Why I don

870 posts / 0 new
Last post
I know what you are thinking. It’s another large, green, regenerating creature that needs fire or acid to finish off. However I’ll try and address my points in a reasonably constructive way. Also to cut a long story short I don’t hate 4th ed either. If nothing else even if you don’t agree with me maybe I can entertain you or at least not offend you with my post. A few points about mysef. I’m 30 years old, and have been playing D&D since 1994 or about half my life as I was 15 when I started to play. I started on basic D&D with the rules cyclopedia and upgraded to 2nd ed in 95 and have played 1st ed as well. In general I have always been excited to upgrade to another edition with 4th ed being the exception and I bought the 4th ed core rules on the 1st day they were released here. Basically I’m not opposed to change and enthusiastically embrace a new game if given the chance.

I’ve never really been a grognard with an older edition of anything except for Star Wars D6 as we switched to the original d20 Star Wars book in 2000 and were so horrified we rushed back to D6 and have never left although to be fair Saga edition Star Wars looks quite good. I also played D&D minis and have been playing Magic the Gathering since 1998 so I’m not exactly opposed to WoTC as a gaming company and have generally enjoyed their product.

When 4th ed was announced I was reasonably neutral and avoided most of the spoiler articles on the WoTC website with the exception of the Elf example they posted. It was announced maybe a year or two earlier than I expected as 3.5 was only 5 years old but the writing was probably on the wall as the 3.5 source books had been declining in quality. It would have been nice to see a Feat Compendium or a Players Handbook 3 but the 3.5 gas tank was running on empty towards the end.

First of all snce I’m not in love with 4th ed why don’t I sod off and go to another message board? I’m a member of the Paizo boards and a few other boards. For the most part I enjoy the WoTC boards and I’ve been lurking here for 8 years and have been a member since April 2001. Some of the comments made about 3.5 and 4th ed have been plain old moronic. 4th ed doesn’t encourage role playing or today I found a good anti 3.5 moronic statement. It was along the lines all the 3.5 sourcebooks sucked. For the role playing argument it’s a group thing and isn’t limited by edition or even game system and al editions of D&D have had a heavy focus on combat. 4th ed may be a bit more than 3.5 but you could easily invent “Toast the RPG” and pretended you were heated pieces of bread if you wanted and had an enthusiastic DM or GM. For the 3.5 sourcebooks sucking much like any edition and 4th ed some were great, others were awful. Also a lot of 4th ed owes tribute to a lot of things that appeared in various 3.5 splat books including the Warlord (Marshall in 3.5) and Warlock

Anyway I don’t think 4th ed is all that although there are some sheer brilliance. If it was so awesome or perfect I don’t think you would have the quantity or errata for it already or the quantity of “4th ed sucks” type posts this long after release. The 3rd ed sucks and 3.5 sucks posts didn’t linger this long and calmed down for the most part after a few weeks. I’ll try and identify why “nerdrage” on the boards has lasted so long. A big problem I think is that a large amount of posters have firmly entrenched themselves into the 3.5/4th ed sucks castles and have adopted a siege mentality. How dare people criticize the perfection that is 4th ed or how dare WoTC gut D&D like this.

Going back a few months I was kinda excited about on the Friday at work as I knew my local FLGS had my copy of the core rules behind the counter waiting for me. I was looking forward to going home and reading the players handbook. It wasn’t the easiest read in the world and I struggled with it and had to reread certain sections. While reading the classes for example I had no idea what 2W+ XYZ effect was and I missed the bit at the start of the book where PCs get 100gp starting cash. I house ruled my PCs could start with 100gp each and was pleasantly surprised about the accuracy of my guess once I found the right paragraph a few days later. To this day I only have a vague idea of what some of the higher level powers are for most of the classes. I just can’t focus on them. To be fair I didn’t exactly read the 3.5 spell lists that closely either but they at least had a list of the spells at the start of the magic chapter with a short description of the spell. Also the spells weren’t that different from 2nd ed and I looked up most of the changed ones from 3.0. Spell lists were also more or less optional to read if you weren’t playing a spell caster sand I prefer to read 2-3 pages about a class than 15. Overall I found the PHB harder to read in 4th ed than all previous editions. Not overly impressed right off the bat.

I skimmed through the monster manual and read a few things in the back and I have since read it more or less cover to cover. To me it was just another MM which aren’t the most exciting things in the world to read. It wasn’t any worse or better than the 3.5 monster manual and it was better than some of the other MM I can think of such as the MM2, MM4 and some of the 2nd ed atrocities.

The 4th ed Dungeon Masters guide impressed me a lot and I would go out on a limb and say it’s the best DMG I have ever read. I enjoyed reading it and I payed attention to the rules on treasure parcels and designing encounters. It got me quite enthusiastic about running a 4th ed game. My first 4th ed adventure only took 2 hours to design and that included the 50 odd minutes to draw the map. I found 4th ed a lot quicker to design than 3.5 from the DM’s point of view. Overall for an RPG book I would give the DMG a 4/5 and as a DMG would give it a 5/5.

The 1st session we payed was really good and we all had a lot of fun including the DM. My PCs were joking about the amount of damage they were taking and making comments like “Screw this next time I’m playing a goblin” as they were smacked around by mostly goblins and were getting swarmed by large numbers of them- love those minions rules. The PCs included a Dragonborn and a Wizard so minions go bye bye without to much hassle.

Over the next couple of months we played several more times and the PCs were level 4 and we were starting to get bored. Combat was still fast and everything but it was degenerating into encounter power, encounter power, maybe daily, spam away with at wills until foe is dead. My PCs took on a solo white Dragon which while tough just took to damn long to die. 4-5 rounds of at wills gets boring very fast when you only have 2 of them to start with.

The game also felt very forced and linear. Our characters are a Controller, Defender, Leader, or Striker. With a Fighter you have to use a melee weapon or suck. Also 4th ed’s design goals of balance didn’t seem to stack up as some races just seemed better than others (Dragonborn and Elf come to mind maybe Eladrin). While not only forcing you into the roles I suspect the game also forces you into role and race combination in order to be “optimal”. I suspect you will see a lot of Dragonborn Fighters and Paladins, Elf Clerics, Eladrin Swordmages, and Genasi Swordmages and Warlords in 4th eds games while humans kinda suck except maybe as wizards and warlords as some demihuman race will be plain out better than they are. 3.5 probably had crap elves, while 4th ed seems to continue the Elven fanboy overpowered fetish D&D has been since 1st ed or basic.

4th ed is also broken I feel just like 3.5 just in different ways. So long as you can continue to heal faster than the monsters can damage you things should be alright. I suspect the perfect 5 member party should probably include a melee warlord, ranged cleric and then a controller/defender/striker/. A lot of the powers felt very similar and were virtually identical mechanically except they required a different stat for a different class. An example would be the Clerics healing word ability which is identical on the Warlord and Artificer classes and it just has a different name.

4th ed also felt like it had a lot more emphasis on combat than in previous editions. While it doesn’t discourage rolepaying as such there isn’t that much to do outside combat mechanically. There’s less non combat skills and especially spells or in 4th ed rituals. It also didn’t really feel like previous editions of D&D due to the lack of vancian spellcasting and most of the classes don’t resemble their 3.5 or even 2nd ed counterparts in anything but name. To me 4th ed doesn’t resemble D&D as I’ve known it in any way, shape or form. A few of the names are the same but wizards are now basically magic missile spambots, rogues suck at finding traps being out classed by clerics, rangers are no longer nature based warriors, you don’t really multi class anymore and will probably suck if you do due to lack of hands to hold all the implements or weapons you will need. No more great wheel makes me a sad panda

. Yes I liked Druids in 3.5 but I also liked them in all previous editions of the game an they were my favorite class while my girlfriend liked bards. The Druid was an overpowered pile in 3.5 and I usually ran variants from Unearthed Arcana but I feel the Bard and Druid should have been core at the expense of Warlock which is more of a splatbook class and Eladrin probably should have been in a splat as well and the gnome should have been in the PHB. Tradition is important in D&D. If they want to add more core classes and races go right ahead, just don’t cut any which will upset people. Not missing Barbarian, Monk, Sorcerer as much as they’ve never been in the core rules before 3rd ed except for Monk in 1st ed.

Comparing 3.5 and 4th ed to me in magic terms is like comparing Ravnica and Lorwyn block. For those not knowing much about magic essentially Ravnica gave you lots of options while Lorwyn being a tribal format like Onslaught more or less forces you to play certain tribes or colour combinations or have a suck deck. You have to play Goblins or Faeries or Elves to have a competitive game or an anti Goblin/Elf/Faerie deck. 4th ed seems a lot more linear than 3.5 or even 2nd ed.

