Things I would have done for 4E...

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Zebulon
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Post by Zebulon »

I also read this comment, and if it is the case for all books, it really shows WotC don't respect their customers anymore...
Quote:
The standard of the physical product isn't what I thought it would be. The pages seem thin, and are covered in a shiny veneer which is annoyingly reflective. More surprisingly, the pages don't even lie flat or flush together -- instead they lie wavily atop on another, and are unevenly cut around the edges. Some of the headings are not a single, clear, black typeset, but are instead a blurry CMYK foursome. And worst of all, the hardback covers warped within an hour of being removed from the plastic shrink wrap. My PHB doesn't even close neatly anymore -- instead the right-most edge of the front cover floats half an inch open.

In this thread.

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Re: Things I would have done for 4E...

Post by AGNKim »

Jason wrote:
It is? Opinions obviously vary here.

When compared to the "Dungeon-punk" that was 3.x, I'd say it was cool. Dwarves don't have ear rings, fighters don't wear purple shoulder pads, and not everyone looks like they just come from a funeral. A very serious funeral. It's not Otus, Tramp and Wham (nothing ever will be), but it's cool...

Now, taking out gnomes and half-orcs, boiling alignments down to five choices (Good, Lawful Good, Evil, Chaotic Evil, and Unaligned), creating some race known as 'Eldarin' (which are just Elves), making Elves "Elves Light", doing away with Druids and granting multiple abilities you can just use 'at-will' (like a Magic-Users magic Missile spell), makes me wanna hurl. But I liked the art.
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Post by MaxKaladin »

Julian Grimm wrote:
Is that like the unimaginative basement dwellers who fear change?
They do seem to be a problem in the hobby. When one of my groups was talking about going back and playing 1e for a while, I started poking around on the net and I was surprised (but only a little, sadly) and saddened to see how many gamers there are who basically think anything created after 1999 (or 1989, or 1983, or 1979, or 1974) is garbage and so is anyone who likes it. One thing that sticks out in my mind was coming across a message board post where someone basically says they hate Castles and Crusades because its not an exact clone of AD&D 1e.

Of course, the hobby also has a problem with the opposite. My gut feeling is that a significant factor in the seeming success of 4e is the subset of gamers who simply have to have the latest thing. I was a little surprised last August by how many people suddenly thought 3.5 was garbage even though they'd been happily playing it a week before and giving no indication they were unhappy with it.

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Post by MaxKaladin »

Zebulon wrote:
Maybe WotC targeted young gamers (teenagers) with this edition?
I'm fairly certain they've explicitly stated this is their goal. I think Scott Rouse made a post at EnWorld a couple of weeks ago talking about how one of their design goals was to use elements familliar to todays teens so that it would be easier to recruit new gamers.

And, honestly, I'm ok with that. The hpbby needs new gamers and if WotC can bring them in then thats good for us all. I'm sure some of them will discover other games and other styles of gaming and move on from 4e.

I've made my peace with the fact that I'm not the target audience for D&D anymore. That's why I've moved on.

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Post by MaxKaladin »

Zebulon wrote:
Long ago I foretold in some forgotten thread, that the plans for 4e were before all to sell even more books, and to push the game towards minis gaming as a way to sell even more stuff.
This was a big factor in not converting for me. It's become obvious to me that they're trying to milk us all for money.

There will be a new set of core books each year. There will be all sorts of new accessory books. They've stated that "everything is core", which implies to me that the old practice of writing those accessory books (splatbooks, adventures, etc) so that they only require the three core books (PHB, DMG, MM) is out the window in favor of using stuff from any source -- which will lead to many situations where you need to pick up extra books to have everything referenced in a book you just bought. I'm forseeing 4e being like a jugsaw puzzle where it won't really be complete until you've gotten all the pieces and put them in their place.

They've also talked a lot about putting things on DDI, which you can access for only $14.95 a month, of course.

I can easily see 4e getting verrrry expensive and I've decided not to even get on the bandwago so I don't have to hop off later. I've bought exactly one 4e product -- Keep on the Shadowfell and that only because one of my groups convinced me to run it so we can at least say we've given 4e a shot before rejecting it.

