If that was a hard-and-fast rule, it would say so under the ooze information block. The trip immunity is in now way set in stone, it's just an example.
Information isnt' always presented in the most logical location. The statement that "Some creatures—such as oozes, creatures without legs, and flying creatures—cannot be tripped" seems both hard, fast, and set in stone to me. I'm nto going to try to interpret my way out of that. in Pathfinder, oozes, legless creatures, and fliers, cannot be tripped. There may be other creatures immune to tripping as well. But that has nothign to do with whether oozes can be tripped -- they can't.
They can be rendered prone, however, using Overrun, for instance. And Overrun doesn't give bonuses to the ooze for stability, though the Ooze has to be Large or smaller if you're a medium PC, and if you dont' have the Improved Overrun feat, the mindless ooze can choose to let you pass. But if you get to overrun it, provoke the AoO from the ooze, and make an attack that beats its Combat Maneuver Defense +5. (You get a +2 on the attack from charging, and +2 if you have Improved Overrun, and +1 if you're bigger than the ooze.) If you succeed, the ooze is knocked prone.
I've met who refused 4e (limited in number though they may be) seem to cite the presentation of the mechanics, or the perceived intent behind them, more often than the actual mechanics themselves as their reason. I see the current discussion falling into the "intent," rather than "implementation," category.
I don't know about presentation, but my guess about "perceived intent" are the differences in game design philosophy.
3e is a game of subsystems. If you want something to happen you make a subsystem to accomodate it, and the differences in subsystems is intended to make different actions "feel" different. So Vancian memorization makes magic feel different than martial attacks. Having a separate system for Turn Undead makes it fell different than the system for bull rushing, which is its own subsystem.
In 4e, with some exceptions, they have an exception based system. Everything is to be governed by a few simple mechanics. All attacks are handled using d20+mods vs. defense = damage expression + conditions. Abilities are handled using the AEDU (at-will/encounter/daily/utility) power system. Action economy is governed by SMMOFRI (standard/move/minor/opportunity/free/reaction/interrupt). Turning undead, bull rushing, spellcasting, weapon use, improvised actions, all use this system. 4e doesn't rely on mechanics to make power sources feel different. Instead, the class roles, ranges, conditions and effects of individual powers are intended to produce distinctions among classes. (3e introduced a lot of this, but did not apply it as rigidly as 4e.)
In addition, there's the issue of disassociated mechanics. While 3.5 introduced reflavoring, it has really taken off with 4th edition. In the past, hit points were abstract, but the abstraction has increased with the introduction of healing surges, half-level bonuses, an DCs that scale by level. People who want the mechanics to approximate physical laws will prefer 3e to 4e.
As far as game design philosophy goes, the gulf between 3e and 4e can get pretty wide. I don't blame people for prefering one over the other.
This is a well reasoned and well articulated post. I agree with pretty much everything Wrecan says in this post. Wrecan should have probably posted this at say, post number 8 instead of post number 738. I think Wrecan hit 10K on the post odometer hitting up this thread so well done!
If you don't know the difference between the two game systems by now, just read that post and then play both to see if you feel that it is an accurate assessment.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard
con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic.
"Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
Coming back to D&D after long 20 years. Now I am a DM for my young kids (11/8) and their friends. To tell the truth I have not lived the 3.0/3.5 era. Me and my brothers living far away from each other (and getting married) made D&D just a nostalgic reminder of the good old days. In some weekends we even tried to play 3.0 but there was too many rules, it took so long to make a character, it took so long to finish an encounter specially for a new 3.0 player that did not know the rules. So, we gave up. Then, a while ago, I saw the red box set, begginers guide, and realized that D&D could be playable by my sons because the rules were much simpler and this is the great advantage of 4.0. However, if I was to play with my brothers I know they would have many issues about tripping an ooze, killing an ogre with one hit, hitting a dragon more easily than it would a carrion crawler, and so on. If we would play strictly by the rules, we would have a hard time finishing the game. We would probably start endless arguments at every unrealistic event. No fun at all. Therefore, I think that the DM should know what is the players desires. The DM have to know the customer. What Wrecan posted is also my feeling about the game (4.0). But I would not rule out the possibility of having a more realistic game with the mechanics of 4.0. And I disagree with others saying that you have to be more imaginative and produce the effect of game mechanics (even tripping an ooze) no matter what. Game balance is important but sometimes the unexpected should happen to make the game more fun. Ok, an ooze cannot be tripped, but a hit with a flaming weapon or fire magic could make it move two squares away giving combat advantage and opportunity attacks, for example. The game is free for the DM to rule as he thinks it is proper. The problem with 4.0 is that we need to house rule many times to make a more realistic game. It makes DMing for this kind of demanding player quite a difficult task (and more fun), and the rules do not help that. What is the big deal about giving some more special immunities to oozes? Game balance? In my opinion, I think it is much more of a big deal to explain to players how an ooze can get prone, like: "The ooze will not get really prone but it will be affected by getting prone, in fact it will wobble for the round". And the player: "So why do I have -2 to hit the ooze with my crossbow?" "Ok. It is because when oozes wobble, it always wobble low, in fact the Gelatinous Cube became a rectangle". For me, explaining a proned gelatinous cube is much more of a big deal than just saying that it is immune to getting prone. In other words, in the end, the DMs have to manage the game according to the players they have. Sorry for the long post.
