Download new rules for D&D 4e Miniatures

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D&D Miniatures is now fully updated for 4e. And its downloadable here.

Altho Miniatures isnt exactly the same as D&D 4e, changes suggest things to come for D&D 4e. Especially helpful seems the glossary toward the end, pages 42 and follows. The terms give a good summary of concepts relevant in D&D 4e.

A quick glance. Seems excellent.

Thoughts?
Some interesting stuff I noticed.

-Diagonal squares count as 1 square (good change)
-Initiative seems to be rolled each round (bad change)
-Shifting (the 5 ft step) is a move action. (undecided)
-New movement type: Phasing, which seems to be the equivalent of incorporeal, or possibly the new blink.
-Radius effects are now squares, probably due to the diagonal rule (nice change, much simpler)
-Cone effects still require templates, though the templates are a bit simpler to use. From what it looks like, you can't shoot the cone straight E,W,S,N anymore, unless it's allowable to place the template such that the squares don't line up. Otherwise, cones always seem to go diagonally, though they seem to adhere to the old diagonal =1.5 squares rule.
-Cover bonus reduced to only +2 to AC (bad change)
-There are weird saving throw mechanics, where you roll an unmodified d20 on a table to end an existing effect. (kind of odd)
-Weird rule for halving things, by which you round down to the nearest multiple of 5. so half damage for 15 damage isn't 7, it's 5. (don't see the point other than added complexity)
'Action' = a power that you must 'activate' your character to do on its turn.
'Ability' = a power or type that is always on.


COMBAT

Types of attack
  • Melee (= adjacent square)
  • Close [Area] (an area within radius 3 or 6 squares) (burst, cone, line)
  • Ranged (ray, arrow)
  • [Far] Area (an area in range) (radius)


Critical hit: The glossary says that crit does damage x2. This is unavoidable since Miniatures do flat damage on a successful hit and cant be maximized. However, in D&D 4e crit does maximized damage. Not double. Note, attacks against a creature with a Helpless condition become automatic crits.

Types of damage
  • Acid
  • Cold
  • Fire
  • Force (not mentioned)
  • Lightning
  • Necrotic (~ negative energy)
  • Psychic
  • Radiant (~ positive energy, not mentioned)
  • Thunder (~ sonic)
  • Wound


Resist damage (type). As far as I can tell, devs removed this from 4e for the same reason they removed damage reduction. DR becomes statistically wonky when used along with AC, and likewise damage resistance becomes wonky with save defenses.

Immunity (type)? I thought 4e was going to get rid of complete immunities. I suppose Immunities are just for obvious racial abilities like White Dragon immune to cold, and Salamander immune to fire. However, I hope immunities are extremely rare. No sentient creature should ever have immunity to psychic damage - even including constructs which are still able to sense and respond to opponents.

Conceal. A target with concealment gains a kind of second layer of AC. Roll d20 twice. First attack must successfully hit the targets AC, but then the second roll must also successfully exceed the Conceal score. However, if first roll is a natural 20 crit automatically hits.

Unfortunately, needing to roll twice against Conceal creates the 'neener neener' situation when you think you hit with the first roll but get cheated out of it with the second roll. Probably, they should get rid of this mechanic, for the same reason they should get rid of the magic resistance mechanic. Its better to just have a flat improvement to the check that the normal roll must exceed.

Invisible. Invisible creature gains Conceal 11, and +2 attack. For opponents, line-of-sight, ranged attack, and attack-of-opportunity are impossible.

Insubstantial (like incorporeal or gaseous?). Creature takes half damage from ALL (?!) attacks except crits.

Standard conditions
  • Impaired action: Dazed-Staggered-Stunned-Helpless
  • Impaired speed: Slow (speed 2 squares)-Immobilzed (speed 0 squares)
  • Impaired damage: Enervation (deals half damage)
  • Impaired control: Confused (condition). The definition of confused is fun. Roll d20. 1-5: confused creature still controls own action. 6-15: creature takes no action. 16-20 opponent controls creatures action. Simple and fun.



MOVEMENT MODES

Phasing = pure awesome! For years Iv wanted my characters to have a (balanced) phasing power. Move thru solid objects, but final square must be in a 'legal position'.

Flight: Provokes Opp Attacks when taking off.

Legal position: If a movement ends in an illegal position (such as phased movement that ends inside a wall), return the creature to the square which was is last legal position (such as just before entering the wall).


SPELLCASTING

No mention of Spell Resistance. Hopefully gone from D&D 4e.