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Re: Things I would have done for 4E...

Post by MaxKaladin »

khartsfield wrote:
doing away with Druids
Technically, they aren't doing away with them. They've just put them off until probably the PHB3/DMG3/MM3 set in 2010.
I suppose you could say thats really old school. After all, didn't the original druid for OD&D not show up until about the 3rd "splatbook"?

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Post by DangerDwarf »

sieg wrote:
On this subject, we went to our local FLGS today to pick up comics and see if anything new (other than 4X) was in the gaming section.

I spoke to the owner and as of 7pm today he'd sold exactly 1 4E PHB.

That's it....and he got in several copies of each book and a few of the box set/slipcase versions as well.

Maybe he'll do better tomorrow.

Forgive me if I hope not.

With the extremely cheap price you can get the 3 book gift set on line, I doubt I'd buy them at a local store either. Getting a new system isexpensive as is. I'd imagine supplements would sell better locally.

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Post by tylermo »

Haven't had a chance to read the PHB cover to cover, so I'll not comment too much on the system, but I'll echo a few sentiments about the look. Somebody mentioned the waviness of the pages. That's true. Multiple dmg copies (on the title page) looked like they had been hit by a bad case of moisture. And, (at a local store) many copies of the dmg had pages that were stuck together at the bottom. So much so, that you'd have to cut them. As for the cover not lying flat. Haven't experienced that yet. But, I've seen that sort of thing before. At the 06 or 07 Gencon, a company who has been selling an rpg based on a 1990's sci-fi property, and world war II non-rpg rules set, had books out on the floor that were not worth presenting. I'm not putting the company down, but the book covers were WARPED right out of the box. I felt bad for them. Some of those books were probably out for the first time. But, I digress. I only have the D&D 4th PHB at this point. As for the art, most of it was okay. I felt the overall look of the 3 and 3.5 books was better. I know many felt the art had become too much castlepunk, or something. By and large, it was okay. Admittedly, they changed the haflings' appearance. Either way, visual representations of the halfings were better than some I've seen in the 4th. But, that's nitpicking. Totally bored by the Eladrin. I could probably live without the Dragonborn and the Tiefling. THose should have been included in a later book. But, it wouldn't sell as well. Soooo, we'll put a few lackluster races in the new book, so we can give everybody the half-orc later on. And, let's include classes like the Warlord and Warlock, and leave out the traditional bard, monk, and druid(even though it wasn't in 1E initially). Once again, PHB 2 or 3? will become a necessary purchase down the road. Overall, I'm just not certain how I feel about 4th. It's too early to say. SOunds like a mix of good, mediocre, and bad. I bought it because I knew some friends would be running it. I could have bought the whole set online for 57.00, but a new brick and mortar opened. I decided(even though the 35.00 would have been better spent on Savage Worlds or Castles and Crusades) to buy it there to help support the new store. Fear not, I did buy 40.00+ in items from the TLG 10.00 sale. Unfortunately, my wife will be mad when those books arrive a day or two after I bought the 4th PHB.

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Post by tylermo »

Forgot a couple of things. Not crazy about the aesthetics of the new character sheet. Seems to cover most of the bases, but the look is another matter. The sheet has none of that traditional flair. It could be any old sheet for the Star Wars D20 or D20 Modern rpg's. I would argue(aesthetically) that the 3.5 sheet looked better. That's just my opinion. Not everybody's sheets can look as good as Castles and Crusades. I think the only complaint my friend and I have about those is that they're yellow. Otherwise, two thumbs up! One more thing. I've also noticed the people who have all but thrown out their 3.5 books and accessories, despite the fact that they were fanatical diehards of that system. I hoped they had time (since yesterday) to decide if the system is better for them than 3.5. Admittedly, there might not be as much support for 3.5 like there will be for 4th. I won't be getting rid of most of my old books. Then again, I keep almost everything I own.

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Post by Julian Grimm »

MaxKaladin wrote:
They do seem to be a problem in the hobby. When one of my groups was talking about going back and playing 1e for a while, I started poking around on the net and I was surprised (but only a little, sadly) and saddened to see how many gamers there are who basically think anything created after 1999 (or 1989, or 1983, or 1979, or 1974) is garbage and so is anyone who likes it. One thing that sticks out in my mind was coming across a message board post where someone basically says they hate Castles and Crusades because its not an exact clone of AD&D 1e.

