My thoughts after 1st look at 4E

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seskis281
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My thoughts after 1st look at 4E

Post by seskis281 »

Ok, so I spent about and hour and a half today at a local bookshop, thumbing through the 3 core books for 4E. I decided in the end to purchase the PHB, and just the PHB. I will thus share my thoughts on: my first impressions, my decision NOT to buy the other books, and my review of the PHB in terms of presentation, style and game (including mechanics).
First Impressions:

I actually like the basic design layout of the covers, though not wild about the Dragonborn thingie even there. As I flip to the back, I immediately notice: "For use with these core 4th Edition D&D Products: DM's Guide, Monster Manual, AND D&D Miniatures & D&D Dungeon Tiles." It also suggest subscribing to D&D Insider to take full advantage of the D&D experience. My quick thumb-through of the books reveals two major things to me -- the idea that characters are "fantasy superheroes," inherently powered and different from common folk from the outset of the game, and secondly that, from art and layout to the 1st basics I see this is designed to be primarily focused on tactics and tactical combat. Does this mean it's a "bad" game? No, not necessarily, although the 1st thing that crosses my mind is that I just wish it was called something besides D&D.
Reasons I only picked up the PHB:

As I picked up the DM's guide, I think my initial reaction was "you gotta be kidding... $35 for THAT?" Honestly, the book is 90% "here's how you tell a story, keep suspense" etc. It reads more like "The DM's Guide for Dummies" with the obvious aim at trying to teach people who only know how to use a joystick how to "direct traffic" at a tabletop. I may be one of the few who thought the 3e DMG was not all that bad, and so my reaction here should say alot. I suppose the tension is between putting out a tome that is a resource of tables and options for a DM, or to have it be a "how to run a game" primer. WotC went with the latter. It sucks. Period. Even if the system it's supporting was the best ever imagined it sucks.

The MM is a different story. It is well done, albeit I'm not a fan of the new monster mechanics/constructions. In the end, I did not buy it because I will almost certainly never RUN a game with 4e so I did not need to spend the addition money, while on the other hand I am always willing to jump in and play any system if the group at hand asking looks like fun.

Thus, I bought the PHB and brought it home for further exploration.
Review of 4e: Player's Handbook

My 1st major issue, and this holds true for all the books: there is a lot of wasted space here - especially in the amount of white space left at bottom and in the margins. The font is certainly larger than any previous edition, and so my 1st reaction at opening it is: they're padding to fill pages to make it necessary to buy later books. As a professor who routinely slaps down students for using 14 and 16 pt fonts and playing with margins and line spacing, I find this practice to be off-putting even before I begin reading.

I also notice what people have mentioned about the pages and covers being a bit "wavy." However, I quickly discovered why - this tome can be opened and left open flat, with the pages (unless open to near beginning or end) holding - a useful design element for all those who are used to fumbling, bookmarking, and trying to keep a manual of this size open to a specific page.

Aside from the font and wasted space issue, the presentation is clean and nice... the color scheme I think works well, and I actually like the art (minus the images of the stupid Dragonborn!!!) Mostly they aren't as "dungeon-punky" or "anime" as I was expecting, and much of the art is actually quite good. The "battle with the undead" at the start of Chapter 6: Feats is excellent, as is the elvish warrior hurling a spear on p. 153. The very best is the female cleric standing over a camp fire on p. 258 (yum).

Now to the game. Ok, I don't like this as a base for Fantasy RPG. As a game unto itself, I would be fine if it were not called D&D... guess I'm just being grognardish here. The character mechanics are very much WoW and video game based, from the concept of at-will powers to the idea of "slots" for gear as worn (ok, so there's always been this in a form, but here it's almost more blatantly presented like it is on computer or screen). The "three-tier" character "build path" setup also harkens to this paradigm. To be honest, as I read... my thoughts scream that this would be a good game mechanic for a "superheroes" RPG, although I think the "grid-based" combat would get in the way there.

Races - NO MINUSES?? Whatsoever?? ONLY Bonuses??

The game is clearly oriented toward use of the minis and the square battlemat. Ok, not a problem if that's what it wants to be, and it looks like a quite fun tactical game. "Moving through occupied squares" reads one sub-heading.... ALL moves are discussed solely in relation to "squares" and the battlemat grid, and read like advanced board-game instructions.

