The So-Called "Boardgame" Feel

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I have seen several posters in the past refer to 4E as having a very "boardgame" feel to it, presumably because of it's reliance on minis and mats---at least that's all I can come up with. Yes, 4E can become very reliant on minis and mats, but only if you allow it to. In RPGA games, I use minis and mats, but in private games I occassionally use them. If I have the time to whip out some sweet maps and find all the minis I need, then I use them. If not, then I go old-school and use graph paper and pencil-marks. I simply fail to understand how 4E can be seen as having more of a "boardgame" feel than any previous edition.

Lest we forget that Chainmail was exclusively a minis game. Editions that came after suggested the use of minis, but the reliance was up to the players. 4E is no different.

There are many combat features that would almost require the players know their exact locations (push, slide, AoE, OA, CA, etc.). However, these things need not be delegated to minis and mats. Graph paper works just as good, in my experience.

I suppose my question is: how many of you out there see 4E as "boardgamey", while other editions were not?
Making marks on a piece of graph paper seems to be just to be a more complicated way of accomplishing the exact same thing as having a board.

I definetely seem 4e as more boardgamey, partly because it does have so many effects that work better when you've got a board (whether its tile or marks on page), partly because it just is designed to play better when played 'as a boardgame'.

I consider this a big plus, especially since I don't find those features DETRACT from playing it not as a boardgame. I do wish they'd streamlined a bit more to make it MORE boardgamey however.
I never used minis before 4e nor did I ever want to. However, because of push/pull/slide, burst/blast, and much shorter ranged powers, it is nearly impossible for my players to handle it anymore. I like the tactical complications those things add, but I find minis/maps annoying for an RPG.

I wouldn't consider it a boardgamey feel, though. Its more of a tactical wargame feel, which I enjoy. I love Battletech, for example. My players, not so much.

Its not going to make me not play, though. 4e is a really good game. But I'm certainly not going to use minis for any rpg other than 4e.
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I never used minis before 4e nor did I ever want to. However, because of push/pull/slide, burst/blast, and much shorter ranged powers, it is nearly impossible for my players to handle it anymore. I like the tactical complications those things add, but I find minis/maps annoying for an RPG.

I wouldn't consider it a boardgamey feel, though. Its more of a tactical wargame feel, which I enjoy. I love Battletech, for example. My players, not so much.

Its not going to make me not play, though. 4e is a really good game. But I'm certainly not going to use minis for any rpg other than 4e.

I have found that 4E has attracted many veteran wargamers...and I'm glad to see it. Battletech was an awesome game, and very involved. I've also seen many Warhammer fans make the move over to D&D via 4E. I look at it as anything that adds to the player fan-base, the better. However...I have also found that veteran wargamers can fight tactical circles around those players who used to be strictly RPG players. I suppose their familiarity with minis/maps/terrain/etc. gives them an advantage.
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The combat in 4th edition feels wargamey because of the clear reliance on minis ans grids. The combat most definitely does not feel boardgamey. Go play chess, checkers, monopoly, risk, chutes and ladders, cranium; all are utterly different experiences from playing in 4th edition combat. Whether a player likes the wargamey feel of 4th edition combat is (of course) a matter of personal preference. And (of course) 4th edition is far more than just combat.

Apparently some DMs have even run 4th edition combat without girds or minis, making it neither boardgamey nor wargamey. I think I would find that very difficult, though. How exactly have some DMs managed to do that? Anyone got a link to a description?

Now, it seems to me that the "4th edition is boardgamey" complaints are just a particular flavor of the "4th edition is all about mechanics (specifically combat)" complaints and the "4th edition de-emphasized roleplaying" complaints. I really don't see how it could be otherwise; nothing about 4th edition even remotely reminds me of most actual board games I've played.

And of course, I find these more general complaints just as baseless as the "boardgamey" complaint. 4th edition has a nice section labeled "Roleplaying" in the PH even before the introduction of the races and classes. It is the first D&D edition (as far as I know) to attempt a unified mechanical system for out-of-combat play. It chose to go the "no mechanics for professions and crafting" route, but whether those things are an aid to roleplaying or a hindrance to it varies from person to person. No, it seems obvious to me that 4th edition emphasizes out-of-combat play and roleplaying at least as much as the previous edition.
We definetely feel the Boardgame thing other posters comment about. The reason I feel this comes is actually in some ways a good thing, the game is VERY standardized/streamlined.

