My thoughts after 1st look at 4E

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Post by MaxKaladin »

Julian Grimm wrote:
What is holding me off 4e isn't anything in the books. I am holding back to see how dependent the system will be on the Digital Initiative and other books. I know WOTC has designed 4e to have new Player Handbooks, MM's and DMG's added on over time. Something I am not happy with and something that holds me off buying.
Same here. I'm kind of a broken record on the subject.
I was telling someone a couple of weeks ago that if they follow their stated schedule and if I started a 4e campaign a couple of months after 4e came out (say, August) and if I ran that campaign for as long as I ran my first 3e campaign (a little over 3 years) then I'd be having to haul *12* books to game sessions just to bring the "core" PHB/DMG/MM combo in all its iterations. Since I don't usually game at my home, that's a big drawback to me.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

"Build" is used, and yes, I hate it too.

Mook, not that I've seen. I don't mind the word mook though, used it for years before I ever heard of an MMO and still don't associate it with them. Hell, it is even being used correctly by those who use it in gaming. Been in the dictionary since long before I was born.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

Oh, and I don't know how true it is, but I read somewhere that the term "mook" and mook-like rules showed themselves in the RPG scene with some game called Bushido in 1979.

Anyone able to verify? I've never even heard of the game.

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Post by Foxroe »

DangerDwarf wrote:
Oh, and I don't know how true it is, but I read somewhere that the term "mook" and mook-like rules showed themselves in the RPG scene with some game called Bushido in 1979.

Anyone able to verify? I've never even heard of the game.

Holy wakizashi Batman! That's a blast from the past. I remember the game (same company that did Villains & Vigilantes I believe), but I don't ever remember the term "mook". I never owned the rulebook (maybe in there?), and don't ever remember any articles in any gaming magazines. But heck, I can't even remember how the game was played.

-Fox

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Post by serleran »

Bushido is a game released by FGU (Fantasy Games Unlimited) and it does have some interesting mechanics. There have been numerous games (strangely, all the ones I can think of are Oriental in flavor such as Hong Kong Action Theater) that have used a similar system for "cinematic" action - that is what they have in common. Not trying, necessarily, to represent heroism, but scenes directly from a movie, notably, those of the Wuxia/Wire-film genre. This is not really surprising: The word "mook" is most likely drawn from a British slang term "moke" which was, perhaps, (no direct evidence to support so don't get etymological on me) drawn from the Hong Kong occupation. That word meant "a donkey; a stupid fellow." As far as I can tell, the first use of "mook" happened in 1930 - so it is not as old as it might appear to be (but then, neither are a lot of words taken for granted.) "Moke," however, is much older (I have not seen a date given for it, but would have to be older if, indeed, "mook" came from it.)

I find it offensive. ;)

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Post by rabindranath72 »

serleran wrote:
I hope so. Also, I hope there are rules for leveling mooks, so they can build into something non-mook, like, a threat, or challenge, or maybe, even a mook hazard. C'mon! Get into the spirit of the fluff, Fiff!

Yes, you can transform a minion into a full blown critter. Just increase HPs and give it random damage. That's all.

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Post by rabindranath72 »

Fiffergrund wrote:
A couple of questions for those that own 4E:

Are the terms "build" and "mook" actually used in the text?

Build is used to indicate a set of options for creating a character which fits a concept and immediately start playing. For example, War Mage, Inspiring Warlord, Guardian Fighter etc. I have seen the term used in the past, and I use it since I started play with Classic D&D. I don't see anything wrong with it.
The book uses the term "minion".

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Post by Fiffergrund »

There's nothing "wrong" with those words being used. They just represent a style of labeling things that I dislike. Knowing that certain words are used tells me something about the overall style choices made in the game. No, it's not a complete picture, but it is one more thing that will make me hesitate to give it a chance.
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Post by Treebore »

We are going to be trying out 4E on line using SKYPE/Ventrilo and Maptools. The CK, er... DM, figures it will take two to three sessions. He is hoping to do it on Friday or Saturday nights.

I am pretty sure I am not going to fall in love with 4E, but I do want to see how it plays. I'll probably like it, but it isn't what my fantasy D&D is about, so I am pretty sure 4E isn't going to turn me into a fan boy. I am pretty sure I am going to categorize it with GURPS, HARP, Rolemaster, etc... Nice game, but not how I like to play my fantasy.
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Post by DangerDwarf »

I've had a chance to more fully digest the books and have a few more thoughts.