Did I like anything? Well, yes... to be honest I really am intrigued by the IDEA of "at will" powers, but certainly not at first level. This seems to be an attempt to "correct" 3.x player complaints that it took too long to "power up" in their character "builds," and to start them off with super-hero powers. But the concept of gaining "at will" powers as a C&C character progresses is something I'm thinking of mining... to some extent several of us already do this - if a character has attempted a type of feat or move or special thing and succeeded a number of times in their SEIGE checks, I (and I think a few others) allow this to become a standard "at will" character action... I just recently have given my group a few things that match this concept, but really only as they reached 5th or 6th level.

So I have it... I will pluck it for ideas. I won't run it. I give kudos for what WotC tried here... they tried for a hybrid of old and new school, just like C&C did, only they hybridized the wrong aspects I think... they wanted "fast action" of old school with character "builds" and power of 3.x. There will certainly be 3.xers who hate, old schoolers who hate, and probably a whole market of younger WoW players who think "it rules!"

My last thought -- out of all of this I sat and pondered what I really want from C&C - and I think the answer is simple: lots of adventures and new monsters. I want the CKG, but most of us who play houserule and invent and twist and tweak systems and ideas already, so this is just a cool new tool.

On the other hand, more M&T's (II, specific to Aihrde or the East Mark, etc.) and Adventures will keep us busy for years... keep the critters and the adventures rolling!!!

So, my 2 cents. I place the PHB on my shelf next to my 3.0 PHB, and return to writing "A Nightmare Before Dying" and prepping the ruined Temple of Unklar my group is approaching this coming Sunday.

Sincerely,

John

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Post by serleran »

Finally, someone mentioned something other than combat.... I am not liking "no minuses." But, I guess sometimes people read something like "and these guys cannot read" and see it as a reason to not play something, rather than a way to say "hey, cool, this guy can't read!" Like humans, and C&C -- they can't see in the dark. Should no one play one?

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Post by Foxroe »

Most appreciated review, seskis. Unfortunately, it only reinforces my previous opinion on this. If someone invites me to play a 4th edition game (an actual game and not that on-line stuff), then I'll likely happily join just for the experience/enjoyment. However, I will likely never buy a 4th edition product, and will never run a 4th edition game. "Alas poor D&D, I knew it!"

Thank the TL's for C&C!

-Fox

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Post by seskis281 »

Addendum:

Oh, and can I reiterate how much I HATE Dragonborn??

At least the Tiefling has a concept I could buy into, the twisting conflicted nature of planar/human cross torn between mortal and magical desires. But the Dragonborn, yeesh... why not just wipe through classic Sword and Sorcery race archetypes and go for broke - Ogre-born, Ent-born, and call it "Battle of the Titans."

No Half-Orcs, Gnomes. Fewer base classes than C&C. (No Monk, No Bard, No Druid, certainly no Illusionist).

And, something that hasn't been discussed - "spells" no longer exist. They are either transferred into "at will" powers or prayers that simply come with levels, or are reclassified as "rituals."

Healing -- yes, it's true. You can just heal yourself with "surges" and "second winds." Not sure why we just didn't change or remove the Cleric completely.

And so you don't think I'm completely ragging here, I do like the concept of initiative modifier - the Dex bonus + 1/2 level of character, although this only works with a d20 initiative base, not the C&C d10.

And I'll mention the pic of the Cleric Girl again. Seriously, the art ain't bad - except when the pics of the dumb biped with scales and a small Dragon-head drift into view....

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Post by Treebore »

So those Dragon born are pretty awesome, eh?

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Post by seskis281 »

Treebore wrote:
So those Dragon born are pretty awesome, eh?

This says it all in the PHB:

"Play a dragonborn [character] if you want...

* To look like a Dragon!

* To breathe acid, cold, fire, lightning or poison."

+2 Strength, +2 Charisma (No minuses), Healing surges equal to 1/4 of total HPs + Con mod each surge you heal yourself,

Dragon breath from 1st level...

The other thing that's weird here is that the PHB establishes backstories for each race that would seem to demand a setting-specific nature to their use... Dwarves must be created out of the bedrock of the universe, and served for times as slaves to the Giants.... for example. The Dragonborn empire "once contended for domination of the world."

I keep looking at this tonight... and I've pulled out my 1e, 2e and 3e books to look as well. I remember clearly when I picked up 3.0 and 1st returned to gaming after a long absence.... I was excited! The d20 mechanic I liked, as did I the ascending AC, and as I read the very detailed tomes (PHB, DMG) - I saw a system that made sense and I could shape. Did I like everything? No, but I immediately got energized and began typing out notes for my own house-ruled-down streamline, ideas that guided me and my games until I discovered C&C...