Miniature only

Half damage. Round to nearest multiple of 5. Probably only Miniatures needs to use round numbers 5, 10, 15, 20, so half damage requires clarification.
  • Half 20 ~ 10
  • Half 15 ~ 5
  • Half 10 ~ 5
  • Half 5 ~ 0


Initiative. Roll for initiative each round.

Unfortunately, ranges still seem overly complicated and determined by numerous unnecessary variables.

Id rather see all attacks and spells to default to one of the following:

[INDENT]Range
Melee: upto 3 squares away
Short: upto 10 squares away
Long: upto 100 squares away
Remote: more than 100 squares away (anywhere in the same plane)[/INDENT]

Exceptions to the above should be few.

For example:
A thrown dagger would reach melee range, or upto short range with an attack penalty.
An arrow would reach long range (or farther with an attack penalty but beyond long range seems moot because it goes beyond most battle maps).
A Burning Hands spell would be a cone reaching melee range.
A Fireball spell would create a short-range burst whose center square is anywhere within long range.
Fey Step would reach upto long range.
Teleportation would be remote range.
Some interesting stuff I noticed.

-Diagonal squares count as 1 square (good change)
-Initiative seems to be rolled each round (bad change)
-Shifting (the 5 ft step) is a move action. (undecided)
-New movement type: Phasing, which seems to be the equivalent of incorporeal, or possibly the new blink.
-Radius effects are now squares, probably due to the diagonal rule (nice change, much simpler)
-Cone effects still require templates, though the templates are a bit simpler to use. From what it looks like, you can't shoot the cone straight E,W,S,N anymore, unless it's allowable to place the template such that the squares don't line up. Otherwise, cones always seem to go diagonally, though they seem to adhere to the old diagonal =1.5 squares rule.
-Cover bonus reduced to only +2 to AC (bad change)
-There are weird saving throw mechanics, where you roll an unmodified d20 on a table to end an existing effect. (kind of odd)
-Weird rule for halving things, by which you round down to the nearest multiple of 5. so half damage for 15 damage isn't 7, it's 5. (don't see the point other than added complexity)

Yeah the half rule is only for mini's, since things are done in increments of 5. The saving throw mechanic is also probably minis exclusive. So is the initiative every round most likely.
The square fireballs are a little odd but, counting in mulitples of 1.5 is something I can live without.
Some interesting stuff I noticed.

-Diagonal squares count as 1 square (good change)

Right? 1,1,2,1,21,1... is this a two again? I gotta start over.
-Initiative seems to be rolled each round (bad change)

Probably just for mini's, since it's a much bigger deal than in the real game.
-Shifting (the 5 ft step) is a move action. (undecided)

If full-round actions are gone- it seems "full attack" is- then this is not bad. You only still need your move action if you want to do a full-round instead of standard.
-New movement type: Phasing, which seems to be the equivalent of incorporeal, or possibly the new blink.
-Radius effects are now squares, probably due to the diagonal rule (nice change, much simpler)

I will live with firesquare- big time saver!
-Cone effects still require templates, though the templates are a bit simpler to use. From what it looks like, you can't shoot the cone straight E,W,S,N anymore, unless it's allowable to place the template such that the squares don't line up. Otherwise, cones always seem to go diagonally, though they seem to adhere to the old diagonal =1.5 squares rule.

That was weird, yeah. We'll have to see if that was just the simplified minis rule.
-Cover bonus reduced to only +2 to AC (bad change)

Also, charge is just +1 to hit now. And you can charge through allies. More than one square is an option, which never seemed to be suggested in 3e. I'm gonna stay neutral on modifiers until I see how all of them changed.
-There are weird saving throw mechanics, where you roll an unmodified d20 on a table to end an existing effect. (kind of odd)

Not sure if that is gonna be in the game. People do like to roll saves though. It's perhaps more realistic than a new fort attack every round- the poison isn't attacking again, but instead the character is fighting it off/toughing it out. It also seems like poison/fire/acid/etc will now be a unified continuous damage system instead of a bunch of exceptions. It will also be cool if a 20 on a save represents a heroic recovery where you shake off multiple effects.

-Weird rule for halving things, by which you round down to the nearest multiple of 5. so half damage for 15 damage isn't 7, it's 5. (don't see the point other than added complexity)

Definitely minis only. I think they have no damage dice- just d20s and standardized damage.

EDIT: The condition impairments listed were so much simpler and better connected. I hope that makes core.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

Good call from another thread.
Knight of Lain: I suppose that minis will have one base attack only, with few several followup attacks attached to it if the first one hits.