Of course, the hobby also has a problem with the opposite. My gut feeling is that a significant factor in the seeming success of 4e is the subset of gamers who simply have to have the latest thing. I was a little surprised last August by how many people suddenly thought 3.5 was garbage even though they'd been happily playing it a week before and giving no indication they were unhappy with it.

Both extremes are something to be avoided. I don't understand why objebtive opinions are that hard to form. I have had problems with this in the past but I am trying to correct that.
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Post by sieg »

Oh well. Guess we'll see what happens over the next few months....
[Edit: I said a lot more, but realized I was giving 4X far more coverage than it frankly deserves...especially on a Troll Lord Games forum.]
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Post by nittanytbone14 »

First, I have actually read the core books and KOTS. I think the DMG is a good buy for the ~$15.

First, there are a few sets of pages that are real gems. The "math" behind monsters is fantastic to have, suggested damage by level charts (for monsters, traps, hazards, whatever) makes "winging it" really easy, and the guidelines for skill challenges are helpful if not revolutionary.

Furthermore, the "fluff" is just good advice. A lot of us complain about "munchkinism" and other absurdity that has crept into the game in 2E/3.5E. That's one of the reasons many of us like C&C. How else to address that other than in one of the core books? I found the DMG to have frank, open discussion with sidebars of tips "from the designers" that talk about how to run a fun game, not necessarily how rule X works. It seems to me that the designers are moving away from a 3E "Rules are King" mindset that favored players who memorized and mastered the system to a "Fun is King, and the DM has discretion again" mindset.

I am disappointed that the DMG did not contain good rules for companions/familiars/mounts. Honestly, I feel that WOTC has not yet cracked the nut on how to manage the "economy of actions." Getting an extra turns each round is one of the most potent things you can obtain in a game, so figuring out how to reign that in is a toughie. I am also disappointed in some of the art. It is better than 3.5, for sure, but not quite as classic as 1E. I wouldn't have minded a few irreverant homages to the funny cartoons tucked away in the old DMG.

So, all in all, I think its not bad, especially for the price. It is dedicated to Gary, not unworthily, IMHO. 4E may be different than where he would have taken the game, but I think he would agree that change was an important thing. Any system that remains totally stagnant for 30 years is not necessarily healthy. How else to foster innovation unless (A) the company that makes the stuff is financially healthy, thus allowing a creative staff to be hired for the long term and (B) you try new stuff, some of which may not be a home run?

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Re: Things I would have done for 4E...

Post by nittanytbone14 »

khartsfield wrote:
Now, taking out gnomes and half-orcs, boiling alignments down to five choices (Good, Lawful Good, Evil, Chaotic Evil, and Unaligned), creating some race known as 'Eldarin' (which are just Elves), making Elves "Elves Light", doing away with Druids and granting multiple abilities you can just use 'at-will' (like a Magic-Users magic Missile spell), makes me wanna hurl. But I liked the art.

Many of those items sound like ideas from OD&D, honestly.
No gnomes... No half-orcs... Linear alignment spectrum... No druids...

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Re: Things I would have done for 4E...

Post by rabindranath72 »

nittanytbone14 wrote:
Many of those items sound like ideas from OD&D, honestly.
No gnomes... No half-orcs... Linear alignment spectrum... No druids...

Not improbable, considering that Mike Mearls, one of the lead designers, is quite active in the OD&D community.

Oh, and magic missiles require a hit roll, so things balance out

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Post by DangerDwarf »

MaxKaladin wrote:
They've stated that "everything is core", which implies to me that the old practice of writing those accessory books (splatbooks, adventures, etc) so that they only require the three core books (PHB, DMG, MM) is out the window in favor of using stuff from any source -- which will lead to many situations where you need to pick up extra books to have everything referenced in a book you just bought.