... but 4e just feels, well, alien to me. The intro proudly proclaims this as "shiny and new," and and the production certainly is "shiny," but it also feels very restricting - the idea of the class paradigms ("striker," "defender," "controller," "leader") is strange - and then I read the Rogue's "role" as a striker - a character whose primary purpose is to run into battle steathily, inflict maximum damage, and run away fast. "You do best when you flank alongside a 'defender'." No mention of traps or thievery in this "role" description....

Serl mentioned how he's heard too much just on the combat, but that's the issue...

... everything revolves around, is geared towards tactical play... every page, every rule is measured in squares and relations on a grid. I keep hearing "it plays fine without minis or tabletop mat," but I honestly don't see how unless you just ignore the movement/combat base and do it like you would in 1e or C&C.

So the long and short is, I am now more sold than EVER on C&C.... and now hungrier than ever for more stuff for it... I already mentioned "bring on the critters and adventures," but also more spells - maybe an "Ars Arcanum" supplement with new lists, as well as spell creation rules...

Ah hell, now I'm juiced up and wanna start writing this myself.... ok, 4e has done some good here tonight... it has got me excited, just not about it lol.

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Post by Treebore »

Yeah, that sums it up pretty well for me. Heck, I was even looking at adapting some of the "cool ideas" 4E has. So far I can't bring myself to do it. It would change the game too much into a direction I don't want to go.
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Post by TheNewGuy »

Thanks for the intelligent, articulate review, Seskis.

You managed to summarize a key concept regarding 4e for me; namely, if 4e were called anything _but_ "Dungeons & Dragons", I wouldn't buy it -- so I have no intention of buying it only because it _is_ called "Dungeons and Dragons".

Like you, I don't think 4e is inherently bad as a game -- it's just that it's not a type of fantasy game I'm particularly excited about running or playing, so I'm not going to spend money on it merely because it shares a name with a different style of game I used to love.

Names aside, as you suggest, C&C is more the modern take on D&D than 4e. I'll vote with my money and support the game line which makes me happiest. Hello, C&C!

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Post by rabindranath72 »

seskis281 wrote:

Just some comments on your review. And a disclaimer. I am as old-school a guy as you can find around. I started playing 20 years ago with Classic Mentzer, then AD&D (1e and 2e), and recently C&C. I almost completely jumped the whole 3.x times (only owning the 3.0 core books and UA) since I tried that game, and its style did not appeal to me; too much preparation time to get the same results I could get with previous editions (I do not need to know what skills or feats a goblin has!)

It was with some trepidation that I approached 4e. It felt different (and I love trying different things), and I am not in the camp of people who rant just because the name D&D is stamped on a game which is quite different from the game of 30 years ago.

I bought the books, read them, was a bit reluctant due to some things, but once I tried it, I liked it. Character creation is fast, preparation time is small and comparable to pre-3.x editions, and game play is smooth and engaging.

So, this will be an "answer" to your comments, and a short "review" of 4e.

1) I would invite you to actually play the game. Just skimming the books really does not give a good idea of how the game works in practice. Try creating a PC for yourself, and DM a one-shot with just another player.

2) hit points are now a more abstract measure of resilience, luck etc. than they were before, even in AD&D/Classic. That's why characters automatically "heal". They simply use their "inner reserves" of strength/vitality/luck whatever.

That's also why the Warlord can grant "healing". It is simply use of inspiring words, speeches etc. to bolster one's morale and "keep on going". It is actually a very flavorful concept, and it works in practice.

Also, the amounts of "healing" these powers provide are really scarce. For more serious healing you NEED the cleric anyway. In fact, the "utility" prayers now include many of the "old" cleric spells, which are more powerful than "self healing" or "boost" of other classes.

Overall, clerics receive much fewer "powerful" spells than before.

And pray your PC does not catch a disease, for then, even a cleric can do very little if he has not the proper Ritual.

3) The same is true for other spellcasting classes. Some of the spells they receive are actually classified as powers. Others are Rituals. Rituals allow even non-spellcasting classes to cast a limited number of spells (usually outside combat since they take a very long time to cast, and a generous amount of money) without the need to multiclass. SO now you can have NPC spellcasters which can actually have some useful spells (like Raise Dead) without being powerhouses of spells. Yes, the old hermit with 1 hit point has learned a Raise Dead ritual from a forgotten tome in an old monastery of the old church on the borderland. And he won't part with it if the PCs are not kind with him.