I don't know really what is going on. It almost seems as if WotC is winding down with 4e and Paizo is revving up with Pathfinder.
I almost wonder if WotC is in negotiations with a 3rd party to either publish D&D, or take on publishing and fleshing out the campaign settings. The dearth of campaign material in 4e for the settings, and the lack of settings in general is odd. I mean here you have a robust and balanced play system, some of the largest and well established settings and no material to run in them.
DM'ing encounters got much easier with 4e, but there aren't any adventures to put those encounters in. As a DM for Dark Sun you have to create all of the adventures yourself. Back in the hey-day, there were like 12 different adventures for Dark Sun within the first 2 years of its release.
Pathfinder has more adventures than you can shake a stick at. They are hardcore trying to build up Golarion into an epic campaign setting on par with earlier FR or Greyhawk.
WotC is sitting on all of this wonderful and rich IP, and aren't doing squat with it. That is why I am theorizing that they are having meetings with other providers to establish content for the system.
Several people such as Ed Greenwood and R.A Salvatore have contributed to Golarion.
"If I want locked down character abilities without any real control over how I present and envision them (because the game says this is just this and that is all it is)? ... I can play a video game."
I make video games for a living, and to me 4e feels way more like button mashing powers with cooldowns than pathfinder does. In fact, with Pathfinder, I use my imagination a lot more, instead of trying to make my powers refluffed to something different each time I use them in 4e (and I play 4e quite a bit, still), I get tired of it. Sometimes you just want a simple game ruleset, where you can chose character options that let you do things that any common person would do. I still remember the first time I tried using my dragonbreath to set a barn on fire. Doesn't work. You need to actually use a 2cp torch to achieve what your iconic racial power should do. After that, I didn't feel very powerful, interesting, or magical. I still played it, because it's gamist and I love video games, but don't kid yourself : EVERYBODY knows 4e is more like a videogame than PF / 3.5. Proof? You could model virtually all the 4e powers in code with a template, but try that with audible glamor or some type of mind-reading spell. Those things are notoriously hard to program. This is the key. The simplicity with which I could mimick the core 4e ruleset in gamecode, compared to a more freeform system which requires a lot more imagination (to affect the world in new and unforeseen ways, beyond merely "I describe the neat way this power does damage").
[Edited] Stick to your own field, and let the videogame pros, those of us who make them for a living and implement game designers wishes, the final say on what pen and paper role playing game ruleset is more akin to a video game. There exists no codebase that can implement even a small fraction of the varied spell effects that you can do with your imagination, with earlier editions, to affect the game world, vs it is quite trivial to implement virtually the entire 4e power selection system. It's simple, by design. The downside is : It is too simple. Yes, much, much too simple.
If I want to blind someone in 4e, I need a power to do it to give the "blind" condition. If I don't have one, I can't. I can't grab some sand, and throw it in a guard's eyes to get away. And screw that page 42 business, that's ridiculous. I played 4e since it came out in many, many games and with many DMs, and not a single time has it come up. People get resigned to decision paralysis over the letter of their powers, and eventually settle into just playing their cards on their turn as fast as possible. Sure, you can reflavour it, which I'm a huge fan of, but don't tell me that's a good thing, when I need a power to say I do this or that which I can do in real life, without any training at all.
PF is not perfect by any means, but it does NOT play like a videogame, which is precisely why I play it, because I get fed of up of being on rails and want to use my imagination to do nearly limitless, cool things. When I play 4e, I play it because it's fun and I like optimization and chess. It's missing a lot of what makes D&D, D&D. You use your imagination to get around the limitations of your powers (refluffing), rather than your imagination to use your abilities/skills/spells to do things that actually can affect the world, in ways that do not require you to have rolled initiative beforehand. There are millions of ways to kill someone, even without any training at all. Why do I need a power to describe the precise way to achieve it?
