DnD 4th edition

Comments

  • kresnik_alchemist
    kresnik_alchemist
    Posts: 13
    Since GenCon, the DnD community has been buzzing about 4th edition. Being a long time player I have already had to go through buying all new books when they brought out 3rd and then 3.5, I don't know if I am happy about 4th or not. Thus far it hasn't been definitively said what they are doing with it, just a few scraps here and there and *tons* of speculation and here say. So, I was curious as to what the community here at OP had to say about 4th. Are you excited about another facet on the Dungeons and Dragons game or is it just another ploy for Hasbro to take our money?
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    I'm heavily torn on 4E. I'm pleased with what I have heard about the changes to the system, but at the same time, I am not ready to altogether abandon 3.X yet. I have too much currently invested in the various 3rd edition supplements, in terms of time, money, and creativity. Many of my 3.X games will not easily translate up to 4e, if they can translate at all. As such, I'm not really looking forward to 4e, but at the same time, I am looking forward to the system from an objective standpoint, as it seems very interesting and addresses many of my issues with the previous additions.

    I do feel that the release of 4e is a bit premature, and it falls within what I expect of WotC. Having been a player of Magic the Gathering for years, I can tell you I was not at all surprised to hear anything I have heard about 4e- after all, they just LOVE the whole "alright, we're done with this now, now buy our newest product, spend hundreds of dollars getting current, and then prepare for the NEXT update as soon as you get settled in" thing. However, at the same time, as a fan of many of the supplements that have allegedly provided some testing for 4e concepts, I think it will be a pretty solid system- I'm just not completely in love with the circumstances surrounding it.
  • outrider
    outrider
    Posts: 46
    As for me, I'm not sold on 4th. I have played D&D since nearly its inception. The change from second to third in my setting took soo long to implement, I don't really want to do it again. Everything Im reading implies to me World of Warcraft or Everquest, neither of which I particularly care for, but having said that I will probably check out the new ph anyway. Both of my groups have indicated that they want to stay with the 3.5.
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    bq. The change from second to third in my setting took soo long to implement, I don’t really want to do it again.

    Oh God, I don't blame you. That had to have been epic in terms of frustration.

    bq. Everything Im reading implies to me World of Warcraft or Everquest

    I'm curious why you get this impression. I haven't really picked up on that at all.
  • MythicParty
    MythicParty
    Posts: 78
    photoneater, I've heard that too. I think it has to do with things like replacing distances of 'feet' with squares and the "D&D Game Table." Or replacing gnomes with Warforged/Dragonborn. I've never played Evercrack or any other MMORG, but just from what I've seen, I get a 'dumbing down' impression.

    Check it out for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=4th+edition&search=Search

    The MAGIC comparison seems a valid one. Certainly going to subcription-based content is pretty sneaky.

    If you're asking me personally, I picked "3.0 You'll have to pry the core books from my cold, undead hands," on Paizo's 'What edition of D&D do you currently expect to be playing at the end of 2008?' In addition to the plethora of official material for 3.0/3.5 already out there, there are a near countless other books from a legion of other publishers.

    You could play D&D for a living and never finish them all.
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    That just seems like more of a nod back to its war-gaming roots than a connection to MMORPGs, if you ask me. I don't really see it as dumbing down in as much as I see it as much needed simplification. Trying to teach new players the d20 system can be daunting, and obviously, they are going to do everything they can to reach a broader audience- and being more accessible to rookie gamers helps accomplish that. Hmm, maybe it is dumbing down. I don't know.

    I will, in all likelihood, buy the 4e core books, but I don't intend on upgrading any of my campaigns- not that I really could. One campaign is d20 Modern, so it doesn't have a 4e equivalent, I don't expect the other to last longer than March, and I'm just a player in my other campaigns- and even if I weren't, one isn't affected by the change, and the other is too heavily rooted in 3.5 supplements to be neatly upgraded.

    It's true, though. 3.X had an embarrassment of supplements- its to the point where I have just put down a list and told my players that once I acquired all the books from that list that I would not be buying any more. Otherwise, it ends up feeling too "keeping up with the Joneses". Meanwhile, I'm nearly done with that list. All I need now is Complete Mage, Lords of Madness, Monster Manual V, and Weapons of Legacy, and I'm out.
  • MythicParty
    MythicParty
    Posts: 78
    I'm admittedly not the best person to explain the faults of 4th and admittedly come in with the bias of hating to 'upgrade' to new editions. 2nd edition got me out of D&D and into WFRP, so in some sense it was a good thing.