This is an "aftereffect" of the fact that NPCs and monsters are NOT created as PCs anymore. No feats to choose, no tons of skills etc. Just concoct what you think is useful to challenge/help the PCs, and you are set. THIS is very old-school in concept, and a huge improvement over 3.x. You can alter a critter or create an NPC in a matter of seconds, and the DMG has some useful tables to guide this kind of creative effort.

4) If you want to look at other "things" the rogue can do, you must search the utility powers of the class. You will find many neat things which are not related to combat at all. Also, if you give a look at how skills work now, you will see that the rogue has the widest choice in this respect. Thievery and Stealth cover 90% of the thieving abilities of other games. Overall, the Rogue "can do" what the C&C/AD&D/Classic D&D rogue/thief does, plus other "things".

5) The reference to squares may be annoying. But just change squares to inches, and you get something familiar.

Furthermore, even in this respect, things are now more abstract, and BY PLAYING EXPERIENCE, it WORKS without a mat. You do not count diagonal squares differently than horizontal or vertical ones like 3.5. Simply count the distance like you would with a ruler and inches.

It is not more difficult than when you played AD&D and read that "spell Z" had a "range of X" and an "area of effect of Y".

Or when, in AD&D, you could move at most 10 feet to also be able to melee an opponent. Or an opponent with a reach weapon could "seize" initiative. Or determining when a C&C Rogue flanks or is behind an opponent.

Was one supposed to use a battlemat to resolve this kind of actions? I almost never used it in the past, and I expect to do the same now. Call it DM fiat, which works even now.

Also, the Combat chapter (next to last) clearly explains that miniatures and battlemat ARE NOT REQUIRED to play, but that they HELP VISUALIZATION.

Also, it is not true that all movement refers to squares. Go to the Exploration chapter, and you will find the usual movement per day, per mile, per hour etc. Even here, lots of streamlining w.r.t 3.x

6) Some additional races can be found in the MM, and they can be used as PCs if one is so inclined. And there is nothing of the craziness of 3.x about raising the character level etc.

Also, ALL races now have characteristics which make them viable at any level of play, contrary to 3.x where the differences tended to zero since anyone could in the end acquire abilities similar to the racial ones. So, a 10th level human was almost indistinguishable from a 10th level elf.

Now, demihumans and other races have abilities which grow in parallel with class abilities, and can be expanded with feats.

7) Apparently there are "no minuses" since the "average" hero now has at least "average" scores. So, to be a Hero, you are either an "average" person, or you are better. Sort of makes sense, considering that now 1st level characters seem to be equivalent to at least 3rd level 3.x characters. Think of it as in the 2e Dark Sun setting: the world now is dangerous; the Points of Light "setting" assumes pockets of civilisation in a world of endless darkness. An "average" character would have a very short life span.

8) The DMG is more aimed at newbie than previous versions. So, for "old-schoolers" like us, most of it is useless. But some things are necessary to the game. For example, customising monsters, creating NPCs, setting up skill challenges etc. I would count less than half of it is useful for "old-timers", but 100% will be useful for newcomers.

9) Multiclassing is now VERY restricted. 4e is all about enforcing the archetypes. You can at most multiclass with ONLY ONE other class, and you do it by expending a feat, which grants a power from the class you multiclassed into, and allows choosing some powers later on. But you NEVER get the abilities of the other class.

This allows creation of some neat character concepts in an easy and unobtrusive way, like Lieber's Fafhrd, which in 4e could be simply described as a Rogue with a multiclass feat of Wizard, which allows him some magical knowledge and the use of Rituals.

10) Skills do not use skill points anymore. You can be trained in a skill or not. If you are trained, you can access some special uses of the skill. If not, you can still use it, but at low efficiency and without access to the "trained only" features. The skill system closely resembles the SIEGE engine, since all characters add 1/2 level to skill checks, so everyone can try everything. But Training gives a large bonus (+5), plus access to specialised things. There are no more skill synergies. Only the Take 10 rule survived.

Also, the list of skills is now quite small. There are 16 of them, and each one takes less than half the space they took in 3.x

Also, Social skills do not work like in 3.x. For example, Diplomacy is just half a paragraph, and it is practically all roleplaying (compare it with how Diplomacy works in 3.x).

11) Feats now only "specialise" the character, they do not grant completely new abilities. Also, they are easy to assign and adjudicate. No more feat trees. Now they can only depend on having a class, a race, or an ability score. And they are reserved for PCs only, or for VERY SPECIAL NPCs. But crafting a NPC as a PC is the exception NOT the rule.

