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Old 06-01-2008, 11:24 PM   #11
IrishRover
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasmus Wagner
AFAICT, you're better of rebuilding than converting.
If that's the case, and the old stuff would be useless, our gaming group won't be spending a dime...Wizards has saved us a fortune.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishRover
If that's the case, and the old stuff would be useless, our gaming group won't be spending a dime...Wizards has saved us a fortune.
I'm getting the 3 core books, just to see what heresy they have inflicted upon us, but beyond that with all the 3.x material out there, I won't need anything new for a while, except for maybe lore.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:39 PM   #13
The Benj
 
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

There's a few things I like:

-Everyone now having At-Will, Encounter and Daily abilities, so you no-longer have the Wizard tossing their spells then being USELESS for the rest of the day, but you do still have things you can only do sometimes, so there's still some resource-management and room for everyone to get their moment to shine.
Likewise, that Martial heroes also now have things they can only do once in a fight or day, so they've got their big moves that they can't do every turn too.
-Rituals: Things like resurrection and teleportation becoming Rituals was a great idea. Big, important stuff keeps its sense of ceremony and material components (or, at least, cost) and you don't have the whole "I didn't memorise Raise Dead, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow to bring Barry back. Let's hit the sack, people!" any more. Also removes Teleport-raiding. Ace.
-Classes only running for ten levels, then you shift into the next tier. I really liked Prestige Classes and this is a more generalised version of that.
-Action points: Go a LONG way to giving a little narrative power and agency to the players. Without something like this, D&D has always felt a bit too much a straight board game, less like a roleplaying game of heroic adventure. The best thing ever done with old d20 was Spycraft, hands down and this helps acknowledge that. :)

Things I don't like:
-No real multiclassing: there are "multiclassing feats", which give you some measure of power from a different class, but really it still feels like they want to punish you for stepping outside of the narrow slot they wanted you in.
-Along the same lines, the further codification of "roles". This is your party position and its where you're going to stay.
-A lot less freedom to customise your character. Feats feel less significant than in 3rd Ed.
-Some of the names: "Power source", "role", "Exploits", "Combat advantage" are good examples and I haven't read the whole thing yet.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

TL;DR version: I don't see this as a replacement for D&D 3.5/3.0 - it's too different. It's a viable alternative, for the kick-the-door kill-the-monster bicker-about-the-rules folks. I can't decide if I like it or loath it. I'd play this system, but not run it.

************************************************** ******

In general, I'm liking the directions taken in character creation. The at will/encounter/daily/ritual organization is a big improvement over the "pseudo-vancian" magic system, and doesn't require a lot of book keeping (unlike spell memorization or daily spell points).

I like the removal of multiclassing simply because muticlassing was either a quick route to being overpowered, or a quick route to being useless... Depending on your choices, you could end up with a character with a base attack of 0, only first level spells (from a few classes admitedly), but some amazing saves and skill points out your ears... or you could end up with a warrior with a BAB equal to your level, the significant abilities of multiple classes, great saving throws and skills, and basically give up nothing significant.

The multiclass feats are less flexible, but the new design of character creation has brought the classes closer together, so it takes less to get the significant abilities of another class. The powers and skill choices are the most distinctive features of the classes now, exluding the numbers which were some of the most abusable features of old-style multiclassing.

I find healing surges confusing and worrying. I grasp the idea that now, with at-will healing powers, they need a way to stop players from having bottomless supplies of hitpoints over the course of a day, but this seems like a seriously odd way to do it. Healing Potions are by their nature a consumable resource that has to be managed, and yet they ALSO consume a healing surge? wot?

Combat appears to have become even more mechanical and Magic-the-Gathering-like than before. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does define the game even more as a fantasy skirmish battle game with some roleplaying wrapped around it.

The death of open ended knowledge skills, and the removal of professional skills wholescale, has killed a lot of chances for characterization.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

My main complaints are with what they did with the core races and the classes. Dumping the Half Orcs (which were there from the beginning) and the Gnomes (take them or leave them, but they've been around since forever), and replacing them with the Draconians (that's what they are, really), the Grey Elves (which are what the Eladrin are) and Tieflings (what, no other half Outsiders?), not to mention kenderizing the Halflings, it seems that they've fundamentally changed the core world that D&D adventures in. Add to that the dumping of the barbarian, the druid, sorceror and the bard and throwing in the warlord and warlock, it seems that they are fundamentally changing the way characters interact by de-emphasizing roleplaying and emphasizing combat.

Now, I don't mind an occasional hack and slash game, but it seems that by stripping things down and replacing them with what is there now, WotC has decided to make it harder on those who want more emphasis on roleplaying. Oh, I suppose that the angst of some of these characters would make for good roleplaying, but let's face it: these races and classes are there for power and not for roleplaying.

--Mike L.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:57 AM   #16
carllarson
 
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

It could be looked at thusly:

They've stripped out anything except the main interaction rules, by their lights. Anything/everything else is left to the DM and the challenge rules. Playing your role is now up to you, and not any game mechanic, leaving the idea of roll-playing to be made up by the gamers, not the game.