The Multi-classing rules are pretty damn sweet. You basically take a feat which grants you a lesser type class ability of another class. This will then allow you to later take other feats which grant you the ability to grab desired abilities of other classes.

One area I'm not to sure on yet is the fact that there are no BtH or BaBs for various classes. Everyone progresses at the same rate in those regards (adding 1/2 level). While it doesn't appear that it will cause any issues, it does seem odd.

Simply holding a weapon in your off hand doesn't grant you the ability to make an attack with both weapons during a combat round. The agme seems pretty archtype oriented and rangers seem to be the primary two weapon fighters to me thus far.

The system itself IS a very simple system. Combat of course can lead to some complexities, primarily tracking various conditions, but I dislike that in every system I've played that has that sort of thing.

I seriously want to play a Feypact Eladrin Warlock. Some cool ideas and concepts I can really get behind in that sort of character.

The DMG. While I personally (nor a lot of vteran DM's) will not make use of large portions of it, I honestly believe it is one of the better DMG's made. It serves it's purpose admirably, and that is teaching a new DM how to effectively run a group and game. Sur, we jaded gamers who have been playing for awhile don't need that sort of thing but for the new folks? I think it would be a valuable resource for them.

The back of the MM gives you the racial traits for several critters, greatly expanding the number of playable races.

Our group transferred the pregens from H1 to regular character sheets today. They looked over the full rules more in depth today and got to see what their characters can grow into. I'm fully over some of my minor reservations about the game and we're looking forward to our next session. The party needs ot head back to Winterhaven and try to get Falon (wizard) raised.

With my group, this game is on track to being our primary game when we get together. Which surprises me since generally our D&D is 2nd Edition, C&C or BECMI. I'll see if it keeps heading that way.

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Post by Jyrdan Fairblade »

I finished reading the PHB yesterday, and was not a happy camper at the end.

They actually had me until I hit the classes. I thought that the writing was top-notch, geared toward enticing new players and getting the old ones excited to adventure. Even if they dropped the Half-Orc and Gnome, I liked the Dragonborn, Eladrin, and Tielflings.

The unified check mechanic was a great idea - but a step in the right direction that turned into a stumble.

The classes ended any wish I had to play the game. If I had to voice an objection to one thing above all else, it would be the Powers system. Whether it was the fighter's "spells," the cleric's "I hit you and everyone else gets healed," the rogue's devolution into a fighting class, or just the darned muddle that I see combat turning into (who's marked, who gets pushed where, what effects are still ongoing, and so on...).

I do not dispute that 4e makes some bold moves, some of which are quite good. But this is not a game for me. Even more so than 3e, I do not want to play this (heck, I'd play 3e over 4e without a doubt). Color me in as an official grognard. I will continue to look to C&C, Lejendary Adventures, Warhammer 2e, and older editions for what I want in a game. Heck, I'll be even more curious to see what comes of the next Hackmaster edition.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

Jyrdan Fairblade wrote:
The classes ended any wish I had to play the game. If I had to voice an objection to one thing above all else, it would be the Powers system.

I can truly understand that. It took me some time to get used to the idea of all the powers. I absolutely disliked it at first. Even now I think it adds to the need for expanded character sheets so that you can record all the info on the powers so there is no need to look up powers. Not a huge deal for my group, because we use presentation folders with places to insert pages for ALL the info for our characters, regardless of system. We damn b near use "mini books" for our characters, so its all good. The class section and the powers did rub me the wrong way at first though.
Jyrdan Fairblade wrote:
But this is not a game for me.

I can understand that too. It definitely takes some steps that not everyone will like. It happens to be working for my folks, but I don't expect it to do so for everyone.

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Post by concobar »

DangerDwarf wrote:
I can truly understand that. It took me some time to get used to the idea of all the powers. I absolutely disliked it at first. Even now I think it adds to the need for expanded character sheets so that you can record all the info on the powers so there is no need to look up powers.

I photo-copied the powers and cut them out and glued them to the back of land cards from MtG. each player keeps his power cards in front of him for easy reference.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

concobar wrote:
I photo-copied the powers and cut them out and glued them to the back of land cards from MtG. each player keeps his power cards in front of him for easy reference.