Which is no different than 3e was. Sure the splat books weren't "core" but try telling that to the hordes of gamers who took out 2nd mortgages to get every splat book under the sun. Look at the number of threads on 3e boards where people were asking for advice on how to get their players to only use "core" books.

I may be looking forward to getting my 4e books in, I aint really looking forward to the bloat though should it become my groups game of choice.

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Post by Harry Joy »

DangerDwarf wrote:
Look at the number of threads on 3e boards where people were asking for advice on how to get their players to only use "core" books.

The problem I had was that I invested heavily in the splat books, and for the life of me couldn't find a DM who'd let me use any of it. Wasn't until my very last 3.x game, my very last 3.x character, that I was finally allowed to use anything beyond Unearthed Arcana. [You can see the result in my minis thread - he was the git with the pole arm and leather wings. ;p ]

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Post by dutch206 »

SInce this is a family site, I will use emoticons to present my opinion of fourth edition:

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Post by DangerDwarf »

I still haven't got my copies of the core books (amazon seems to have run out of 'em before they filled my pre-order. The 3 book gift set is their #4 selling book right now) so I can't comment on those. Our several sessions so far using the quickstart rules have been a blast though.

Despite that, I still find myself with some reservations about the system. Its a fun game but I think I still find myself hesitant at times about it at for the main reason I disliked 3e.

It bears the D&D name.

3e never seemed to be D&D to me and I'm not so sure I believe 4e is either. Despite that, I am having fun with the system. It is far more enjoyable for me than 3e was, in fact its one of the more enjoyable new games I've come across in awhile. I just have this nagging little part of my brain that winces at the name D&D being slapped on it.

It has some of the feel of D&D for me, just not the same thing though. I want to hurry up and get the books so I can delve into it further to see if I fully enjoy it. Right now it doesn't seem like I have much of a choice though. My group has fallen for it 100%, especially my wife.

She even made me wince today,talking about how she's going to get us a DDI subscription if they ever actually come out with some thingie that I guess will be on it that lets you make digital renditions of your character? I don't want no DDI, but looks like if they actually ever manage to get it rolling, she'll be getting it for us.

This is surprising me because while my wife has gamed with me for years, she is FAR from a hard core gamer. 4e seems to have awoken the gamer girl in her completely though. She's been pestering me for a couple days now about when we're all getting together for another session and I found her perusing the miniatures on the Noble Knight site today. The only other time I've seen her this hyped about gaming was when we were running the Dragonlance Age of Mortals trilogy of mega-modules.

But anyways, despite my enjoyment of the game, yeah i still have reservations about it. We'llsee where this all leads for me and my group though. They've currently forgotten about our other campaigns at the moment.

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Post by Julian Grimm »

It may pass when the new wears off. Then it may be something they all like. It will probably depend on what they think of the 4e books after you get them.

Either way I envy you. Due to my no driving order from the Docs I missed the big 4e event today and have to wait to see it run.
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Post by Harry Joy »

Well... Looks like I won't be playing 4th edition for sure now. The fellow taking over DMing our group soon has announced that he's read the books and decided that while there are aspects to the game that he likes, the negatives outweigh the positive by a lot. And many of his complaints are ones I've been reading online, but he has studiously avoided reading anything, wanting his opinion to be fresh and his own. Not only is this a DM I trust implicitly, he's the DM who introduced me to D&D around 1980. He's also been all over every new edition, and he's been damned excited about 4th. But he won't touch it now, and he was the only DM I know who was even considering running it. The game he's putting together for us will be 3.x. Myself, the campaign I'm building as a reserve game will be C&C.

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Post by serleran »

I almost looked at the 4e books when I was at Crazy Egor's this afternoon, but decided I'd rather see the stuff being offered for Free RPG Day instead. Also, learned a little fact about that stuff - those carrying the FRPGD material actually have to pay for the "honor." It was $70 to get the 70 items, which is not that bad, really, but I hope anyone who gets an item buys something else, to encourage the stores to continue wanting to support it.

Anyway: my point was, even though I am a collector (of sorts), I was not even tempted by the books to grab one and flip the cover open. The art work did not "call to me," nor did anything on the backpiece (that little blurb explaining the game...) which is generally a bad sign in my eyes - means I will likely not buy it, and not buy anything released for it.

