D&D 4th Ed Good or Bad?

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

Post by seebs » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:25 pm

Kostas wrote:You know how as DM, even in 3.5e, you have to know every freakin spell (At least Core) cause some smartass playa is gonna try and use the most crazy combo of spells to screw over your detailed campaign world. So you have to be prepared to counter it somehow, either with houserules or being prepared. It's hard, but it's also interesting. You don't want to go all restrictive on your players and force them in dungeons where you can control them, but you also want to limit their soapbox open world abilities to as much as you are willing your campaign world to be affected. It takes a lot of effort and skill from a DM to do all that.
Still true in 4E -- and in my experience, in some ways moreso because rituals meant I couldn't just handwave the utility spells, because people didn't suffer a penalty for preparing them.
PS: On your point about shy people playing the game, well that's just it. You have to play a role, come out of your shell.
I don't mean "shy" as in "would naturally be gregarious but has learned not to be", I mean actually natively shy. Not everyone has a shell to come out of... Sometimes that shy exterior really is the real person.
This is the growing aspect of RPGs. Sure a shy, small person may not be able to intimidate anyone in his real life, but he could play a Barbarian and roll checks to intimidate enemies, or RP a rogue that leads a guild, who uses a thinly veiled threat on the City's ruler, just RPing it, because he has the power to back up that threat.
Except this doesn't work, because the shy player simply can't RP that as well as someone else. So the shy player is limited in ability to play an imagined character; 3E's intimidate and diplomacy checks were a start on fixing this, but 4E does a better job of providing people with the tools to play characters they really can't be personally.

Disclaimer: I game with some autistic people. Not everyone has the option of turning on the social skills at will. :)
So it comes down to power, real or imagined, overt or covert, it doesn't matter if the real person is shy or not in real life. I'm a shy person and in gaming I can really let loose and immerse myself.
Not everyone has the option. Humans are pretty diverse.

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

Post by Kostas » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:31 pm

seebs wrote: Still true in 4E -- and in my experience, in some ways moreso because rituals meant I couldn't just handwave the utility spells, because people didn't suffer a penalty for preparing them.

I don't mean "shy" as in "would naturally be gregarious but has learned not to be", I mean actually natively shy. Not everyone has a shell to come out of... Sometimes that shy exterior really is the real person.

Except this doesn't work, because the shy player simply can't RP that as well as someone else. So the shy player is limited in ability to play an imagined character; 3E's intimidate and diplomacy checks were a start on fixing this, but 4E does a better job of providing people with the tools to play characters they really can't be personally.

Disclaimer: I game with some autistic people. Not everyone has the option of turning on the social skills at will. :)

Not everyone has the option. Humans are pretty diverse.
OK you went too heavy into the philosophical for me now.
As in what is shyness really and all that existential stuff, and then you pull out the autism card ;p
How do you mean "the shy exterior really is the real person"?
I don't consider myself a less shy person when role playing. I still am the same person. I have to find the courage to express my opinion. The difference is that when it comes to consequences of my character's actions I can differentiate between them and myself.
Instead of daily interactions where I'm my real self and have to take the consequences of what to say if I go and talk to another person on the corner, role playing interactions are for me a job, a conundrum, a logical puzzle. How would that character react in this situation. I visualize it and then narrate it to my fellows. I don't have to feel my shyness (except a bit of self-consciousness while I speak to the others, avoiding eye-contact as usual ;p ) it's just what my character does.
Hmm I can see your point, it is pretty confusing an issue.
But I still don't get how 4e made RP any easier if by your definition it provided non-RP ways to handle situations. Something that 3.5e already does to a certain degree too.

Anyway I am not judging the two systems (yes, they are 2 systems now, not an evolution of one like 2-3-3.5 was) on how RP is handled. I assumed it's pretty similar. I'm more concerned with the combat mechanics and the power mechanics and politics those produce. I wouldn't say 4e is way worse. It's just not for me. One word healing (surges, OK 2) ^.^