There is however a lot to recommend on 4th ed. I really liked the minion rules, combat flows well, if it’s a little repetitive, I liked the ritual rules as well just not as a replacement for proper spells, and I’m sure at wills could have been added to the old Vancian system as Pathfinder has done. I like Dragonborn I like the Warlord (not so much the Warlock), I liked the way defences increase with level, but still prefer the 3.5 saving throw. The Vancian system had a few flaws but it basically defined magic through all D&D editions prior to 4th ed. I would have liked to see it tweaked with the nutty retarded spells removed form game or turned into something playable. Timestop wasn’t broken in 2nd ed, and some of the polymoph spells weren’t broken either such as form of wolf. There was a lot in 3.5 that need taken out and shot. I wanted an evolution in the D&D rules not a revolution as I feel they threw the baby out with the bathwater and went to far. It wasn’t to hard to figure out what was broken in 3.5 and how to fix them.

Save or dies/save or suck (make saving throws better)
Feats or Abiliites that reduce the metamagic cost or make it free (Incantrix, Sudden XYZ feats)
Unrestricted polymorph.
Shapechange granting supernatural abilities
Various buff spells
Various overpowered/broken spells.

Not claiming 3.5 was perfect, as it had its flaws but so does 4th ed. To be honest I’m not sure what system I will end up playing but I suspect it will be either a hybrid Pathfinder/3.5 mish mash with various house rules or we will switch over to 4th ed once the splat books make it interesting enough to start up another game. I suspect it will also what typoe of game we want to play. If its Darksun or a naval based game it will be 3.5/Pathfinder hybrid with 4th ed and 2nd ed influences.. If it’s a level 11-20+ game or a basic dungeon hack 4th ed may be better.

Essentially I like both editions and probably like 3.5 slightly better warts and all. 4th ed is better balanced at the expense of making it slightly bland and repetitive and I suspect it won’t be much fun to play either at higher level. The best 3.5 splatbooks dump on the 4th ed books so far but the 4th ed books are better than most of the final 3.5 releases. For the moment we have returned back to Pathfinder, but once our missing player returns from his month long holiday in Europe we may be playing 4th ed again.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

This is a problem with the direction 4e is going. You need to buy splats to make the game interesting.

To be fair 3.5 had this problem as well, just to a lesser extent IMHO. PHB2 and Complete Warrior helped Fighters alot for example and were some of the better 3.5 splats as well-loved the PHB2.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I agree. I've been playing D&D since 2nd edition and been playing for almost 15 years, that's mostly being a DM. It doesn't feel like D&D and over time, it's static. All editions have flaws, but I feel 4th still has work to be done. For now, I'm doing hybrids of 3.5 and 4th till 4th stabilizes. I love some of the mechanics of 4th, but the game of 3.5 is what I feel D&D is. BTW, the DMG for 4th is the best book, hands down. Worth all $40 I spent on it :D
I agree. I've been playing D&D since 2nd edition and been playing for almost 15 years, that's mostly being a DM. It doesn't feel like D&D and over time, it's static. All editions have flaws, but I feel 4th still has work to be done. For now, I'm doing hybrids of 3.5 and 4th till 4th stabilizes. I love some of the mechanics of 4th, but the game of 3.5 is what I feel D&D is. BTW, the DMG for 4th is the best book, hands down. Worth all $40 I spent on it :D

Yeah ifthe PHb was as good as the 4th ed DMG I think alot of the 4th ed sucks type threads would die.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I think it really depends on the person, like myself the formatting of the PHB I found was easier reading then the DMG (not saying DMG is bad, best yet, just saying) and found it was much easier to understand the rules using the PHB then earlier ones.

While the MM is the easiest to read and use MM yet for me. I get everything I need in nice and tidy little boxes and can easily develop encounters and know how the monsters act basically by their roles, it is quite convinent (also the new way to determine encounter difficulty helps a lot too).

As for needing splats, *shrugs shoulders* again depends on the person. I have got a lot of worth out of my corebooks, especially when it comes to the variety of campaign settings/types of gameplay.
My 4th edition books now lie forlorn on my shelf of games.

When I first heard about 4E through the Gencon videos, my feelings were mixed. I wasn't ready to let go of 3E, but things like the character envisioneer and the promise that electronic versions of the books would be available post haste kept me interested. Still, books like Tome of Battle, the MM4 (and while better, MM5) and the second rounds of Completes had left a bad taste in my mouth and the acknowledgement that this was the way the game was heading made me uncomfortable.

I ended up preordering a copy of 4th, devouring it while in the midst of running Keep on the Shadowfell (which has my vote for worst D&D adventure short of the RPGA Turkey Drive adventure I was roped into back in the early 90's). The writing and layout of the PHB felt horrible - an echo I've heard elsewhere. The DMG felt empty for an old veteran for me; while something like p 42 would have been a nice feature back in earlier versions of the game, the DMG feels somewhat hollow with the absence of magic items. The MM was unusual - the brevity of information on monsters was both good and bad; while the skeletal approach of presenting stats & encounter groups allowed a great variety of monsters to be presented in a small amount of space, the missing ecologies and fanciful filling-out of the monster's place in the world is a bit hard for me to ignore.

I picked up the FRCS campaign book and was somewhat rankled to see a whole adventure filling up the front of the book before the travelogue-like entries of the Realms. While there was some interesting changes, what they've done to the poor Realms, makes me shake my head. It's like 5th age Dragonlance all over again...

Glancing through Adventurer's Vault, a lot of the stuff within its pages seemed like stuff that should have been in the PHB/MM (mounts), though with the already stuffed PHB, it's easy to see why it was put in a separate book. Still, Adventurer's Vault, to me, proves one thing. The D&D power system takes up too much space and are overall, too narrow in scope. I've seen other systems that have a wider breadth of options distilled down to far fewer pages. However, I'm fairly sure that things like powers will be an important part of D&D's future. The compact, almost collectible nature of powers and the resulting power cards will probably become part of the WotC D&D economy in the future; just like minis, I'd expect one day to see pre-printed power/item cards be sold either through WotC or 3rd parties as standard fare. Possibly even see the use of these cards incorporated into minis play.

I don't think its so much that D&D is a bad game, it's just not what I want to play. Its taken off in a direction I'm not eager to follow. And while I'm not interested in playing, it strangely hasn't kept me from designing "fill-back" material for the so-called missing 3E material. Strangely, it's also gotten me considering to get an account for WoW and play that..in that respect I think D&D's attempt to garner the MMO crowd failed for me, as before 4E I, and two others in my group, avoided WoW and the like. Now, those two have been playing it, and I've been considering it.

At first, the tactical game play was intriguing. I hadn't played D&D minis - having avoided it because of my experiences with Chainmail and the first round of the Harbinger rules - until just recently, and while it was a new sensation, the game was interesting. But then the fights started dragging and becoming somewhat monotonous. All of this time taken up moving minis, plotting strategy for what could be quickly resolved with a "I move up and kill it". It came down to the only thing I really liked about 4E was it a designer's heaven for the DM, compared to just the previous incarnations headaches of putting together ad hoc high level encounters.

For me, 4E is comparable to games like Heroquest/Warhammer Quest and Descent, with a "campaign mode". I'm not against change; I've been through BECM D&D, 1E, 2E, 3E, and 3.5E, with little to no complaints. Since 4E's release I've tried a half-dozen systems from Castles & Crusades, Chronicles of Ramlar, Alternity and it's evolved offspring Serenity and my group has seemed to now have settled with Legends of the Five Rings - having started the 1st session with the 1E version of its rules, skipped through the 2E rulebooks I had and settled with using the 3E revised rules all within the space of about a month. My head is swimming with more rule systems than I ever thought possible. L5R is a game where drawing your sword is a method of last resort - one hit quite literally, is lethal. The game play focus, is therefore, very different. The range of opponents are mostly human varied only by clan. True monsters are rare, and the group has encountered only two - zombies and penagglan - so far. And my group has been having far more fun than we were with 4th, so that's were I'm going.

What makes me sad I'm leaving nearly 25 years of D&D gaming in my wake. My gaming group will probably pick up some 3.5 or 3.75 game along the way, but likely 4E will be something I only play with my 7-year-old son, on occasion, where the light mix of rules, tactical combat and balance is something I think he can easily catch on to, and might enjoy. And no, I'm not saying 4E is some nitwit's game for pre-adolescent children, but it is more of a (root) beer & pretzels game than previous editions, with the exception of the BECM rules, which was where I got my main start in D&D.
My 4th edition books now lie forlorn on my shelf of games.

When I first heard about 4E through the Gencon videos, my feelings were mixed. I wasn't ready to let go of 3E, but things like the character envisioneer and the promise that electronic versions of the books would be available post haste kept me interested. Still, books like Tome of Battle, the MM4 (and while better, MM5) and the second rounds of Completes had left a bad taste in my mouth and the acknowledgement that this was the way the game was heading made me uncomfortable.

