Ze game remains ze same?

"Ze game remains ze same!!!" - Noonan (pretty much daily)

Whereas the reaction to 3e was strongly positive, the reaction to 4e has been "mixed". In response, Noonan's quote was perfect. It displays confidence that WotC knows what they are doing and that those who are apprehensive about 4e needn't be.

In the Importance of Terrain article we have the first (unless I missed something) contradiction of Noonan's quote.

One of the reasons 3e could be clearly seen as a continuation of the D&D game was the ability for a DM to use the old modules in his 3e game. Some conversion work needed to be done of course, like stat blocks, but the adventure could be run pretty much as is. This gave 3e players a connection to the past as well as a chance to play some of the classic adventures.

From the article... "Oh, here's a bit of sound advice that'll keep you out of trouble. Be careful with pits and other steep inclines, and leave 100-foot (or endless) chasms for paragon- or epic-level play. Some of that increased maneuverability of the combatants in 4th Edition comes from attacks that can move foes against their will -- which is all fun and games until someone loses a character! "

So in 4e, we now have limitations on terrain. Modules that include deep pits and chasms can't be used. From my own game in the last 2 years, this would eliminate WotC's The Forge of Fury (3rd level adventure with a rope bridge over a 200ft crevasse) and Paizo's 1st Pathfinder Burnt Offerings (3rd level characters have to deal with a rope bridge spanning 80ft cliffs along the ocean). I'm sure these aren't the only modules with chasms or lava pits or other auto-kill locations for 4e.

If we can't use older modules with 4e, is the game really the same? Or because we have lost a shared histroy, is 4e an entirely different D&D game?
How did you arrive at "Modules that include deep pits and chasms can't be used" from "a bit of sound advice... Be careful with pits and other steep inclines"?

The Piazza A renaissance of the Old Worlds. Where any setting can be explored, any rules system discussed, and any combination of the two brought to life.

How did you arrive at "Modules that include deep pits and chasms can't be used" from "a bit of sound advice... Be careful with pits and other steep inclines"?

Because his post wouldn't make sense otherwise.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Because his post wouldn't make sense otherwise.

It doesn't make sense as written.
How did you arrive at "Modules that include deep pits and chasms can't be used" from "a bit of sound advice... Be careful with pits and other steep inclines"?

It comes from two pieces of the quote. "...attacks that can move foes against their will -- which is all fun and games until someone loses a character!" and "leave 100-foot (or endless) chasms for paragon- or epic-level play"

The implication is monsters and/or NPCs can move a PC into a chasm (or pit, lava, etc) and kill the PC, so such terrain should not be used at less than paragon level.
The implication is monsters and/or NPCs can move a PC into a chasm (or pit, lava, etc) and kill the PC, so such terrain should not be used at less than paragon level.

What is wrong with that concept?

Nothing like having a 3rd level character dieing from slipping on some loose pebbles and plunging to their death from that 80ft drop. Fun times there.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

But it only matters if the PCs are fighting right next to the edge. And if the monster can throw them.

I would think that there would be adventures that this effects, but no more than what would happen during a conversion to a different system.

I would think that if the adventure put them right next to a dangerous spot the monster would have already been trying to push the PCs into it (with bull rush).

In Burnt Offerings there was no planned fight at the bridge so it would not be a problem for conversion there that I can see.
The implication is monsters and/or NPCs can move a PC into a chasm (or pit, lava, etc) and kill the PC, so such terrain should not be used at less than paragon level.

They could do it in the 3/3.5E. And if you are a real DM (and not a module/adventure reading gadget) that's your responsibility to evaluate those threats and make a decision. If the monster can do something, it certainly doesn't mean that it should do it.
They could do it in the 3/3.5E. And if you are a real DM (and not a module/adventure reading gadget) that's your responsibility to evaluate those threats and make a decision. If the monster can do something, it certainly doesn't mean that it should do it.

True. In addition to the DM being cautious about forcing battles next to ledges, the newer mobile combat ideology will also affect the players and how they are going to battle tactically. They will put a high priority on keeping themselves from fighting within the danger zone of a nasty fall or, they will use this same tactic against their enemy (if they're feeling brave).

The newer rules will change the complexion of adventures with ledges, but they certainly won't invalidate them.

