs.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Just had to say it.  I know it is "cool" to claim what a failure it is but I think it is a great system.


The two are not mutually exclusive. Just because something isn't popular does not make it bad. There a hundreds of cancelled TV shows and flop movies I love. There are failed programs, short lives devices, and yes even games that many, many people adored. 

Furthermore, part of me really wonders if WotC agrees with me and not the naysayers.  I just get the sense that, as they develop Next and vacillate on a bunch of changes to things that are highly functional in 4e, if the developers know in their heart that their current edition(not the "next" one) is just fine.


I don't think they dislike 4e. Many of them worked on 4e (if not all of them). For some it was the first edition that had a part of the creation of. It's like your first love: you'll always care for it and think of it fondly even after you've moved on.

They seem more focused on a wider audience. 4e was many things, but broadly appealing was not one of them. It was foucsed. It was deliberate in its design. Which is neither good nor bad. It means that it was consistant and excellent at doing what it was designed to do but struggled in other places.
WotC staff have said in interviews that they had assumed more people would just accept the game, that they believed people would just accept 4e because it was D&D. But the player base didn't. If you don't give people products they want to buy they won't. 

They're designing a very, very different game this time. Instead of a game designed to do one style of gameplay really, really well they're trying for a simple game that can be hacked into many different styles of game. A game designed to appeal to as many people as possible. It's a very different strategy: rather than appealing to the majority they're trying to appeal to a large number of minorities. 

Sure there are things that could be tweaked and improved(true of any rpg), but I really believe if they move a great distance away from 4e they'll end up with an inferior product.


I'm not sure "inferior" is the right word. Inferior to you may be. But that's a personal judgement. The quality of the overall product is unlikely to change. 

However, if they think it has to be 180 degree change from 4e, they'll send Dungeons and Dragons into the abyss and end up with a system that, rather than appealing to a broader base, is a hodge podge of community-generated concepts without clear leadership having designed the core.


I think a 180-degree change was needed. 
They already did 4e, there's no need to do it again. And Essentials showed quite clearly that there was not a market for 4e-revised and after the fan uproar over 3.5e there would have been an outrage over 4.5e. The fans backed them into a corner, there was no option but a new edition and that had to be an edition different from 4e. 

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Also check out my books at 5mwd.com/publishingIncluding Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuildinga compilation of my blog series on Worldbuilding.

 

@ Zardnaar - Like the idea of the 4E homebrew using SWSE talents for martial types. I think had 4E done that in the first place, it probably wouldn't have split the base to the degree it did. Disappointing to see DDN go from maneuvers for martial classes back to just extra feats. And thanks for the info on the other retroclones. 
Just had to say it.  I know it is "cool" to claim what a failure it is but I think it is a great system.  Furthermore, part of me really wonders if WotC agrees with me and not the naysayers.  I just get the sense that, as they develop Next and vacillate on a bunch of changes to things that are highly functional in 4e, if the developers know in their heart that their current edition(not the "next" one) is just fine. 

Sure there are things that could be tweaked and improved(true of any rpg), but I really believe if they move a great distance away from 4e they'll end up with an inferior product.  I won't be one of the 3.5 grognards who says "I WILL NEVER BUY OR LIKE THE NEXT EDITION NO MATTER WHAT" even before it's release.  However, it's going to take something really special to pull me away from 4e.  The more I see the development team tinker and re-tinker with basic mechanics such as saving throws, the more convinced I become that they aren't sure how to top what they've done already.  Furthermore, although inviting the D&D community into a grand scale playtest is a noble and transparent approach, I believe there is so much noise out there and such a volume of feedback that they are now rudderless.

I am rooting for Next...I want it to be the greatest D&D game of all time.  However, if they think it has to be 180 degree change from 4e, they'll send Dungeons and Dragons into the abyss and end up with a system that, rather than appealing to a broader base, is a hodge podge of community-generated concepts without clear leadership having designed the core. 

I understand that there were hiccups with the 4e rollout.  The Red Box, Essentials and culminating adventures like Madness at Gardmore Abbey are probably the type of quality that the edition should have launched with.  That being said...at it's refined state now, it will be hard sale to his customer to make the case that 5e that is clearly superior. 



