Results for tag: 4th Edition
Posted by: VB_Baysider on Mar 13, 2012 at 04:02:09 PM
It's hard to know where WotC will be taking magic in the next incarnation of D&D, but from some of the discussions, one might infer something similar to 4th Edition's powers will make the cut as well as a Vancian-like system as a variant module (fire-and-forget spells similar to first, second and third edition D&D).
I'd like to suggest an alternative magic system from a flavor of D&D that not many people have experienced -- Dragonlance 5th Age. DL5A was based on the diceless SAGA Rules System (not related to the "Saga Edition" of the Star Wars RPG rules). DL5A used a playing card mechanic with stats in the 1 - 10 range. Magic was based on spell points which equalled the square of your appropriate stat (i.e. - somewhere between 36 to 81 points for a spell caster of above average Reason...
Posted by: WotC_Mearls on Mar 13, 2012 at 09:43:29 AM
Last week, I wrote about save or die mechanics in D&D and how I might approach them in my home campaign. There have been a lot of interesting discussions online about the mechanics and the general role of save or die in campaigns.
Regarding 4E-Style Save or Die: The hit point threshold actually follows this model fairly closely. It simplifies things by focusing only on hit points rather than leaning exclusively on status effects. Status effects can come into play as needed rather than as a default.
Using hit points also makes the steps between the beginning of a save or die sequence and its end less predictable. Sometimes an effect might take a while to overwhelm you, while other times it takes a few attacks or failed saves for it to set in. It also means that healing a character...
Posted by: VB_Baysider on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:08:35 AM
I've been reading a lot on the Wizards community and around the net on the design of the next iteration of D&D and I wanted to gather some of my own thoughts on game design and the future of D&D. Maybe the WotC designers will see my ideas... but probably not. Still, I'd like to give them some thoughts from a 30 year verteran of the game. I'm hoping this will be the first in a series of posts about D&D5 or "D&D Next" as it is called around here.
My very first foray into D&D was a short encounter scenario picked of out Judges Guild's Tegel Manor by my brother sometime in 1978. He killed me almost immediately with a poison-needle trapped chest... which didn't exactly excite me to play again.
However, my friend Martin also had picked up some of the original
Posted by: MonteCook on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:50:18 AM
In this week’s Legends & Lore, Mike discussed a save or die mechanic. To follow up that discussion, I’d like to explore death in the various editions of D&D. The play-by-the-rules level of lethality in the game has changed a lot over the years. The general trend has been to make the game less lethal overall, although an argument could be made that the game has become slightly more lethal at the higher levels since it was more common to end up with an unkillable (unchallengeable) character at the upper levels in older editions.
Is this a good thing? Or is it bad? Let’s go over some viewpoints.
Obviously, no one likes to lose a character. The more you have invested in the character, the truer this becomes. Later editions essentially require more investment from the get-go...
Posted by: WotC_Rodney on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:55:21 AM
Alright, I want to talk to you about skills. Skills have their origins in nonweapon proficiencies from 1E/2E and the percentile-based skills from the thief class. In 3E, a skills system based on spending points and increasing ranks gave universal access to skills to all classes, and 4E took the concept and made some changes, with a binary trained/untrained choice and a streamlined skills list.
Here’s the challenge with skills: in 3E and 4E, skills are serving two masters. First, they serve as a customization point for players. Players want to say, “I’m good at this thing,” and write that thing down on their character sheets. They want their choice of skills to say something about their characters: who they are and what kinds of things they do. They also want their...
Posted by: Evil_Reverend on Mar 1, 2012 at 09:50:17 AM
In various D&D editions, player character durability evolved with the game as did expectations about what a 1st-level character ought to be. In the earlier editions, a starting character could begin play with just a single hit point. Random hit points meant some characters might absorb two or three hits from a monster while other characters fell down if you breathed on them hard enough. One can extrapolate from character fragility that adventurers began as, more or less, normal people who, over time and experience, became heroes.
For many players, starting with 1 hit point sucked. It meant adopting a play style that denied the most exciting aspects of the game: combat. Rather than kicking down doors and slaughtering all the monsters, characters relied on cunning, stealth, and simple robbery...
Posted by: WotC_Bruce on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:20:11 AM
Let me tell you about my character. I’m playing a star pact warlock named Melech in Chris Perkins’s weekly game. Melech has learned the secret names of the stars. He has caught a glimpse of a realm far beyond the lamps of night. Though it nearly drove him insane, he gained amazing power. He can madden or terrify his enemies, scour his foes with star curses, and cast all manner of terrifying spells.
Although my preference could change over time, it wouldn’t be a mischaracterization to say that the warlock is one of my favorite D&D classes. I first played a “warlock” named Japheth as a made-up class in my friend JD Sparks’s campaign in 1984. “Official” warlocks later appeared in the D&D game during 3rd Edition, then they showed up again in...
Posted by: MonteCook on Feb 24, 2012 at 07:56:11 AM
Sometimes it’s tempting to think of high-level play as being just like low-level play but with bigger numbers. Instead of fighting an orc that has 10 hit points, AC 15, a +5 to attack rolls, and 1d6 + 1 damage on a hit, you fight a super-orc with 200 hit points, AC 30, a +25 to attack rolls, and 1d6 + 20 damage on a hit. But if the PCs also have commensurate increases to their attack rolls, damage, and hit points, the high-level encounter feels exactly like the lower level one, but the numbers exchanged at the table are different. The players use the same tactics, the fight goes exactly the same, and the result is the same. That’s okay sometimes, but it’s not what most people want out of the game when they play at higher levels.
What these people want out of high-level...
Posted by: Evil_Reverend on Feb 23, 2012 at 08:01:51 AM
Remember when you hit that certain level when a whole bunch of cool stuff happened? Remember getting your castle, followers, and a whole raft of responsibilities? The moment you crossed this threshold, the game changed. You weren’t stomping through dungeons much and you certainly didn’t have to worry about tracking down the bandits raiding the highways through the realm—you had people for this. Instead, you worried about your realm, your followers, and the people who looked to you for protection. And if you went on an adventure, you might have traveled into the planes, which was expertly described by the inestimable Jeff Grubb in the Manual of the Planes, or you took on the wicked titan, lich lord, or a variety of other foes. Sure, you could keep doing what you had been...
Posted by: WotC_Bruce on Feb 22, 2012 at 07:24:46 AM
I once ran a 1st Edition D&D adventure where the player characters took a trip to the Abyss to steal the Wand of Orcus. The recommended level of play was for levels 18 to 100. Yeah, that’s right: 100th-level characters. As you might know, I’m referring to the module H4: Throne of Bloodstone. The three governing rules provided by the adventure for dealing with ultra-high-level D&D characters were: 1) stomp on the power curve of expected character growth; 2) strictly apply all the rules; and 3) actually, don’t apply the rules strictly—instead, weight the results against the fortunes of the high-level characters. They can take it.
I played in and DMed quite a few high-level games during this time, using a varying mix of D&D, Rolemaster, and house rules for years, depending...
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