    4th ed had the effect of publishers like Green Ronin doing a massive fire sale- you could get softcovers for $2 and hardcovers for $5. needless to say I went a little gaga. how gaga?
    http://www.againsttheshadow.org/index.php?topic=1003.msg9046#msg9046

    You can pay a bunch of money for a few new versions of the PHB, DMG, and MM (remember, these are being staggered over the course of several months) or few monies for a bunch of 'out of date' supplemants. No call, IMNSHO.
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    Oh, I'm counting on that sort of liquidation sale aspect. I intend to grab as much 3.X after 4e arrives at the party. I also intend on buying the 4e supplements, though- I mean, even if I hate it and it ends up being terrible, I can always sell it off or gift it to someone. Furthermore, you know how these things go. God forbid I ever end up not having a regular group in the future- but if it did happen, within a few years there is a perfectly good chance that I may only be able to find a 4e group. Personally, I would rather be able to have fun and RP with someone than take the moral high ground in this case. So yeah, my support of the system only extends as far as establishing a B plan and informing myself, for the moment.

    Also, as far as the "faults" of 4e, well- no one knows how it will work just yet, and I'm preparing myself for the standard alarmist reactions from the gaming community as a whole (since, let's face it, that's what they are KNOWN for), but based on the very little I have heard, I'm seeing more good ideas than bad. Then again, I like using minis even in fully dramatic, low-combat games, I have ALWAYS used a sort of play grid (visual aids tend to help me get involved, even if it is just to display just how far away from the NPC I am), and I'm a huge fan of Tome of Magic, Book of Nine Swords, and the True 20 system- which allegedly has many elements in common with 4e.
  • RobJustice
    RobJustice
    Posts: 178
    I'm stoked for 4th Ed. I've already got mine on preorder and I picked of the first preview book as well. I couple things I want to point out from this thread is that Gnome's aren't gone. Their being reworked, as are all the base races and even Warforged are being re-done a bit. Star Wars: Saga Edition was used as a sort of large scale beta playtest for 4th Edition and that we can expect to see marked similarities between the two. Including talent progressions, a reduced skill set, and a more standardized save/defense system. As far as distance being in squares, I'd assume that they would set it up similar to Star Wars where everything is based of squares but one square is 3 meters. (Or approximately five feet) The preview book also talks about how Book of Nine Swords and Tome of Magic were based heavily off of their re-working of 4th edition so for those of you who though (like I did) that "This is neat but it doesn't fit well into 3.5" then we should be in for a treat.

    The funny thing is that there is the "Dumbing Down" people and the "Streamlining" people. Personally I like less rules and restrictions that opens up my game to more story progression with less book reference. (Who's up for some grappling without a rule book near by?) Then there are the thought that 4th Edition is an online only thing, which isn't true at all. You can buy your books and have everything in the core that you'll need to play your game. But you can subscribe to the Insider and get new stuff, similar to the Dungeon magazine and Dragon magazine; which have been discontinued to make way for the online Insider. There will be all sorts of handy computer based applications for those of us who use laptops but its not going to FORCE you to use a computer.

    The preview made sure to heavily state that they focused their attention on the things people didn't like about 3.5. They didn't try to reinvent the wheel but give it some better traction. Sure, it sucks that we're forking over money for new stuff but whats the big difference between picking up 4th Edition or buying a new core book for another system? Wanna try Savage Worlds or Rifts? Your 3.5 stuff won't work for that either.

    I saw ALOT of this same discussion when White Wolf ended the Vampire: The Masquerade line and started Vampire: The Requiem. I have a complete set of Masquerade books, Wraith, and Kindred of the East but I picked up the new World of Darkness line and tried it out. Now, I'd never go back. The new system just takes everything I loved from the old game and fixed all the shit I hated. I still know a lot of people who refuse to try the new World of Darkness line and I just pity them. Their missing a far superior system.