So for example, in 3.x you would cast a spell and it would have all these complicated, non streamlined effects, it would force you to read it and figure out just what the hell this spell does.

NOW it is written so clearly that it is easy to figure out "xD6 damage and pushed 1 square, and the target is stunned for 1 round"

This takes away from the players being FORCED to think about or imagine the actual spell.

As a DM I am CONSTANTLY reminding my players to say the actions, or at least the title of their power. They just keep telling me damage and effect... Which is a side effect of the important information being seperated from the fluff.
In some ways 4E seems to me to be very much like an expanded edition of D&D miniatures. Only simpler.

When did fireballs become cubes? Was it really so hard to work with a circle on a grid when they gave you the template? And why does using one magic item's power mean I can't use another one? Do the items talk to each other?

In other ways it does seem more complex, but it definitely has a tactical board game feel to it.

But then I liked the days when everyone piled into a 20' x 30' room and beat the smack out of each other. Then looted the room for treasure :D
All drama from previous posts aside, I am in the camp of 4e feeling more boardgamey. I do not however feel that this is a bad thing. I like the way the system plays, but I will humor you, as that's what I do.

List inc.

1. 4e tossed out the idea of measurement in ft. While I'm sure I remember reading somewhere in one of the books somewhere that one square was close to or equivalent to 5ft (but I could be imagining things), all of the powers and even combat itself is described with squares being the unit of measure. This is more boardgamist than many of the previous editions which were measured in feet. Although it plays the exact same way and now that I have had it with squares as opposed to measurement in feet I find I prefer it that way. But it does give off more of a move your pawn 5 spaces feel, and it does take away some of the immersion that one would get by describing distances on a battlefield with actual distances as opposed to describing distances as a number of squares on a grid.

2. Strict round phases. While these were present in some previous editions they were never as surgical as they are in 4e. The designers have obviously gotten some inspiration from CCGs here. And while CCGs are not technically boardgames, they are in the same style of game to be sure. I play CCGs with my boardgame group but not usually with my D&D group. But that being said I prefer the rigid round structure and I think it lends well to promote faster play. But D&D 4e definitely inherited its own upkeep phase at the start of each players turn and a cleanup phase at the end of each players turn, and borrowed a little from them in the form of general interrupts (though the end of 3e had these interrupts as well in some of the later books to be fair).

3. Character development is much more template style than previous editions. This takes it much closer to the realms of dungeon delving boardgames (that is all fairness were made to emulate the D&D experience as a boardgame so this brings the whole process to a full circle). You basically pick from a pregenerated set of stats, and choose four of twelve powers, pick a feat and your good to go. This is a much more streamlined process at this point as the feats got the oomph taken out of them almost to the point of near triviality, and most of the powers work in a very finite set of boundaries, and have all been balanced so well that choosing what to play sometimes seems like your just choosing where you want your damage to come from, as no matter what you pick you will ultimately play the exact same way as every other class, and do a similar amount of damage using either a x[w] system (based on level of the power with some of your [w] multipliers being traded for status effects)or on a magic damage system that also scales exactly the same between all caster classes. Sure, there are certainly differences in the classes but they are very small especially when compared to previous editions. If you know how to play a 4e fighter then playing a 4e wizard is thematically and mechanically the exact same, where as with previous editions you may as well have been playing two different games.

And this similarity in class mechanics is the best thing and worst thing about 4e depending on who you ask. I personally don't mind it. Its definitely different than previous editions, but I tend to judge whether or not a particular game is good based on how it plays rather than its differences from a previous edition or similar game, and 4e is fun to play. But it does have a what color pawn do you want to play feel to it. And even though I find the classes different enough for me, with the retraining rules one can pretty much experience most the mechanical variations of a single class in one go through. Of course this feeling should diminish as more material is released, but so to will the balance that the template style characters brought to the table diminish as the options grow.