Mshea: Overall it looks like the full attack is gone and instead you get a move action, a swift action, and an attack action.

So apparently, each turn gets all of the following:
  • Move action
  • Swift action
  • Attack action (with a possible 'followup' attack if first attack hits)



Probably another good call:
Donald: There doesn't seem to be any [half damage on a successful save versus Fireball or other damage spell]. It looks like spells require a "to hit" and it's all or nothing damage. A spell could specify some damage if the attack misses, a fireball should do some damage if you're in it's effect, and that'd be on the card.

IMAGE(http://forums.gleemax.com/images/icons/icon6.gif) Apparently, there is no more 'save for half damage'. A Fireball does full damage. On the other hand, IIRC, the devs said elsewhere a Fireball does full damage if it successfully hits a target creature, which is then the center of the explosion, but everyone else in the area of effect only takes half damage, if hit. Crit does max damage to the target and half max damage to the area. I love this new system!

Im still unclear if creatures in the area of a Fireball take automatic damage, or if the one attack roll applies to every creatures Reflex defense (or, hopefully not, there must be a new attack roll for each creature in the area). If creatures in areas can be 'missed', then the damage would be half or zero.

I feel the best option is: The same attack roll applies to every creature in area of effect. The target creature takes all or nothing damage and other creatures in area take half or nothing damage, all depending on if the attack succeeds against their Reflex save. In other words, a high attack roll means a particularly powerful blast that injures most creatures. A crit automatically hits everybody.
Well, now everyone is going to be moving diagonally on the board as much as possible. That's a lot of ground coverage, especially if you're an Elf with any other addition to speed increase.

Was anyone else confused by what they said about Bloodied on page 10?
Unfortunately, ranges still seem overly complicated and determined by numerous unnecessary variables.

Yeah, well I'm not sure if we can judge too much from the minis rules since they added a few things just for tactical diversity like the "nearest" limitation for ranged attacks, which I'm pretty much sure won't make it into 4E, so hopefully 4E may have some different range categories like you propose.

Really I'll be happy if 4E just gets rid of the stupid scaling spell ranges. I mean there's just no need for spells to have 100 + 10/level. That's just needlessly complex.

Aside from that I like pretty much all the base changes they made. Line effects are a lot more clear now as well, since there's a definite way to handle them on the battlemap.


Also, charge is just +1 to hit now. And you can charge through allies. More than one square is an option, which never seemed to be suggested in 3e. I'm gonna stay neutral on modifiers until I see how all of them changed.

I can live with a change to charge, but the change to cover kind of trivializes it. Only +2 from cover makes cover a lot less valuable and makes the game quite a bit less tactical. Same with the ability to charge through allies. Seems people are going to care less about miniature positioning and just rush right in to attack.

Regarding other stuff...

Conceal is the same mechanic as concealment in 3E as far as I can tell. The only difference is that it's a d20 instead of a d%. But given that invisibility gives a conceal of 11, that's still a 50/50 chance of hitting an invisible target. The only real difference is that critical hits automatically breach concealment. Overall a fairly good move to make it use a d20. If anything the d% should be phased out of D&D, there's really no need for it anymore.

The insubstantial change seems pretty nice, makes a bit more sense than 3.X incorporeality did, where there was some random miss chance for no good reason. Half damage is kinda simple and produces roughly the same effect as 3.X incorp did, but in a more predictable and logical fashion.
I can live with a change to charge, but the change to cover kind of trivializes it. Only +2 from cover makes cover a lot less valuable and makes the game quite a bit less tactical. Same with the ability to charge through allies. Seems people are going to care less about miniature positioning and just rush right in to attack.

Well, the lower bonuses may be due to players having lower bonuses to hit, which is why I'm holding off. Also, it could be a minis-only change... they really should have just released the PHB

Charge is usually a round one thing, so for me it will be ok if people can charge into battle from wherever they are in the group. That way the fighter can still do his thing, even if someone low on initiative is sort of in the way. I realize that someone in the way would realistically mess up a charge, but it's not like people are actually 5 feet wide, so I can live with it.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

The square fireballs are a little odd but, counting in mulitples of 1.5 is something I can live without.

Square spreads is exactly why I don't like it. I never found the 1-2 rule to be difficult at all at my table.