That's a pretty sweet idea. We've got a page of various powers, same format and slid into one of the sleeves of the character mini-binders we use. I like the card idea and I have been actually hoping that WotC makes cards for them. It'd be easy for them to do, and they are already formatted to easily be transferred that way. Then the players could slide them into their 3 ring binder card holders like we do with the paizo item cards.

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Post by nwelte1 »

I bought all three core books and figured I would offer a perspective that may differ from those previously stated by others in this this thread. No it is not a critique of others' opinions but I thought my point of view might cast a different light on the subject.

My perspective is influenced by the following: 1) Prior to me beginning to play C&C about 1 year ago, I had no pnp role playing experience whatsoever (my rpgs were strictly on computers with BG, BG11, Diablo, UO, DAOC, Final Fantasy 1-12, Dragon warrior.... while I think you get the idea) 2) My mother strictly forbade D&D as it was the devil's work, and I therefore missed the chance to develop a strong affection for one system or another, 3) I am strange and love reading rule books and instruction manuals (I even read my car stereo manual from time to time) for the hell of it, so while my mother forbade D&D I was secretly reading 2E. Yeap I am odd.

That said here are my newbish thoughts:

1. The system is appealing to me. I read 3 and 3.5 and was turned off by the fact you had to really know the ins and outs of rules and feats. The game catered to those that could master the fine points of the rules and where good at min-maxing. I built 3.5 characters for the hell of it knowing I would never play them simply to see if I understood the rules and to see what I could do. I then transferred those characters to NWN and goofed off. 4e on its face (no idea how it is in reality) seems to address that by making everything powerful, which seems to fall to the big number syndrome that Serelan talks about. If everything is big, then how can it be special?

2. When I read 2e, 3.x, and even C&C it seemed very clear to me that in order for a party to have the best chance at survival a party needed a tank, a mage, a healer, and thief/rogue. 4e follows the same premise but renames the roles.

3. 4e stole some ideas from C&C. 4E essentially has primes it, but they are not directly tied to attributes, rather the primes are tied to skills. This is similar to another game the Trolls are working on publishing. However instead of the +6 innate bonus of a prime the bonus is +5. To that you add 1/2 your level and ability modifiers, situational modifies, and etc. Seems very similar to C&C to me.

4. I do not think the game itself will be dependent on DDI. Having read some of the new articles they are releasing and what the VT can do, it is no different than what currently exists or did exist until the licenses for Dragon/Dungeon expired 9except for the fee and the 3D package). The web content offers options, new abilities, adventures, etc. The VT, I could careless about. I have Maptools and I love its flexibility, plus I am against paying for something like digital minis when I would rather have something I can pick up.

5. I don't not see the game as dependant on minis or a grid. The game can be played with or without. One square still translates to 1 inch which translate to 5 feet or whatever system of measurement you want to use. Whether I imagine my PC moving 1 square or 30 feet does not bother me. That said it is clear for the text of the manuals, WOTC is clearly trying to use the game to market other products. Can you blame them?

6. The game does not appear to be any more combat intensive than other systems. The fact the book has a large portion devoted to powers and combat does not indicate to me the game is combat/tactical intensive. I look at 3.X and nearly the same proportion if not more is dedicated to spells and combat. Same with C&C. In reality how much text do you need in order to roleplay without combat? Dunno. My guess is not a lot.

7. The game does promote role playing, though admittedly the writers certainly did not come out like the Trolls and say do what you want - don't be a slave to the rules. I can not remember off-hand but either in the PHB or the DMG there are several references to winging the rules to allow role playing to occur. The game also recommends attribute (not skill based) checks when resolving things not covered by Skills or combat. Is that not what C&C does?

8. I think a fair attempt was made to streamline some of the issues that I hated in 3.X rules. i.e. grapple, AoO, and etc. However, they complicated combat to some extent (I won't know how far until I play it) by adding in numerous combat states such as marked and combat advantage.

9. Healing is not as willie-nillie as some may think. 2 Classes really promote healing - Cleric and Warlord, paladin does to an extent as well. But healing is limited. Second wind is only usable once per encounter, and each PC only has a limited number of healing surges. When the cleric heals another person either the cleric or the target spends a healing surge (depending on power), potions of heal are the same. You pop a potion you burn a surge. This means healing does have limits. It also means clerics or some other healer is essential, otherwise other classes (for the most part) have very limited ways in which they can spend healing surges. A cleric makes it easier to access and spend surges. Interesting concept but the tracking of extra data bothers me a lot even though it really is not that difficult to track.