If I don't have an at-will, I can't do something at-will. No power? No doing it. Essentially page 42 is a template generator to make...even MORE powers. On the fly. Why? Silliness. Just do it. I should be able to blind you temporarily by holding up a mirror in your face on a sunny day. I don't mean a Bluff check to gain combat advantage, I mean, I want to be able to run away into a crowd and there be ZERO chance, of being followed. This is the type of stuff I like doing in D&D, not arguing whether some template power generator allows a perfectly plausible thing to affect the world. I guess I'm a simulationist rather than a gamist. Shoot me. I write games for a living, when I roleplay, I want to use my mind.
One major difference that I’ve seen between 3.0/3.5/3.PF and 4th edition is that the 4th edition does not imply the “technique” used for each action. In 3.0/3.5/3.PF, if I wanted to interfere with a wizard’s ability to cast spells, I could:
Steal his spell components
Rush up to grapple him
Cast silence in his area
Deafen him with a thunderstone
Retreat beyond close spell range and fire arrows at him
Ready a javelin to throw while he casts
The ability to easily ruin a caster’s day was one of the mechanisms balancing their power.
In 4th edition, the rules don’t specify how spells are cast or what is needed. All that information is “color”, not used as part of the game’s combat. A fighter might get an attack of opportunity at a caster, but he won’t lose his spell if it hits. Since combat abilities are approximately balanced, there is no need or desire to include numerous ways one might screw up another classes’ attacks. Because special attacks and maneuvers are clearly described in one’s daily/encounter/at will abilities, additional abilities (such as tripping a foe or blinding him momentarily with thrown sand) must be limited in scope lest they become an unbalancing force in the game.
In ALL editions, the GM has the responsibility to adjudicate whether a maneuver should function under the circumstances given. No matter which rules are used, a fighter who tries to “trip” someone while they are both swimming could be required to explain just what he thinks he’s doing. Is he yanking his foe under the water?
The Pathfinder rules state that you cannot trip an ooze, but do not state they are immune to the prone condition. This seems appropriate! The immunity to trip is given as an example, not immutable dogma. An ochre jelly might ordinarily form a nasty blob on the floor, but if an ooze-like creature rears up to strike, it might still be possible to knock it over. Oozes come in many types, so some might be less “blobby” than others.
I’d like to add my two cents. I cut my teeth on 4E. Coming from a conservative family, I wasn’t allowed to play RPG’s growing up. My wife and I got into it within the past few years and we’ve grown to love it.
When my friend who DM’ed our 4E game decided to drop it in favor of Pathfinder, I was torn. I wanted to expand my horizons, but I had also heard of some of the problems plaguing the earlier editions like linear warriors, quadratic wizards. My DM assured me it wouldn’t be a problem and that he would assure that everything stayed balanced.
We only got to level 2 with his campaign before he burned out, but I could see how warriors trampled the early levels while our spellcaster, an oracle, was unable to do anything.
My wife, my friend and I joined a different Pathfinder campaign run by one of the other players in our group that was at level 9. At first it was okay. We had 2 rangers, a warlord, a Cleric/Fighter, a Cleric/Cavalier, and my Paladin. I wasn’t an MVP, but I held my own, and genuinely felt like I was contributing by being there.
During our last session things changed dramatically. My wife decided to change from the Cleric/Fighter to a full blown Wizard, the Cleric/Cavalier went full Cleric, and The Warlord switched to a Wizard as well. The difference in gameplay was staggering. Through the 3 combats we faced, I got in around 5 attacks. 2 I had to use my crossbow with, causing 1 attack to miss and the other to do 1 whole point of damage (WHEEE!)
The Cleric was able to put out pits and spike walls that prevented anyone from getting into melee range. And when the wizards went to work… If I rolled perfectly, crit on both attacks, and rolled max damage, I could do around 40 damage. The Wizard’s on the other hand could lay down spells that would hit every enemy within 10 squares and do 10d6 damage to each. If they rolled nothing but 1’s they could still do more damage than I could with a perfect round.
Pathfinder penalizes melee characters. When you play melee you will have to move to get in position, which will prevent you from getting a full round attack. That is something spellcasters never have to worry about. For anyone to say that there is no imbalance between the classes is willfully ignorant. It either stems from denial, or a fear that if someone were to correct it that their beloved spellcasters would no longer have complete supremacy.
Why does it matter? Because players shouldn’t be penalized for wanting to play a concept…any concept they may have. Whether they want to play Gandolf or Aragorn, they should have the right to shine and feel useful. To have a spellcasters only club is just as small minded and ignorant as all the jocks gamers like to rail against for not letting them in the cool kids club.
We gamers should be inclusive, and this type of imbalance is anything but.