It comes from two pieces of the quote. "...attacks that can move foes against their will -- which is all fun and games until someone loses a character!" and "leave 100-foot (or endless) chasms for paragon- or epic-level play"

Melee is all fun and games until someone loses a character. So is a save or die effect. This is nothing new to the game. A 100-foot or endless chasm is just as dangerous at low levels in 3E. I like the idea of forced movement in combat (pending execution of the actual rules, of course).

The Piazza A renaissance of the Old Worlds. Where any setting can be explored, any rules system discussed, and any combination of the two brought to life.

They could do it in the 3/3.5E. And if you are a real DM (and not a module/adventure reading gadget) that's your responsibility to evaluate those threats and make a decision. If the monster can do something, it certainly doesn't mean that it should do it.

Exactly. I really don't see why combat in 3E has been described as 'static' by the developers. It's not static at all when the DM cleverly uses its monsters special abilities. I had giant crows drop PCs off of cliffs and minotaurs attempting to bull rush them into pits.

It works the other way around too. If combat in 4E is designed to be too spread out over large areas, have the monsters adapt to what the PCs do. If they stay put for most of the battle, don't have the monsters needlessly exploit that fact if you don't want characters to die.

If you want characters to move around, you have to stimulate them to do just that. If you want them to not move a muscle, then you'd have to adapt as well, whether it is 3E or 4E.
Ja, ze game remains ze same.

Any DM worth the title has been making combat work in every variety of terrain known to man and god (and any other thing that uses dirt!). There is no such thing as an "Autokill" if we remember that rule Rule Zero exists. If the character (in the DM's mind) shouldn't be falling from the top of a 100 foot cliff, then a good description of the character gripping the edge with his fingertips and being out of the fight for a couple rounds while getting back to the ledge will follow and all will be well. Bullrush could have shoved the unwary PC over the edge in the current edition, and any older edition would have allowed for the same thing.

I think the OP has taken a quote and jumped (overboard) to a conclusion. Let's see what the books say before taking wild leaps off cliffs, shall we?

Be well in all things,
Rave
Answers never come to those who refuse to face the fact that there are questions. -R. Ryder
In the Importance of Terrain article we have the first (unless I missed something) contradiction of Noonan's quote.

My overwhelming reaction to that article was: "And this is different... how, exactly?"

I've been running wide-ranging, expansive combats with lots of maneuvering through multiple rooms and across giant arenas since... well, since forever, really.

The problem I have is with the implication in that article that you should never run encounters in tight, claustrophobic environments. It's a lot like my complaint against the "Points of Light is the One True Way of Roleplaying!" mantra.

It's not that I have anything against points of light or wide-ranging combats involving lots of maneuvering. It's just that those shouldn't be the only way of doing things. Variety is the spice of life. Meaning is given through contrast. And so forth.

For example, in my last couple sessions we've had:

- An ambush in a very small room where a chaos beast burst out of a
pile of rubble. A long, wide hallway and several larger chambers were
trivially nearby -- but the party decided to keep the chaos beast
bottled up in the small room.

- Another combat in a small room where a zombie-like creature with a
nasty aura effect suddenly ended up in the middle of the party. The
zombie-like creature cut the wizard off from the exit, the melee
fighters engaged it, and the rest of the party pulled back to a larger
room some distance away to escape the aura effect.

- An encounter with a goblin outpost in a cavern complex. The goblins
had cover and higher terrain in the form of tightly packed stalagmites
and stalactites. The combat became a question of ducking in and around
these outcroppings.

- A huge melee in a large cave serving as the goblin throneroom. A
couple dozen goblins were involved. At the start of combat, this
terrain was fairly mundane -- but then one of the goblin spellcasters
dropped a web spell and things got messy.

- Several smaller melees in small, tiny caves with a variety of slime-
infested goblins and slime creatures.

- A really interesting combat in a large, fungus-filled chamber that
the PCs had to climb down into. Unfortunately, they disturbed several
earth elementals on the cavern floor before the entire party had
climbed down. One of the earth elementals used its meld ability to
move up to the outlook where half the party was still stationed and
knocked the wizard off the edge (30-foot fall). Then the cleric, not
wanting to be pounded into a thin, bloody paste, leapt of his own free
will off the outlook to escape. Good times.