I ended up preordering a copy of 4th, devouring it while in the midst of running Keep on the Shadowfell (which has my vote for worst D&D adventure short of the RPGA Turkey Drive adventure I was roped into back in the early 90's). The writing and layout of the PHB felt horrible - an echo I've heard elsewhere. The DMG felt empty for an old veteran for me; while something like p 42 would have been a nice feature back in earlier versions of the game, the DMG feels somewhat hollow with the absence of magic items. The MM was unusual - the brevity of information on monsters was both good and bad; while the skeletal approach of presenting stats & encounter groups allowed a great variety of monsters to be presented in a small amount of space, the missing ecologies and fanciful filling-out of the monster's place in the world is a bit hard for me to ignore.

I picked up the FRCS campaign book and was somewhat rankled to see a whole adventure filling up the front of the book before the travelogue-like entries of the Realms. While there was some interesting changes, what they've done to the poor Realms, makes me shake my head. It's like 5th age Dragonlance all over again...

Glancing through Adventurer's Vault, a lot of the stuff within its pages seemed like stuff that should have been in the PHB/MM (mounts), though with the already stuffed PHB, it's easy to see why it was put in a separate book. Still, Adventurer's Vault, to me, proves one thing. The D&D power system takes up too much space and are overall, too narrow in scope. I've seen other systems that have a wider breadth of options distilled down to far fewer pages. However, I'm fairly sure that things like powers will be an important part of D&D's future. The compact, almost collectible nature of powers and the resulting power cards will probably become part of the WotC D&D economy in the future; just like minis, I'd expect one day to see pre-printed power/item cards be sold either through WotC or 3rd parties as standard fare. Possibly even see the use of these cards incorporated into minis play.

I don't think its so much that D&D is a bad game, it's just not what I want to play. Its taken off in a direction I'm not eager to follow. And while I'm not interested in playing, it strangely hasn't kept me from designing "fill-back" material for the so-called missing 3E material. Strangely, it's also gotten me considering to get an account for WoW and play that..in that respect I think D&D's attempt to garner the MMO crowd failed for me, as before 4E I, and two others in my group, avoided WoW and the like. Now, those two have been playing it, and I've been considering it.

At first, the tactical game play was intriguing. I hadn't played D&D minis - having avoided it because of my experiences with Chainmail and the first round of the Harbinger rules - until just recently, and while it was a new sensation, the game was interesting. But then the fights started dragging and becoming somewhat monotonous. All of this time taken up moving minis, plotting strategy for what could be quickly resolved with a "I move up and kill it". It came down to the only thing I really liked about 4E was it a designer's heaven for the DM, compared to just the previous incarnations headaches of putting together ad hoc high level encounters.

For me, 4E is comparable to games like Heroquest/Warhammer Quest and Descent, with a "campaign mode". I'm not against change; I've been through BECM D&D, 1E, 2E, 3E, and 3.5E, with little to no complaints. Since 4E's release I've tried a half-dozen systems from Castles & Crusades, Chronicles of Ramlar, Alternity and it's evolved offspring Serenity and my group has seemed to now have settled with Legends of the Five Rings - having started the 1st session with the 1E version of its rules, skipped through the 2E rulebooks I had and settled with using the 3E revised rules all within the space of about a month. My head is swimming with more rule systems than I ever thought possible. L5R is a game where drawing your sword is a method of last resort - one hit quite literally, is lethal. The game play focus, is therefore, very different. The range of opponents are mostly human varied only by clan. True monsters are rare, and the group has encountered only two - zombies and penagglan - so far. And my group has been having far more fun than we were with 4th, so that's were I'm going.

What makes me sad I'm leaving nearly 25 years of D&D gaming in my wake. My gaming group will probably pick up some 3.5 or 3.75 game along the way, but likely 4E will be something I only play with my 7-year-old son, on occasion, where the light mix of rules, tactical combat and balance is something I think he can easily catch on to, and might enjoy. And no, I'm not saying 4E is some nitwit's game for pre-adolescent children, but it is more of a (root) beer & pretzels game than previous editions, with the exception of the BECM rules, which was where I got my main start in D&D.

Yeah the 4th ed Realms is like the Dragonlance 5th age all over again. I liked the Adventurers vault. Bit hard to read being basically an equipment book full of tables and hasd a bit of powercreep in it.

I updated the Jovar and posted it i hte CO boards to see if it was broken and most people thought it was. Its identical to the Fullblade in the adventurers vault except its 2d6 instead of d12.

The old Star Wars D6 had a powers based system for the force powers and skills and it seemed to work alright. We still play it whnever we do D6. Its not like 4th ed is badly designed just it could have been desigined better. Also suspect its gonna implode like 3.5 with glut of splatbook problems.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

My 4th edition books now lie forlorn on my shelf of games.

When I first heard about 4E through the Gencon videos, my feelings were mixed. I wasn't ready to let go of 3E, but things like the character envisioneer and the promise that electronic versions of the books would be available post haste kept me interested. Still, books like Tome of Battle, the MM4 (and while better, MM5) and the second rounds of Completes had left a bad taste in my mouth and the acknowledgement that this was the way the game was heading made me uncomfortable.

I ended up preordering a copy of 4th, devouring it while in the midst of running Keep on the Shadowfell (which has my vote for worst D&D adventure short of the RPGA Turkey Drive adventure I was roped into back in the early 90's). The writing and layout of the PHB felt horrible - an echo I've heard elsewhere. The DMG felt empty for an old veteran for me; while something like p 42 would have been a nice feature back in earlier versions of the game, the DMG feels somewhat hollow with the absence of magic items. The MM was unusual - the brevity of information on monsters was both good and bad; while the skeletal approach of presenting stats & encounter groups allowed a great variety of monsters to be presented in a small amount of space, the missing ecologies and fanciful filling-out of the monster's place in the world is a bit hard for me to ignore.

I picked up the FRCS campaign book and was somewhat rankled to see a whole adventure filling up the front of the book before the travelogue-like entries of the Realms. While there was some interesting changes, what they've done to the poor Realms, makes me shake my head. It's like 5th age Dragonlance all over again...

Glancing through Adventurer's Vault, a lot of the stuff within its pages seemed like stuff that should have been in the PHB/MM (mounts), though with the already stuffed PHB, it's easy to see why it was put in a separate book. Still, Adventurer's Vault, to me, proves one thing. The D&D power system takes up too much space and are overall, too narrow in scope. I've seen other systems that have a wider breadth of options distilled down to far fewer pages. However, I'm fairly sure that things like powers will be an important part of D&D's future. The compact, almost collectible nature of powers and the resulting power cards will probably become part of the WotC D&D economy in the future; just like minis, I'd expect one day to see pre-printed power/item cards be sold either through WotC or 3rd parties as standard fare. Possibly even see the use of these cards incorporated into minis play.

I don't think its so much that D&D is a bad game, it's just not what I want to play. Its taken off in a direction I'm not eager to follow. And while I'm not interested in playing, it strangely hasn't kept me from designing "fill-back" material for the so-called missing 3E material. Strangely, it's also gotten me considering to get an account for WoW and play that..in that respect I think D&D's attempt to garner the MMO crowd failed for me, as before 4E I, and two others in my group, avoided WoW and the like. Now, those two have been playing it, and I've been considering it.

At first, the tactical game play was intriguing. I hadn't played D&D minis - having avoided it because of my experiences with Chainmail and the first round of the Harbinger rules - until just recently, and while it was a new sensation, the game was interesting. But then the fights started dragging and becoming somewhat monotonous. All of this time taken up moving minis, plotting strategy for what could be quickly resolved with a "I move up and kill it". It came down to the only thing I really liked about 4E was it a designer's heaven for the DM, compared to just the previous incarnations headaches of putting together ad hoc high level encounters.

For me, 4E is comparable to games like Heroquest/Warhammer Quest and Descent, with a "campaign mode". I'm not against change; I've been through BECM D&D, 1E, 2E, 3E, and 3.5E, with little to no complaints. Since 4E's release I've tried a half-dozen systems from Castles & Crusades, Chronicles of Ramlar, Alternity and it's evolved offspring Serenity and my group has seemed to now have settled with Legends of the Five Rings - having started the 1st session with the 1E version of its rules, skipped through the 2E rulebooks I had and settled with using the 3E revised rules all within the space of about a month. My head is swimming with more rule systems than I ever thought possible. L5R is a game where drawing your sword is a method of last resort - one hit quite literally, is lethal. The game play focus, is therefore, very different. The range of opponents are mostly human varied only by clan. True monsters are rare, and the group has encountered only two - zombies and penagglan - so far. And my group has been having far more fun than we were with 4th, so that's were I'm going.