Also, a character can now run roughly 40% farther depending on what direction he runs in? Removing the 1-2 rule is the best argument for moving to hexes (as horrible as they are in a dungeon due to facing and partial hexes) that I've seen. It's just violates my sense of geometry to make "bishop moves" inherently superior.
Well, the lower bonuses may be due to players having lower bonuses to hit, which is why I'm holding off.

Well, honestly it doesn't really matter how big the bonuses to hit are or the AC. On a d20 roll, a +4 bonus is a +4 bonus, regardless of the numbers. What I mean is that a +4 to AC turns a hit into a miss 4 times out of 20, or 20% of the time. A +2 to AC only works 10% of the time. This is regardless of what the ACs and the to hit bonus are, unless of course one side is so high that the difference is greater than a d20 roll. But doing that is just bad game design, so that case shouldn't come up unless you've got a level 15 guy bashing a level 2 guy.

Charge is usually a round one thing, so for me it will be ok if people can charge into battle from wherever they are in the group. That way the fighter can still do his thing, even if someone low on initiative is sort of in the way. I realize that someone in the way would realistically mess up a charge, but it's not like people are actually 5 feet wide, so I can live with it.

Yeah, I mean it's certainly deal-able, so long as 4E doesn't have ubercharge builds like 3E did. I mean most of the time a charge wasn't something you really cared about, unless it was with spirited charge, or shock trooper. It's not something I really worry about. But it seems a bit bad for a tactical game, since it added some tactics.

What does bother me more is that charges no longer need to be in straight lines. You just have to end your movement at the square closest to you that threatens the enemy.(mini rules p.28)

So basically you can turn corners, and do whatever you want on a charge. Charge has basically just become "move and attack". And for whatever reason it's actually better now than just standing there and fighting someone.

Now that's just weird. I guess maybe it was to give slight advantages to the people who acted first, I don't know.
It's just violates my sense of geometry to make "bishop moves" inherently superior.

How are they superior though? I mean the only important distance is the number of squares between you and your target.

You don't get any bonus points for running 40 feet in a round instead of 30. Relative mathematical distance is irrelevant to the game, so the rules basically ignore it. And I don't really see a problem, logical or otherwise with that.

People who go straight toward something get there first. People who take the long way around, get there slower. Granted heading straight toward something is now faster than normal, but who really cares?
How are they superior though? I mean the only important distance is the number of squares between you and your target.

You don't get any bonus points for running 40 feet in a round instead of 30. Relative mathematical distance is irrelevant to the game, so the rules basically ignore it. And I don't really see a problem, logical or otherwise with that.

People who go straight toward something get there first. People who take the long way around, get there slower. Granted heading straight toward something is now faster than normal, but who really cares?

I, for one, care. I have been working on hex conversions for all my games that use minis. The slide on a hex is slightly more that 1.7 so I ignore the 0.3 and call it two. I have never had a problem with partial tiles. Keep in mind that a full square tile represents a 25 square foot area. I can easily imagine something smaller.
I, for one, care.

Why? What does it matter as far as your game is concerned?
You don't get any bonus points for running 40 feet in a round instead of 30. Relative mathematical distance is irrelevant to the game, so the rules basically ignore it. And I don't really see a problem, logical or otherwise with that.

Internal to the structure and balance of the game, they make absolutely no difference. A square is a square, and the topology of the graph that battle takes place on is largely irrelevant.

We could make all battlefields wrap from edge to edge. We could make the number of squares you can move each turn a function of a d12 roll. We could make it so that all characters had to move like chess knights. We could replace the grid with Penrose tiles. From an internal, game balance perspective, it's all irrelevant.

But from -- and believed me, this is not an argument I make very often -- a realism standpoint, the ability to run 20'/second in one direction and 28'/second in another direction is somewhat of a suspension of disbelief breaker. It's silly, and it makes determining reasonable shapes for cone and spread area of effects generate stupid looking results. (Now all explosions are cubes? WTF?)

It just offends my sense of aesthetics and real-world geometry.
But from -- and believed me, this is not an argument I make very often -- a realism standpoint, the ability to run 20'/second in one direction and 28'/second in another direction is somewhat of a suspension of disbelief breaker. It's silly, and it makes determining reasonable shapes for cone and spread area of effects generate stupid looking results. (Now all explosions are cubes? WTF?)

It just offends my sense of aesthetics and real-world geometry.

Part of me agrees on many of the same grounds, but another part of me looks at some of the more problematic cases (we've actually stopped combat and re-oriented combat to run along the grids because there was too much diagonal) and says "good riddance."