- The PCs getting led into an ambush by a goblin duskblade. He lured
them in a decent-sized cavern with smaller passages leading off both
sides. Then slime creatures dropped from the ceiling. The natural
choke-points of the passages became points of serious contention.

I don't think that changing every single one of these to a huge, highly-maneuverable arena would have been nearly as effective or as fun.

One of the reasons 3e could be clearly seen as a continuation of the D&D game was the ability for a DM to use the old modules in his 3e game. Some conversion work needed to be done of course, like stat blocks, but the adventure could be run pretty much as is. This gave 3e players a connection to the past as well as a chance to play some of the classic adventures.

I think, overall, the promise that 4th Edition will feature the ability to have lots of opponents will be more conducive towards running un-altered 1st Edition and 2nd Edition adventures.

From the article... "Oh, here's a bit of sound advice that'll keep you out of trouble. Be careful with pits and other steep inclines, and leave 100-foot (or endless) chasms for paragon- or epic-level play. Some of that increased maneuverability of the combatants in 4th Edition comes from attacks that can move foes against their will -- which is all fun and games until someone loses a character! "

I think the only thing that can be taken away from that is that falling damage has been radically altered in the new edition... assuming that it's an accurate statement at all. (Which it probably isn't.)

So in 4e, we now have limitations on terrain. Modules that include deep pits and chasms can't be used. From my own game in the last 2 years, this would eliminate WotC's The Forge of Fury (3rd level adventure with a rope bridge over a 200ft crevasse)

For example, using the "it's too lethal" standard Noonan is using for 4th Edition, Forge of Fury isn't playable in 3rd Edition, either. That's a potential 20d6 fall for 3rd to 5th level characters. Most of them aren't surviving that.

And even if there were some huge paradigm shift taking place here, changing the depth of a particular chasm is such an insignificant change that describing it as being "unable to run the adventure" is a fairly ridiculous claim.

Justin Alexander
http://www.thealexandrian.net
They could do it in the 3/3.5E. And if you are a real DM (and not a module/adventure reading gadget) that's your responsibility to evaluate those threats and make a decision. If the monster can do something, it certainly doesn't mean that it should do it.

well don't u know they're going away from that. Soon the adventure will just come with a "find the path" recording. "if you decide to attack the troll head on with your swords proceed to conclusion A" "If you decide to shoot the troll with the flaming ballista proced to conclusion B"
well don't u know they're going away from that. Soon the adventure will just come with a "find the path" recording. "if you decide to attack the troll head on with your swords proceed to conclusion A" "If you decide to shoot the troll with the flaming ballista proced to conclusion B"

Hate to break it to you but this was already attempted in AD&D with CDs. It didn't go over very well.

The Piazza A renaissance of the Old Worlds. Where any setting can be explored, any rules system discussed, and any combination of the two brought to life.

Whereas the reaction to 3e was strongly positive, the reaction to 4e has been "mixed".

The 3E reaction was just as mixed around here. If anything, the negative side was even more vocal back then, what with less stringent moderation and access via newsreaders. After 3E came out, much of that negative voice receded into the OOP games section or left the boards entirely; and the game still did well despite some folks' assertions that they were in the majority and the game would fail lacking their support.

Here's hoping that history repeats itself.
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
Actually reading the article made me think of Knockback in the Hero System. While that is very good for a superheroic game I don't see it as being good in fantasy game (and indeed Hero suggests not using it for Fantasy games).

For those not familiar with the Hero System most attacks have the ability to knock back the target. Generally you add up the body of an attack, roll 2d6 and subtract it from the body. Then apply any defense to knockback and if anything remains the targets is knocked that many hexes in the opposite direction. They take more damage from this knockback as well.

Anyway that's what it made me think about.

There are lots of old adventures with deep pits and chasms
I think the increased ability to push people around makes up for the fact that steep cliffs are more dangerous. As everyone else said, you already could push people off cliffs in 3e. Now there are just more ways to do it.

I don't see what the implied better alternative would be. They could decrease falling damage so that you never get killed from a fall, or they could make a rule that lets you always automatically grab the edge if you get pushed over a dangerous drop, but I'm sure many more people would complain about that.

