4E Rules and Mechanics Discussion

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Discuss your thoughts, ideas, concerns, and questions about 4E Rules and Mechanics here.

I was able to sit down for 15 minutes with Andy Collins, the Manager of Rules and Development for 4th Edition. You can see the video here:

xmen510;13449181 wrote:

hehe, upload first, then link please ;)
That was a great interview. Lots of good teases there.
Thank you. :D
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Any chance of a direct link? All i get is a:

Sorry, no matches were found containing .
I'll probably edit this as I go I'm watching the videos right now. So...here's a list of your good ideas, and your dumb ideas.


Good Ideas

New Power Sources: Yes, melee needed a boost in battle.

Digital version of the play surface: Now this idea I like, however I'd rather you released this as a PC program separate of any edition upgrade.

Dumb Ideas

Base level raised to 30: Not only is this pointless but way to imitate WoW. Release a new major patch, raise the level cap by 10. Is it going to go to 40 in 5E?

More Entrenched Defined Roles: Defines roles is a bad thing. Why do you think we have so many player created classes? No one wants to be "Okay, I heal, and only heal." or "I play tank and only swing my sword." It's boring. You should've made more broad roles for characters, not more specific ones.

New Resource Management: Wow...just wow...whoever DMs for your play testers must really...really suck. If your games are getting boring just because the casters aren't doing something then some DM doesn't know how to do his job worth two lumps of Dragon....
must be something wrong in my end. I get the same Sorry page from your link as well
Must be your end. Both links work fine for me. Try opening a new window and come back to this thread and try again. Sometimes that works. Son't close the old one though in case you can't back on.
I like the idea of more racial feats and powers so that race can matter. I also like that it seems to be "can matter" not "must matter", so that a dwarven fighter doesn't have to take the dwarven feats and powers.
I hope that there are also some nice guidelines ad hints for DM's and non-core races.
I would just like to say that if I wanted to play an electronic version of DND I would of bought WOW. Plus not only did I spend easily over the last 7 years close 1300 dollars on books to play my favorite game ...but now for me to get the best bang for my buck I going to have to buy the new books and pay a monthy subcription to get the full flavor of the game. What am I going to tell my wife who has put up with my favourite past time. Not only that it seems I seen a Laptop at the table ...... Where do you think we are all going to get the money to pay for that. I spend most of my day work at the BOX THAT EMITTS LIGHT GOD. I dont want to do that as well on Wednesday evening and Sunday when my group gets together. Plus when I did go on line it was to see if there was insight to the game at the wizards page. Different aspects of the game to throw at my players.You might want to look at other message boards out there at get hint of the reaction to the community. Other than game developers and people that are plugged into the commerce of the industry .... Of course they think it great move because it gives them the oppourtunity send more copper in the coffers. Please check this forum out.....http://www.gelatinousdudes.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1886
Done editing my other post for the good ideas to bad ideas.
I would like to know if I will be able to use any (That is any part of them) of the 3.5 books that I spent so much money on.
.
Thank you for that video. I will admit that my initial knee-jerk reaction to the announcement of 4th ed was one that cannot be repeated here, but with some time to calm down and study it as best as I can, I must say I'm intrigued.

Specifically by the announcement on that video that RPGA members would be allowed to playtest the upcoming edition.

I would like to know how one goes about officially declaring their interest in the process. Half of my group consists of rules monkeys that would have a blast doing a playtest.

Thank you very much for a prompt reply, even if this might not be the best place to place this query.

Michael Carter-Wright
RPGA #99882839
Ugh! I just posted this in the Hallelujah thread, to find that this new topic is far more appropriate. Well, here goes:

What I really really like about the direction of 4th Edition. Based not on conjecture, but only on that which has been officially announced.

From Design & Development: Race
"Race was important at 1st level, but by the time you hit 20th, there was rarely much to distinguish a dwarf fighter from a half-orc fighter. The difference between a +2 here and a +2 over there was drowned out by the huge bonuses from magic items and character level—it didn’t matter any more."

All too true. I've always liked how the githyanki and githzari gained abilities as they "leveled up," and have always preferred a more spread out effect for races. Midnight's approach with Heroic Paths, was also something I liked and would not have minded seeing in actual core races.
...most of your racial traits come into play right out of the gate at 1st level.... As you go up levels, you can take racial feats to make those abilities even more exciting and gain new capabilities tied to your race. You can also take race-specific powers built into your class, which accomplish a lot of what racial substitution levels used to do...