Cheers,

Antonio

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Post by DangerDwarf »

A few initial thoughts of my own before I scoot off to work.

Visually, these are some of the best looking RPG books around. The art and layout are pretty damn sweet.

I absolutely love the alignment system for 4e. Good, Lawful Good, Evil, Chaotic Evil, and Unaligned. It is a simple and straight forward system. One of the best changes I've seen.

The Epic Destinies remind me of the paths to immortality from BECMI. I've not read too far into the area yet but the concept immediately struck me as familiar.

I've heard quite a few complaints about the DMG. I've only given it a once over so far but have to say I don't see what all the fuss is. Yes, a good chunk of it is geared to novice DM's, but I think that is a good thing. In fact, I think it is a really good thing.

The MM. Wow. One of the coolest critter books around. I like the added little tidbits of "Monster Lore". Nothing earthshaking about it, just thought it was a nice touch.

I've fallen in love with the Warlord class. The concept and design behind it are great.

HP's really are abstractions of more than mere health in 4e. While we've always know this to be true, previous editions have not always made it so obvious. 4e makes it obvious and that can take folks some time to adjust. Warlord abilities like inspiring Word and such add immense flavor and feel to this abstraction. At one time I was opposed to these "healing surges" but I'm beginning to like them and the concept behind them more and more.

Elves are fey! Really fey, which is awesome. I love what they did with the elves. The flavor behind them makes them far more mythical in feel than previous editions of the game, which I think is a good thing. I love how it mentions that noble Eladrin take on features of the changing seasons and other natural phenomena.

Nothing I have seen so far causes 4e to get in the way of RP'ing. Yes, you can play it quite tactically, but not a single thing prevents you and your group from having a great, dramatic RP campaign with this. In fact, I think a lot of the mechanics help enhance the feel and mood of the game as opposed to detracting from it.

Back when 3e was launched, I was hyped about getting a new edition of the game. That all changed however after my first read through the core books when I got them. With 4e, this has not been the case for me. I was optimistic about the game and now that I have the books in hand and am reading through them? I'm getting hyped. I'm not a fan of WotC but have to say they did something good here.

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Post by Treebore »

Seskis,

nwelte is looking to do a 2 to 3 game session 4E online try out on either Fridays or Saturdays using SKYPE and Maptools, you interested?
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Post by Dagger »

One of the players in my group is going to try and DM for the first time and he chose 4e to do it with. I thought it was cool for him to run a game that I didn't know anything about so that he wouldn't be intimidated (I'm always the DM for AD&D and C&C).

There are going to be two players and I told him that I'd create my own character this week in preparation. Well, about 20 minutes into it I couldn't stand all the choices... hunting around for feats and powers that I qualified for. So I just gave up and told him to give me one of the pregens from the Shadowfell module instead.

We play tonight, so I'll have to post about our experience. So far, I'm just glad I don't have to run it. I don't have the mental capacity to memorize all those powers and feats as a DM.
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Post by rabindranath72 »

Dagger wrote:
There are going to be two players and I told him that I'd create my own character this week in preparation. Well, about 20 minutes into it I couldn't stand all the choices... hunting around for feats and powers that I qualified for. So I just gave up and told him to give me one of the pregens from the Shadowfell module instead.

Why not taking a predefined build? It takes exactly 5 seconds to create a character, and 5 minutes to record it on the sheet.

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Post by Dagger »

I wish I would have saw that section. I just started with the character generation steps at the beginning of the book.
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Post by rabindranath72 »

Dagger wrote:
I wish I would have saw that section. I just started with the character generation steps at the beginning of the book.

No, it is MUCH easier than that! My wife created a character in less than five minutes, just thinking which 3 out of 5 skills to pick
It really cannot get easier than that.

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Post by serleran »

So, is it true that rogues (an otherwise non-fighter type in most fantasy games) begin with a roughly +8 bonus to hit? That, to me, seems very excessive... heroic, or not. I understand most of it has to come from "proficient bonus" from wielding certain weapons - also, apparently, rogues get Dex modifier to damage with any ranged attack (or is that for everyone?) I dunno -- smacks of number escalation. Do ACs go into the hundreds if attack rates start so high? Do HPs go into the thousands since everyone can deal so much damage (even when you miss, I've heard - though I don't know if this is an "always-on" thing)?

Maybe, if I go back to the store I'll ignore the cover art (found it bland and uninspiring, as I've said before) and open it and give it a read over quick-like: the only section that really matters is character creation, to me. Everything about the game is found in how characters are made...