What makes me sad I'm leaving nearly 25 years of D&D gaming in my wake. My gaming group will probably pick up some 3.5 or 3.75 game along the way, but likely 4E will be something I only play with my 7-year-old son, on occasion, where the light mix of rules, tactical combat and balance is something I think he can easily catch on to, and might enjoy. And no, I'm not saying 4E is some nitwit's game for pre-adolescent children, but it is more of a (root) beer & pretzels game than previous editions, with the exception of the BECM rules, which was where I got my main start in D&D.

You guys seem to be forgetting some very important facts:
-No one has taken your previous edition books away from you, play the edition you like.
-3.5 took waaay too long to set up, no DM should ever have to spend more than 2 hours making a campaign.
-3.5 had the worst balance issues of any edition ever, how could you ever play a fun game when the game required you to break balance whenever you could?
-4e tossed out all the garbage from the previous editions that made the game not fun, like dying suddenly.
-Yes, people die suddenly in real life, but D&D is not about real life, so get over it.
-
-*random commentary*
You guys seem to be forgetting some very important facts:
-No one has taken your previous edition books away from you, play the edition you like.
-3.5 took waaay too long to set up, no DM should ever have to spend more than 2 hours making a campaign.
-3.5 had the worst balance issues of any edition ever, how could you ever play a fun game when the game required you to break balance whenever you could?
-4e tossed out all the garbage from the previous editions that made the game not fun, like dying suddenly.
-Yes, people die suddenly in real life, but D&D is not about real life, so get over it.
-
-*random commentary*

We had alot of fun in 3.5. Wasn't to hard to ban the more extreme cheese in various splatbooks.

Balance isn't the be all and end of game design and 4th ed has more than a few issues here as well. I'vespent more than 2 hours making a campaign in both 3.5 and 4th ed. It was quicker to design a new class in 3.5 than 4th ed. A few hours to do my 3.5 Templar for Darksun, a few hours for the 1st 10 levels of Psion for said 4th ed Darksun Game.

4th ed is generally quicker to design several encounters and I actually pointed that out and praised it in my original post. I've also been here longer than you and don't feel like moving:P

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Anyway I don’t think 4th ed is all that although there are some sheer brilliance. If it was so awesome or perfect I don’t think you would have the quantity or errata for it already or the quantity of “4th ed sucks” type posts this long after release. The 3rd ed sucks and 3.5 sucks posts didn’t linger this long and calmed down for the most part after a few weeks. I’ll try and identify why “nerdrage” on the boards has lasted so long. A big problem I think is that a large amount of posters have firmly entrenched themselves into the 3.5/4th ed sucks castles and have adopted a siege mentality. How dare people criticize the perfection that is 4th ed or how dare WoTC gut D&D like this.

I remember the time period mentioned very differently. You could say I have gone through this with several games, and inevitably the "Edition Wars" have the following life cycle. 6-12 months prior to release, as we get rumors and previews you see several types of poster. We have the "They are changing this rule, that sucks! This whole game is going to suck! I am going to scream about how it is going to suck until they release it, and then I will scream some more!" We also have the "WOTC sucks, damn corporation just wants to make money. Overcharge me for these books as it is. They should be half the price, and they should kiss my rear end for buying it." We also have the calm rational combination of the two claiming they won't judge it until it comes. I am sure there a plenty of other behaviors I could remember if I tried, but anyway you get the gist. This time period is followed by the storm (edition released). At this point almost all the vocal fence sitters jump on the I HATE THIS bandwagon. Now the initial heat of the edition wars lasts generally for a 3-6 month period. This heated period is when the opposing groups want to impale each other on blunt stakes, raid WOTC and draw and quarter the designers. Usually after the 3-6 month after release period we see a marked drop in the number of threads involving edition discussion, and by the end of the year you hear nothing except very occasionally. The 4E Edition War was past the heated immediate post release stage after 4-8 weeks. The threads in the forum involving this subject have actually decreased markedly, and the ones that are coming up are more discussion than rant. In all actuality this is a hell of lot quicker than the 3.5 switch, and similar to the 3E switch in time frame. This is actually pretty amazing considering the huge jump in internet access over the last 8 years, and the increase in board members. So in essence I would have to disagree with your assessment of the situation.

Going back a few months I was kinda excited about on the Friday at work as I knew my local FLGS had my copy of the core rules behind the counter waiting for me. I was looking forward to going home and reading the players handbook. It wasn’t the easiest read in the world and I struggled with it and had to reread certain sections. While reading the classes for example I had no idea what 2W+ XYZ effect was and I missed the bit at the start of the book where PCs get 100gp starting cash. I house ruled my PCs could start with 100gp each and was pleasantly surprised about the accuracy of my guess once I found the right paragraph a few days later. To this day I only have a vague idea of what some of the higher level powers are for most of the classes. I just can’t focus on them. To be fair I didn’t exactly read the 3.5 spell lists that closely either but they at least had a list of the spells at the start of the magic chapter with a short description of the spell. Also the spells weren’t that different from 2nd ed and I looked up most of the changed ones from 3.0. Spell lists were also more or less optional to read if you weren’t playing a spell caster sand I prefer to read 2-3 pages about a class than 15. Overall I found the PHB harder to read in 4th ed than all previous editions. Not overly impressed right off the bat.

I had the opposite reaction, as I always found the 3.x books harder to read because of the background radiation count. Often the text would blend into a bit of brown or tan in the background, it just was not good for me. I have also found the book much easier to use than 3.x, my book fu has grown quickly as I can now open the PHB to within 5 pages of what I need (I could never get it right with 3.x). Of course all of this is just personal preference.

I The 1st session we payed was really good and we all had a lot of fun including the DM. My PCs were joking about the amount of damage they were taking and making comments like “Screw this next time I’m playing a goblin” as they were smacked around by mostly goblins and were getting swarmed by large numbers of them- love those minions rules. The PCs included a Dragonborn and a Wizard so minions go bye bye without to much hassle.

Over the next couple of months we played several more times and the PCs were level 4 and we were starting to get bored. Combat was still fast and everything but it was degenerating into encounter power, encounter power, maybe daily, spam away with at wills until foe is dead. My PCs took on a solo white Dragon which while tough just took to damn long to die. 4-5 rounds of at wills gets boring very fast when you only have 2 of them to start with.

How is this any different than 3.x? Regardless I think 4e offers a much better platform for describing action even if you are using the same at-wills, the falling into the trap of repetition is indicative of a lack of role play occurring during combat. I am not saying you or your players don't role play I am merely saying that perhaps you were not during the combat. I have noticed this phenomena often, usually it is most prevalent when playing a new game.

The game also felt very forced and linear. Our characters are a Controller, Defender, Leader, or Striker. With a Fighter you have to use a melee weapon or suck. Also 4th ed’s design goals of balance didn’t seem to stack up as some races just seemed better than others (Dragonborn and Elf come to mind maybe Eladrin). While not only forcing you into the roles I suspect the game also forces you into role and race combination in order to be “optimal”. I suspect you will see a lot of Dragonborn Fighters and Paladins, Elf Clerics, Eladrin Swordmages, and Genasi Swordmages and Warlords in 4th eds games while humans kinda suck except maybe as wizards and warlords as some demihuman race will be plain out better than they are. 3.5 probably had crap elves, while 4th ed seems to continue the Elven fanboy overpowered fetish D&D has been since 1st ed or basic.

I really don't understand this statement. Humans are easily on par with the rest of the races. You get to pick your boosted stat, an additional at-will power, an additional feat, an additional skill, and a bonus to Fortitude, Reflex, and Will. All I have to say compared to the past "gimme". They are easily balanced to the other races, so I don't see any Elven fanboy overpowered fetishes coming up in this edition. In fact I would argue humans can be really good at any class where as other races have to be really careful to pick a class that is optimal in relation to their race.

4th ed is also broken I feel just like 3.5 just in different ways. So long as you can continue to heal faster than the monsters can damage you things should be alright. I suspect the perfect 5 member party should probably include a melee warlord, ranged cleric and then a controller/defender/striker/. A lot of the powers felt very similar and were virtually identical mechanically except they required a different stat for a different class. An example would be the Clerics healing word ability which is identical on the Warlord and Artificer classes and it just has a different name.

As long as you can heal faster than the monster has been true since the very beginning, except now you don't have to worry about having a save or die moment. Not to mention if you as a DM are really taking advantage of the new system and mindset, this never needs to be true.

As far as the powers being similar, identical, reflavored, well that is something you are gonna get in any system using a common framework. Without the common framework you would have massive fluctuations in power level. This is undesirable given 4th editions desgin goal of balancing classes. Plenty of other RPG's also use common frameworks to promote balance. If it something you don't like, well once again just personal preference.

4th ed also felt like it had a lot more emphasis on combat than in previous editions. While it doesn’t discourage rolepaying as such there isn’t that much to do outside combat mechanically. There’s less non combat skills and especially spells or in 4th ed rituals. It also didn’t really feel like previous editions of D&D due to the lack of vancian spellcasting and most of the classes don’t resemble their 3.5 or even 2nd ed counterparts in anything but name. To me 4th ed doesn’t resemble D&D as I’ve known it in any way, shape or form.