Hallelujah!
Although I do hope that characters will have access to a larger number of "feats." It also sounds like there is more choice involved upon leveling up in a given class. "You can also take race-specific powers built into your class" implies that you could also "choose from a list of possible powers built into your class." Which I like. More balanced choices = more fun.

Fighters.

From Design & Development: Class
"Yeah. I thought about going high Con and using a hammer, but I wanted to start with the chance to make a couple of attacks, so I’m using rain of blows as my good weapon attack, and I went with high Wis so that I can switch to the better oppy powers later."

"My elf fighter uses a spear. I like the speed and the option to go past AC."

Other character classes have specific weapons and weapon types that they tend to rely on while still maintaining access to a larger chunk of the weapon chart. The fighter is the only current 4th Edition class with capabilities that depend on the weapon they have chosen to train the most with

Hallelujah!
One of the possibilities I've considered as a "fighter fix" would be a focus on a weapon type. I'm glad to see it here. Not only that, but it looks like each weapon type results in several resource management options, and only this fighter class has access to even cooler maneuver-ish abilities with said weapon types. A great idea.

Also: Weapon usage depends on different Abilities. Number of Attacks depends on weapon choice. "Speed" is a factor for weapons. And not only is AC going to remain, but more choices/abilities are included to bypass/deal with it. Fascinating.

Per day powers.

I hate per day powers. I really like by encounter powers.

From Playtest Reports: Castle Smoulderthorn
apparently the group is still breathing hard from their last session, not even rested or healed, when we hear a shuffle of footsteps from behind a set of double doors...

And it was a fight! And . . . we won. Without really breaking a sweat, either, truth be told.

Hallelujah!
This excerpt implies something more akin to a per encounter based system. Even when tired, the party may still go on for just "one more fight," with the resources available to do so. Resource management per encounter has always been a far more exciting system than trying to spread out your resources across several unknown challenges. If this is the direction of 4th Edition, I'm happy.

Thank you, WotC. Keep the previews coming!
I am really interested to see the influence of Tome of Battle on the game. I had read somewhere that it did have an influence of fighters and they would be taking a melee-spell like approach to fighters.

I really hope to see a larger variety of modifications that can be applied to characters.
I agree with Germytech,

I also really like the way this is looking, especially the race and class features, as far as one can tell at the moment...
And I also like that it seems that at least some stuff from 3.5 remains, such as feats and AC, even if it's undergone some change. At least that way it won't seem like learning an entirely new system :P

I'll probably be buying the 4.0 Core Books if the system really is as refreshing and innovative as it appears to be...

Greetings, Bowen

P.S.: Hoping they'll put Lycanthropes in the 4.0 MM
i think 30 levels might be a great way to add more immerssion to classes

just because he said defined roles doesnt mean, piongeonholing classes into mmo functions you know ... i have read many excelent 3.5 stuff and i have confidence that they will please me with 4e

it just suck not to know anything and shoot each other in the dark

but i guess we can expect more customization, more options to take in an action in combat, combined with easier rules
One important issue for me is that errata for 4th edition be issued often. I'd also like to see the FAQ done by the same team that does the errata (making them consistent with each other), and that the FAQ be elevated to the same level as the errata as far as "officialness" for the core rules. Name both the errata and the FAQ in the DMG as being primary sources for rules clarifications and changes.

The errata and FAQ are like Patches to software. Failing to devote a team to doing it all the time is a customer service failure that harms the game experience overall. Mistakes and errors are made in all rules, and they will never be perfect. But adapting to correct those mistakes and errors frequently helps a lot.
The single, happiest day in my 3.0-3.5 career was the introduction of the Savage Species and the ability to actually PLAY as my favorite monsters. I would really like to see more of that but, on a much more managable scale. The idea was good but, very flawed.

For instance, being 7 levels behind everyone else with a creatuer attuned to magic is still horrible because so much is level dependant. That example is the Spellweaver.

So, more playable, manageable, monsters. :D

That's Tweedledope's
The single, happiest day in my 3.0-3.5 career was the introduction of the Savage Species and the ability to actually PLAY as my favorite monsters. I would really like to see more of that but, on a much more managable scale. The idea was good but, very flawed.

