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Old 06-02-2008, 11:42 AM   #31
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes
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.
ummm WotC already had a game to compete with WoW before WoW came out mind you,Dungeons and Dragons online,which from what I can garthered sucked. And the tools they arre offering are An online tabletop that will also use Minis,Character generator along iwth a stoirge system for charcters.and its also called D&D insider

Last edited by Gamer_Zer0; 06-02-2008 at 11:47 AM. Reason: typoes and adding a comment
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:43 AM   #32
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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Originally Posted by Anthony
Huh? I cannot think of a time when D&D did not emphasize combat.
Hmm, I beg to differ on that opinion. I'm sure Ed Greenwood's (creator of the Forgotten Realms setting) games emphasized on roleplaying. Sure, I bet it had plenty of combat but I bet roleplay was a a major focus of his games. And I'm sure he wasn't the only one running games like that. What I find funny is that it seems that because the D&D character stats sheet only mentions the character's knowledge (non-weapon profiencies or skills) and combat stats that you can't roleplay. Just because my PC doesn't have Shyness or Alcoholism written and calculated on his sheet doesn't mean he can't be any of these :) I always liked GMing my D&D games with characters with plenty of background stories and make them even more elaborate over the games. The only difference between this and GURPS is just that you don't have to stat out the character's personality. Plenty of other systems work the same way (Dark Eye, Dragon Warriors, etc.). I just find this edition too Diablo-like, computer game-like to my tastes. I do find that this type of ruleset really emphasize on combat only where in older editions each class had abilities that didn't necessarily involved combat.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:49 AM   #33
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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Originally Posted by Collective_Restraint
Hmm, I beg to differ on that opinion. I'm sure Ed Greenwood's (creator of the Forgotten Realms setting) games emphasized on roleplaying.
Having read at some of his novels, I wouldn't bet on it. In any case, my point (possibly obscured) wasn't that you can't roleplay in D&D, it's that the rules have always been mostly about combat. I see little evidence for 4e being much worse in this regards than earlier editions -- it's almost certainly better than 1e or 2e, and I'm not sure it's any worse than 3e.
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Originally Posted by Collective_Restraint
I just find this edition too Diablo-like, computer game-like to my tastes. I do find that this type of ruleset really emphasize on combat only where in older editions each class had abilities that didn't necessarily involved combat.
Hm. Refresh my memory on the non-combat abilities of any first edition class that wasn't a spellcaster or a thief.

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Old 06-02-2008, 11:54 AM   #34
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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Originally Posted by Anthony
Um, see above comment. Something not being in PHB1 doesn't mean it's been banished from the game, it just means that it isn't yet supported.
That's a bad precedent. It means in effect that they're applying the CCG marketing format to a game that doesn't require it to operate. Another way of looking at it is that WotC is trying hard to make everything a Core rulebook, in effect doing what Gary Gygax tried to do with 1.0 and in Dragon Magazine and make his way the one true faith.

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Old 06-02-2008, 11:58 AM   #35
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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Originally Posted by Anthony
Having read at some of his novels, I wouldn't bet on it. In any case, my point (possibly obscured) wasn't that you can't roleplay in D&D, it's that the rules have always been mostly about combat. I see little evidence for 4e being much worse in this regards than earlier editions -- it's almost certainly better than 1e or 2e, and I'm not sure it's any worse than 3e.

Hm. Refresh my memory on the non-combat abilities of any first edition class that wasn't a spellcaster or a thief.
Without having any 1.0 books nearby (I haven't owned any since 1983 -apparently, D&D was E-V-I-L to my folks), here's a few I can think of:

Bend bars/lift gates of the Fighter
Lay on Hands of the Paladin
Track of the Ranger
Pick a funky feat (like being able to fall without injury) of a Monk
Nature related abilities of the Druid

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Old 06-02-2008, 12:06 PM   #36
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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Originally Posted by Anthony
Having read at some of his novels, I wouldn't bet on it.
Nah, don't worry. He doesn't like the constant combat scenes himself. When questioned, he says that editors routinely cut 2/3 of his 'fluff' and asked him to put in more action. And he was desperate enough to be allowed to write something about the Realms that he obliged.

It's gotten better now, but some of his first novels were mutilated badly enough that he's quite embarrassed of them (the worst is Spellfire).