Lets see 25 pages in 3e for combat, 30 pages in 4e for combat in a larger font and less packed layout. I don't see the real difference. Vancian spellcasting or rather its model is staring you n the face in the form of powers. Well you do realize that neither of those editions resembled their 1e predecessors either. In my opinion this edition is much more like 1e than any of the prior editions in feel, and play style of course apparently your mileage does vary.

A few of the names are the same but wizards are now basically magic missile spambots, rogues suck at finding traps being out classed by clerics, rangers are no longer nature based warriors, you don’t really multi class anymore and will probably suck if you do due to lack of hands to hold all the implements or weapons you will need. No more great wheel makes me a sad panda.

I would rather have a magic missile spam bot than a crossbow spam bot. Your skills are no longer directly tied to your class, you can now have a mage thief, a fighter thief simply by picking up stealth & thievery. You don't need to multiclass anymore to be relevant, now it really is just flavor, and it is no longer the optimal choice it was previously. It is now much more than previously a class system like it originally was. The great wheel was something I was happy to see go, but I feel your pain.

Yes I liked Druids in 3.5 but I also liked them in all previous editions of the game an they were my favorite class while my girlfriend liked bards. The Druid was an overpowered pile in 3.5 and I usually ran variants from Unearthed Arcana but I feel the Bard and Druid should have been core at the expense of Warlock which is more of a splatbook class and Eladrin probably should have been in a splat as well and the gnome should have been in the PHB. Tradition is important in D&D. If they want to add more core classes and races go right ahead, just don’t cut any which will upset people. Not missing Barbarian, Monk, Sorcerer as much as they’ve never been in the core rules before 3rd ed except for Monk in 1st ed.

These are all coming back so not really an issue for me, much like the rest of your reasons. They are all clearly personal preference, and nothing anybody says is gonna change that for you. So I wish you luck in whatever you wind up playing. Try looking at things from a different perspective it might help you get over the differences.
You guys seem to be forgetting some very important facts:
-No one has taken your previous edition books away from you, play the edition you like.
-3.5 took waaay too long to set up, no DM should ever have to spend more than 2 hours making a campaign.
-3.5 had the worst balance issues of any edition ever, how could you ever play a fun game when the game required you to break balance whenever you could?
-4e tossed out all the garbage from the previous editions that made the game not fun, like dying suddenly.
-Yes, people die suddenly in real life, but D&D is not about real life, so get over it.
-If you don't like it, go post somewhere else please.
-*random commentary*

  • Hell, play the game you like. If enough people leave D&D, Wizards will have to listen to your demands. Vote with your wallet.
  • I believe it's "2 hours to make an adventure", with which I heartily agree. If it takes longer for me to make a small adventure than it does to run it (or even a significantly close amount of time), there's something wrong.
  • Worst balance issues, no. I believe that honor belongs to Council of Wyrms (some get to play as uber dragons that level up by getting more treasure, while others get to play vassals... if that's not unbalanced, I don't know what is). But you could even have fun with Council of Wyrms. That doesn't excuse a lack of balance.
  • I can't honestly remember a single person cheering for joy when they suddenly kicked the bucket. You have an interesting playgroup.
  • **** happens in real life. Is that something you want in the game?
  • If you intend to troll, then I agree that you should go elsewhere. Otherwise, everyone is welcome to post here.
You guys seem to be forgetting some very important facts:
-3.5 took waaay too long to set up, no DM should ever have to spend more than 2 hours making a campaign.

You meant to say "encounter" instead of "campaign", right?
I have to agree, from a GM perspective, the lack of out of combat options makes the game seem simplistic and tedious. Without out of combat spells, options, etc., there's only the skill list to fall back on. Obviously, rituals were intended to fill the void, but were not successfull because of their poor design paradigm.

So, in short, I have to agree. One of the best combat/tactical systems ever. Not much else to enjoy, for groups who spend most of their time *outside* the dungeon.
Zardnaar, I find your post to be well-considered and personal rather than prejudicial. The manner in which you have voiced your opinions and experiences is far different from many of the posts on the same subject. For that, I offer you a

My own experience is very different in conclusion even where it is identical in observation. I will provide only one example:

I agree that the PHB is a very hard read. But my conclusion is that this is a good thing. My PHB is now a reference manual, useful as such for the entire playing life of this edition. (Especially now that I have a much better index for it.)

It is this different-conclusion-from-identical-observations that has caused me the most frustration and amusement in the various threads that address opinion of 4e. I do, however, prefer your method of expressing these differences of opinion to the method used by the majority of folks -- on either side of the 4e fence.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
im going to have to side with the origanl poster on this one. but for slightly different reasons. i have as well been playing DnD for years think i started around 93 or 92 cant remember anymore. but the point is in second edition and 3rd edition witch i played the most of you felt like a hero. now after running 4th ed for a few months and playing in 3 or 4 sessions i feel a very distinct lack of heroic abilities in my charector and in general to the game. the game is very much designed to make you min/max or power game out a charector. while the power level of some classess was changed to make them more on par with others ( ie fighter) the problem was instead of bringing some classess up to the power of others and other being downtweaked some everyone was downtweaked but the fighter. and i personaly dont like the feel of a fighter now. the only thing i personaly found a problem with from the begining when they first started releasing all the info they did for 4th ed was the starting hp. it screamed at me that the game had problems when they were trying to balance everyting out you had to start with 25+ HP.

Not to be a complete flame thread i do like the ease in setting up entire session in 2-4 hours without having to use preprinted meterial for them. i like some of the abilities of monstrers to instantly change the tactical dynamic of combat. 4th ed has some great points to it and is a good game but in a lot of ways also feels rushed and not very DnD or heroic to me and most people in my group as well. for now we will hope that it gets better sooner than later and thatit doesnt take a million splat books to do so witch seems to be the design intent of this edition.

my two cents take them as you will
im going to have to side with the origanl poster on this one. but for slightly different reasons. i have as well been playing DnD for years think i started around 93 or 92 cant remember anymore. but the point is in second edition and 3rd edition witch i played the most of you felt like a hero. now after running 4th ed for a few months and playing in 3 or 4 sessions i feel a very distinct lack of heroic abilities in my charector and in general to the game. the game is very much designed to make you min/max or power game out a charector. while the power level of some classess was changed to make them more on par with others ( ie fighter) the problem was instead of bringing some classess up to the power of others and other being downtweaked some everyone was downtweaked but the fighter. and i personaly dont like the feel of a fighter now. the only thing i personaly found a problem with from the begining when they first started releasing all the info they did for 4th ed was the starting hp. it screamed at me that the game had problems when they were trying to balance everyting out you had to start with 25+ HP.

Not to be a complete flame thread i do like the ease in setting up entire session in 2-4 hours without having to use preprinted meterial for them. i like some of the abilities of monstrers to instantly change the tactical dynamic of combat. 4th ed has some great points to it and is a good game but in a lot of ways also feels rushed and not very DnD or heroic to me and most people in my group as well. for now we will hope that it gets better sooner than later and thatit doesnt take a million splat books to do so witch seems to be the design intent of this edition.

my two cents take them as you will

It's interesting that my experience with 4e is the exact opposite of yours. I find that my characters are more heroic without having to min/max. I find that I can spend as much or as little effort as I want on back story, personality, and character concepts, and it doesn't punish me on the mechanical side.

I guess on some level, playing the game is just a subjective experience. We'll always have people who like it and people who don't.
Overall this is a long, thoughtful post and I don't find it trollish at all.

My background with D&D is really similar to yours, though I mostly like 4E. To me, after years and years of playing the hell out of 3E, its flaws had become too apparent to everyone I played with to really make it playable anymore. I'll comment about a few points:

Also 4th ed’s design goals of balance didn’t seem to stack up as some races just seemed better than others (Dragonborn and Elf come to mind maybe Eladrin). While not only forcing you into the roles I suspect the game also forces you into role and race combination in order to be “optimal”.

While I think race balance still needs a little work, I think it's not that bad; some of it depends on the specialization choices you make within a class.

For example, take the dwarven fighter. He doesn't get a bonus to strength like a human or dragonborn fighter can, true. He does get bonuses to two important secondary stats, his stability ability is very useful for a fighter, and his improved second wind is very useful for a fighter. Give him a weapon like a maul that plays to his racial stat bonuses and he starts looking pretty good.

The main problems with the PHB races, in my opinion:

1) Half-elves dilettante ability doesn't scale well with levels. Probably, if they changed it such that it always uses the weapon/implement/whatever of the half-elf's class regardless of what it would normally use, it would be fine.