In the Design and Development section there is a new racial article that speaks of a system like it - but they have changed it. You can't really tell if they have removed the LA system or not. I personally would like to see some serious changes in playable races - a more balanced change. Savage Species was an awesome attempt but fell a little short. I think creating vastly different playable races - at least a dozen races - would be a good idea. Maybe a better idea than taking a Savage Species approach. They could also toss in race conversions as Dragon content each month - which would keep people like me subscribed.
Well it appears it would take me 30 to 50 minutes to download the vids, is there anything in text to comment on?

I did see a little text about weapon type perhaps 12 hours ago, but WotC site only worked a few moments.
Plans are always subject to change.
Please tell me vancian casting is being replaced with a system akin to 3.5 psionics and is encounter based. I hate needing days of planning ahead of time to effectively use my spells.
More clearly defined roles, I think is a bad thing. I like that the Cleric can do all kinds of stuff - he has to blow lots of spells and possibly feats or gold to do it, but he gets to be pretty good. I just think you might have overcompensated in some ways - like the 3/3.5E Druid. No one wanted to play Druids in 2.0 - True Neutral alignment, ridiculous roleplaying restrictions, etc. But you overshot in 3.0/3.5 when you tried to make it more appealing by beefing up their power and allowing them to effectively replace a warrior-type. Leave class-defined roles to MMOs.
i think 30 levels might be a great way to add more immerssion to classes

just because he said defined roles doesnt mean, piongeonholing classes into mmo functions you know ... i have read many excelent 3.5 stuff and i have confidence that they will please me with 4e

it just suck not to know anything and shoot each other in the dark

but i guess we can expect more customization, more options to take in an action in combat, combined with easier rules
I would like to know if I will be able to use any (That is any part of them) of the 3.5 books that I spent so much money on.
.

Yeah, that is certainly an issue for me too. It seems like 3.5 just came out; though i realize it's been a few years.
i think 30 levels might be a great way to add more immerssion to classes

just because he said defined roles doesnt mean, piongeonholing classes into mmo functions you know ... i have read many excelent 3.5 stuff and i have confidence that they will please me with 4e

it just suck not to know anything and shoot each other in the dark

but i guess we can expect more customization, more options to take in an action in combat, combined with easier rules

The thing that I am afraid of, is that it will end up like the Star Wars RPG Saga Edition. The ruleset in that game is way too dumbed down for my tastes. I mean, the 3.5 rules are not difficult!

"But dude, grappling is kind of hard!"

No, it isn't.

"Yeah, but what about all the crazy rulesets for different combat environments.. I mean, that's kind of hard right?"

No. Morons!

I really hope Wizards doesn't dumb down our game.
Please tell me vancian casting is being replaced with a system akin to 3.5 psionics and is encounter based. I hate needing days of planning ahead of time to effectively use my spells.

Seconded.

I mean, you could reprint psions exactly as they are except change the names of things to "wizard" and "spells", reduce the powerspell points to roughly a quarter of what they are now, and have them reset after an encounter. That is nowhere near perfect, but it's already better than anything in 3.5.
The thing that I am afraid of, is that it will end up like the Star Wars RPG Saga Edition. The ruleset in that game is way too dumbed down for my tastes. I mean, the 3.5 rules are not difficult!

It IS NOT DUMBED DOWN. It is streamlined. 3.5 rules are not difficult, they are tedious. People say hard, but more than likely they mean time consuming and tedious.

You have the same amount depth, if not more, in the Saga Core book than you do in the DnD Corebooks. The only difference is its faster and less tedious.
The single, happiest day in my 3.0-3.5 career was the introduction of the Savage Species and the ability to actually PLAY as my favorite monsters. I would really like to see more of that but, on a much more managable scale. The idea was good but, very flawed.

For instance, being 7 levels behind everyone else with a creatuer attuned to magic is still horrible because so much is level dependant. That example is the Spellweaver.

So, more playable, manageable, monsters. :D

That's Tweedledope's

I'm with you. A new system where I can play my favorite... 'eccentric' races and templates since level 1 will be great!
CharOpers, sound off.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
Get rid of specific memorization for wizards and clerics. Allow them to be able to cast whatever spell they know, just limit the number of spells per day that can be cast as it is now.
It IS NOT DUMBED DOWN. It is streamlined. 3.5 rules are not difficult, they are tedious. People say hard, but more than likely they mean time consuming and tedious.