Now, something to keep in mind is that while faster combat is a goal of 4e, it's an even bigger goal for Minis. Since Minis are very much intended to be a quick and dirty game (as opposed to Warhammer) it's an environment where they can play fast and loose with a lot of rules that would interfere in the ability to cram 1, 2, or 3 more matches into a round robin tournament.

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."

How are they superior though? I mean the only important distance is the number of squares between you and your target.

One reason it makes a real difference is that you can no longer obstruct a path in an open battlefield. It costs the same number of moves to go diagonally around you as it does to go through your AoO zone.
But from -- and believed me, this is not an argument I make very often -- a realism standpoint, the ability to run 20'/second in one direction and 28'/second in another direction is somewhat of a suspension of disbelief breaker. It's silly, and it makes determining reasonable shapes for cone and spread area of effects generate stupid looking results. (Now all explosions are cubes? WTF?)

It just offends my sense of aesthetics and real-world geometry.

I'm currently playing with a group of wargamers and they don't play D&D because of silly stuff from previous editions. One of the guys based his homebrew rules off of D20 with major modifications. There was a lot of complaining and rule changes to get it more real-world. They like fantasy with dragons and magic, but any rule dealing with real-world issues such as movement should be realistic. I agree with them.

I hope this diagonal movement simplification isn't in 4e. I'll never get them to play 4e with rules like that. Explosions are not cubes!

Really guys, is counting 1,2,1,2 that hard? BTW, that was your 6 square movement.

Maybe we should go back to hex grids.
Really guys, is counting 1,2,1,2 that hard?

It can be.

While it's simple to move straight diagonal, mix in standard movement with diagonal movement and throw down some squares with difficult terrain and it gets extremely difficult. Then you're thinking "Was this a 1 move or a 2 move?"

Maybe we should go back to hex grids.

I've always liked hex grids, because they handle cones, burst spells and movement with ease. Though i doubt the designers will give up square grids. For whatever reason, they like them.
Hex grids are just another way to make the grognards feel superior to the n00bs. It's useless obscurantism - making the rules deliberately harder to understand.
I've always liked hex grids, because they handle cones, burst spells and movement with ease. Though i doubt the designers will give up square grids. For whatever reason, they like them.

Hex grids are great for movement, but don't fit rectangular buildings and dungeons very well. If you drop a hex grid over a square grid you have to have rules on what to do with partial hexes. So they will stay with squares to keep it simple.
Hex grids are just another way to make the grognards feel superior to the n00bs. It's useless obscurantism - making the rules deliberately harder to understand.

No, it's not. It is just a different method that allows for more realistic movement. I don't know where you got that "feel superior" crap from. I prefer the rules to be simple so they don't get in the way of roleplay, but I don't want the rules so simple that they become ridiculous.
The 4e Miniatures formulates four 'attack types':
  • melee
  • close [area]
  • ranged
  • [far] area


Im ecstatic! These are exactly what Iv been recommending.

Moreover, I suggest these attack types are identical to the authentic definitions of the class roles.

For example, in post #3 of this thread, I suggest:

Haldrik: On the battlefield, both a damage-dealing function [= attack type] and a support-giving function cohere to a simple structure. Each role uses a tactic that targets either an area or a single creature - either in melee or in range.

  • Defender targets an area - in melee.
  • Controller targets an area - in range.
  • Stiker targets a single creature - in melee.
  • Troubleshooter-Leader targets a single creature - in range.

Elsewhere I wrote:

I feel Striker and Defender classes should have 'melee' touch attacks and 'close' area attacks, respectively (but not 'ranged' or far 'area' attacks).

Oppositely, Controller and IMO Troubleshooter-Leader classes should have far 'area' attacks and 'ranged' attacks, respectively (but not 'melee' or 'close' area attacks).


Defender and Striker are both melee combatants, but the Defender should attack multiple creatures simultaneously in the area within melee range, while the Striker does heavy damage to one creature in melee range.

IMO, Controller and Troubleshooter-Leader are both ranged combatants, but the Controller should attack multiple creatures simultaneously in an area in the distance, while the Troubleshooter-Leader should do heavy damage to one creature in the distance.


Because Defender and Striker must function in melee, they must have higher hitpoints, AC, evasive mobility, stealth, etc. Controller and Troubleshooter-Leader should fight from a distance dont need these things as much.

Heres a list of spells that I feel belong to each role.