I agree- except for me the best parts of 4th were the core books. I miss my Player's Handbook 4, Dungeon Master's Guide 3, etc...
@ Zardnaar - Like the idea of the 4E homebrew using SWSE talents for martial types. I think had 4E done that in the first place, it probably wouldn't have split the base to the degree it did. Disappointing to see DDN go from maneuvers for martial classes back to just extra feats. And thanks for the info on the other retroclones. 




Calling it a 4E homebrew is a bit strong lol but it does use the 4E combat chapter rejigged as the base chasis of the game. Bards, Paladins, Rogues, Fighters all look like htis.

Talent
Talent
Talnet
Talent

with most of the traditional stuff being talents like Smite Evil or whatever. If you want to smite evil multiple times per day you take the talent multiple times. There is a Bard talent that lets you steal a fighter or Rogue talent, sneak attack is a talent etc. Feats are in there but they are more like D&DN type feats, Clerics and Druids are based of 2nd ed ones Wizzies look a bit like 3.5 ones I suppose and atm are using Pathfinder spells.

 There are 4h ed type encounter powers in there and at wills for spellcasters but ATM they are using Pathfinder cantrips which are going to go back to 3.5 0 level spells but I'll add feats for at wills for those who want them. The big 4E influences are combat simplicity, actions in a round and encounter powers, AD&D type spellcasters, SWSE martials, some mechanics from D&DN, and a focus on TSR gameplay as one can't take item creation feats/rituals and there are no metamagic feats in the game. I'm using tweaked Pathfinder and 4E monsters ofr the most part that are gradually being replaced by rewritten critters.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Just had to say it.  I know it is "cool" to claim what a failure it is but I think it is a great system.  Furthermore, part of me really wonders if WotC agrees with me and not the naysayers.  I just get the sense that, as they develop Next and vacillate on a bunch of changes to things that are highly functional in 4e, if the developers know in their heart that their current edition(not the "next" one) is just fine. 

Sure there are things that could be tweaked and improved(true of any rpg), but I really believe if they move a great distance away from 4e they'll end up with an inferior product.  I won't be one of the 3.5 grognards who says "I WILL NEVER BUY OR LIKE THE NEXT EDITION NO MATTER WHAT" even before it's release.  However, it's going to take something really special to pull me away from 4e.  The more I see the development team tinker and re-tinker with basic mechanics such as saving throws, the more convinced I become that they aren't sure how to top what they've done already.  Furthermore, although inviting the D&D community into a grand scale playtest is a noble and transparent approach, I believe there is so much noise out there and such a volume of feedback that they are now rudderless.

I am rooting for Next...I want it to be the greatest D&D game of all time.  However, if they think it has to be 180 degree change from 4e, they'll send Dungeons and Dragons into the abyss and end up with a system that, rather than appealing to a broader base, is a hodge podge of community-generated concepts without clear leadership having designed the core. 

I understand that there were hiccups with the 4e rollout.  The Red Box, Essentials and culminating adventures like Madness at Gardmore Abbey are probably the type of quality that the edition should have launched with.  That being said...at it's refined state now, it will be hard sale to his customer to make the case that 5e that is clearly superior. 

I hear you. I think sadly there IS a bunch that could improve on 4e, but not because 4e is bad, but just because it was a rather new design and there's a bunch of stuff that could be done to improve on it. Sadly it won't get done. At least not by the people with the resources and the IP to do it right.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I feel very similar.  Possibly because I was late to the party, so to speak, and only picked up the Red Box after the Essentials line had been released.  So 4e still has a lot of mileage for me, I still have campaigns to complete and I have yet to run into any of the "problems" oft cited on these forums.

D&D is also not my favourite role playing system.  So while I am currently enjoying some retro dungoning and dragoning, when I tire of 4e I shall jump to a different genre entirely and not to a different flavour of the same.
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However, if they think it has to be 180 degree change from 4e, they'll send Dungeons and Dragons into the abyss and end up with a system that, rather than appealing to a broader base, is a hodge podge of community-generated concepts without clear leadership having designed the core.


I think a 180-degree change was needed. 
They already did 4e, there's no need to do it again. And Essentials showed quite clearly that there was not a market for 4e-revised and after the fan uproar over 3.5e there would have been an outrage over 4.5e. The fans backed them into a corner, there was no option but a new edition and that had to be an edition different from 4e. 