2) The thing that humans really need is more at-wills for each class. A human wizard is actually a good choice since there are going to be more than two at-wills you actually want on a given character. For a lot of other classes, right now there are only two -- changing that will make a human as good as anything really.

An example would be the Clerics healing word ability which is identical on the Warlord and Artificer classes and it just has a different name.

That's true, but in the larger context of the classes, both warlord and cleric play really different -- so single abilities that are very similar doesn't really bother me.
It's interesting that my experience with 4e is the exact opposite of yours. I find that my characters are more heroic without having to min/max. I find that I can spend as much or as little effort as I want on back story, personality, and character concepts, and it doesn't punish me on the mechanical side.

I guess on some level, playing the game is just a subjective experience. We'll always have people who like it and people who don't.

i would like to understand how you used to have to take mechanical defficencies when creating charector concepts and background in older editions. this is an honest question as i have never once understood this argument.

i have run the game and listened and watched my players as we played and i have played as well and i just find it very unheroic to have to hit almost every kobold or goblin 3 or 4 times if not more to kill them. i dont like that fact that my charector at level 1 is just as powerfull in terms of hit/miss ratio and damage to hp ratio as he will be at level 30 the game in my oppinion is very linear. if i wanted a linear game i would play a video game. i think the multiclass through feats system very unsatifing in general. i think the forcing a player to go into prestige classess after level 10 is a bad mechanic. i also agree the prestige classess in 3rd got out of hand. but thats a different topic for a different thread. but back to what i ment to say i dont expect every goblin to be a minion. but i also dont like that i have to smack them 3 r 4 times to kill them. thier is a lot good about 4th ed but thier is also a lot bad about it as well
i have run the game and listened and watched my players as we played and i have played as well and i just find it very unheroic to have to hit almost every kobold or goblin 3 or 4 times if not more to kill them. --snip-- but back to what i ment to say i dont expect every goblin to be a minion. but i also dont like that i have to smack them 3 r 4 times to kill them. thier is a lot good about 4th ed but thier is also a lot bad about it as well

Sorry, but I don't understand this at all. Your character is not heroic if it has to hit an opponent (of appropriate level) a few times to drop it?

You don't want them all to be one-hit-wonders (minions) and you don't like 3 or 4 hits either. Does this mean you character is heroic when he has to hit the opponent 2 times to drop it?
Zardnaar, I find your post to be well-considered and personal rather than prejudicial. The manner in which you have voiced your opinions and experiences is far different from many of the posts on the same subject. For that, I offer you a

My own experience is very different in conclusion even where it is identical in observation. I will provide only one example:

I agree that the PHB is a very hard read. But my conclusion is that this is a good thing. My PHB is now a reference manual, useful as such for the entire playing life of this edition. (Especially now that I have a much better index for it.)

It is this different-conclusion-from-identical-observations that has caused me the most frustration and amusement in the various threads that address opinion of 4e. I do, however, prefer your method of expressing these differences of opinion to the method used by the majority of folks -- on either side of the 4e fence.

I think the difference is I don't hate 4th ed. Its a very differnt beastie to the editions that came before it. Its the first rdiiton that I may not sta with and go back to an older edition or derivitive thereof. Also recognise your name a bit you've been here almost as long as I have.

Its not like 4th is is badly designed as theres alot of gold in there but its just that it could have been better designed. Also missing Dragon/Dungeon alot. The PDFs aren't quite the same and the quality has tuned to custard for Dungeon. Dragon is still OK but not as good.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Also missing Dragon/Dungeon alot. The PDFs aren't quite the same and the quality has tuned to custard for Dungeon. Dragon is still OK but not as good.

My take on these publications is that the online version has almost no 3rd party contribution as everyone gets things settled into how that will work. When all the content has to come from in-house, it is competing with the good ideas that their jobs already require. Dungeon and Dragon get the leftovers.

Once the GSL gets settled, we'll see more professionals / regulars contributing. And that is likely to happen about the same time the rest of us (myself included) feel comfortable writing new material for this new edition. I've already pre-drafted a half-dozen or so articles that I need to tweak before submitting for approval. And I doubt I am the only one.

Once we start offering our ideas, the online magazine editors will be able to pick and choose content for both Dungeon and Dragon.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Wow, alot of the experiences I've had, and alot of what you say comes later in the game is what I project will happen.

I concede DnD4.0 has alot of nice stuff, and I'll still play to see if pans out for me like it did for the OP and others here. I just wish they gave it an original name instead of calling it "Dungeons and Dragons" and pasting D&D words on top of mechanics and items that have nothing to do with the game.
Wow, alot of the experiences I've had, and alot of what you say comes later in the game is what I project will happen.

I concede DnD4.0 has alot of nice stuff, and I'll still play to see if pans out for me like it did for the OP and others here. I just wish they gave it an original name instead of calling it "Dungeons and Dragons" and pasting D&D words on top of mechanics and items that have nothing to do with the game.

Seriously, I've never understood this line of reasoning. 4E is not D&D. But 3E is. Is 2E D&D? Is 1E? They all have differences. Is it just that you are the one who decides what is or isn't D&D?
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
While I do prefer 3e over 4e, I still find 4e a fun experience. I wouldn't mind playing or DMing either edition, or any D&D edition for that matter. But as a personal preference, I like 3.5 the best (or essentially my 3.75 hour-rule mish-mash ).
-I got ran over my a squirrel the other day. -I'm going to steal my own idea. -My fruits of labor are not fruits... *sniff* they're vegetables. *sobs*
Essentially I like both editions

As do I.

and probably like 3.5 slightly better warts and all.

The jury is still out, but from what I've seen so far, I prefer 4e.

4th ed is better balanced at the expense of making it slightly bland and repetitive and I suspect it won’t be much fun to play either at higher level.

You won't know until you try, right?

I'm curious, though - what do you find bland and repetitive about 4e?

For the moment we have returned back to Pathfinder

Blahrg. Pathfinder. So disappointing. I thought Paizo was actually going to bring something original to the table, instead of D&D 3.51e.


You guys seem to be forgetting some very important facts:
-No one has taken your previous edition books away from you, play the edition you like.
-3.5 took waaay too long to set up, no DM should ever have to spend more than 2 hours making a campaign.
-3.5 had the worst balance issues of any edition ever, how could you ever play a fun game when the game required you to break balance whenever you could?
-4e tossed out all the garbage from the previous editions that made the game not fun, like dying suddenly.
-Yes, people die suddenly in real life, but D&D is not about real life, so get over it.
-If you don't like it, go post somewhere else please.
-*random commentary*

I have to admit that I lol'ed. That was perfectly pitched parody, sir.
As do I.



The jury is still out, but from what I've seen so far, I prefer 4e.



You won't know until you try, right?

I'm curious, though - what do you find bland and repetitive about 4e?



Blahrg. Pathfinder. So disappointing. I thought Paizo was actually going to bring something original to the table, instead of D&D 3.51e.




I have to admit that I lol'ed. That was perfectly pitched parody, sir.

The powers are often very similar, and all do damage. Comnbat usually goes encouter power, encounter power, maybe daily and then at will, at will eat will etc etc etc until the targets are dead.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

The powers are often very similar, and all do damage.

With splatbooks, the powers will gain more dissimilarity. Also, there are plenty of powers that don't do damage; the majority of Utility powers don't, for example.

If your complaint is that you want ways to kill enemies via non-HP means (such as by SoDs), then sorry, but 4e is simply not the system for you.

Combat usually goes encouter power, encounter power, maybe daily and then at will, at will eat will etc etc etc until the targets are dead.

Yes, that is how combats in any system (or RL) usually go - you attack your enemies until they are dead.

How else would you have it?
The powers are often very similar, and all do damage.

That's not even true. Some powers heal, some powers buff, and some powers have little to no combat utility at all... And that's not even including Rituals...

Comnbat usually goes encouter power, encounter power, maybe daily and then at will, at will eat will etc etc etc until the targets are dead.

Most people see this as an improvement over 3.5's, "I full attack... again...," or, "Oh, he's not within my reach? Then I charge, I guess..."

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Huh. Have to say,that never happens in my group. When my 4e group is in an encounter, I get things like "Can I throw this boulder" or "can I topple this column" or " can I jump onto the creature, " or (and my personal favorite) "one cannonball special coming right up - and no dwarf tossing jokes, gorramit!!"

The simple aspect of making tactical movement a part of the game (moreso than previous editions) has seemingly opened up my players to a workd of "can I". And, thanks to the guidelines of page 42, I have an easier time of saying, "yes, and then..." than I did previously.
Thats fine, as opinions go. I have a few nice eaxamples I'll point out that you guys can rip into later. Bit busy ATM.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I know after reading this, I do have a few comments....

1. While I know some groups stayed away from minis, I've been using them in games for the last 20some years (back into 1st Ed). They've always been a mainstay for games, so that we know who's where when the mage casts Fireball. Do the rules for 4th make them more required? Probably, but I'd be using them even if they weren't.