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Post by Dagger »

The best I can tell so far is that many of the classes have comparable to hit bonuses and damage potential. The difference is that some use their Dex as a bonus, some use Str, some use Cha, etc... I haven't played yet so I don't want to be too critical, but the classes all seem the same to me with just different trappings.
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Post by moriarty777 »

Interesting reviews and some good counterpoints Antonio. I think I'd like to see what some people do with the SRD (once it becomes available). Although I'm likely not to pick it up, I'm not advise to giving it a try at some point.

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Post by seskis281 »

1st, Tree... I might be interested in the SKYPE game to try it out tho it will be three weekends before I'm free again (visiting inlaws this weekend, LGGC the next).

Also, just to clarify -- I reiterate I don't necessarily think this is a bad game in my earlier review... it does indeed look like a faster tactical fantasy adventure game, with some cool powers ideas and images... but it is, no matter how you slice it, strikingly on a different core paradigm than earlier editions... and some of that is indeed just a matter of taste and my own views on what "is" D&D"... whether one is counting squares or translating to inches, it still looks to be primarily focused on what actions and powers occur in specific relation to the primary positioning of a character in relationship physically to the others in space -- tactical simulation emphasis. Again, nothing at all wrong with this... and I admit my own prejudices in just wishing it wasn't called "Dungeons & Dragons." Others certainly can feel differently.

To me it's like this:

Early D&D was like the 1st Star Wars trilogy:

B/X D&D was my original Star Wars.... it was like nothing else I'd seen before, it was imagination gone wild... sure, looking back (and I mean at the pre-remastered VHS copy I still have) the rougher production edges (by today's standards) are there, but it had a SOUL, a core of "feel" that transcended -- hey, even back then Mark Hamill wasn't a "good" actor.

The Empire Strikes Back was AD&D... fuller, richer, darker and more deeply plotted....

2e was Return of the Jedi.... solid and well-produced, with more FX and bells and whistles, with some moments that were truly great... and some stuff that wasn't - good, but not quite the same as the 1st two (again, this is my opinion, not speaking for anyone else here lol )

3.0 Came along and it was.... Lord of the Rings. In other words it was large, complex, state of the art in FX and bells and whistles, but different from Star Wars except that it carried forward the straightforward basic quest of young heroes striving against the bad guys in a genre setting. It brought me back after years away, it brought new audiences in (3.0) etc.

Then 3.5 -- which was like if New Line or Peter Jackson kept re-releasing a "new" recut every year where they kept changing and retinkering (Director's Cut 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 etc.) - had to draw the line there.

Ok - so 4e....

I was originally going to extend the metaphor and say it felt like when I went to see Phantom Menace... I'd heard the negative reviews, I'd been prepared... was still disappointed greatly. All FX and presentation, no soul, no CORE that "felt" like the originals....

But, on second thought, the problem isn't that... it's that the core is completely different. And that makes 4e... Pirates of the Caribbean. Splashy, exciting, well-made with bits that are stellar, but quantifiably different in style and tone and CORE than the others... focused on a whole different audience.

Ok, so that's my metaphor. When LoTR came out, people certainly had reactions that ran from love to dislike based on certain "changes," it was still LoTR. To me, 4e being called "D&D" is like releasing Pirates of the Caribbean with the title LoTR: Pirates of the Caribbean. It just is different.

As I said... will gladly play it. Will rip off ideas and things if I find them, etc.

Just won't be a system that challenges C&C as my preferred choice and what I run my games with, that's all.

Cheers!

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Post by seskis281 »

DangerDwarf wrote:
Back when 3e was launched, I was hyped about getting a new edition of the game. That all changed however after my first read through the core books when I got them. With 4e, this has not been the case for me. I was optimistic about the game and now that I have the books in hand and am reading through them? I'm getting hyped. I'm not a fan of WotC but have to say they did something good here.

Hey DD... I think it really is a matter of perspective and our own tastes... I will agree with you on one thing, I like the "look" of the books, and as I said I think the MM was very well-done (still hated the DMG).

We obviously had backwards reactions... I actually had your reaction now when 3e 1st came out... I didn't sour until 3.5 and the never ending supplements and splat books. But I liked it and was jazzed initially, and in the end it led me to C&C. I went in to this one with an open mind. When I first came home and started reading, I just didn't get excited. It's not bad, didn't toss the PHB and say "that's crap," it just clearly takes the concept of "RPG" and changes it from what I want and look for. I've felt the same way with Hackmaster, GURPS, True20, and M&M for a variety of other reasons.