I wouldn't want to try to predict where DDN will take the game, 'into the abyss' or not, but I will say this. Nothing is ever likely to convince me that the direction 4e went in doesn't deserve to be continued and elaborated on and improved. This creates a huge disadvantage for DDN to overcome in terms of acceptance. If it were following on to 3.5 it would be one thing, any sort of change from some aspects of d20 D&D was welcome. The problem is that DDN will now have to also surpass both 4e and the large unfinished expectations of what could still be done with what 4e started. Nor does it really encourage me to reward WotC with my patronage when effectively they've discarded my own preferences in favor of something else. They can do this of course, its not personal, but DDN will have to be FAR superior to any previous edition of D&D if it is going to have much hope of sitting next to 4e on my bookshelf. As the OP noted at the start of this thread, so far it isn't even close to doing that. The design seems to lack an overriding vision and the design team seems to be lost in some sort of maze of conflicting desires from the community. There are some interesting ideas in the DDN playtests, but the design lacks direction and much of it seems to be guided more by a fear of being too much like 4e rather than simply building a good game.

I think they'd be best off to find a leader for that team with a strong personal vision and the guts to just do it. Catering to fans is great, they should of course listen, but where's the leadership? Communities don't thrive by stagnation and aimless wandering. Sometimes someone just needs to apply personal vision. It takes a strong backbone, but that's what Gary did.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I know it is "cool" to claim what a failure it is but I think it is a great system.



It also cool to play Call of Duty, and Minecraft. So I'm just fine not being cool Laughing

(Note to future posters/fan boys of the two games: It was a joke)

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

 

I think they'd be best off to find a leader for that team with a strong personal vision and the guts to just do it. Catering to fans is great, they should of course listen, but where's the leadership? Communities don't thrive by stagnation and aimless wandering. Sometimes someone just needs to apply personal vision. It takes a strong backbone, but that's what Gary did.


I think that'd be a mistake. A personal vision is necassary for a new RPG, and smaller companies, but not D&D.

A strong personal vision means it's that person's game, but not necassarily everyone else on the team's or the community. D&D is more than one's person's vision, and we saw firsthand with 4e what happenes when the designer's vision does not mesh with the audience's vision. 
At this point in its lifespan, is terrible for D&D. It cannot be a one-man show, and has to be an ensable project. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

Also check out my books at 5mwd.com/publishingIncluding Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuildinga compilation of my blog series on Worldbuilding.

 

But in all seriousness 4e was and still s a terrific system. Anyone who can't see how good the system is is obviously looking at it with prejudice. The 4e system is a terrific system: It's one of the few systems that doesn't need 101 houserules in order to tailor the game to your groups needs. It's one of the few systems that tries to mechanically make people work together as a team. It's one of the only systems that allowed each character to do something interesting and not have the same rewards for leveling. It's one of the few systems that tries to make each and every thing be the most that it can be without bogging it down with complicated rules (Not many RPGs can/have done this). 

What I'm trying to say is that 4e dared to be different,  in an industry where different is typically frowned upon. Everyone more or less wants the same/similar things but under a different title, and would like to burn something not appropriate to their game style. Sure 4e may be new Coke, but damn is new Coke refreshing.

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

 

But in all seriousness 4e was and still s a terrific system. Anyone who can't see how good the system is is obviously looking at it with prejudice. The 4e system is a terrific system: It's one of the few systems that doesn't need 101 houserules in order to tailor the game to your groups needs. It's one of the few systems that tries to mechanically make people work together as a team. It's one of the only systems that allowed each character to do something interesting and not have the same rewards for leveling. It's one of the few systems that tries to make each and every thing be the most that it can be without bogging it down with complicated rules (Not many RPGs can/have done this). 

What I'm trying to say is that 4e dared to be different,  in an industry where different is typically frowned upon. Everyone more or less wants the same/similar things but under a different title, and would like to burn something not appropriate to their game style. Sure 4e may be new Coke, but damn is new Coke refreshing.