Oh, and whoever started that rumor that the WotC boxes that were sent out to retailers didn't have a "release date" is 100% wrong - I have seen them with my own eyes - they clearly stated "DO NOT RELEASE UNTIL JUNE 6..." so, someone just jumped the gun. If I were WotC, I don't know if I'd be happy, or pissed off... so far, many of the stories I have heard from stores selling it have been "oh, yeah, I've had lots of customers who expressed interest, but told me they already had the books..." This is clearly not in WotC's best interest.

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Post by Zebulon »

Quote:
Things I would have done for 4E...

I made several comments, but none specifically answering the original question. In fact, I could be asked "but why the hate?" Indeed there is no reason for me hating a game. A GAME! After all, I don't like the new rules, but there is so many rpg with rules I don't like, yet I do not hate these games... In fact, the more I think about it, my strong rejection of 4e primarily comes from the marketing and way of selling us this new edition. It's like (or at least I perceive it that way) they want to force 4e down our throat and get the maximum money out of our pockets. That's why I hate 4e, and will never ever buy something from WotC again. It's all about their ways with customers.

For me to not hate 4e, just get a look at it, and maybe try a gaming session or two (although I am not in minis games, nor in the new fantasy flavor it proposes, and thus would probably not like it), here is how I would have done the marketing for 4e:

-------------------------------------

1) Explain the customer base that "we", at WotC, have created everything we could think of for 3.5, and this doesn't take into account whatever was published by third party publishers. As such, production of further 3.5 material stops. Just if there is a real demand for it, a few books will be reprinted every now and then, mostly the 3 core books. However, it would made be clear that D&D is seen as a game of the past that won't get further rules and books. Yet this won't preclude anyone to play the game, and a few of the existing books will still be sold.

2) Then, "we", at WotC, are proud to propose a new and slightly different type of rpg, that we will focus on from now. This is called Warlocks & Warriors The Gathering. This is a more minis-oriented game, yet that is still usbale as a rpg, intended for current trends in fantasy pop culture (i.e.: anime, superheroes, etc.). This game should appeal to a younger audience, although old players may want to give it a try.

3) Customers get it for their money (quality paper, sturdy covers that do not bend, etc.). Game is playable as is, with the three core books; there will be more books and online stuff, of course, but you won't need it to run games. After all "we", at WotC, are not there to milk money from our customers...

-------------------------------------

Unfortunately, the marketing department must be run by a guy from the Chicago School (of economy theory). It's fortunate in these days of Internet, we have so many others options left (for spending our money on rpgs) though...

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Post by GameOgre »

I've played 4E and liked it. It was good old D&D to me. I didnt play with mats/figures ect and had 0 issues. It was just fun!

Now with that said ........it was just not as fun as C&C or LA for me. I like my games to be lite. Still though I wont make 4E my normal game I would be happy to play it from time to time.

Not every game needs to be so good I abandon all my others to play it none stop.
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Post by DangerDwarf »

Julian Grimm wrote:
It may pass when the new wears off. Then it may be something they all like.

Yeah, I'm wondering if it will have long term playability forthem. They generally aren't this "wooed" by new shiny games, so we'll see. This is a group that uses 2nd Edition and BECMI D&D as our main games, soit really is a big jump for them.

All that aside though, since the primary reason we game is to have fun, I'm going to ignore the little nagging grognard portion of my brain and just have a good time. The gaming has been good to us thus far.

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Post by csperkins1970 »

Foxroe wrote:
I also feel compelled to collect all of the editions (and I have so far), but based on what I've read up until now, I just can't bring myself to acquire the 4th one now. It just seems so far removed from what the game's creator intended it to be (IMHO of course).

-Fox

That's exactly how I feel. I'm a completest when it comes to D&D books BUT, with 4th edition, it just doesn't feel like D&D anymore.

I realize that a lot of people feel that way about third edition but, in using those rules for the last 8 years, I honestly think that 3rd Edition's creators worked to preserve the flavor of the game while reworking the game mechanics from the ground up... at least in the core books. The more splatbooks you throw into the mix, the less 3rd edition resembles its predecessors.