I usually ran Eberron games, so I would let people use an Action Point to "grab the ledge at the last second" if they would otherwise die from a fall. Action Points are going to be core in 4e, so I think they'll be a great way to avoid sudden death from something like this for groups who want a bit of a safety net.
I think the increased ability to push people around makes up for the fact that steep cliffs are more dangerous. As everyone else said, you already could push people off cliffs in 3e. Now there are just more ways to do it.

I don't see what the implied better alternative would be. They could decrease falling damage so that you never get killed from a fall, or they could make a rule that lets you always automatically grab the edge if you get pushed over a dangerous drop, but I'm sure many more people would complain about that.

I usually ran Eberron games, so I would let people use an Action Point to "grab the ledge at the last second" if they would otherwise die from a fall. Action Points are going to be core in 4e, so I think they'll be a great way to avoid sudden death from something like this for groups who want a bit of a safety net.

Based on the article I would say it is probably easier to knock someone around the battlefield in 4E than it was in 3E. That's just how I read his article which I admit is a bit ambiguous at best.
Based on the article I would say it is probably easier to knock someone around the battlefield in 4E than it was in 3E. That's just how I read his article which I admit is a bit ambiguous at best.

Yes, that's what I meant when I said "you already could in 3e, now there are just more ways to do it".

I guess the alternative I didn't mention is to retract those changes, and make it really hard to push people around. I personally want the change though. I didn't like how difficult it was in 3e, because I always envision epic battles as being very kinetic, with giant trolls hurling people across the room, warhammers sending someone hurtling into the wall, and fireballs tossing everyone in the blast radius into the air. Maybe I watch too many action movies.

In 3e you needed specific feats to do things like that (Awesome Blow, Explosive Spell, etc.) I think it should be more of a standard thing. It seemed odd to me that if a gigantic 80 foot monster slapped me with a club, I would just remain where I was standing unless he had a special feat.
Heh, I just see the change as possibly a godsend. Maybe we'll see the end of characters taking swan dives off 100-foot cliffs, and getting up and dusting themselves off afterward. The pit trap will once again become a terror, instead of an annoyance. If they are making falling damage more lethal than the joke of 1d6/10 feet, I'll be vastly happy.

If you think I'm joking, I've had several cases where characters have fallen off of 30 ft., 50 ft., even 100 ft. cliffs and survived the fall. Even had a cleric who fell twice off a 50 ft. cliff - climb, fall, get up, dust himself off and climb again, fall again. I mean, an average 6th level barbarian can take a header off a 100 ft. cliff, and on average, expect to survive (without raging - average 35 damage vs. average 39 hp).
I agree but for a different reason:

A very large majority of the older adventures are set in areas way too small for a 4E battle according to that article. 3E adventures in particular have an abundance of 5' wide corridors. 1st and 2nd ed are better as they typically have 10' wide corridors, but even they rarely have 40' x 50' chambers except when fighting giants.
So yeah, most all of those adventures are going to be nearly impossible to convert.

Of course, that combined with "telling the stories" of certain monsters seems a bit contradictory. How exactly will small sized ambushers like goblins survive in those large open spaces?
I agree but for a different reason:

A very large majority of the older adventures are set in areas way too small for a 4E battle according to that article. 3E adventures in particular have an abundance of 5' wide corridors. 1st and 2nd ed are better as they typically have 10' wide corridors, but even they rarely have 40' x 50' chambers except when fighting giants.
So yeah, most all of those adventures are going to be nearly impossible to convert.

Of course, that combined with "telling the stories" of certain monsters seems a bit contradictory. How exactly will small sized ambushers like goblins survive in those large open spaces?

Oh I don't know using numbers which they can't use in a small room, or by setting up an ambush, you know hiding behind objects in the room.
Five foot hallways are much more realistic I believe given the level of architectural expertise they'd possess. Sides especially in a defensive fortification why would you make it wider so the enemy can possibly flank you.

The smaller critters are possibly either getting buffed. I suspect we are not intended to use large numbers of small CR creatures in place of a more powerful single monster in 4E.

As for pits I remember a time when it was 1d6 for 10', 3d6 for 20', 6d6 for 30', 10d6 for 40' and so on. Perhaps it was just a DM we had that did it that way.
Oh I don't know using numbers which they can't use in a small room, or by setting up an ambush, you know hiding behind objects in the room.