This.  Thanks.
I love 4E, its not bloated like 3.X, its clearer than 2E/AD&D. There's not as much cheese in terms of my paladin 1/fighter 3/wizard 4/cleric of madeupchesegod 4/blackguard3/chosen of mystra7/drizzt 14/assassin 3/rogue 5/sorceror 5/red dragon disciple 2 character. Its more story driven and is fun for me, with less to worry about in terms of the uber crunch

 www.4eDM.org - A 4th Edition D&D Resource Site 

But in all seriousness 4e was and still s a terrific system. Anyone who can't see how good the system is is obviously looking at it with prejudice. The 4e system is a terrific system: It's one of the few systems that doesn't need 101 houserules in order to tailor the game to your groups needs. It's one of the few systems that tries to mechanically make people work together as a team. It's one of the only systems that allowed each character to do something interesting and not have the same rewards for leveling. It's one of the few systems that tries to make each and every thing be the most that it can be without bogging it down with complicated rules (Not many RPGs can/have done this). 

What I'm trying to say is that 4e dared to be different,  in an industry where different is typically frowned upon. Everyone more or less wants the same/similar things but under a different title, and would like to burn something not appropriate to their game style. Sure 4e may be new Coke, but damn is new Coke refreshing.



This sums up my feelings on the matter perfectly. Thumbs up.

But in all seriousness 4e was and still s a terrific system. Anyone who can't see how good the system is is obviously looking at it with prejudice. The 4e system is a terrific system: It's one of the few systems that doesn't need 101 houserules in order to tailor the game to your groups needs. It's one of the few systems that tries to mechanically make people work together as a team. It's one of the only systems that allowed each character to do something interesting and not have the same rewards for leveling. It's one of the few systems that tries to make each and every thing be the most that it can be without bogging it down with complicated rules (Not many RPGs can/have done this). 

What I'm trying to say is that 4e dared to be different,  in an industry where different is typically frowned upon. Everyone more or less wants the same/similar things but under a different title, and would like to burn something not appropriate to their game style. Sure 4e may be new Coke, but damn is new Coke refreshing.



This sums up my feelings on the matter perfectly. Thumbs up.




And mine as well.

You know, one of my players was initially anti-4E due to the lack of character options. After playing the game, he realized there are far, far more options for PCs than in any other edition. None are truly broken, and none are purposeful trap options. Character optimizers will always point out that some classes or builds are sub-optimal, but there is a world of difference between "sub-optimal" and "worthless."

Another friend played a bard in a 3E game I ran, and by the end of the campaign was just fed up with being not just second, not just third, but somewhere around 15th fiddle to the rest of the party. Playing a bard in 4E? Complete opposite experience for him. 

I guess what I am trying to say is that DDN at present has not demonstrated this ability to keep characters on par with each other as far as what they bring to the story. Others may bemoan balance as something to be avoided, something "not D&D!" Or worse yet they may trot out the "three pillars" to justify mechanical imbalance. Should DDN go down this path, I know that 4E will be my D&D of choice for many years to come.

Another friend played a bard in a 3E game I ran, and by the end of the campaign was just fed up with being not just second, not just third, but somewhere around 15th fiddle to the rest of the party. Playing a bard in 4E? Complete opposite experience for him.



I ran a bards in all 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ed's and enjoyed them in every edition.  AD&D was a bit awkward with the take x fighter levels followed by x rogue levels first but it ended up interesting.  2nd ed with the XP variations and bonus variations kept him at a slightly higher caster level than the rest of the party, which was useful.  Healing spells in 2nd ed were rather limited but still possible with spells like vampiric touch and empathic transfer, or symbul's synostodweomer (sp possibly).

3.0 was a bit dismal but 3.5 was quite a bit better with more skill points and bard levels improving songs.  Some of the bard spell changes from 3.0 to 3.5 were a bit odd but nothing serious.  That edition I ran several bards and it didn't take long for other players to start picking up on playing bards either.  They were not as bad as wizards or codzillas but there was some cheese in there for bards too.  I also ran a campaign where the main villain was a high level bard styled as a behind-the-scened puppetmaster that the players seemed to thoroughly enjoy once all of the ramifications of events throughout the campaign started to sink in.  I've seen groups with 2 or 3 bards in 3.5 games after some of those sessions and the class was a lot of fun as a manipulator, and bards filled that style rather well in the ruleset.

4th ed did make a nice bard for the system.  Too bad it wasn't included in the first PHB.  I liked the powers and flavor, and it was a nice concept build.  Unfortunately there were things I did not like about 4th and continued to play more 3.5 and 2nd ed as preferred systems.