  • Defender: 'close' area attack (multiple targets in melee range), like Burning Hands, Fire Shield.
  • Striker: 'melee' attack (single target in melee range), like Harm, Shocking Grasp.
  • Controller: far 'area' attack (multiple targets in far range), like Fireball, Magic Missile (only against multiple targets), Mass Inflict Wounds.
  • Troubleshooter-Leader: 'ranged' attack (single target in far range), like Disintegrate, Scorching Ray, Call Lighting, Hold Person, Magic Missile (only against single target).

Probably, the Controller [and Troubleshooter-Leader] shouldnt have any touch attacks but rather various ways to escape melee combat if it ever occurs. (But [they] can still use certain area attacks at a melee opponent even tho it risks an Opp Attack). In any case, the Controller [or Troubleshooter-Leader] should never be in a situation where a melee combat might occur. It doesnt make sense to have spells that a Controller [or Troubleshooter-Leader] must do everything in their power to *not use*.

The problem with the traditional Cleric is that the Cleric is a Defender AND a Striker AND a Controller AND a Troubleshooter-Leader. Clarifying the role as Troubleshooter that makes single-target 'ranged' attacks brings a clarity that such a fundamental design concept must have if it is to structure the rest of the D&D game.

Haldrik: The above offers a different way of thinking about the Leader role: a Troubleshooter. But after much rumination, Im convinced its the only definition of the role that will remain useful in the long run, as D&D 4e begins to expand and evolve.

Regarding maps with squares or 'hexes':

Counting 1,2,1,2 can get confusing, especially if moving at a chess-knight angle ... over difficult terrain. I prefer full diagonal moves and can tolerate cube-shaped explosions. (Perhaps explosions are polarized, expanding from opposite sides?)

On the other hand, I could live with 4e switching to hexagonal maps from now on. But note, a hex map also distorts movement when moving sideways. So, its not a perfect solution.

In the debate between full diagonal square moves versus hex moves, both seem good.
I've always liked hex grids, because they handle cones, burst spells and movement with ease. Though i doubt the designers will give up square grids. For whatever reason, they like them.

I'm not a fan of hex grids in an enclosed environment. Here's some pros & cons of replacing the square grid (assuming 1-2 movement) with hex grids:

Pros
  • Ease of handling area effects with natural, rounded edges like cones & bursts.
  • Distance in hex units is always equal no matter which way you travel.

Cons
  • Hexes do not lend themselves to natural room designs, leading to partial hex issues.
  • Monsters larger than one hex (but smaller than seven) have strange space/facing issues.
  • Freedom of movement is restricted to 6 instead of 8 directions.
  • "Perpendicular" movement is non-intuitive to may people.

I prefer 1-2 movement square grids. It provides a good-enough approximation of real distances without all the difficulty of "fitting" hex grids.
I find the 1-2 diagonal rule to be a little annoying, but OK. I'd say the extra simplicity from the 1-1 rule to be about worth the loss of realism.

What really messes us up with the current rules is figuring out diagonal reach. The fact that the 1-1 rules will simplify that seems like a pretty good advantage to me, but perhaps there is another way to make it simpler while keeping the 1-2 diagonals.
Types of damage

* Acid
* Cold
* Fire
* Lightning
* Necrotic (~ negative energy)
* Psychic
* Thunder (~ sonic? force?)
* Wound


Hmmm... Where's Divine damage???
Juzam: Hmmm... Where's Divine damage???

Not mentioned in Miniatures but IIRC I saw it mentioned elsewhere. The equivalent to Positive Energy is now called Radiant damage, and I suspect this is the kind of damage that a Paladin Smite inflicts.
Oh... I didn't know minis don't use Divine (or Radiant, btw) damage... Sorry, it's obvious that I don't play D&D Minis, but paper D&D
Also, the damage types dont list Force, but assumably it will be in D&D 4e for powers like Magic Missile, Telekinesis, etc.

I see the Thunder type including all forms of sonic energy, including shockwaves, as well as silence. Ultimately, manipulating sonic vibrations is a specialized form of telekinesis.

I see the Lightning type including all forms of electromagnetic energy, including light, electricity, and magnetism, as well as darkness.

I see the Force type including all forms of telekinetic force, nuclear forces (weak and strong), and gravity. Thus the ability of the Mindforce to influence these 'sublime' forces, is the quasi-scientific explanation for Telekinesis.

I see Fire and Cold as the presence and absence of heat energy, which the Fire Element radiates and the Water Element dissipates.