Numbers like that are more effective in a restricted space as it makes the soft squishies harder to target with area effects. Also, a pack of cowardly, stealthy critters would not want to swarm a party in an open area. That is going against their flavor.

Hiding behind objects is nice in theory, poor in function in a game where obstacles are so easy to bypass. It will be even harder given the emphasis on maneuver as stated for the current rules.

Tactically, you want your sneaky goblins going for swarming dogpiles on isolated PCs, or sniping from hard cover where they are all but immune to return fire and cleaving. From the terrain article, that will be distinctly less easy, as the game is supposed to be about wide open maneuvering. You can still do it, but not without contradicting at least one of the key features that is being highlighted.
I think the increased ability to push people around makes up for the fact that steep cliffs are more dangerous. As everyone else said, you already could push people off cliffs in 3e. Now there are just more ways to do it.

I don't see what the implied better alternative would be. They could decrease falling damage so that you never get killed from a fall, or they could make a rule that lets you always automatically grab the edge if you get pushed over a dangerous drop, but I'm sure many more people would complain about that.

I usually ran Eberron games, so I would let people use an Action Point to "grab the ledge at the last second" if they would otherwise die from a fall. Action Points are going to be core in 4e, so I think they'll be a great way to avoid sudden death from something like this for groups who want a bit of a safety net.

Well, it is a bit DM's discretion to let players die. The argument that they should not die from falling has been sufficiently shot down as the rules may state that they will die, as a DM you can always give them a last straw to hold onto.

I always try to tell my players that adventuring is in fact dangerous, and character death is common. That does not mean characters drop like flies, players have been able to pull all the way through on a regular basis. I just mention that characters are in a tricky position if they balance on the edge of a cliff. If they remain there, I push them off. It's their own fault.

Rules making it easier for characters to move around should not only put them at risk more often than now, it will equally offer them a plethora of options to avoid a nasty drop into bottomless pits. In the end not much will change, if characters are not smart enough to get themselves out of a pinch, they take some massive damage, they did in 3E and they will still be in 4E.
In reading some of the blogs, I've noticed they want to have "encounters work together".... one blog gives an example... basically three different groups have separate encounter numbers. The total distance between the two farthest groups was like 50 feet, with one group around a short 5' dog-leg.

Now, I understand that these different groups get separate entries, but come on who would treat these as totally linearly separate encounters? the noise of combat would easily carry 50 feet? What they are continuously getting nat 1's on their listen checks (or they are just stone deaf?)

How many GM's really need RULES on handling this? Heck, the module Sunless Citadel gave clear instructions of what the different kobold and goblin groups would do depending on how the situation went.

This AIN'T rocket surgery folks!

Sheesh.

I'm still praying they keep the 3.5 skill system instead of that disaster that resides in the SW RPG:SE
As for pits I remember a time when it was 1d6 for 10', 3d6 for 20', 6d6 for 30', 10d6 for 40' and so on. Perhaps it was just a DM we had that did it that way.

This was the first edition falling damage rule. It was pretty effective in simulating falling damage, and we rarely put ourselves in positions to get tossed off ledges back then!

Be well in all things!
Rave
Answers never come to those who refuse to face the fact that there are questions. -R. Ryder
This was the first edition falling damage rule. It was pretty effective in simulating falling damage, and we rarely put ourselves in positions to get tossed off ledges back then!

Be well in all things!
Rave

Which 1st edition is this? AD&D 1E was 1d6/10 feet (see PHB 105). 2E was the same way, and I'm pretty sure BECM handled it the same.
The 3E reaction was just as mixed around here. If anything, the negative side was even more vocal back then, what with less stringent moderation and access via newsreaders.

Ah, you beat me to it. I'm really shocked that anybdy thinks that 3E was "well-received".
There's a simple way to deal with the "pits in 4e = instant PC death!" concept that some people are claiming. Just don't put character-moving monsters in the same encounter as the bridge/chasm/pit/whatever, and you won't have to worry about it. The Forge of Fury was brought up earlier as something that would be "impossible to convert," but IIRC that encounter didn't have any monsters that would be able to move PCs in 4e (they were archers, I believe). The problem just plain won't come up in a lot of these updates.