It's too bad your friend didn't enjoy the class in 3rd, but it was rare that I did not have something useful to add.
Very good post OP. I would also add that those of us you actually like 4th edition (and thus buy the books and pay online subscriptions) constitute 100% of the buying customer base. It is easy to forget that among all the vocal 4th edition hating going on around here.

4th edition has been my favorite since I started playing in the early 80s. (Though 2nd edition did thrill me when the Fighter's handbook and kits and the evolved proficiencies came out)

I do like the promise of character building in Next with backgrounds and such, very simple yet extremely flexible. If the classes can shape up with sweet options, and multiclassing works (4e hybrid wagrade at in concept, but terrible in execution. Very few were even playable, and some classes were clearly better suited to it then others) then it could be the best version yet for building whatever odd concepts spring to mind.

I think a lot may be riding on the tactical module as far as combat goes. We love grid, and we like tactical complexity, depth and meaningful choices. 

I hope Next can get there. If not I might have to build my own version with the best of both worlds.

*crosses fingers* 
1 square =1 yard = 1 meter. "Fits all playstyles" the obvious choice Orzel is the mayor of Ranger-town. Favored enemies for Rangers
58033128 wrote:
Seems like community isn't going to give up calling mapless "Theatre of the Mind".  In the interest of equal pretentiousness, I'd like to start a motion to refer to map combat as "Tableau Vivant".  


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

However, it's going to take something really special to pull me away from 4e.

I can't say any edition has had me so pulled it that it would take a great deal of effort to pull me away. 2e was an obvious, huge step up over BECMI, and 3.5 lured me away from 2e only because I was playing WoD games while 3.0 was around; my return to D&D was into 3.5 because that's what people around me were playing.

I had fun with it for a good few years, then it turned sour. (Some of) my players gained system mastery, and then suddenly it was casters telling the rogue "no, I got a wand of knock", telling the fighter "no I'm good I have polymorph if I need it", etc. I stopped playing D&D entirely, searching for a system to work well for me, long before 4e came out.

When it did, I was amazed. A game that really, really did well at playing how I wanted to play. Played that for a long time - up until less than a year ago, honestly - as my go-to fantasy game. In the last year though, I started to see problems, big ones. I started to have to use house rules, a lot.

Then, somehow, I discovered 13th Age, and it was like falling in love with 4e all over again. The system is amazing, and I can't imagine going back to 4e unless I had players that absolutely demanded it. You couldn't pay me to DM for 3.5/PF these days tho (well, maybe with a lot of money, but I better be making good wages for all the hours I'd have to sink into making the system work).

If you like 4e (but see its problems), and don't like D&DN, I would recommend looking at 13th Age (which is the recommendation I have been giving for several months now).

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 want 5E to be a combination of 2E/4E, with a basic game that is close to 1E, and advanced game that is closer to 3E. That would suit all my tastes. And as much as I like 4E, I realize there will have to be some compromises.
However, it's going to take something really special to pull me away from 4e.

I can't say any edition has had me so pulled it that it would take a great deal of effort to pull me away. 2e was an obvious, huge step up over BECMI, and 3.5 lured me away from 2e only because I was playing WoD games while 3.0 was around; my return to D&D was into 3.5 because that's what people around me were playing.

I had fun with it for a good few years, then it turned sour. (Some of) my players gained system mastery, and then suddenly it was casters telling the rogue "no, I got a wand of knock", telling the fighter "no I'm good I have polymorph if I need it", etc. I stopped playing D&D entirely, searching for a system to work well for me, long before 4e came out.

When it did, I was amazed. A game that really, really did well at playing how I wanted to play. Played that for a long time - up until less than a year ago, honestly - as my go-to fantasy game. In the last year though, I started to see problems, big ones. I started to have to use house rules, a lot.

Then, somehow, I discovered 13th Age, and it was like falling in love with 4e all over again. The system is amazing, and I can't imagine going back to 4e unless I had players that absolutely demanded it. You couldn't pay me to DM for 3.5/PF these days tho (well, maybe with a lot of money, but I better be making good wages for all the hours I'd have to sink into making the system work).

If you like 4e (but see its problems), and don't like D&DN, I would recommend looking at 13th Age (which is the recommendation I have been giving for several months now).




 I went to second ed from BECMI as I wanted options like the ranger etc. I have been rereading and playing BECMI-2nd ed again and various retroclones and I think BECMI has aged better than AD&D IMHO. If one had AD&D classes in BECMI or added some options in BECMI 2.0 I think I would prefer that over AD&D. It is cleaner and more elegant with things like abilty scores.