    I guess the big thing is that you need to hold your hatred until you have a copy of the book in your hands. Hold back the negativity until you play the game. Until then, hold on to hope and give it a try. You might find something you really like.
  • outrider
    outrider
    Posts: 46
    My impression comes from the friends who play WOW in part. Elite monsters as an example-bulette "elite monster" Most of them when I mentioned it "thats a WOW thing". The quest cards mentioned sometime ago in the D&D forums again the WOW players mentioned something similar. There are other items that I talk with my buddies about when the latest items that are listed out on various forums that they say is similar to WOW or EQ.

    Robjustices observation about the Vampire is somewhat valid but where I live, white wolf products didnt make it back anywhere to their sales levels before the change. I regularly visit five stores that are in the area and all of them report the same thing. Perhaps in your area White Wolf regained its strength.

    If WOC isnt trying to reinvent the wheel, why change the edition?

    You as the referee have control of the game, you decide what you what to use. Grapple? don't like it, don't use it or simpilify it.
    I don't use sunder in my game, does it make my game bad? No its simply an option neither my players or I use. That kind of option has always been available to the ref.

    It is your setting. I will admit to being old school about things like no such things as Dwarvish wizards, etc, Is my game any less detailed, I don't believe so and it has never been a point of contention for my players about it. So you can make any restrictions that you wish to without going to a new edition.

    I do think that options for new players will be more limited for me in a couple of years by staying with the current edition and I would have to deal with the consequences of that, but I don't think its going to be a problem.

    I don't hate 4th. I will probably buy it but I feel that I would have to create a new setting for it, I really don't like using premade settings, I had bad experiences with such while running Glorantha Runequest in the past with players telling me that certain races don't do that in Greg Stafford(Glorantha) game. I am certain at this time I will not convert my homebrew into 4th.

    Sorry about the ramble.
  • MythicParty
    MythicParty
    Posts: 78
    Robjustice, when the Tiefling "trades places" with gnomes in the PHB, they're not being reworked, they're being replaced.
    http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/community/gaming/4thEdition/theTieflingAndTheGnome1k9kq&page=1

    By 'gone' I meant that they weren't in the core book as a playable PC race. Now we have hordes of devil and demon spawn.
    Durt.
  • RobJustice
    RobJustice
    Posts: 178
    AvatarArt- That disagrees with the Preview book that just came out. It clearly said that Gnomes are being reworked and will still be around. If their in the PHB or not has yet to be decided.
  • Taurren
    Taurren
    Posts: 7
    WotC is indeed re-working the Gnome. Why they are making it a "playable" race within the Monster Manual and not a playable race in the PHB escapes me, since both books are being released at the same time.

    Regarding 4E, I understand the business reasons for the edition, but I'm still disappointed that WotC has decided to drop its support of 3E. I have seen very little from 4E that really excites me, a few things that make me scratch my head in confusion, and a couple of things that have made me downright angry. Add that to the generally poor way that WotC has managed its customers (IMHO) and you have a recipe for a negative attitude. That opinion is shared by most of the gamers in the groups I run, so right now we have no intention of switching.
  • kresnik_alchemist
    kresnik_alchemist
    Posts: 13
    I think my thoughts are the same as Photon's, and that is, am I still going to be able to find people to play with? Any new player is going to be buying 4th, leaving me with the same dwindling group. There are certain things that don't really make sense to me, one being the Tiefling. Why have they included the Tiefling as a basic race and not the Aasimar? The Gnome going away to sit in the MM I can understand, never in any of the games that I have played in or ran has someone played a Gnome, so yeah take him out. I also understand that some of the feats that everyone has access to now in 3e are no longer there for everyone in 4e. i.e. Spring Attack, in one of the newer articles they mentioned that it might only be a Rogue of Ranger feat.

    When they brought out 3e I could understand the need for change, 2nd had been out for quite a while and Wizards had taken over TSR, their name was no where on the product they owned. They say they are fixing the things wrong with 3e, wasn't that what 3.5 was supposed to address?
  • RobJustice
    RobJustice
    Posts: 178
    Aasimar are still going to be around but their dropping the horrible name. Now their just called Celestials, which makes sense I guess.

    Its also been five years since 3.5 debuted and eight since 3.0 (since 3.5 was pretty much a 3.0 upgrade). Now, if you look at D&D history D&D debuted in 74, AD&D came out in 77. 2nd was 89 and 3rd was in 2000. Now, thats three years from debut to AD&D, 12 between AD&D and 2nd. Then 11 years between 2nd and 3rd. 3.5 came out five years after 3.0 so while the timeline is shrinking I don't think eight years is to short of a timeline. For example, if we look at Shadowrun it was three years between 1st and 2nd, six between 2nd and 3rd, then seven between 3rd and 4th. West End Games put out Star Wars in 87, 92, and 96 (thats 5 years, then 4 years) then four years later WotC released a new version followed in two years with a Revised and then five years later with Saga.