So these posts are just my reactions - nothing more, nothing less...

Cheers!

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Post by Zudrak »

serleran wrote:
So, is it true that rogues (an otherwise non-fighter type in most fantasy games) begin with a roughly +8 bonus to hit? That, to me, seems very excessive... heroic, or not. I understand most of it has to come from "proficient bonus" from wielding certain weapons - also, apparently, rogues get Dex modifier to damage with any ranged attack (or is that for everyone?) I dunno -- smacks of number escalation. Do ACs go into the hundreds if attack rates start so high? Do HPs go into the thousands since everyone can deal so much damage (even when you miss, I've heard - though I don't know if this is an "always-on" thing)?

Maybe, if I go back to the store I'll ignore the cover art (found it bland and uninspiring, as I've said before) and open it and give it a read over quick-like: the only section that really matters is character creation, to me. Everything about the game is found in how characters are made...

That sounds exactly like how rogues work in WoW. They are the best at dealing damage in WoW, even better than the fighter-types. They are balanced by their very light armors (leather and cloth only). Fighter-types are absorbers more than damage dealers in that they try to take damage for the party. 4e sounds very WoW-ish to me. I'll stick with WoW for WoW and C&C for my tabletop.
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Post by rabindranath72 »

serleran wrote:
So, is it true that rogues (an otherwise non-fighter type in most fantasy games) begin with a roughly +8 bonus to hit? That, to me, seems very excessive... heroic, or not. I understand most of it has to come from "proficient bonus" from wielding certain weapons - also, apparently, rogues get Dex modifier to damage with any ranged attack (or is that for everyone?) I dunno -- smacks of number escalation. Do ACs go into the hundreds if attack rates start so high? Do HPs go into the thousands since everyone can deal so much damage (even when you miss, I've heard - though I don't know if this is an "always-on" thing)?

Ok, sooooo:

Orcus, the Demon Lord, is AC 48, and has 1525 hp

An Ancient Red Dragon (the 2nd highest heavy hitter I can see) is AC 48 and has 1390 hp.

So, we are not that far from what happened in 3.x.

Regarding the Rogue, they are proficient only with dagger, hand crossbow, shuriken, sling, short sword.

Now, if you choose to be a Trickster Rogue type of character, your primary attribute is Dexterity, so your special abilities will be based on Dexterity. Assuming the standard roster of ability scores, the highest is

16, which gives a flat +3, +3 for dagger proficiency, +1 for Rogue weapon talent (a class ability), which brings the total to +7, for 1d4+3 damage (dex for damage is a Rogue ability) when using his basic attack (Deft strike).

Not all abilities grant bonuses to hit and damage based on dexterity. Not even all Rogue abilities.

Also, he will not be as efficient with all weapons with which he is proficient. The Rogue abilities clearly favour combat with the dagger.

Now, a Kobold skirmisher is AC 15 and has 27 hps, so the Rogue has a 65% probability of hitting it. Not that huge, but he will surely need help. Overall, now monsters are more dangerous.

Naturally, not all kobolds are this tough. The minions have just 1hp, to represent "mooks".

There are some class abilities which produce some effects even in case of misses, but these are typically daily abilities. Once spent, they are gone.

Hope this helps!

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Post by rabindranath72 »

Zudrak wrote:
That sounds exactly like how rogues work in WoW. They are the best at dealing damage in WoW, even better than the fighter-types. They are balanced by their very light armors (leather and cloth only). Fighter-types are absorbers more than damage dealers in that they try to take damage for the party. 4e sounds very WoW-ish to me. I'll stick with WoW for WoW and C&C for my tabletop.

Not true. Fighters and Paladins dish huge amounts of damage, and with many abilities they can even attack two or more opponents.

Rogues are heavily limited in their weapon selection (see my other thread).

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Post by rabindranath72 »

seskis281 wrote:
Hey DD... I think it really is a matter of perspective and our own tastes... I will agree with you on one thing, I like the "look" of the books, and as I said I think the MM was very well-done (still hated the DMG).

We obviously had backwards reactions... I actually had your reaction now when 3e 1st came out... I didn't sour until 3.5 and the never ending supplements and splat books. But I liked it and was jazzed initially, and in the end it led me to C&C. I went in to this one with an open mind. When I first came home and started reading, I just didn't get excited. It's not bad, didn't toss the PHB and say "that's crap," it just clearly takes the concept of "RPG" and changes it from what I want and look for. I've felt the same way with Hackmaster, GURPS, True20, and M&M for a variety of other reasons.