4. POL setting takes the emphasis off of the campaign world and puts the dungeons directly in the limelight. While you can certainly have things like detailed worlds still, game support from them is gone. You get two books per setting, one with combat rules and another with some Dm materials and a one page write up on each region. This further diminishes the immersion factor of the game as a whole and puts more emphasis on killing and more killing. Some of the discussions I have had compared this level of of story depth with games like Descent and Heroquest (which are also both fine games IMO) which both have very loosely defined campaign and story elements but great dungeon action. But it does make 4e more similar to these dungeon crawling boardgames than previous editions which were ripe with all sorts of material about various campaign worlds. But whether this is good or bad once again will depend on who you ask the question to. Some folks love the lack of detail some don't. While it does not particularly bother me that its not present as the story game I play is a total homebrew and we go all out on our world. But I have noticed the shift in focus, and that shift IMO makes 4e D&D as its presented more like a combat boardgame and less like a storytelling game than previous editions. But then again some may say this is also a full circle due to D&D's origins in tactical wargaming.

5. Parcel treasure makes it feel once again like board game by removing the immersion once again. If you start one campaign with 5 characters and level from 1-3 and then start a second campaign with the same 5 players the parcels don't change you will get x amount of money, and x number of magic items of level x,y, and z on both go throughs. Do it enough and it starts to feel like running a module from a boardgame, you know what the rewards will be before you ever even set foot in the dungeon, its just a matter of locating them in the dungeon itself. Sure this once again balanced the issue of RNG in treasure and makes sure that characters have the resources they need to face challenges of appropriate level, but it removed the immersion factor of going into a crypt and not knowing what you would find. You now know that if your halfway to level three and the group has not received all 5 parcels of magic items, that you may be missing a lvl 4,5, and 6 magic item, and due to the set amount of exp per battle you can easily assume they are in there. This makes the adventure site feel less like part of a living world and lets the game aspect of D&D come up to the surface more prominently.

6.Streamlining of everything. This eliminated a lot of the previous rules that attempted to simulate this and that and grouped all of them into basic and similar systems. This did two things. Firstly it made a lot of obtuse rules more workable at the game table. Most mechanical conflicts are easy to resolve with systems that the players and DM are used to. But it also took a lot of the simulation aspects out of several of the systems. This once again can be a good or bad thing depending on the folks you ask. I think its a good thing myself, it makes the game easier to play. But I would be lying if I said it made the game feel less like a traditional boardgame, because I find the opposite to be true. The compounding of systems into a few streamlined mechanics in several cases at the expense of simulation I find illustrates clearly the boardgame aspect of 4e. There are several examples of this from Yahtzee d20 death saving throw criticals, to surge mechanics, to saving throw mechanics that scream at you, YOU ARE PLAYING A GAME!

But overall I don't think 4e is a bad game. My group is loving it, and I feel like they got a lot of things right. There are a few things I may have done differently (and that we do do differently in our home games), but I can't say honestly that there has ever been an edition of any game system that I couldn't say that about.

But yes it is my opinion that 4e definitely drifted a little bit back towards the boardgame genre in many ways in its' quest for balance in play (which is not surprising considering the grief they got about 3.5's imbalances). I'm cool with that if you are. Boardgames are a helluva lot easier to teach to folks than complex or obtuse simulationist systems (not that those systems are bad, because I enjoy and play those types of games as well) and three of the players in my regular group are in fact new to roleplaying games. I snatched them up from my boardgame group and they picked right up because I had been prepping them with dungeon crawling boardgames. I don't feel their transition would have been have been as easy in a more complex system, like some of the older editions. Sure I think they could have done it eventually, but because 4e plays much more like a boardgame than previous editions it tends to be a little more accessible than those editions. Which I believe was one of the design goals that they had in mind when making it play the way it does.

I'd just like to say again that these are my opinions, and they should be read as such. Many folks feel differently than myself on plenty of these items I'm sure, and I am certainly not trying to say they are wrong.

love,

malkav
Battletech was an awesome game...

I take issue with that, sir. Battletech is still an awesome game.

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I take issue with that, sir. Battletech is still an awesome game.

Noted, and agreed.
Well, if you want a relative newbie's perspective, I think it feels very boardgamey. However, I find pretty much any game where you move pieces around a grid to feel boardgamey. I don't feel this is a bad thing. Of course, I've also been known to roleplay during Monopoly.