And if you do want to have your players get knocked off the edge of a cliff, you can put in bull rushers or telekinetics.
Rhymes with Bruce
I'm still praying they keep the 3.5 skill system instead of that disaster that resides in the SW RPG:SE

God, I do hope they get rid of skill points! Saga has a lot of problems, even with it's skill system, but I'd rather see things going the way of SECR than having a D&D "3.7":P.
Are you threatening me master jedi? Dungeons & Dragons 4e Classic - The Dark Edition
The implication is monsters and/or NPCs can move a PC into a chasm (or pit, lava, etc) and kill the PC, so such terrain should not be used at less than paragon level.

I don't thin it implies anything nearly that specific. I think its a general piece of advice, no different than someone telling you "Be careful throwing encounters with an EL more than one or two above the party's level at them" if they were talking about creating third edition encounters. It neither means you can't nor does it mean you shouldn't, it means "be careful doing it" nothing more. Further, 3.0/3.5 there were ways of moving characters into possibly deadly terrain too (i.e. Bull rushing someone into a pit), and I am sure that I am not the only DM who winged and/or houseruled such situations in earlier editions. It's just more common now, it sounds to me.

I would go so far as to say "Be careful what sort of terrain you use in encounters" is good advice for ANY roleplaying game.
...I'd rather see things going the way of SECR than having a D&D "3.7":P.

what the heck is SECR?
God, I do hope they get rid of skill points!

I really couldn't disagree more.

The existing skill point system is the best of both worlds:

(1) If you want to quickly generate characters, select a number of class skills equal to # + Int modifier and give them skill ranks equal to 3 + your level. (With # being defined by your class.)

(2) If you want to customize your character, however, you have complete flexibility to do that.

The only thing I'd tweak is the rules for handling increases in Intelligence so that it retroactively grants you skill points (the same way that Con increases retroactively grant you hit points). You can argue one way or the other about the "realism" of this (I don't have a problem with it) -- but it would remove the only hiccup from scenario #1.

The SW Saga system, on the other hand, goes for a variety of scenario #1 to make character creation simple for those who want the simplicity... but without any option for those who want a broader range of customization. This makes it objectively inferior to the current system.

Any problems created by disparities between skilled and non-skilled characters can be simply addressed by:

(1) Rewriting the skill rules to remove a handful of truly problematic skill uses. (Diplomacy and Tumble, I'm looking at you.) These are areas that need to be addressed any way.

(2) Not worrying about it. If the wizard can cast improved invisibility, why are you fretting about the fact that the uber-specialized Hider finds it trivial to sneak past the unskilled Spotter? If the spellcasters can whip off a dominate person, why is the fact that the relatively naive guy who has never spent a rank in Sense Motive consistently getting the wool pulled over his eyes by the legendary Bluff specialist?

Justin Alexander
http://www.thealexandrian.net
what the heck is SECR?

Saga Edition Core Rulebook, the latest edition of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game

I really couldn't disagree more.

Well, you're really entitled to your own opinion, of course . However, let me make some comments about your post ;).

(1) If you want to quickly generate characters, select a number of class skills equal to # + Int modifier and give them skill ranks equal to 3 + your level. (With # being defined by your class.)

It's not that easy. If you want to truly be accurate, you need to take into account in what levels you take each class you have. For a single classed character I agree things are simple, but if you happen to have two or three classes, you now need to take into account that in some levels, you have to pay more points to get a skill that is only one of those classes...

Later, if so you want, I may post some examples of what can occur if you don't take into account the skills points at each different level.

The SW Saga system, on the other hand, goes for a variety of scenario #1 to make character creation simple for those who want the simplicity... but without any option for those who want a broader range of customization. This makes it objectively inferior to the current system.

No, that point is the common point where people are mistaken when they first hear about the skills in SE. You see, you no longer customize skills using skill points, but feats and talents .

Take into account Pilot, for example. Here you would have the various degrees of specialization of that skill:

1-Someone who doesn't have much experience would simply be untrained in the skill.
2-Someone with a better understanding of piloting should be trained in the skill.
3-An even better pilot would take Skill Focus (pilot).
4-A superior pilot should take also the Vehicular Combat feat. He would have other options than the pilot above.
5-An ace should also take the Vehicular Evasion talent.

And so on. Any time you have an extra talent or feat that adds to your piloting ability, you're getting more "specialized" in that skill.