    5-8 years doesn't really look that bad when you start looking at precedence set by other developers. Of course, like anything there are two sides of this debate and we could go back and forth all day. The big thing is we'll just wait and see what their doing and in the end judge if it was worth it or not.
  • AidanDark
    AidanDark
    Posts: 56
    Elite Monsters aren't a WoW thing. Since Ultima Online different monsters have been "elite" and I'm sure even MUDs have had them. I don't see why it is a bad thing? It is basically a simplification of saying "This monster, by itself, will provide more than enough challenge and fun for the average party".

    I'm on the fence but I like a lot of what I'm seeing (though I'm ambivalent to the drow and the eladrin) and I'm happy to see that it seems the fey will play a larger role in the new core. And having just finished a combat in which the players (Saving Nuras) fought more than 30 enemies in one massive combat I'm looking forward to a streamlining of combat mechanics (TBH) so long as players still have the options they would in 3.5 (if not more).
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    bq. The Gnome going away to sit in the MM I can understand, never in any of the games that I have played in or ran has someone played a Gnome

    This is off-topic a bit, but one of our oldest running D&D jokes is that no one has ever played a gnome, ever. That was actually the entire basis for a running gag in my original attempt with Freaking Elves.

    bq. Elite Monsters aren’t a WoW thing. Since Ultima Online different monsters have been “elite” and I’m sure even MUDs have had them. I don’t see why it is a bad thing? It is basically a simplification of saying “This monster, by itself, will provide more than enough challenge and fun for the average party”.

    Right, it's not like you will be encountering the monster with a glowing bit of text over its head that says "ELITE MONSTER". I mean, to be fair, any time you advance or improve a monster by adding class levels, hit dice, or raising its basic ability scores, you are creating an "elite" monster.
  • RobJustice
    RobJustice
    Posts: 178
    bq. t’s not like you will be encountering the monster with a glowing bit of text over its head that says “ELITE MONSTER”.

    I'm stealing that idea for my gag campaign I've been working on...

    "Three Orcs come bounding over the horizon, hovering over the middle one's head is 'Karl - Elite' while the other two have 'Orc Fighter' hovering over theirs."
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    Karl had better have a different color palette than the rest of the group.
  • geekevolved
    geekevolved
    Posts: 75
    I've only been a DnD player since 3.5 came out, but I'm looking forward for 4e, a lot. I've got my iffies on some of the arcane magic voodo they are messing around with, but its going to be interesting to see. Combat should be much better (our group spends on average 80% of the time of a session on combat because of the sheer complexity of having 5 players and fighting 10-20 mobs (10% talking about WoW, unfortunatly and 10% roleplaying)

    As far as the MMORPG references, they are there heavily. Somebody pointed out on the Wizard forums an interview with a developer that confirmed their influence from MMORPGs in the new edition. Is it a bad thing? I don't really think so, its a formula that works (WoW has 9 Milion Subscribers world wide, between the other MMOs there has to be at least 20 Million people worldwide that play them) I've read a little about how feats are being reworked and whatnot and I did see the term "talent" come up. While WoW is the first thing that will pop into most people's minds, a lot of old school RPG games on the SNES and PC had the same sort of "talent tree". They may not have been called talents, but they certainly functioned in the same way. And aren't 'talents' just a bunch of little feats anyway? (We've come full circle :P)

    There is also an influx of players to the DnD genre of RPG since WoW came out. I was working on an article for a blog that never happened and I discovered a direct correlation where Wizard's stock rose significantly since the release of WoW in 2004. Its never a bad thing to bring more people into something. (Hey the prices could possibly go down ;))

    All I know, is that I'm going to be at the Daytona Beach Barnes and Noble (or BooksAMillion) at midnight waiting for my copy of the PHB, despite whatever it becomes.
  • RobJustice
    RobJustice
    Posts: 178
    Thats a very good point too. 4th Edition having things that MMO players can latch onto is just going to introduce more people to the culture. Some of you who've had the same group since th 80's are lucky, but for the rest of us some new blood might be nice. People move away, get more time consuming job or god forbid have children. Then we're left down a player, or if you move, you're without a group. More people playing means more options for groups and the potential for meeting more fun and interesting people.

