D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

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t0tem
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D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

Post by t0tem » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:26 pm

Darklord wrote:Off topic but I'm actually a fan of 4th ed D&D! New campaign starting tonight in fact. :)

Daniel.
Oh cmon Darklord it's awful. It's basically turned every character class into a wizard! I use my daily "Triple Wolf Pounce Strike" it does 3d6+1 damage and if I hit I get another attack at +3 and bla bla bla bla. Whatever happened to "I hit him with my sword!"

seebs
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Re: Things the devs didn't think through

Post by seebs » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:38 pm

If you wanna debate 4E D&D, I'd be sorta interested in that, but we should probably do it over in General Discussion, not in the LoG forums.

t0tem
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Re: Things the devs didn't think through

Post by t0tem » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:55 pm

seebs wrote:If you wanna debate 4E D&D, I'd be sorta interested in that, but we should probably do it over in General Discussion, not in the LoG forums.
sorry :P

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Darklord
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Re: D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

Post by Darklord » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:17 am

seebs wrote:If you wanna debate 4E D&D, I'd be sorta interested in that, but we should probably do it over in General Discussion, not in the LoG forums.
Your wish is my command! :P

Yeah I can see what you are saying about the wizard but but having so many cool powers is pretty awesome if a little confusing. ;)

Daniel.
A gently fried snail slice is absolutely delicious with a pat of butter...

t0tem
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Re: D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

Post by t0tem » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:23 am

Yeah it's cool until you look around table and realize not one of your friends (often including the DM) know what the hell you're talking about when you say "I use my Flaming Eagle Twin Dive Daily Utility" (they all have really cool names like that). At best they all sigh and say "what does that do again?". At worst they don't even pay attention to you cause they're all intently focused on trying to figure out what their own powers do.'

At least that's the way it was when I tried it. :)

Give me 3.5 any day. Or better yet AD&D.

seebs
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Re: D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

Post by seebs » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:25 am

Okay, biases disclosure: I started D&D on the blue book basic set that came with a copy of B2. Been playing all along ever since, and I've played 1E, 2E, BECMI, RC, 3E, 3.5E, and 4E.

My rating of them, roughly in order, would be:
4E, 3.5E, 3E, 1E, RC, BECMI, 2E.
(And I'd probably put Pathfinder and Arcana Unearthed somewhere between 3E and 4E.)

Throughout the previous editions, I liked the intent of caster strategy, but found it deeply frustrating that, once you made it to mid to high levels, casters dominated play and pure melee characters were basically worthless. I also found the harsh combat penalties you took by prepping utility spells to be, well, harsh.

2E sucked. It was like 1E, only without the flavor, and with a lot of stuff nerfed or oversimplified.

3E was a really nice attempt at building a game structurally similar to 1E/RC D&D, but with the warts filed off, the lumps in the carpet smoothed out, and so on. 3.5E was just a refinement of that, but stayed focused on 3E's basically simulationist approach.

4E dumped that in favor of a design that addressed a number of problems, such as the obvious balance problems you'd face if you just let casters cast all the time (I think every D&D player I know tried some variant of that house rule), as well as providing a number of new things:

1. The first really credible attempt to give rogues and fighters meaningful choices in combat. Seriously, deciding which two targets to roll to hit doing your base weapon damage if you hit every round, no special effects, and so on? Boring.
2. A reasonable pass at a tanking mechanic, making meat shields a lot more useful than they ever were before.
3. The first serious attempt at a set of rules for creating, balancing, and running non-combat encounters. All the bits had been there, this brought them together. (Albeit with some bugs.)
4. Guidelines for encounter and adventure balancing allowing you to run an adventure without years and years of practice and a ton of attempts where you try to run a game and fail miserably because you didn't get the balance right.
5. Streamlined ways to build and tune monsters and adventures given a lot less time than it used to take.
6. Multiclassing rules in which multiclass builds are neither massively overpowered nor massively underpowered, but give you a character who has a bit of the flavor of two classes.

I've run games in 1E, 2E, 3E, 3.5E, and 4E. 4E was by far the most rewarding in amount of adventure per hour of prep time. I also know people who always wanted to run games, but couldn't.

1E had serious rules-level flaws, but was largely redeemed for me by a mix of good flavor and some really good adventure and world building advice. 4E is the only edition ever to offer that serious competition, and while I think the flavor-of-world-building isn't as good as it was in 1E, the polish and development of clearer guidelines makes up for a lot.

In short: It has a learning curve, and it has a fairly different feel in some ways, but it really is a brilliant solution to the problem: "I want to have elves and wizards and stuff go have heroic adventures."

If I were going to start a game now, it'd be 4E. I wouldn't even seriously think about the others; they just aren't good at it.

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eharper256
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Re: D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

Post by eharper256 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:15 am

I also think 4E was the best thing to happen to D&D. It really addressed the cocked-up balance. Nearly all of Seeb's points perfectly hit the mark. Sure, everyone has a few silly attack names now. Oh noes!

By far and away the best thing that ever happened was stripping the Skill List down to its core. Very occassionally I do have ponder about shoehorning one or two obscure skill checks as a GM, but its worth it.

I'm not happy with what they've tried to do with Essentials ("4.5"), though; feels like they tore its heart out with the oversimplification, even if I can understand its to try and get more casual people in (though this has been tried and failed before). Still, no worries, there are enough original 4e books to cover all the material you ever wanted to cover; so the spasming attempts of Essentials can be safely ignored.

I've never used the whole skill challenge thing anyway; because gods forbid, I get players to actually roleplay most out of combat encounters, with only strategic rolls placed in whenever a skill check might need to be called. :shock: Still, I always appreciated that the mechanic is in place for those that see everything in terms of dice rolls.

Also, whilst standard multiclassing is well thought out and works quite a charm, Hybrids are a bit of a mess. Never tried the Psychic stuff as that's not in my setting (besides Monks, but they're re-tooled in my setting to be Divine).

Anyway, if you like the 3E approach, Pathfinder and its 3.75 mantra is there for you; its a very well tuned version of the 3.0 rules. But I'm quite happy I migrated my setting to 4th and won't look back.
"If the world's a stage, and the people actors, then who the f**k has my script?!?"
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Pez
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Re: D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

Post by Pez » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:24 pm

I havent' played 4th yet, but I didn't like it much after a quick glance at the rules. Also, of my 4 players, 2 don't want to use 4th, and the other 2 dont care, so I will keep playing at least the current campaign with 3.5 and quintessential manuals.
Oh, and I dont really feel like buying all the rulebooks AGAIN.

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Darklord
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Re: D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

Post by Darklord » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:33 pm

Heh 5th edition is just round the corner to! ;)

My new 4th campaign started last night and it was awesome, we had such a great time, our party consists of a Hybrid Genasi, an Elven Bladsinger, a Pixie Chaos Sorcerer Alchemist and my character a Dwarf druid with a bear companion, we had some awesome comedy to do with the bear and the pixie, so funny! :lol:

Honestly I'm not sure the edition matters that much. :D

Daniel.
A gently fried snail slice is absolutely delicious with a pat of butter...

t0tem
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Re: D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

Post by t0tem » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:22 pm

Darklord wrote: Honestly I'm not sure the edition matters that much. :D
Daniel.

You're right of course. And our group isn't exactly big on the whole "role" part of roleplaying. Even so 4E was too much munchkin-ing and not enough feeling.

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