10. Vacian (sp?) magic is gone. In my opinion thank god. I never understood, fire and forget. How powerful can you really be when you forget things all the time? A spell/power pool makes sense to me and the at-will, encounter, daily system does tries to do this without the need to count spell pool points or worry about complex spell pool regeneration schemes. However, I can see why some would not like this system. For example, fireball is a daily spell. For a player that thinks things must be nuked as much as possible, this may be a problem.

11. I like the fact classes have more abilities and at-will powers they can use. No more low level characters having to sit out nearly an entire combat waiting for the opportune time to fire their one or two Magic missiles or an assassin having to wait three rounds to use a death attack only to have the mark slain by the fighter after waiting two rounds. But that is simply my play taste, hence why I shy away from mages, illusionists, rogues, and assassins. I am hack and slash by nature. Again, for those that like the role playing aspect of stalking a kill and the frustration of having to be patient (which an assassin undoubtedly would have to be), then the new system is likely not for you.

12. Like others said, the MM is wow. I am impressed by that book. Nuff said.

I should state that C&C is my system of choice. Why? I do not have to track a lot of data and it can assimilate a lot of other systems/rules.

Hmm, I wonder how will it could assimulate 4E adventures and creatures?

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Post by Treebore »

nwelte1 wrote:
Hmm, I wonder how will it could assimulate 4E adventures and creatures?

I've already looked into this. Monster seem to be even easier than the 3E monsters because you have fewer things to decide to eliminate or change or adapt to C&C.

Adventures are always easy to assimilate.
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Post by concobar »

seskis281 wrote:
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."

As a long time greyhawk player/dm I have no problem with most of the race backgrounds but have decided to disallow dragonborn as a player race and to declare that most tieflings are the result of pacts made between noble houses of the great kingdom and their infernal allies. since the greyhawk wars unleashed hordes of demons and devils some tiefling could be the result of rape which could be a interesting if somewhat dark character background.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

concobar wrote:
to declare that most tieflings are the result of pacts made between noble houses of the great kingdom and their infernal allies.

Heh, pretty similar to what I was thinking in regards to 4e and Greyhawk as well. Tieflings screamed Great Kingdom to me.

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Post by serleran »

If "tieflings" were more like OAD&D cambions, I would almost think they would be a natural fit for Greyhawk, in the lands of Iuz, but the way they are (don't know if they did a do-over for 4e), they are more like "dark planar faeries" and not very demonic. That saddens me. They used to be almost cool, back in very early Planescape days. When Faction meant something, cutter.

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Dragonborn

Post by SaintNiddle »

I know this has probably been brought up in other places, but, being my first post, I haven't read them all..lol.

My main problem with the way WotC has treated Dragonborn is that even though they are reptiles and NOT mammals, for some reason WotC feels the need to make them sexy and give them breasts.

Seriously?

/facepalm

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Post by sieg »

Welcome SaintN!

Yeah....I guess to WOTC's mind "sexy" is all that...NOBODY wants to play a character if they aren't sexy. Must be why Gnomes and Half Orcs got the chop.
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Post by serleran »

There is nothing sexier than a gnorc in lingerie...

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Re: Dragonborn

Post by Julian Grimm »

SaintNiddle wrote:
I know this has probably been brought up in other places, but, being my first post, I haven't read them all..lol.

My main problem with the way WotC has treated Dragonborn is that even though they are reptiles and NOT mammals, for some reason WotC feels the need to make them sexy and give them breasts.

Seriously?

/facepalm

Actually it's not just WOTC that did it. If you look at some of the 'classic' fantasy art there are lots of reptillian humanoid with breasts out there. I see it as continuing a tradition. But no, it's not very realistic.
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Re: Dragonborn

Post by Harry Joy »

Julian Grimm wrote:
Actually it's not just WOTC that did it. If you look at some of the 'classic' fantasy art there are lots of reptillian humanoid with breasts out there. I see it as continuing a tradition. But no, it's not very realistic.

Hormones. They're all on that estrogen and progestin and what all. Bunch of freaks if you ask me. Probably inject their lips and pecs and eyebrows with some phony bologna stuff, too.

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Post by Jackal »

sieg wrote:
Welcome SaintN!