So these posts are just my reactions - nothing more, nothing less...

Cheers!

Sure, "de gustibus disputandum non est", but the point I wanted to raise is another: a review should report objectively the material that is in a book. The "tastes" come after the report. That's why I made my post, not to dispute your tastes (which are fine and all) but to "fill in the blanks".

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Post by seskis281 »

rabindranath72 wrote:
Sure, "de gustibus disputandum non est", but the point I wanted to raise is another: a review should report objectively the material that is in a book. The "tastes" come after the report. That's why I made my post, not to dispute your tastes (which are fine and all) but to "fill in the blanks".

I'd disagree.. a review is just that, a reporting of personal tastes and reactions. There really can't be an "objective" standard of what's good and bad, just what we like and don't like. Again and again, the PHB refers to "builds." This is a character creation concept I don't get into.

How can one "review" without one's subjective opinions? That would be a "report." And I did title the thread "my thoughts."

Gotta run...

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Post by serleran »

Hmm, so "important" monsters are harder to kill, and the "lowly" ones are "mooks" who fall over if you look at them. Not sure I like that, but it might be neat... certainly has a high cinematic feel, but I like "all" my monsters to be nasty. I guess one doesn't have to use mooks.

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Post by rabindranath72 »

seskis281 wrote:
I'd disagree.. a review is just that, a reporting of personal tastes and reactions. There really can't be an "objective" standard of what's good and bad, just what we like and don't like. Again and again, the PHB refers to "builds." This is a character creation concept I don't get into.

How can one "review" without one's subjective opinions? That would be a "report." And I did title the thread "my thoughts."

Gotta run...

Humpty Dumpty...

So we play with syntax and semantics. That's ok
EDIT: I was not speaking about good and bad, just what is written in the book. And THAT is objective. Whether one likes it or not, is another matter entirely.

The character builds are simply "options" to create a character concept on the flight. For example, Archer Ranger or Two-blade Ranger (which covers the most common Ranger archetypes). Or Trickster Rogue and Brawny Rogue (to distinguish between the deceptive guy and the thug). And so on.

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Post by rabindranath72 »

serleran wrote:
Hmm, so "important" monsters are harder to kill, and the "lowly" ones are "mooks" who fall over if you look at them. Not sure I like that, but it might be neat... certainly has a high cinematic feel, but I like "all" my monsters to be nasty. I guess one doesn't have to use mooks.

No, "mooks" are there as an option (and not for all creatures). You can have the "tough" kobold skirmisher, or slinger, or dragonshield, which are some examples of "tough" kobolds. Or, if you want to go cinematic, you can use "mook" kobolds. It works quite well.

Also note that the only thing that distinguishes a "mook" from an ordinary version, is the number of hit points (1) and damage inflicted (always a constant). So, their use in the game is quite fast. They are effectively used as "cannon fodder" (but the XP they give is proportionally smaller).

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Post by seskis281 »

rabindranath72 wrote:
Humpty Dumpty...

So we play with syntax and semantics. That's ok
EDIT: I was not speaking about good and bad, just what is written in the book. And THAT is objective. Whether one likes it or not, is another matter entirely.

The character builds are simply "options" to create a character concept on the flight. For example, Archer Ranger or Two-blade Ranger (which covers the most common Ranger archetypes). Or Trickster Rogue and Brawny Rogue (to distinguish between the deceptive guy and the thug). And so on.

Whether one "likes it or not" is the whole point of a REVIEW!

Sorry, tried to keep friendly and just politely disagree... but the "humpty dumpty" just pissed me off and I am NOT a hothead around here. I have every damn right to my own opinion and thoughts and do NOT like being told that I don't! I started the thread to share what I thought. If you start a thread with "My thoughts on why 4e is great," I promise I won't come on and call you names because I disagree.
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Post by rabindranath72 »

seskis281 wrote:
Whether one "likes it or not" is the whole point of a REVIEW!

Sorry, tried to keep friendly and just politely disagree... but the "humpty dumpty" just pissed me off and I am NOT a hothead around here. I have every damn right to my own opinion and thoughts and do NOT like being told that I don't! I started the thread to share what I thought. If you start a thread with "My thoughts on why 4e is great," I promise I won't come on and call you names because I disagree.

Eh?! I referred to T. S. Elliot's "Humpty Dumpty", which is NOT offensive. Or, what do you think I meant with "humpty dumpty"?

It was just to point out that what you meant to say with your "review" was clear to you, not me.

Furthermore, please point me to where I say that you do not have right to your opinion.

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