I agree that skill points let you customize things in a more precise way, however, it's faster and funnier to customize things in Saga Edition .

I'm not suggesting that 4th edition use the same mechanic as SECR, but something along the lines would be great. Something that I truly hope for are the consolidation of skills, for example:

move silently+hide = stealth
listen+spot+search = perception

That is, of course, an opinion and a wish . Feel free to disagree.

Just let me add, some of the concerns about D&D 4 are just the same as the concerns we had with SECR. Eventually, we got to play the game and most of us liked what we played . It was scary back then, but I really wouldn't go back to playing the old system. I even lost some interest in playing D&D, for what I think are "backwards" rules...

I hope I can go back to D&D after 4th :D.

Cya around folks!
Are you threatening me master jedi? Dungeons & Dragons 4e Classic - The Dark Edition
Which 1st edition is this? AD&D 1E was 1d6/10 feet (see PHB 105). 2E was the same way, and I'm pretty sure BECM handled it the same.

I beleive that particular calculation was introduced in TSR 2019, Dungeoneer's Survival Guide. It aimed for a more realistic falling damage, yet mostly just made pc's cringe away from cliffs with tears in their eyes. . . :D
It's not that easy. If you want to truly be accurate, you need to take into account in what levels you take each class you have. For a single classed character I agree things are simple, but if you happen to have two or three classes, you now need to take into account that in some levels, you have to pay more points to get a skill that is only one of those classes...

Actually, this is not a meaningful complication. If the quick-gen single-class system is:

Select a number of class skills equal to # + Int modifier and give them skill ranks equal to 3 + your level. (With # being defined by your class.)

Then the multi-class system is:

For each class, select a number of class skills equal to # + Int modifier and give them skill ranks equal to their class level. Add +3 skill ranks to class skills selected for whatever class was taken at 1st level.

When you select the same skills for different classes, the total ranks add together.

Obviously this doesn't give you the detail of cross-class skills or partial specialization (where you don't max out the ranks for a particular skill) -- but if you want that kind of detailed customization for your character, the skill points are sitting right there for you to use.

No, that point is the common point where people are mistaken when they first hear about the skills in SE. You see, you no longer customize skills using skill points, but feats and talents .

True. But you can also use feats and class features to customize skills in 3rd Edition. So what you're describing isn't really a paradigm shift -- it's the vestigial remnants of customization being forced to bear all of the customimzation duties because the system has been needlessly dumbed down.

I'm not suggesting that 4th edition use the same mechanic as SECR, but something along the lines would be great. Something that I truly hope for are the consolidation of skills, for example:

move silently+hide = stealth
listen+spot+search = perception

I like the idea of conflating the stealthy skills into Stealth and the passive observation skills into Perception. I think also conflating the active searching skill into Perception is overkill, however.

I think there are some other areas where conflation can happen on the skill list (Appraise getting conflated into a use of the Craft skill; Balance and Tumble being conflated into an Acrobatics skill; and so forth).

But I think conflation can also be taken too are: Search and/or Sense Motive into Perception is an example of that. Conflating Climb, Jump, and Swim into an Athletics skill is another. (It's an over-simplification for humans and it completely breaks down once you start dealing with non-human creatures with a Climb skill, for exampe. I think you should actually add a Fly skill to the game, so that all the movement types have a skill associated with them for advanced usage: Acrobatics (for normal movement), Climb, Fly, and Swim.)

The distinction between what should be conflated and what shouldn't be conflated, again, lies in simplifying the skill list while still maintaining useful distinctions.

For example, I think there is a useful distinction between a barbarian who can spot an eagle on the horizon and a courtier who can spot the slightest flicker of emotion flitting across a face.

OTOH, I don't think there's a useful distinction between Hide and Move Silently: Maybe there's a character out there where such a distinction would be meaningful, but I think you'd have to really go looking to find one.

And once you've eliminated that distinction, then the distinction between Listen and Spot becomes fairly moot. There is still a distinction between being able to hear someone through a door (without being able to see them), but that's just a matter of what type of information the DM gives you following a successful Perception check (a decision point which exists even if you keep the Listen/Spot split).