Of course, the fluff-heavy, gossip-laden style that he'd prefer to write in wouldn't sell very well, as many people hate books where nothing at all seems to happen for pages upon pages. But I like his books best when he's describing scenery, archictecture, customs and people. It's a good gaming reference.

I buy setting novels for setting information, not artistic merit, and as far as I'm concerned, Greenwood gives excellent value for my money (more and more with each later book, as editors recognise that his style seems to have some followers).
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:17 PM   #37
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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It's a little weird coming from the outside of the D&D community, but most groups really do treat EVERY SUPPLEMENT issued by the original publisher as vital expansions to the core rules, and are automatically allowed in a game unless otherwise specified by the GM.
I've never been in a group that plays D&D exclusively (which is pretty rare in Germany), so I haven't encountered any group that goes that far. My first group stuck to the Core Rules and setting-only supplements. My second group did buy some additional books at some point, but they did ask me (the GM) for permission for using stuff from them.

But for the most part, I didn't mind that - I wasn't forced to buy them myself, after all, and the Forgotten Realms setting which we played in has enough of a "kitchen sink" feeling already that throwing in additional stuff doesn't change much (I even came up with a pretty cool background idea for the elan which I sadly never got around to using...). And hey, at least WotC goes to a lot more effort to make sure its supplements are balanced than some other game companies out there (with White Wolf/Exalted being an especially blatant example)...

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Originally Posted by Flyerfan1991
Considering it's roots, that's not a shocker. However, D&D now seems to be emphasizing combat more than 3.0 did. Getting rid of some of these pesky "lesser" classes make it easier to balance out combat so that everybody is equal.
I dunno - the "skill challenge" system seems to allow for lots of interesting non-combat stuff that wasn't really possible in 3.X...

D&D always was a combat-intensive game - but combats are also the parts of role-playing games where imbalances are particularly noticeable. Frankly, combat is the part of the rules gamers tend to use the most in most games, so paying particular attention to the combat rules so that they work efficiently doesn't strike me as a bad strategy.

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Originally Posted by Icelander
I buy setting novels for setting information, not artistic merit, and as far as I'm concerned, Greenwood gives excellent value for my money (more and more with each later book, as editors recognise that his style seems to have some followers).
So his newer novels are actually readable? I've had some bad experiences with some of his earlier works...
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:30 PM   #38
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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Originally Posted by Anthony
Um, see above comment. Something not being in PHB1 doesn't mean it's been banished from the game, it just means that it isn't yet supported.
Right, Bruno was saying Rangers weren't in the PHB1 though. They are.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:31 PM   #39
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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Hm. Refresh my memory on the non-combat abilities of any first edition class that wasn't a spellcaster or a thief.
I only played 1st edition as a player, not a GM :( so answering this would be pretty hard for me. I'm more comfortable with 2nd edition. Ok so let me think. Well for Fighters, I see them as mercenaries that live by selling their sword so pretty much all their abilities (or lack of) is around combat. Still, if I remember they were good at Riding horses, Intimidating, smithing, etc. (as non weapon profiencies) and they could become lords and rule a kingdom. Paladins had healing power (and could cure dieases) and could repel undeads. Rangers could indeed track and had nature oriented non-weapon profiencies. That's about it ! I really missed the barbarians and monks in 2nd edition. It was one of the reasons I bought 3rd edition books after I had stopped playing D&D 2nd edition.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:38 PM   #40
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Default Re: First thoughts on D&D 4th edition

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Originally Posted by Jürgen Hubert
I dunno - the "skill challenge" system seems to allow for lots of interesting non-combat stuff that wasn't really possible in 3.X...
You mean explicitly possible within the ruleset or you mean possible only by multiclassing?

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D&D always was a combat-intensive game - but combats are also the parts of role-playing games where imbalances are particularly noticeable. Frankly, combat is the part of the rules gamers tend to use the most in most games, so paying particular attention to the combat rules so that they work efficiently doesn't strike me as a bad strategy.
I'd not mind that if there was some emphasis also placed on roleplaying in the pages. That's one of the big reasons why I like certain supplements: the roleplaying and scene setting in some supplements are very well done, and can provide some great ideas for home grown campaigns. However, in spite of the roleplaying stuff they put at the beginning of the PH, the rest of the PH seemed to be setting up a lot of "combat is where IT'S at" commentary.

--Mike L.
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