For me, Force-Thunder-Lightning seem to be an aspect of Psi Telekinesis, whereas Fire-Cold seem to be an aspect of Arcane Elementalism.
Types of damage

* Acid
* Cold
* Fire
* Lightning
* Necrotic (~ negative energy)
* Psychic
* Thunder (~ sonic? force?)
* Wound


Hmmm... Where's Divine damage???

Someone elsewhere posted "Radiant" damage. That may be divine.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

Most everything has already been covered by someone else (i.e. the mechanics behind saving throws in DDM, the artificial results of having all damage be multiples of 5, etc.).

The issue of diagonals, however, deserves some comment. I can't say for sure, but I'd be surprised if this rule ported over directly to D&D.

In the minis game, each match is limited to a fairly small field of play, and any figure's movement is limited by its own speed (which, in the new rules, will likely be closer to 6 squares per figure per round than 8), and by the terrain on the battle map. I'm guessing that, in general, while diagonal movement certainly seems to always grant an ability to move farther across the map, the maps themselves can be designed to counter this.

While moving along the hypotenuse is often a cheaper use of a figure's speed than moving along each leg, the maps can be drawn so that doing so is of only marginal benefit. In a 45-45-90 triangle, where the legs are each 5 squares, the hypotenuse is only 7, and moving 7 is almost always better than moving 10 to get to the same place.

But, if you can't move those 7, because after 3 diagonal moves there is a terrain feature that ends your move, then getting to that other point might require taking the long way around anyway.

In D&D, of course, there is far more flexibility for a character's movement, than there is in the minis game.

I'm guessing, but I think that the movement rule in D&D might not be the same as in DDM. At least, I kinda hope they'll be different.

Dave
In the new Conditions list, I love the new impaired action sequence: Dazed-Staggered-Stunned-Helpless. A simple sequence from mildly impaired to completely incapacitated, that several damage types can cause, like Psychic disorientation or Wound impacting knockout.

However, the Dazed condition is probably going to be the most frequent condition that gamers come across. Not only that, each of the other conditions, Staggered-Stunned-Helpless, include the status of being 'Dazed'. So, Dazed must be clearly and immediately understood.

I have to admit, the description of Dazed seems too complicated. Every time Iv discussed it, Iv had to look it up to make sure I got right or didnt miss something. Im confident Iv finally memorized it and wont have future problems remembering it, but still the learning curve seems unhelpful for easy to learn gameplay.

Dazed
  • opponents gain +2 combat advantage on attack against Dazed creature
  • Dazed creature cant Flank
  • Dazed creature cant make Op Attacks
  • Dazed creature cant perform any out-of-turn actions
  • Dazed creature can still peform normal actions in turn (except Flank)


  • [Edit: Gah! I forgot one! Dazed creature cant perform any immediate actions.]


Seriously, the Dazed condition needs to become braindead-simple.

The basic idea of Dazed seems to be the creature cant perform any action outside of their turn. That includes helping Flank for an ally on their turn, or Opp Attack on an opponents turn, or anything else out-of-turn. But the mechanics are too complex to describe. It needs to be described more 'intuitively' (more obviously) in a single short sentence. Or else the effects of Dazed need to be rethought to be something else thats mechanically simpler.

Maybe the other impairments, Staggered-Stunned, can be more complex if they occur less often. Of course, Helpless is simple to understand.
One solution for simplifying Dazed is comprehensive:

Fully normalize the category of Immediate Action. Make sure the rules explain it in the same place as Move Action and Attack Action, so players are familiar with it. Clearly tag powers that require an Immediate Action.

The Immediate Action appears to consolidate the messiness of Swift/Quick/Free/Instant/whatever actions. Hurray! Now, does talking out-of-turn or during combat require an Immediate Action? If so, then this must be explained prominently.

An apparently unlimited number of Immediate Actions can be done at any time, and each can interrupt the resolution of other Actions.

Once Immediate Actions become a normal part of the D&D experience, then powers that require an Immediate Action must be identified. For example:

[INDENT]Flanking: "... When Flanking, both the attacker and the ally must spend an Immediate Action to coordinate eachothers attacks against their common enemy. ..."

Opportunity Attack: "An opportunity attack is an Immediate Action that grants a Basic Attack against an enemy in an adjacent square. ..." (A Basic Attack is a characters primary attack, such as the weapon in hand, or presumably a favorite at-will spell.)[/INDENT]

Once these other categories are clearly identified as Immediate Actions, the definition of Dazed can become simple.

[INDENT]Dazed: A Dazed creature cant do any Immediate Action (such as communicating, Flanking, Opportunity Attack, etc.) and grants enemies a +2 combat advantage on Attack.[/INDENT]

Simple.
Also, the damage types dont list Force, but assumably it will be in D&D 4e for powers like Magic Missile, Telekinesis, etc.