I've only played two sessions of 4e, and both times it felt alternately like chess and Clue. I'm not even sure why I was reminded of Clue; probably something about moving the pieces around on a board that actually has walls, while trying to solve mental puzzles. But anyway, yes, it felt like a board game where you empathize with the pieces, and I loved every minute of it.

Some of you are saying it doesn't feel like a board game because (previous edition of your choice) had just as much moving pieces around a grid. But I haven't used miniatures in any previous editions; I really haven't played a lot of PnP at all, and when I did it was always the type where we imagined pretty much everything, so this was my first exposure to mini-based combat.
4e feels board-gamey to me. I've even went so far as to say that it plays like chess with minis. That used to be a real distraction for me.

It's taken some time but the new edition is finally starting to grow on me. 4e has a very different feel than 3.5 (for me at least); both are fun games in their own way (I play both when I can). 4e still feels board-gamey to me but now it's part of the appeal. Odd how opinions change, eh :P?

Prior to 4e, we sometimes used minis but mostly as props for our imagination, more than for any real tactical purpose. Never- ever- thought I'd say this ;) but minis really add something to our 4e games. I wouldn't want to play without 'em; other editions I can live without minis, but 4e is better for their use IMHO.
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It's a roleplaying game. When there are purely non-combat events going on you can feel free to roleplay to your hearts content.

It's a board game. When there is some kind of combat or encounter it has to play out with a board. You can call it a wargame, but that's only because there's "fighting." The very fact that distances are written as "squares" in the rules has board game all over it. There is also the fact that a turn is no longer 10 combat rounds, 10 minutes, or whatever other unit of time that was previously used, but a single player's turn also lends to it being a board game.
Given that I originally recruited my friends to 2e with the line "it's like a super-advanced boardgame" I don't really see the negative.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

I agree that the combat aspect of 4E has a definite board game feel to it. Personally, I like it a lot. I like exploring the 4E combat strategies. Some players are not so into learning the intricate moves you can make in any combat situation.

Combat is not the only aspect of 4E and RPG's in general. The non-combat aspect of D&D is something that appeals to players, too. The non-combat part of 4E does not feel like a board game at all.

One thing that I have observed so far is that when combat happens, it seems like the game kinda switches modes. You are taken a bit out of the story and/or charcter, and onto a game grid. I have had discussions with my group about this and part of the issue is that everyone is new to 4E. When combat occurs, there are rather strict rules on how you do almost anything. It's like learning how to drive a car. At first, you have to think, "turn the wheel" in order to move the car in that direction. When I became more experienced in driving, I no longer think about turning the wheel, I think that I need to drive in that direction and it happens. As players become more experienced with the rules, the will not feel as though they are taken out of character and onto some board game.

Another thing that I observed is that players who are not into tactical combat games can still enjoy 4E combat. I find that one such player can stay in character partly because he just isn't interested in figuring out the best square to move to. The way it ends up working is that he says in general what he wants to do and I (being into the tactical side of combat) will suggest how he should move. I find that I get to do the tactical stuff on his behalf and he gets to stay in character and not have to worry about tactical combat which he is not that good at anyway. It may seem like I am helping him cheat, but in the end, we both get what we want to out of the game and we both have fun.
<\ \>tuntman
D&D has always been two games: amateur dramatics/role-playing and a board-game, just now the board-game aspect of it doesn't suck.
One thing that I have observed so far is that when combat happens, it seems like the game kinda switches modes.

Yep. Though in fairness this has been true of every RPG system I've played (and that's been several). D&D 3+4 exacerbate this transition somewhat because of the squares + figures set-up.
D&D has always been two games: amateur dramatics/role-playing and a board-game, just now the board-game aspect of it doesn't suck.

This is very much the same way I see the game, albeit more terse and confrontational than I'd have put it.