It's not that I don't think there are improvements which can be made (far from it). But I don't think sacrificing utility without any actual benefit is a good idea. And that's what the removal of skill points amount to: At best you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. At worst, you're throwing the baby out and keeping the bathwater.

Justin Alexander
http://www.thealexandrian.net
NOTE: Alyri did not actually type this, but for clarification.

I am one of the people who thinks 4e can do no wrong and you shouldn't listen to what I have to say unless you like 4e too

[On Topic]Remains the same... no more vancian casting (although thats a good thing), monsters don't get feats, monsters are not playable, changing who rolls the dice for saves... yep, pretty much the same. Maybe he meant the game flavor remains the same, but the mechanics are very different.[/On Topic]

I am still probably going to buy the book that has psionics in it because if WotC finally puts psionics on par with magic I will be elated. I'll also still buy the MM with dragons in it despite how they brutally murdered the dragons artwork and took away its feats.
Well, as I said earlier JustinA, you do are entitled to your opinion . At least we concur improvements should be made . The difference is that I think the SECR way is an improvement while you don't. ;)

Obviously this doesn't give you the detail of cross-class skills or partial specialization (where you don't max out the ranks for a particular skill) -- but if you want that kind of detailed customization for your character, the skill points are sitting right there for you to use.

That's exactly my problem! If you want to customize properly, you'll have to break down your levels and count skill point per skill point, especially if you get an increase of INT between levels. The ammount of time you take to create a level 20 character in D&D is MUCH more than the time I take to create a character in SECR... And you don't lose customization with it, it is just customized in another way

True. But you can also use feats and class features to customize skills in 3rd Edition. So what you're describing isn't really a paradigm shift -- it's the vestigial remnants of customization being forced to bear all of the customimzation duties because the system has been needlessly dumbed down.

You can't use feats and class features to customize skills in 3rd edition like you use them to customize things in SECR . There are MANY more VARIED mechanics to customize your skills in SECR. You would have to play the game for a while to truly grasp it. Like in D&D, where most of the feats are unique in their design, there are many new feats and talents that complement and add depth to their new skill system.

It's not vestigial, those are new feats and talents created to provide character customization options tied to the new skill system. ;)

My point is, SECR is a faster game than D&D 3rd. A MUCH faster game, in the table and out of it. You can create characters, ellaborate encounters and resolve in-game situations faster. And it doesn't become any less "complex" than it's other D20 counterpart.

There a lot more choices to be made, and those are "fun" choices . The mechanics are rarely something like "add a static number to your sheet" but more like "you now have a new option to try in the game table". There are MANY new options that the previous Star Wars edition and D&D 3rd don't have.

What I hope is that the new 4th edition become something as fast and elegant as the SECR. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of problems in the new version of the Star Wars game but that's exactly the kind of problems I hope 4th edition can avoid. They already had their "beta-test" in SECR, they can improve on it . I really do hope they improve on that philosophy!

Believe me, many of the people criticizing the system here will probably change their minds once they play the new D&D .

At any event, let's hope for a better and faster skill system, be it SECR-like or 3rd edition-like ;).
Are you threatening me master jedi? Dungeons & Dragons 4e Classic - The Dark Edition
I beleive that particular calculation was introduced in TSR 2019, Dungeoneer's Survival Guide. It aimed for a more realistic falling damage, yet mostly just made pc's cringe away from cliffs with tears in their eyes. . . :D

Ah, thanks. Such a small paragraph, and so subtle until it gets to "A 30-foot fall, for example, inflicts a total of 6d6 points of damage to a character." I almost missed it.

I do hope they make falls more deadly in 4E than they were in 3E.
Well, as I said earlier JustinA, you do are entitled to your opinion . At least we concur improvements should be made . The difference is that I think the SECR way is an improvement while you don't. ;)

You're right. You think stripping features out of a game is an improvement. I don't.

That's exactly my problem! If you want to customize properly, you'll have to break down your levels and count skill point per skill point, especially if you get an increase of INT between levels. The ammount of time you take to create a level 20 character in D&D is MUCH more than the time I take to create a character in SECR... And you don't lose customization with it, it is just customized in another way

At this point, you're just blatantly lying. And I don't know how to respond to blatant lies except to call you on them and see if you're mature enough to apologize and move back towards a constructive conversation based in actual facts.

Justin Alexander
http://www.thealexandrian.net
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