Personally I hope they keep force damage out of it. Force damage really never made sense to me. Force damage should simply be bludgeoning damage, because they're the same thing.

Really when D&D said force damage, it really meant something similar to magic damage or something. Since the spells that did force damage only affected creatures (not objects), and specialized against incorporeals. So you've got "force" which doesn't affect objects (but oddly works on constructs) and spcializes against things that pass through objects and are unaffected by gravity. What? That makes no sense at all. Then there are walls of force and force effects that actually do work on objects and incorporeal creatures at the same time.

Force needs a big overhaul.
Terevoth: Force needs a big overhaul.

I agree Force needs a big overhaul. I feel the Force descriptor is necessary, to represent telekinetic force and similar forces like extreme gravity.

Force can localize to form an object (Shield, Blade Barrier) or construct (Unseen Servant), or grant virtual substantiality to an Illusion. Hence it can make bludgeoning, piercing, and slicing attacks and rip apart or crush an enemy. Perhaps these examples of Force could categorize as Wound damage?

Also, Force can generalize as an attractive or repulsive motion (Mage Hand, Telekinetic Thrust, Fly, Antigravity, and so on).

Damage by Telekinetic Thrust could resemble the sonic shockwave of Thunder damage?

But damage by extreme gravity is what? Which damage type is extremely high pressure, like at the bottom of the ocean, or extremely low pressure, like in vacuum without an atmosphere? These could be called Force damage.

In any case, Force powers seem distinct from other kinds of powers, and perhaps from other kinds of damage types, and deserve their own descriptor - especially for telekinetic Psi powers.


The spells that did force damage only affected creatures (not objects), and specialized against incorporeals. So you've got "force" which doesn't affect objects (but oddly works on constructs) and spcializes against things that pass through objects and are unaffected by gravity. What? That makes no sense at all.

Then there are walls of force and force effects that actually do work on objects and incorporeal creatures at the same time.

Force needs a big overhaul.

Yeah, I agree. The status quo of Force seems nonsensical and requires drastic streamlining.
One reason it makes a real difference is that you can no longer obstruct a path in an open battlefield. It costs the same number of moves to go diagonally around you as it does to go through your AoO zone.

I think that this is the best point made so far, although there is a slight problem with it. You can obstruct paths, but only against opponents approaching you from a diagonal with respect to the grid. (Not that this bizarre situation is much better.)

People are talking about the 1-2-1-2 thing as if the major problem is with people moving fast in a diagonal straight line. As Burrytar pointed out, the real problem is the ability to slide back and forth significant distances in your movement to get around things, but only if you are moving in certain cardinal directions. As someone who plays DnD in part because of its superior handling of tactical situations relative to most common, easy to run systems, I prefer either square hex grids or 1-2-1-2 to a simple square grid.

Quaestor the Wanderer
I think that this is the best point made so far, although there is a slight problem with it. You can obstruct paths, but only against opponents approaching you from a diagonal with respect to the grid. (Not that this bizarre situation is much better.)

Yeah, it is a slight problem. There are a couple solutions though:

-You can't go diagonal around a threatened corner without provoking. Similar to how you can go diagonal around a normal corner, if one of the squares is threatened you can't use a diagonal to bypass it, you've got to go the long way around.

-You can reduce movement by 1 across the board. Overall, you're only going to gain a single extra square of movement doing it this way (at least for a normal medium creature with a non-reach weapon)

-Defenders can just have stances or abilities which increases their threatened area.

I'm still not really sure if it's a big deal, because again, it's only 1 square anyway most of the time.
I see the Thunder type including all forms of sonic energy, including shockwaves, as well as silence. Ultimately, manipulating sonic vibrations is a specialized form of telekinesis.

Yeah while I'm on the topic of damage types. Sonic has always bothered me too.

I mean how do you actually die of a sonic attack? Loud noise can stun you, make you deaf or give you a headache. If you're a bat it'll totally screw up your echolocation. But it can't kill you, at least not unless it's some weird effect that tears your body apart via resonance or something. But a sudden sound burst isn't really going to kill you.

While there are scientific ideas for sonic weaponry, it really fits a sci-fi game much more so than a fantasy game. And sonic attacks don't really cause damage, they'd be more like a save-or-die, since they disrupt brainwaves or heartbeats and such.

I never really thought sonic should have been a damage type.