I like that the board-game (or wargame, if you prefer) component of 4e is solid and plays smoothly, while still offering tactical complexity. That, more than anything else, is what I want out of that part of the game. 4e gives it to me.
dnd has always been a boardgame. just with 4e they are supporting minis, mats, and grid rules a lot more than before rather than leaving them as vague options that most people tried to avoid because they were so convoluted.

in advanced dnd we played just by describing how far away players were from something, or used graph paper, or grids found in player kits they used to sell. i like that they are supporting this with their own pre-painted minis, dungeon tiles that you can fit together to make almost anything you want, and giving more solid rules for moving around in combat and making movement , facing, cover, positioning, etc more important and central to gameplay.
So...it is interesting that most...almost all...of the responses have been along the lines of "4E does have a boardgamey feel , but I like that". I suppose I fit into the group that sees it more as a wargame than a boardgame, but that could just be a matter of semantics. Either way, the responses have been great. Thanks guys and gals.
I've used miniatures and dungeon tiles/mats/the like in all editions of the game and 4E has a strong boardgame feel to me. For me, a huge portion of this is due to the way powers act in the game. [EDIT] In fact, I've often referred to 4E as "Advanced Descent" or "Advanced Warhammer Quest" in jest.
Go play chess, checkers, monopoly, risk, chutes and ladders, cranium; all are utterly different experiences from playing in 4th edition combat.

Go play HeroQuest, Warhammer Quest, Descent, Siege of the Citadel, the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Game (not released in the US sadly) or something like those and I think you'll see what I mean by 'boardgamey'. Though the difference between 'wargame' and 'boardgame' is pretty subjective.
The combat The combat most definitely does not feel boardgamey. Go play chess, checkers, monopoly, risk, chutes and ladders, cranium; all are utterly different experiences from playing in 4th edition combat.

Go play Descent, Heroquest, Battlestations, or many others and your argument falls apart. D&D has always had board game aspects and was frequently described as a "board game without the board" as I was growing up.

4E definitely has a greater board game feel to it than previous editions but that's not a bad thing. It's actually obsoleted Descent for me. Other than the "DM as player too" aspect that Descent has (and there are RPGs that have that element as well) 4e can be used to run the exact same kind of game.

There are a lot of limitations in 4E but one of it's strengths is that it can be played anywhere in the spectrum from pure board game to pure RPG. That strength becomes even more important when you consider that most groups probably have a players who's comfort zone falls at different places along that spectrum.
Go play Descent, Heroquest, Battlestations, or many others and your argument falls apart. D&D has always had board game aspects and was frequently described as a "board game without the board" as I was growing up.

If I'm not mistaken, some of the older PHBs even described D&D as such. Something along the lines of "Imagine you're playing a boardgame...now take away the board and tokens...", or something like that.
I have seen a lot of threads on this issue and one thing that I don't think has been mentioned is that everyone has diffrent ways of processing information. Some people like myself are more visualy oriented and need to see where everything is in a scene in order to process it, particularly if there is a big encounter involving several combantants and terrain features. One of our DM's is very verbaly oriented and still just doesent get that if gives a 4 paragraph long desricption of an area that many of his players eyes are glazing over.

In a novel you can read long descriptions of a scene and visualize it in your head, and also long as you have the gist then you can follow the story fine. The author is setting a scene, it does not mater if you do not visulize it the exact same way. But in D&D it is often vitaly important to know where everyone and everything is right done the to each 5x5 ft area. Otherwise you get the arugmunts and misundersatnding about who is in range, who flanks who, who gets hit by the fireball.

I love to roleplay and I love tatical combat I don't see one interfering with the other. In fact I think maps and mini's adds to the roleplaying because if you see clearly where everything is it gives you more oppertunity to do dramatic things that are in keeping with the personality of your charecter.

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I suppose my question is: how many of you out there see 4E as "boardgamey", while other editions were not?

I certainly do not see it as one edition being "boardgamey" or "wargamey" while other editions are not. Certainly, they all combine elements.

However, with the rigidly defined abilities of 4E, I have certainly noticed an increased tendency among my players to mostly think in terms of what specific abilities their characters have written down on their sheets rather than thinking outside the box. To me, that is a bad thing.
So...it is interesting that most...almost all...of the responses have been along the lines of "4E does have a boardgamey feel , but I like that". I suppose I fit into the group that sees it more as a wargame than a boardgame, but that could just be a matter of semantics. Either way, the responses have been great. Thanks guys and gals.

You'd have to add into your data set the consideration that a significant portion of the respondents don't consider the difference between "boardgame" and "wargame" to be significant enough to care.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

You'd have to add into your data set the consideration that a significant portion of the respondents don't consider the difference between "boardgame" and "wargame" to be significant enough to care.