 I suspect you like 13th age over 4E as it is more freeform and easier to run? I'm experiencing the same thing with BECMI/2nd ed ATM and from some retroclones which have improved AD&D/BECMI in some ways at least. From the DM PoV TSR era crushes WoTC efforts IMHO, player options not so much perhaps. 13th Age has some very sexy covers anyway compared with 3.5/4th/Pathfinder. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I suspect you like 13th age over 4E as it is more freeform and easier to run?

Not exactly. It has a similar ruleset to 4e - most of the rules are for conflict adjudication, with very little in the way of simulationism-type rules that try to mimic reality. The books are written for people that like RPGs, by people that like RPGs, and that shows - there is a lot of personal touches. The whole ruleset is sort of "this is the way we do it - you can change this and this and it would still work tho, maybe that would work better for you" in a lot of places. Classes are balanced, but don't all work on the same mechanic - some are significantly more complex, but without a great deal less power and capability. It keeps, but renames and alters, the healing surge mechanic and has extremely similar saving throw and death mechanics.

Basically it's all the things I really liked about 4e, only without too-long grid-based combat (and it addresses a few more of my complaints as well).

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 must say that had 4E not come along, I too would have switched to some sort of retroclone by now. 



I might be playing Dresden Files or nothing at all ... 4E did magic and brought my interest back to roleplaying in general.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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

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

 

Just had to say it.  I know it is "cool" to claim what a failure it is but I think it is a great system.  Furthermore, part of me really wonders if WotC agrees with me and not the naysayers.  I just get the sense that, as they develop Next and vacillate on a bunch of changes to things that are highly functional in 4e, if the developers know in their heart that their current edition(not the "next" one) is just fine. 



Actually its not 'fine' , It may be your favorite edition, and yes you love it, but unfortunately that is not how the majority feels.


Sure there are things that could be tweaked and improved(true of any rpg), but I really believe if they move a great distance away from 4e they'll end up with an inferior product.  I won't be one of the 3.5 grognards who says "I WILL NEVER BUY OR LIKE THE NEXT EDITION NO MATTER WHAT" even before it's release.  However, it's going to take something really special to pull me away from 4e.  The more I see the development team tinker and re-tinker with basic mechanics such as saving throws, the more convinced I become that they aren't sure how to top what they've done already.  Furthermore, although inviting the D&D community into a grand scale playtest is a noble and transparent approach, I believe there is so much noise out there and such a volume of feedback that they are now rudderless.



Last I checked most of the D&D Next complainers are actually 4E fans... 3.5/PF fans are mostly estatic that D&D are finally gonna stop producing 4E material and try to make a new edition which resembles theres but isn't overtly unbalanced and broken.  

I am rooting for Next...I want it to be the greatest D&D game of all time.  However, if they think it has to be 180 degree change from 4e, they'll send Dungeons and Dragons into the abyss and end up with a system that, rather than appealing to a broader base, is a hodge podge of community-generated concepts without clear leadership having designed the core.



4E failed unfortunately, doing 180 degree turn is the only way to recover their old fan base, who essentially hate everything 4th edition. 

I understand that there were hiccups with the 4e rollout.  The Red Box, Essentials and culminating adventures like Madness at Gardmore Abbey are probably the type of quality that the edition should have launched with.  That being said...at it's refined state now, it will be hard sale to his customer to make the case that 5e that is clearly superior. 



Its not the hiccups that caused 4Es downfall, 4E did. Essentials didn't do well but it was an attempt to fix what was already a sinking ship.  

- - - - -

I respect your love for 4th Edition, but making D&D Next close to 4th Edition is the exact opposite of what will bring back the fan base. That being said, I think it would be acceptable if they could provide modules (optional rules) that allow things such as martial healing or other that 4E fans like.

In its current state, D&D Next doesn't fully appeal to any edition lover for the fact that it is largly incomplete. I found D&D Next fun to play using a quick dungeon crawl, but found it really lacking when trying to run a full out campaign.

Modular is the only way for D&D NExt to succeed because 4th Edition fans and 3rd Edition fans are just way to far apart in opinion, and so far WOTC have released next to no modules in the playtest, which pretty much indicate that the final version of the game won't even come close to what were seing now in the playtest... which is discouraging (and encouraging) both at the same time.        
My experience is different.   4e is the first D&D I abandoned vowing never to play it again.