Which is perhaps the hardest part of designing the game, what to cover outside combat. And with all the debate about how to do that, I can see leaving it out as streamlining.

In summary, they took what they seem to do well, and focused on that, and left anything else up to the gamers.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:36 AM   #17
Flyerfan1991
 
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by carllarson
It could be looked at thusly:

They've stripped out anything except the main interaction rules, by their lights. Anything/everything else is left to the DM and the challenge rules. Playing your role is now up to you, and not any game mechanic, leaving the idea of roll-playing to be made up by the gamers, not the game.

Which is perhaps the hardest part of designing the game, what to cover outside combat. And with all the debate about how to do that, I can see leaving it out as streamlining.

In summary, they took what they seem to do well, and focused on that, and left anything else up to the gamers.
The main issue I have is that this drew more from what gamers are familiar with (MMRPGs and CCGs) and less from the source material. With the D&D brand name, you expect certain things to be in place, and 4.0 is a significant break from the old system. (Think of it this way: you could at least convert characters from 2.0 to 3.X, but good luck trying to go from 3.X to 4.0.) To that end, they might as well have gone ahead and called it something other than D&D 4.0.

--Mike L.
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:45 AM   #18
Collective_Restraint
 
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyerfan1991
My main complaints are with what they did with the core races and the classes. Dumping the Half Orcs (which were there from the beginning) and the Gnomes (take them or leave them, but they've been around since forever), and replacing them with the Draconians (that's what they are, really), the Grey Elves (which are what the Eladrin are) and Tieflings (what, no other half Outsiders?), not to mention kenderizing the Halflings, it seems that they've fundamentally changed the core world that D&D adventures in. Add to that the dumping of the barbarian, the druid, sorceror and the bard and throwing in the warlord and warlock, it seems that they are fundamentally changing the way characters interact by de-emphasizing roleplaying and emphasizing combat.

Now, I don't mind an occasional hack and slash game, but it seems that by stripping things down and replacing them with what is there now, WotC has decided to make it harder on those who want more emphasis on roleplaying. Oh, I suppose that the angst of some of these characters would make for good roleplaying, but let's face it: these races and classes are there for power and not for roleplaying.
Looks like Gygax died the same year his system died too. Was his system the best ? Probably not as it was the first. But this new edition does seem to be completely focused on combat balance. Every class has to be as useful is combat. Why ? I used to play a thief in older systems and god I knew I wouldn't be able to match the fighter in combat effectiveness. What was wrong with that ? I wasn't as good as a fighter but I would be the best scout though. This is something that I miss from previous editions. Not every class was equal in power. Mages would start really weak but living through the ordeals they would become very powerful. Not every class would level up at the same speed. Sure, a paladin was strictly better than a fighter but he would raise in levels more slowly. Every class was a very different experience and you wouldn't necessarily be as effective in combat as others. Sure, mechanics needed change but I don't feel they went in a good direction. This edition feels like some kind of a Advanced Warhammer Quest boardgame. Don't get me wrong, I like Warhammer Quest (it's a funny hack'n'slash only boardgame) but it's no roleplaying system. I just find that funny that they really emphasised on combat balance as their main focus. It would be like announcing that your GURPS 5th edition astrophysician will now be as useful in combat as your cyber-ninja assassin from hell. My two cents.

Oh and I just remembered that mages now cast Magic Missiles at will. I can now see the new D&D 4e battlefields filled with wizard troops shooting magic missiles like lasers, turning army battles into weird Star Wars-like scenes.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:04 AM   #19
Flyerfan1991
 
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Collective_Restraint
Looks like Gygax died the same year his system died too. Was his system the best ? Probably not as it was the first. But this new edition does seem to be completely focused on combat balance. Every class has to be as useful is combat. Why ? I used to play a thief in older systems and god I knew I wouldn't be able to match the fighter in combat effectiveness. What was wrong with that ? I wasn't as good as a fighter but I would be the best scout though. This is something that I miss from previous editions. Not every class was equal in power. Mages would start really weak but living through the ordeals they would become very powerful. Not every class would level up at the same speed. Sure, a paladin was strictly better than a fighter but he would raise in levels more slowly. Every class was a very different experience and you wouldn't necessarily be as effective in combat as others. Sure, mechanics needed change but I don't feel they went in a good direction. This edition feels like some kind of a Advanced Warhammer Quest boardgame. Don't get me wrong, I like Warhammer Quest (it's a funny hack'n'slash only boardgame) but it's no roleplaying system. I just find that funny that they really emphasised on combat balance as their main focus. It would be like announcing that your GURPS 5th edition astrophysician will now be as useful in combat as your cyber-ninja assassin from hell. My two cents.

Oh and I just remembered that mages now cast Magic Missiles at will. I can now see the new D&D 4e battlefields filled with wizard troops shooting magic missiles like lasers, turning army battles into weird Star Wars-like scenes.
The more I kept reading, the more I kept thinking that this would make a good computer game.

--Mike L.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:15 AM   #20
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

Quote:
I kept thinking that this would make a good computer game
That seems to be part of their motivation. WOTC wants a monthly subscription, online tools, D&D Online to compete with WoW. So they're probably giving more consideration to computerizing the system.
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