Would you agree with the following assumption:

Boardgame: a game played on a board with tokens/pieces with a defined beginning and end and a winner is the end result.

Wargame: Tactical game with a board and pieces that involve total player interaction in which a victor can be determined, but with a much more flexible time-frame.

Let's take chess for an example. Is it a boardgame? Yes. Is it a wargame? Yes. Is it tactical? Yes. Is it altogether different from DDM? Not really. Is it altogether different than D&D? Yes. D&D has too many free-form rules to be all-contained, started, and finished within a defined area and a strictly limited number of tokens/pieces...unless the DM and players agree to make it so.

For me, the biggest difference between D&D and other tactical wargames/boardgames is the human element. The rules are all-flexible, and the amount of alterable elements is limited strictly to the imagination of those playing. Chess is tactical, but the rules are hard and fast. Same with DDM. Same with 99% of boardgames. Sure, many people have a small number of house-rules with games like Monopoly, but nowhere near the degree of those with D&D.
Re: Measurement in squares:

The books do say that a square is about five feet wide. It doesn't peg it to that distance exactly because it's intended that you can scale the actual size of the squares up or down as need to accommodate areas that don't fit neatly to five-foot increments. If the room is 12x18 rather than 10x15, it's still 2x3 squares large. (You could also declare it to be 3x4 or even 2x4 - the squares don't have to be perfectly square.)

Another reason for using squares becomes apparent when you consider that the game is international: Squares are essentially a universal measurement, whereas feet are primarily used in the US - most other countries are metric, and foot-distance measurements can be downright confusing to people who aren't used to the imperial system. (I had this issue in 2E and 3E with a player from Germany, who couldn't for the life of him grasp just how long distances were when measured in feet.) Now, you can say that one square equals whatever unit of measure you're most comfortable with, whether that's X feet or Y meters.
Another reason for using squares becomes apparent when you consider that the game is international: Squares are essentially a universal measurement, whereas feet are primarily used in the US - most other countries are metric, and foot-distance measurements can be downright confusing to people who aren't used to the imperial system. (I had this issue in 2E and 3E with a player from Germany, who couldn't for the life of him grasp just how long distances were when measured in feet.) Now, you can say that one square equals whatever unit of measure you're most comfortable with, whether that's X feet or Y meters.

Excellent points. While I was in Korea, we had a large group that had a few Koreans in it. They had no idea what we were talking about when it came to distance in feet, so we all had to do some conversions into metric. I made a few conversion sheets and placed them into everyones' PHBs. It wasn't long before we were all discussing distance in metric terms.
Hokus:

I totally understand the differences between boardgame and wargame, but I don't have the personal investment needed for that understanding to shape my vocabulary.

To put it another way, I know the difference between an ale and a lager, but since I don't care (I'm a non-drinker) they're both just beer.
Hokus:

I totally understand the differences between boardgame and wargame, but I don't have the personal investment needed for that understanding to shape my vocabulary.

To put it another way, I know the difference between an ale and a lager, but since I don't care (I'm a non-drinker) they're both just beer.

Oh, don't get me wrong...that was in no way any kind of challenge to your point...I was just stating my own opinions of what each of those sub-genres were to me.
The combat in 4th edition feels wargamey because of the clear reliance on minis ans grids.

Most people use tabletop and board interchangeably.

And (of course) 4th edition is far more than just combat.

It is? Seems like the majority of 4Es changes to simplify the game removed most of the role-playing opportunities. Hard to role-play when everything is just given to you and you have no restrictions. And, I mean, have you even SEEN Martial Power? It's cover to cover combat powers, completely lacking any of the role-play material that 3.5E's "Completes" had. WotC knows it's audience and it knows that it wants to outsell White Wolf.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

I wonder if the idea that it is boardgamey comes from the following:

In general, most rules in a boardgame are discrete chunks. They tell you exactly what the rule is about, and what it does. There is very little room left for interpretation. Taken in isolation, the pwers/exploits/spells of 4E are very similar. That, combined with the fact that effects such as push/pull/slide are easier to visualize with miniatures and "pushing them around" brings it closer to a boardgame-style of play.

However, D&D comes with all of the other stuff (the only limit is your imagination) that break it out of the board-game mold.