2. 1st Ed Monster Manuals were probably the least descriptive of the editions for each monster. 2nd Ed brought it to 1 monster/page (I liked the 3 Ring Binders, you could bring the pages you needed, and not worry about the whole thing). 3rd and 4th Ed, IMHO, don't have alot of difference in "non-stat info" for the monsters, its just that 4th Ed breaks it down a bit more rather than 1 big chunk of it.

3. My first quote of 4th was "That Kobold has how many HPs? Thats not a Kobold, thats a friggin Tribe of Kobolds!" I've gotten over that now, but it was still a shoker at first. The fact that they've gotten rid of the "Housecat kills local wizard" headlinesis enough to make me live with that change.

4. Are higher levels of 4th as broken as 3rd? I guess I'll find out. None of the campaigns I'm in has made it to 12th level yet, so I'm not there yet. 12th level was enough to see it 3rd though.

5. One of my groups is staying in 3rd, and we're in the middle of a DM Round Table, each taking 3 levels from 6-24. I've got 18-21, and its been taking quite some time to put together, and I've been trying to balance out the "Will they finish this off in 1 round or will it TPK them?" While I'm sure in 4th, I will have the same issues, I pray that it won't take me 1/10 the time to make what I've done so far.

6. Classes that have a similiar ability isn't a big issue with me. Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin and Ranger all have Cure Light Wounds on their Spell Lists in 3rd, so having Warlord and Cleric in 4th having the same ability (with the Cleric actually healing more than the Warlord with it), is easy to handle.

7. 4th will be overwhelming with Splat books, and I am sure as they push them out, the material will degrade just as 3rd did. But, as I learned way back when 2nd Ed came out, another edition is just around the corner. 5th will be out at some point in the next 6-12 years, and I'm sure I'll be buying it. Whether I get 6th Ed or not, will depend on whether I play/like 5th or not.

8. I do agree there is as much RP in 4th as there has been in any other edition. The players will get what they put in. 3rd Ed didn't contain vast Roleplaying info, and neither does 4th. The lack of Profession and Craft skills means your Background won't effect your characters aspects. A DM will (in most cases) reward a well written background for a character with a situational bonus here and there if the background comes into play. Those 2 skills do not make/break a system.

9. When 4th did come out, there were several 2nd Ed fanatics that were still calling for the death of 3rd (and 4th). There are still people who post who still play 1st ed. To each their own. I have played and enjoyed every edition, but I have always moved on (sometimes kicking and screaming). Personally, I found 3rd Ed the toughest to move to, because of the aura of similiarity to 2nd, that made the changes tougher to deal with. 4th having more changes overall, made for an easier transition of editions (at least for me).

10. The MMO aspect of the game has always been there, because MMOs have taken alot from PnP games. Having played Everquest and WoW (as well as PnP Everquest, Warcraft and WoW), I don't see that many similiarities. At least not ones that weren't there to begin with. In prior editions, we always made sure we had the bases covered (Cleric, Thief/Rogue, Wizard, Fighter type), so the fact that they are using Controller/Defender/Striker/Leader to describe the classes doesn't bother me. I think it helps some people get a more defined role and can help round out a party better.

Overall, I am very pleased with 4th Ed, and the direction it is currently headed in. I know I didn't want yet another revision of 3rd, and I truely hope that 4th is able to avoid that as well. I still play 3rd, so I'm not a Hater of it, I've liked all the editions, for various things they brought to the table that others did not.
To clarify.

About 4th ed being to similar and repetitive I will use the leader role as an example.

Eache leader so far has a varient on the Healing Word class ability of the Cleric. Any future leader will probaby have the same thing. Most at will are varients of 1W+ minor effect.

The Swordmage is a nice new shiny class but its not that different from any other Defender just swap intelligence and strength around. Some of the powers are virtually identical with a different name or stat requirement.

In essence its some amount of damage + some sort of status effect (stun heal, daze, slide, push, pull whatever). While its true there are more options than in 3.5 alot of people in previous editions just liked hitting something hard for lotsa damage. There are no real class abilities after level 1 as powers have replaced class abilities and most class powers are about damge or comabat and even most utility powers seem to relate to combat. Theres not alot of non combat abilities left in the game with a handful of utility powers and rituals.

Balance was seen to be the overriding design criteria of 4th ed and IMHO it resulted in very simialr type classes as all classes just have some derivitive of similar powers (1W+ effct, 2W+ effect etc or d6/d8/d10/2d8 etc for Warlocks and Wizards and other classes that don't deal damage with weapons.). 4th ed is broken just like 3.5 in a different way. See Blade Cascade- I know its been errated but if 4th ed was so perfect it shouldn't have needed errata:P Also alot of races are more powerful as a general rule. Dragonborn, Eladrin, Elves and Genasi seem to be at the top of the heap. Certain paragon paths are alot better than others, same with some epic destinies.

The 4th ed bloat and powercreep has started already in the Adventurers Vault and Forgotten Realms Players Guide. See the CO boards for more information. Big surprise some paragon paths and epic destinies are better than others. Paragon paths are the new prestige classes. Several of the new divine cleric feats in the FRPG are more powerful than the core rules and even other feats in the same books.

Is 4th ed more balenced than 3.5? yes. Is 4th ed balenced, not really and its only going to get worse. Humans are the new half elves and theres are better options for any class they decide to follow. Humans make nice Warlords and Wizards but Eladrin are better wizards, and Dragonborn and Genasi are better Warlords. At least your human won't totally suck though so thats something at least.

Also I think future design supplements are going to be restricted by the lack of some rules in certain areas. Profession and craft skills may have sucked but the craft rules are back in a way in the Adventurers Vault. Also profession and craft skills were used alot more in non core and third party supplements. The skills could be adapted for piloting craft, repairing craft,and various other things. While those may not matter to you they definatly mattered to us. We played Spelljammer, piloted psionic craft on the Silt Sea of Darksun and used rules from Stormwrack and said arg matey way to much in out sea captain campaign. Of course you can say you can just houserule that in 4th ed and say your PCs know how to do things like that. However it was nice to know how much of a difference betweent skill level of ship captains for example. bit of a difference between Han Solo and average Imperial pilot to use a Star Wars term.


4th ed does a great dungeon hack and has basically been designed to do that and do that well. However we lost interest in dungeon hacks a long time ago (late 90's). Our group still does them on occasion if they're particuly good (Whispering Cairn in Age of Worms Adventure Path) not Keep on the Shadowfell. Same deal for piloting airshipos in Eberron or whatever. 4th ed mechanically doesn't support our style yet and due to the rules may never will.

BTW I'm well aware of 3.5 flaws and I had a page or 2 of houserules to make it work. A few prestige classes were banned (Incantris, Hulking Hurler), a few feats and spells from non core sources (Divine Metamagic, Sudden metamagic feats), and even a few in core (polymorph spells and Natural Spell feat. Essentially its easier for me to hoiuserule the stupid stuff in 3.5 away and to use the good stuff in 3.5 than to go through 4th ed, apply the errata and come up short when we want to try somehting or play a class that doesn't exist. Its also easier to design a new class in 3.5 than it is to design or update a class to 4th ed rules.

Some of our favourite classes were things like scout, beguiler, duskblade, druid varients, bards and we often played merchant prince type games with ships and properties with a focus on trade and diplomacy, and exploration. An enchanter or diviner type wizard is really great in our games and it virtually impossable to duplicate in 4th ed. Such games didn't matter if we were doing Speljammer, exploring the silt sea of Athsa, Xendrik on Eberron. PCs liked owning their own bit of dirt, with a small harbour and a personal yachet or modified caravel, man o war, . An excellent example of this type of game is the one in the Savage Tide Adventure Path in the old Dungeon magazine that gave you 3 months to prepare Farshore against a pirate raid and involved alot of craft rules, exploration, setting up defences and recruiting allies.

Short of inventing new rules 4th ed can't do this. I could houserule it I suppose but once again its alot easier to have a page or 2 of banned retarded stuff in 3.5 than design all this myself.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Our first experience with 4th edition was Keep on the Shadowfell - I felt that I had enough to do with mastering the new rules without trying to come up with my own adventure material.

And, after playing about five sessions, I found myself in a position where I agreed with nearly every one of the original posters points about 4th edition.

We played a few more sessions with the same characters, and I was pleasantly amazed by how incredible 4th edition was as a tool to save DM time. Unfortunately, the characters still had no back stories, and my players had fallen into a non-RP trap, which I blame almost entirely on the starting adventure.

So we started over. I've been DMíng for nearly 30 years now; my typical week involves about 4-6 hours of preparation time (most of which is just thinking about the game, as opposed to writing stuff down).