As for 4th edition and how I'd do it differently...

I'd make the Player's Handbook, DMG and Monster Manual into true core books. You should be able to run a game with those 3 books and not feel that your D&D game is missing some pieces.

The PHB should have classic races: dwarves, elves, humans, gnomes, halflings and half-orcs. It should have classic classes: clerics, fighters, wizards, rogues, rangers, paladins, monks, druids, and bards. The default setting should be Greyhawk. Spellcasters should have more utility spells available to them.

Later PHBs could have themed races and classes for different settings.
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Post by tylermo »

csperkins, I agree with your points about D&D 3rd. It was different, but at least it felt sort of familiar. It's hard to say whether 4th will or not. As for your points about what they should have done with 4th(races, greyhawk default,etc.) I couldn't agree more. I'll probably get a little use out of my new phb, but by and large C&C is D&D for me. ANd, there's still Savage Worlds for all of my other genres. Although, they do have a couple of non-traditional fantasy plotpoint campaigns that I'm willing to dabble in.

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Post by Harry Joy »

csperkins1970 wrote:
The more splatbooks you throw into the mix, the less 3rd edition resembles its predecessors.

The earlier splat books, 3.0 and 3.x, are fine and generally keep the "feeling" I think we all associate with D&D. It's the later splat books, and the later new base classes and races, that really start to change the game. One of the things that bugged me the most early on when tidbits about 4th started appearing, was that they drew inspiration from the splat books me and my group loathed. The Tome of Battle, Book of Nine Swords, was the first splat book I bought and immediately hated with a passion, yet it was a driving concept behind 4th. And the Warlock. I simply have never been able to abide the character class. And while I drew quite a bit off of Races of the Dragon for my last character, the part of that book I thought the absolute goofiest has always been the Dragonborn. I've been practically embarrassed to read that chapter. Yet, combat moves, the Warlock, and the Dragonborn, along with aspects of the Official DDM Miniatures Handbook, are the prime things different about 4th Edition.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

Harry Joy wrote:
The earlier splat books, 3.0 and 3.x, are fine and generally keep the "feeling" I think we all associate with D&D.

I'd disagree there. While not a bad game, even early d20 seemed more like a game that beat D&D up and took it's stuff than it did an actual version of D&D. To me anyways. Mechanically the only thing it retained from D&D that isn't found in any other FRPG's was the vancian magic and spells.

Countless games have armor, hp's, dwarves, wizards, clerics, thieves, etc.

MaxKaladin
Mist Elf
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:00 am

Post by MaxKaladin »

DangerDwarf wrote:
Which is no different than 3e was. Sure the splat books weren't "core" but try telling that to the hordes of gamers who took out 2nd mortgages to get every splat book under the sun. Look at the number of threads on 3e boards where people were asking for advice on how to get their players to only use "core" books.
The difference is that in 3e, the splatbooks didn't really reference each other. They might throw in the occasional reference but you were supposed to be able to use each splatbook with only the core rules. I realize it wasn't a common practice, but you were supposed to be able to buy the core rules and, say, the wizard splatbook and that would be all you needed.

In 4e, I think they're planning to integrate the splatbooks together so that if you buy that wizard splatbook and the core rules, you'll find the wizard book referencing a half-dozen other books that you will also need to own in order to get the full benefit of your splatbook. And, of course, those splatbooks will reference other splatbooks so you get this web of references that basically sets it up so that you need to buy almost everything to make full use of the books you have bought. They're basically trying to set it up so the books sell each other. That's my take on it anyway.

MaxKaladin
Mist Elf
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:00 am

Post by MaxKaladin »

DangerDwarf wrote:
This is surprising me because while my wife has gamed with me for years, she is FAR from a hard core gamer. 4e seems to have awoken the gamer girl in her completely though.
This is one of the things that's surprised me about 4e. I knew they were trying to broaden their market, but I've been surprised that the game actually appears to be appealing to people who weren't hardcore gamers before.

Another aspect of this that has surprised me was the number of people I've seen in the local gamestore who have still been playing 1e and 2e who are getting excited about 4e. I wouldn't have thought it would be a big hit with them, but it appears to be.

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