(I am referring to Western-style boardgames here. I am not familiar enough with german-style games to know if it is applicable for them as well.)
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
When did fireballs become cubes? Was it really so hard to work with a circle on a grid when they gave you the template?

Not really, as long as they say something like "Unless a square is COMPLETELY covered, it's not affected. Just give a rule as to how to handle "partial squares" and you're good.
If anything I say is wrong, clueless or spelt incorrectly, it is because, I am, in general, wrong, clueless and... Well, I'm usually spelt correctly.
Wargame: Tactical game with a board and pieces that involve total player interaction in which a victor can be determined, but with a much more flexible time-frame.

(Emphasis mine)

I've never played a wargame. Heck, I've never even played RISK. But I strongly suspect that I would also say that wargames feel like board games. To me, wargame would be a subset of board game. The other subset - the one that includes Sorry and Clue - would be something like "family board game" or "party game".

So, to me anyway, 4e feeling like a wargame would not mean it doesn't also feel like a board game. But of course I might feel differently after I played a few wargames.
Seems like the majority of 4Es changes to simplify the game removed most of the role-playing opportunities. Hard to role-play when everything is just given to you and you have no restrictions.

While I do understand why people might think this, it simply does not play out like this in-game. I have yet to have, between my 4 groups that I DM for, any feelings of a "lack of RP" due to the rules. If anything, the players are RPing more, since their hands aren't tied by erroneous rules that govern every little thing they could do. If they want to do it, they do it. It's MY job, as the DM, to let them know if they can or not within the bounds of the campaign...and what the consequences will be if they do. I don't know how many players I've had tell me how glad they are to not have to drop points into crafting skills just to make a new quiver for their arrows (and dozens of other examples).
For those that actually and honeslty feel that way (instead of just latching onto the soundbite), it's probably because the 'stand and slug' style is gone. Instead of only moving to engage, you're able to and in most cases, expected to move every round. And if you don't move, other things will move you.

For those not used to visualizing these things as stumbles, being knocked back, etc, they only see moving minis around. They just need to retrain themselves to visualize it properly.
Sig to be rebuilt soon The Descendants-- the webserial that reads like a comic book! World of Ere-- A campaign setting that puts style to the fore.
It is? Seems like the majority of 4Es changes to simplify the game removed most of the role-playing opportunities. Hard to role-play when everything is just given to you and you have no restrictions.

Explain this because it stinks of BS. I've seen more RP opportunities, not less and what in the world are you talking about 'no restrictions'?

And, I mean, have you even SEEN Martial Power?

I have, but:
It's cover to cover combat powers, completely lacking any of the role-play material that 3.5E's "Completes" had.

This definitively proves you haven't. There's a half dozen short stories in the book, for god's sake.
Sig to be rebuilt soon The Descendants-- the webserial that reads like a comic book! World of Ere-- A campaign setting that puts style to the fore.
We didn't use minis until 3e. I've now played two editions with minis and this "boardgame feel" is something I noticed during my first 4e combat. Mini represented combat in 3.x felt different. And I think I know why (at least for me). Powers. The powers make movement and position much more important than they were before. A slip-up of one square can mean a ton of problems. Forced movement, damaging zones, etc all make you pay much more attention to the board than you had to in previous editions. It's more than being flanked now. Someone - if you're in range - can pull you to them or push you away. Powers have shorter ranges for the most part, too. This means that even the range-y Wizard needs to be fairly close to things now. It is absolutely imperative to know exactly where you and your allies/enemies stand in 4e because movement and placement are so much more important now than they were before. That need to focus on the mat makes it feel boardgame-y. And there is a distinct separation between non-combat and combat because of it.

Is this bad? Depends on the player questioned, IMO. For me, it's not terrible. I have always (well, since the start of 3e) had a focus on tactical positioning and movement in D&D combat (and Battletech). That's a huge part of the fun of the game, IMO. It adds to the excitement and feel of danger. It makes you feel more like a part of the combat because every move is so important. And it's just plain interesting to sit there and plan which square you'll shift to or how far away and in what direction to move would keep you safest, but still "in it". Personally, I'd like a less drastic shift in play between combat and non, but it may also simply be a matter of getting used to it. No matter what, though, I'll never play a game of D&D without minis again. They work too well and I enjoy it too much. :D
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

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

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