You have the same amount depth, if not more, in the Saga Core book than you do in the DnD Corebooks. The only difference is its faster and less tedious.

I agree with AT-AT on all points except Saga's skill system. Saga is not 'dumbed down' at all really aside from skills (my one and only remaining gripe with Saga). It is streamlined so that actual gameplay flows faster and more smoothly. The number and variety of options can hardly be considered simple. It's just organized and presented in a more concise fashion. Personally, I prey that 4th Edition takes a page from Saga at least in regards to classes. Provides a very easy way to customize your characters while balancing them. I love the fact that you can play the same race/class as another player and be absolutely nothing alike in terms of ability. I also love that there are social aspects of the game woven right into certain class options for many of the classes. It's nice to have options built in that are intended for actual role playing instead of just hack and slash roll playing!
Sounding Off.
Quick, someone use Time Regression to save the thread, just in case.
For those that still can't get the links to work they are on You Tube and are linked below.

D&D 4th Ed.: Behind The Scenes, Part 1

D&D 4th Ed.: Behind The Scenes, Part 2
Sounding off!

(I will be here, hopefully watching the CO greats rebuild Pun-Pun in 4E)
'Reppin the 339!
Well, it seems pretty definitely that per-encounter resources is the way they have gone with spellcasters. I only hope that the main Fighter problem has been addressed - i.e. useless in any situation other than combat.

[edit] Sounding off?
Base level raised to 30: Not only is this pointless but way to imitate WoW. Release a new major patch, raise the level cap by 10. Is it going to go to 40 in 5E?

The D&D Rules Cyclopedia listed a maximum level of 36 for most classes. The Second Edition AD&D game was capped at 20, which went up to 30 in DM's Option: High Level Campaigns. Third Edition had again had a cap of 20, which was removed under Epic rules that theoretically allowed unlimited advancement. Level 30 is precedented.

Further, your comparison to World of Warcraft doesn't fit at all. This isn't Blizzards of the Coast dropping ten new levels on top of your existing charts so you can roll into the lower planes with your established characters and find better magic items. Though it is speculatory, I like to think what we can expect is a retuning of the entire range of levels such that 5th level in 4e doesn't really line up in terms of power with 5th level in 3.5. Accurately converting the 3.5 level scheme to 4e and then adding 10 more to the top probably isn't and certainly shouldn't be the plan. The move to 30, I'm willing to bet, has more to do with scaling existing abilities across a larger range for more gradual and regular improvement rather than for simple power-creep.

More Entrenched Defined Roles: Defines roles is a bad thing. Why do you think we have so many player created classes? No one wants to be "Okay, I heal, and only heal." or "I play tank and only swing my sword." It's boring. You should've made more broad roles for characters, not more specific ones.

I don't think it was stated that the roles were necessarily tied to class. While the "I heal and only heal" statement doesn't currentlly apply, something along the lines of "I heal but probably nobody else does" seems to fit. Likewise, statements like "I can't afford to get hit in combat" and "I CAN afford to get hit in combat" are role defining as well.

In short, specialization of members within a group allows for greater success of that group. I don't think that's a novel idea at all and the fact that you think it shouldn't be represented in the game takes me by surprise.

New Resource Management: Wow...just wow...whoever DMs for your play testers must really...really suck. If your games are getting boring just because the casters aren't doing something then some DM doesn't know how to do his job worth two lumps of Dragon....

I don't know how to respond to this. Are you suggesting that a DM doesn't know what he's doing if he can't find something for a Wizard who's blown all of his spells to do that anyone else in the party (rogues) can't do just as well or better?
Sounding off!

(I will be here, hopefully watching the CO greats rebuild Pun-Pun in 4E)

Not even glorious Pun-pun can withstand the total utter annihilating wrath of an edition change Perhaps he will survive, but this time in goblin form or saghuin, who knows?

I hope by "more defined roles" they are not about to destroy the possibilities for generalist classes. When they talk about defined roles, it sounds as if they want d&d to become like playing football (american). Yes football is great and each player in the team contributes in a well defined way, but d&d isn't a sport, it's a place to play a role. Some people don't want to play roles that strictly define what they're worth and in what way to the party. Some people don't want to be a fighter only or a caster only. I am looking forward to the idea that they will diversify in-class options as they seem to have done with SWSE, but I still worry for how much they will specialize each class.