To me they fixed a bunch of problems I didn't experience and took out tons of things doing it that made the game fun for me.


I suspect that the dev staff is as divided over D&D as these forums.  The difference is that they are probably more professional about discussing it.  

The reason I feel as strongly as I do is that I don't have seven nights a week to game.  I have a very limited amount of time and I want the very best roleplaying experience possible for me and my group. A poor roleplaying experience is worse than a poor game experience in general.   I am commiting more even as a player but a lot more as a DM.  
My experience is different.   4e is the first D&D I abandoned vowing never to play it again.

To me they fixed a bunch of problems I didn't experience and took out tons of things doing it that made the game fun for me.


I suspect that the dev staff is as divided over D&D as these forums.  The difference is that they are probably more professional about discussing it.  

The reason I feel as strongly as I do is that I don't have seven nights a week to game.  I have a very limited amount of time and I want the very best roleplaying experience possible for me and my group. A poor roleplaying experience is worse than a poor game experience in general.   I am commiting more even as a player but a lot more as a DM.  



 1st edition I bailed on as well. More or less had the opinion newer= better but I have since changed that not only with 4th vs 3rd but with 3rd vs BECMI/AD&D.

 Really preferring TSR style gameplay and DMing style. Mechanics not so much except maybe different xp tables for the classes and multiclassing rules. Level limits and racial restrictions can die in a fire though. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

i am in the same boat with 3rd to some extent and 4th to a bigger extent. when you cant homebrew out the things you dislike without destroying the system, then the system is not what i want to experience or play. i hate the skill system of 4th its terrible, and feats all feel samey with alot being the same function with diffrent names and that is not good game design. if you remove feats and skill challenges from 4th what kind of game would i be left with. so for the people that judge me as a "resident 2nd edition warrior" these reasons plus many more are my sticking points. atleast with 5th which is still not complete so alot of kinks will be ironed out, i can sub in my own skill system like non-weapon proficiencies, and get rid of feats and have a playable game that supports easily my use of older material i already own without the need for a major overhaul each time i want to run on old adventure.
I also love 4E (and I appreciate the very nice 4E love thread here).  At the same time, I have very high hopes for D&D Next and I think it will meet or exceed all of them.  I just started a new campaign and so far I have been able to run the same sort of game that I would run using 4E.  Sure, the specifics of combat are different, because Next characters aren't as tough as 4E characters.  But the players sure do act like heroes, and my game feels the same.  I certainly haven't changed anything with regard to my style of DMing or the types of plots or adventures I use.
My name is Red Siegfried, and I approve of this message.

Pretty much agree with you 100% on everything you said.

I still have hope for Next, but right now watching the sausage being made is not an exercise in encouragement.



Sausages pushed in to pigs bladders oooh interesting visual for game design.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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

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

 

i am in the same boat with 3rd to some extent and 4th to a bigger extent. when you cant homebrew out the things you dislike without destroying the system, then the system is not what i want to experience or play. i hate the skill system of 4th its terrible, and feats all feel samey with alot being the same function with diffrent names and that is not good game design. if you remove feats and skill challenges from 4th what kind of game would i be left with. so for the people that judge me as a "resident 2nd edition warrior" these reasons plus many more are my sticking points. atleast with 5th which is still not complete so alot of kinks will be ironed out, i can sub in my own skill system like non-weapon proficiencies, and get rid of feats and have a playable game that supports easily my use of older material i already own without the need for a major overhaul each time i want to run on old adventure.



I used a Skill Challenge exactly once and realized they were a complete and total abomination and affront to role-playing. I havent used one since, and I rarely if ever see other DMs use them either, as they are widely viewed as complete and total garbage (like most "rules for roleplaying"). But skills in 4e are pretty much just like non-weapon proficiencies in 2e once you dump Skill Challenges. It doesnt hurt the game or make it unplayable in any way, shape, or form not to use skill challenges. It makes it better.

Feats, well, a lot of them are samey, but a lot of them are not. It is very true there is a lot of feat bloat in 4e. But if you just stick with feats from a single PHB or Essentials book that your class appears in, it isnt overwhelming, and they give you suggestions for ones that can work well with your class. You could also houserule your own feats pretty easily; just communicate with your DM and work together (like its always been).