It turns out that when I only need an hour or so of that to get all the combat encounters lined up and have them balanced, I have a lot more time for the other stuff...and the other stuff, (which was getting badly stinted back in 3rd edition as I tried to make decent encounters for 14th level characters) is at least as important in terms of having a fun and memorable campaign. I think myself that things like plot, multiple storylines, setting detail, visual aids and so forth are actually significantly more important - but I cannot deny that all of those things can be great and the campaign can still suck if the fights are boring. Characters need to feel threatened. I had one DM who did an amazing job at everything else, but after about four levels I had yet to lose a hit point, and it definitely detracted.

Fourth edition is going _great_ for us, and I think it's entirely a result of WoTC's drive to make the preparation side easier and faster. The class balance changes, well, I like them personally but I don't think that this has been a major component in our enjoyment boost.

There are things I don't like about 4th edition (I changed them; 4th edition is very change-friendly), and I didn't have a good first impression of it, but I wouldn't go back.

It's hardly surprising when a first try at a new role-playing system falls into a pithole; first attempts at new rule sets are always hard. And I do find the 4th edition rulebooks alarmingly combat-centric (in fairness, this is the part that needs rules the most, the rest of it is roleplaying and story which need to not have them).
BTW I'm well aware of 3.5 flaws and I had a page or 2 of houserules to make it work.

I have 30 pages and growing... >.>
-I got ran over my a squirrel the other day. -I'm going to steal my own idea. -My fruits of labor are not fruits... *sniff* they're vegetables. *sobs*
I have 30 pages and growing... >.>

Ban natural spell feat, a few of the dumb spells in the PHb and say no to the more extreme cheese in the splatbooks?

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Ban natural spell feat, a few of the dumb spells in the PHb and say no to the more extreme cheese in the splatbooks?

You mean rewrite nearly the -entire- spell chapter, and rewrite more than half the classes? Yeah I'd rather not. That's just the -core- of 3e.

I'm glad 4e came out. Saved me the effort of finally biting the bullet and making my own "fifth edition" (I'd already changed it enough to make it one edition different... at least according to most of those that say 4e changed too much)
http://guild.medialoungeca.com/index.php?action=forum The Guild I'm apart of. We're in WOW, STO, Rift and soon Star Wars feel free to register and hang out. http://sparkster11.deviantart.com/ my deviantart Wheelman of the House of Trolls, "I love it when you watch" Carrier of Section 2, 3 and 6 cargo. Resident Driver Stud God of Transportation and Lust.
Ahoy there, Zardnaar,

Time fer me t' chime in. Methinks yer take on 4th ed D&D is a tad too narrowly defined. Hold onna second, I 'll make meselves more clear fer ye landlubbers -

*Translation from Pirate to English*

I have to admit that I read your opening post 2 days ago and, first of all, I 'd like to tip my hat to you for your thoughtful criticism of 4th edition. If this were but a mere trolling, I 'd probably have ignored this thread.

Still, there are a few points I see necessary to point out.

On 4th edition character roles:

Those are definitely more guidelines than rules. After all, the standard balanced party is supposed to consist of 5 characters, but there are only 4 roles. This even allows some customisation or a different focus amongst the group.
But let's take this a step further: Forget the balanced party. Some folks on the CO forum suggested that striker-heavy parties or even 2 Paladins can outclass a balanced party. On the downside, when people discussed the viability of light armoured fighters, many responses were "Play a striker", an advice that wasn't very helpful at all.

Having roles helps you define what your characters can do, both from a player's and from a DM's perspective. The first is obvious: A controller doesn't do much healing and has nifty area effects, whereas a Striker likes to dispatch enemies close and personal. The second (the Dm's) can range from adapting an adventure for the group's focus to a themed campaign. Dungeon's latest "Scales of War" adventure path could be adapted for a defender/striker/controller/leader-heavy group (take your pick) and still run fine.

On character classes and races:

After reading your initial post, I got the distinct feeling that your view of 4th ed characters might be a bit influenced by the CO forum. The usual tone - e.g. "Don't build Dwarf rogues, they 're blargh..." - isn't helping. Players tend towards optimization, but in contrast to 3.5, it's no obscure art any more. If you do the math, you 'll find there 'll still be viable Tiefling Fighters or Dwarf Rogues around. Aye, they may not be perfect like the Elf rogue or the Dragonborn Fighter, but they make up for that in other areas. But since there are those imbalances between race and close combos, and I won't deny them, I can only hope that the D&D team gets their act together and stops creating power-creepy options in favour of improving less-optimal paths and choices.

Regarding powercreep, the worst thing ever was 3.5's Duskblade, sweet-mother-of-pearl outclassing any other arcane fighting (Hexblade) /demi-spellcasting (Spellthief) and even core (Sorcerer) class by far.

On Non Combat Skills:

I think you tend to forget skill challenges as a very powerful tool of driving the story. In this instance, 4e has even better mechanics to handle non combat situations than 3.5. where monster were the only source of XP.

In many skill challenges, I found it better not to anounce "Skill challenge time!" but keep a running tally of successes and failures while the PCs do the legwork. It feels more natural and doesn't shoehorn the PC into performing the same skill check over and over again.

The funny thing is that in 2 instances over the last 2 sessions, the players turned combats into skill challenges or we ran a skill challenge on the side, sucessfully talking some of their enemies out of fighting them.

And let's face it, the rigid mechanics of 3.5 weren't helping much with social play, such diplomacy being a static number. Rich Burlew, creator of the "Order of the Stick" webcomic, even pointed put that a half-elf bard with optimized skills and synergies could turn any enemy into a helpful servant.

Also, most of the time, skills like piloting, navigation and so on were entirely lost in my 3.5 campaign, save for the few times where players were sailing a ship, but most of the time, all the points spend in background/ craft/ profession/ knowledge skills were wasted.

On liniarity:

Aye, skill DCs increase over the time, but this is no bad thing in itself. It's only bad if the campaign doesn't stimulate the players. Take the proverbial patch of green slime or a social encounter. If you simply have the players make a skill check at Level 1 and one at Level 30 then there is no difference. But if you describe the patch as a puddle in a crypt in Level 1 and as a cascade of goo dripping from the ceiling or walls in the most dangerous part of the Underdark, you get a different scenario and the players a different feel. In Level 1 social encounter, the PCs haggle with a few shady folks to meet the head of the thieves' guild, at Level 15 they 'll be meddling with the council of the pirate lords of the entire Sword Coast and at Level 30, they 'll twart an intrigue at the divine court of some trickster deity, even tho' that they 'll use the same 4 skills in these encounters.

*Translation over*

Cheers!

Captn M.

PS: There 's ne'er enough "Arrrh, Matey" in the world, e'en tho I be no Pastafarian.

Better to fight windmills than become a miller!

You do realize your well thought out and very elequently written post is going to be ignored right?
http://guild.medialoungeca.com/index.php?action=forum The Guild I'm apart of. We're in WOW, STO, Rift and soon Star Wars feel free to register and hang out. http://sparkster11.deviantart.com/ my deviantart Wheelman of the House of Trolls, "I love it when you watch" Carrier of Section 2, 3 and 6 cargo. Resident Driver Stud God of Transportation and Lust.
Very nicely said CaptnMorgrim,

a cookie for you

and yer first mate
If you have any 4E conceptual issues or rules that you would like help with feel free to PM me. Roleplaying since 88! Guide To Dealing With Problematic Posters
You mean rewrite nearly the -entire- spell chapter, and rewrite more than half the classes? Yeah I'd rather not. That's just the -core- of 3e.

I just lost all of that (had to format my PC). To make the system viable for all build types (not just casters), I re-wrote every PHB class (except monk; I rolled that into fighter), re-wrote the combat spells, turned non-combat spells into extended cast rituals (flat out removed spells of 7, 8, 9th levels), completely redid the skill system (condensed skill list down to 22, redid how the numbers were generated), re-wrote every monster I used (I changed the monster stat/ability generation system), re-wrote the feats, and removed alignment from the mechanics.

All told? It was 100,000 word + file (the compiled re-write). And now it is gone.
I just lost all of that (had to format my PC). To make the system viable for all build types (not just casters), I re-wrote every PHB class (except monk; I rolled that into fighter), re-wrote the combat spells, turned non-combat spells into extended cast rituals (flat out removed spells of 7, 8, 9th levels), completely redid the skill system (condensed skill list down to 22, redid how the numbers were generated), re-wrote every monster I used (I changed the monster stat/ability generation system), re-wrote the feats, and removed alignment from the mechanics.

All told? It was 100,000 word + file (the compiled re-write). And now it is gone.

I basically rebuilt the system from the ground up, using the stuff that was balanced and actively seeking to balance the stuff I liked.

In the end, I had 600+ pages in a binder that was basically a reference guide to what could be used from various 3E books, what needed changed and how I was changing it.

I'm happy about 4E at least partially because it means I don't have to lug that thing around anymore.
Sign In to post comments