    Of course, it also opens the doors to jackholes.

    And Karl is Red/Orange while most orcs are Blue/Green.
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    bq. I’ve read a little about how feats are being reworked and whatnot and I did see the term “talent” come up. While WoW is the first thing that will pop into most people’s minds, a lot of old school RPG games on the SNES and PC had the same sort of “talent tree”. They may not have been called talents, but they certainly functioned in the same way. And aren’t ‘talents’ just a bunch of little feats anyway? (We’ve come full circle :P)

    d20 Modern uses talents, actually.

    bq. And Karl is Red/Orange while most orcs are Blue/Green.

    And there is a 5% chance he'll drop an Orc Poop rare drop, which can be used to create some really elite armor later on.
  • geekevolved
    geekevolved
    Posts: 75
    I hear you need a million honor points before you can craft that armor.
  • RobJustice
    RobJustice
    Posts: 178
    Yeah but if you go to Orcskull Basin you can punch baby orcs for 100 Honor a hit.
  • AidanDark
    AidanDark
    Posts: 56
    My brain is dying.
  • FemmeLegion
    FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    I'm on some local mailing lists for RPGA groups, and this was a big to-do when it was first announced. Especially because that meant the ending of the Living Greyhawk campaign. The PTB have their heads together enough to realize that converting extant characters from 3.5 to 4.0 will be so insanely difficult that it will just be better to kill the game and start over with a Living Forgotten Realms campaign instead.

    One of my friends has been following it intensely and is very excited, but then again he's a newcomer to 3.5 and hadn't grown accustomed to the idiosyncrasies yet. One of my housemates dislikes D&D because he feels the combat mechanics slow down the game (and when you're playing LG, you can't do too much to streamline combat since it's supposed to be the same encounter for everyone everywhere). So it'll be interesting to see if 4.0 is more appealing to him. Two other friends got pretty seriously into Living Greyhawk, and one of them bought a lot of the "splat books". It'll be interesting to see if he'll be willing to sink yet more money into the new system.

    Me? I feel like I'm an outside observer. Ever since I was introduced to Florimel and sucked into his campaigns, I haven't cared as much about LG, and that's really the only extent to which I care about D&D because I'm still terrified at the idea of GMing anything (so it's not like I could just take all the old books and concoct something else for my friends to play). I'll support my husband if he wants to buy at least the basic 4E books and continue on with Living Forgotten Realms (and if the other friends do, he'll want to as well), but I'm not sure I'll be joining him. And I'm *not* dragging him into the Florimel games with me! He probably would enjoy them, but I'm really enjoying the fact that we have a hobby that we can both share with each other and enjoy separate from each other.
  • IceBob
    IceBob
    Posts: 98
    I'm not a big fan of the upcoming 4e, in part because I rather like some of the idiosyncrasies of 3.X

    "Streamlining" the skills section is one of my bigger gripes. While I agree that the game really doesn't need separate balance, tumble, and jump skills, I am a big fan of the social skills (all of them). You have only to check out my current campaign to see why.

    Seeing as the next D&D game I intend to run will be an adventure game again (the current one has very few elements of standard adventuring), it may serve that game better. In any case, I'll wait and see.
  • MythicParty
    MythicParty
    Posts: 78
    bq. AidanDark said,"And having just finished a combat in which the players (Saving Nuras) fought more than 30 enemies in one massive combat I’m looking forward to a streamlining of combat mechanics (TBH) so long as players still have the options they would in 3.5 (if not more)."

    Here's a great article called; "How to Have a Massive Battle In One Night": http://rpgobjects.com/index.php?page=articles&article_id=40

    I think people have offered worthwhile solutions to most of the problems in 3.0/3.5 and while not pretty, 'patch' the game quite well.
  • geekevolved
    geekevolved
    Posts: 75
    Rofl, yea, I was contemplating today the woes of making written RPGs... no matter how many hours of play testing you do and delaying release, you will still mess something up. You can't patch books =/
  • MythicParty
    MythicParty
    Posts: 78
    bq. You can’t patch books

    Why not with errata? Or a '.5' edition. :P

    Steve G.
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