4e is just as easy to houserule as any other edition. I know this bc my zine is full of old-school houserules for 4e and I playtested it for a year (at Epic tier no less) with no issues. The idea that 4e cannot be easily houseruled is imo a product of two things:

1. The 4e rules are easy to understand. A lot of houserules in 1e came from the actual rules being sometimes contradictory a bit hard to fathom for some folks. Dont believe me? Check out this flowchart of BTB 1e combat. No wonder it was houseruled routinely:

www.mediafire.com/view/0i6e652sjvk0mcn/A...

Also check out "ADDICT"

www.dragonsfoot.org/php4/archive.php?sec...

2. Posters have repeated that 4e cannot be houseruled so many times, they have started to believe it.

If you want to see examples of how 4e can be houseruled, check out my free 4e zine in my sig. I add Morale, Henchmen and Hirelings, Spell Research, new monster types, and a bunch of other old-school stuff that people claim you cant do.

There are a lot of valid criticisms of 4e. Skill Challenges are maybe the worst idea of all time; I am truly sorry that Mike Mearls himself wrote so many god-awful articles defending them. But the claim that 4e isnt easily houseruled is bunk. If anyone is interested, I tried to clear up some 4e myths like this a while back on my blog:

frothsof4e.blogspot.com/2013/02/lets-cle...
The thing is, 4th edition's structure and aesthetic aren't terribly compatible with the rest of the D&D game. As DDN is trying, at least in its core form, to boil the game down to essentials, that means most of 4e's innovations are cut. I presume that you will eventually be able to see many of those features in optional DDN modules.

But if all you really like is 4e, you should just keep on playing 4e.
If not for 4e, I probably wouldn't be playing TTRPGs anymore.

I had played 3.5 for several years, trying numerous classes, different settings, different houserules, but it was - frankly - increasingly a chore to play, let alone DM.  I gave up DMing the game, first.  It was, simply, an insurmountably painful task when I got to building encounters.  I cut out playing casters next, to save myself the arduous task of sifting through piles of spells.  Eventually I just questioned why the hell I was playing this game.  I can do other things with my friends, and have way more fun.  None of them were terribly interested in sampling other TTRPGs to a great extent (we'd play Shadowrun from time to time, and a handful of other systems on a one-shot basis, but they'd inevitably fall apart).  When I gave up 3.5, that was pretty much it.

When 4e rolled around, I gave it a look.  I read about the design goals, I saw previews of things that were coming.  And I got excited again.  I got the core books and read them, then tried them.  And I had fun.  Lots of fun.  This was the D&D experience I had been trying to have all the way through 3.5, more fun than I'd had since my peak days in playing 2e.   
The thing is, 4th edition's structure and aesthetic aren't terribly compatible with the rest of the D&D game. As DDN is trying, at least in its core form, to boil the game down to essentials, that means most of 4e's innovations are cut. I presume that you will eventually be able to see many of those features in optional DDN modules. But if all you really like is 4e, you should just keep on playing 4e.



Well, part of what I love about 2e is that it is almost completely interchangable with 1e. In fact, my 2e campaign that is about to start is using more 1e material than 2e. But I do not think I would like a 3rd, 4th, and 5th edition that is practically the same. This is what Call of Cthulhu did up through 6th edition, and it made there be little reason to even buy them. I like that 4e put a new spin on the game. I found it easy to recognize where the mechanics originated, and appreciated the creativity that went into it, even if some didnt. So I like that some past editions are compatible, but I also like that they eventually tried some new tricks to keep it fresh. If 4e was just 2e with slight changes, there would be no real reason to purchase it; they would be repeating themselves again and it would be pointless to buy it.

That said, 5e plays nothing AT ALL like AD&D. The combat, classes, skill system, and on and on are completely and utterly different. I mean, feats? It is a lot closer to 4e than AD&D (I dont know if 3e used individual initiative only or if was optional). I personally wish 5e was more reflective of classic editions, but I will always be a little...whats the word...amused that some people seem to think 5e is really old-school, bc it doesnt play that way at all, in or out of combat. It is much, much closer to 4e than AD&D, and bears almost no resemblance whatsoever to OD&D. I mean put the White Box next to the 5e playtest and they look like they are from two different planets.
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