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

Post by seebs » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:11 am

Kostas wrote:OK you went too heavy into the philosophical for me now.
As in what is shyness really and all that existential stuff, and then you pull out the autism card ;p
How do you mean "the shy exterior really is the real person"?
For some people, shyness is a thing that prevents them from coming out and "letting loose". For others, that is "letting loose" -- it is the way they are happiest being. I like a game in which a person who is not personally good at taunting or persuasion or whatever can play a character who is.
But I still don't get how 4e made RP any easier if by your definition it provided non-RP ways to handle situations. Something that 3.5e already does to a certain degree too.
It follows the evolution from NWPs in the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide up through the present skill system, in that we've been improving the quality of the tools available to DMs to allow people to run a character who has social skills far better than their own (or alternatively, to prevent them from using social skills their character lacks). The 3E skill system was a good first pass; 4E's skill challenges provide DMs with real tools for creating balanced challenges around non-combat mechanics, though, which is a nice step forwards.
Anyway I am not judging the two systems (yes, they are 2 systems now, not an evolution of one like 2-3-3.5 was) on how RP is handled. I assumed it's pretty similar. I'm more concerned with the combat mechanics and the power mechanics and politics those produce. I wouldn't say 4e is way worse. It's just not for me. One word healing (surges, OK 2) ^.^
That mechanic confused the heck out of me at first, but I now love it dearly. Since 1E, one of the recurring themes in complaints about D&D is that the same spell can't even measurably heal a mighty warrior, but can restore a common peasant from "why isn't he dead yet?" to perfect health. That's sorta busted. Healing surges provide a useful way to limit healing, to scale it more smoothly, and to provide a large set of tools for things like wilderness adventures ("whoops, no water, everyone gets two fewer healing surges until you fix that").

The power mechanics are a mixed bag. Ritual casting is a huge win for adventure design, and makes casters a lot more flexible. The mix of at-will powers for casters and real choices about ability use for non-casters produces a game that I find a lot more fun to play.

It is a big shift, but at the end of the day, it strikes me as a very good evolution in the essential style of D&D, which is "I want a game in which guys with swords go into dungeons and kill stuff".

One thing: If you haven't actually played a session or two, it reads VERY differently from how it plays. Not sure why. If you can find a group that plays it, though, it can be a really good thing to try it and see how it goes.

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

Post by t0tem » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:26 am

I liked it in theory. Most of the stuff they changed was things I thought were problems in 3.5. The biggest problem with the old rules was that the spell casters generally wanted to rest after every encounter. They fixed that in 4e. They also fixed the monotony of playing a healing cleric that was very much needed.
But... there's just no feeling in it anymore.

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

Post by seebs » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:32 am

For me, 4e's the most feeling since 1e, and I think a lot of the 1e feeling was just the newness of it all. 2e was my least favorite, 3e/3.5e worked okay for me, but 4e ends up giving me a better feel for characters as having distinct styles but still basically being in the same game. I really do like the solutions to the encounter-a-day problem. :)

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

Post by Kostas » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:58 pm

I agree with Totem, sorry Seebs you didn't convince me.
Also every single one of my gaming friends (and their friends too) hates 4e there's zero chance of me playing a campaign in it.
Maybe 5e...

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

Post by seebs » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:37 am

Well, thing is. I don't actually have to convince you; I just wanted to point out that there are people who have been playing D&D for 30 years who do like it. A lot of it depends on the group, and in which directions you were already house-ruling your previous games. Some of 4E's stuff fits themes we'd been going for all along, so it works better for us.

In general, if I find a whole bunch of people hating on something which is a significant change from some previous thing, I often find that this means that what they hate is the change, not the thing itself. In particular, a lot of people say things like "4E is a pretty good game, but it's not D&D", which is a way of saying that 4E's real problem is violating the expectations we had for "what D&D looks like". Which it totally does.

It's just that I've found that, if I want to run a dungeon-crawling adventure game, 4E is better at it than any of the previous things that went out under the D&D brand name. It does this in part because it's willing to give up some of the sacred cows.

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

Post by eharper256 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:58 am

Aye, totally agree with you Seebs, I've also given up trying to convince people to like 4e (though its been interesting to watch this thread since the initial post I made). Mostly because Pathfinder has shut them up in anycase.

I laugh at people who say 'its become an MMO', because its nothing like that. It's just easier, more streamlined, and less beardy. 4e has taken away alot of the old stresses I used to have a GM, and just lets me focus on giving my players an interesting and epic plot to follow.
"If the world's a stage, and the people actors, then who the f**k has my script?!?"
http://detarame.wordpress.com/ <= My games, anime and weirdness blog

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

Post by Darklord » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:24 pm

eharper256 wrote: I laugh at people who say 'its become an MMO', because its nothing like that. It's just easier, more streamlined, and less beardy.
I play and enjoy 4th ed, but I can see where those who say it has MMO elements in are coming from.

Marking is a very MMO inspired idea, it is very similar to taunting and such. Also the classes have been split into types which again is MMO like, Defenders are tanks, Strikers are DPR etc.

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

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

Post by Kthanid » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:49 pm

seebs wrote:In general, if I find a whole bunch of people hating on something which is a significant change from some previous thing, I often find that this means that what they hate is the change, not the thing itself. In particular, a lot of people say things like "4E is a pretty good game, but it's not D&D", which is a way of saying that 4E's real problem is violating the expectations we had for "what D&D looks like". Which it totally does.
There's a lot of truth here.

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