Yeah....I guess to WOTC's mind "sexy" is all that...NOBODY wants to play a character if they aren't sexy. Must be why Gnomes and Half Orcs got the chop.

It's not just WotC, its a growing trend. One of the reasons Alliance overpopulates every WoW server and why Horde got Blood Elves. Them young folk only want to play something if it's "hot."

Oh, and as much as 4e made me want to pull my hair out (I want an RPG, not a wargame where I name my minis), I do have to defend the no gnome and no half-orc. Gnomes and orcs (not half I'm afraid) can be found in the back of the MM as player races along with about a dozen others. It's not a "here convert these guys into player races" section but simply a list of other races the DM can allow if he wishes, along with the needed information for play.

So, anyway, those guys are there, but 4e lost me the second I saw "sunrod" on the standard equipment list.

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Post by The Highway Man »

The Minion rules of 4E are totally awesome. You use any creature basically as a "mook", and this mook is equal to the creature in question, in terms of game mechanics, but with only 1 HP total.

That's a very interesting idea for C&C, particularly when you think about the Fighter's Combat Dominance. That's an explosive combination. It makes the Fighter potentially great in combat, but since you select who's a minion or not as CK and when to use them or not, that's something you can tailor as you go.

That's excellent.

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Post by Fiffergrund »

The Highway Man wrote:
The Minion rules of 4E are totally awesome. You use any creature basically as a "mook", and this mook is equal to the creature in question, in terms of game mechanics, but with only 1 HP total.

There must be more to it than that, right? Can you fill me in with more details as to how it works, if there are any restrictions on creature type, or anything else?

There must be something. Some explanation would be needed as to why certain monsters fall apart at the slightest scratch, while other seemingly identical monsters are full strength and take many more hits to kill.

Also, am I correct that this "minion" setup usually involves great numbers of them?

Since HP are abstracted even more in 4E (with healing surges and all), shouldn't creatures get more HP in a pack, since pack tactics help them avoid injury? To be consistent in the treatment of HP, it doesn't really make sense that More Monsters = Less HP per monster.

I say leave all monsters of the same type with the same characteristics. It's easier that way.

This just seems like 4E's very own "facing" problem.

(Speaking of which, do creatures in 4E have a front and back again?)
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Post by The Highway Man »

Fiffergrund wrote:
There must be more to it than that, right? Can you fill me in with more details as to how it works, if there are any restrictions on creature type, or anything else?

There must be something.

Basically? No, there isn't more to it than that.
Fiffergrund wrote:
Some explanation would be needed as to why certain monsters fall apart at the slightest scratch, while other seemingly identical monsters are full strength and take many more hits to kill.

That's something that PCs' don't see in-world, obviously. The logic is the one of movies, where you have the protagonist going through ranks of underlings, occasionally taking a hard hit, to reach his mortal enemy, the real target. Like Aragorn against all these Uruk-Hai, fighting his way through to the leader of the Isengard party (your avatar).

That's definitely not something you want to abuse/use all the time. But if you are running something like Against the Giants and would like to get that opportunity for the Fighter to fight through all these Fire Giants to reach the Chieftain in a desperate attempt to save his pals, you have an easy way to do it without handwaving all the dice rolls.

I'm no proponent of 4E, as I see a damn lot of things I dislike in its design, but that particular bit is cool, isn't it?
Fiffergrund wrote:
Also, am I correct that this "minion" setup usually involves great numbers of them?

Since HP are abstracted even more in 4E (with healing surges and all), shouldn't creatures get more HP in a pack, since pack tactics help them avoid injury? To be consistent in the treatment of HP, it doesn't really make sense that More Monsters = Less HP per monster.

Yep. Giving the status of "minion" to a monster basically lowers the threat he represents. He counts as 1/4 or less (don't remember exactly) in the calculation of the "encounter level", if you will (in 3rd ed terms).

There are also "Elite" and "Solo" set-ups like this that modify an original monster to make it tougher. I don't "need" these set-ups, personally, so I don't plan on using them.

Now, I absolutely don't claim that anyone playing C&C will just love the idea. That'd be bologne. It does exactly what I wanted to achieve in regards to the Fighter, for me, by taking on the problem from the outside-in instead of inside-out (which would have been... modifying the Fighter class).

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Post by Jackal »

Fiffergrund wrote:
There must be more to it than that, right? Can you fill me in with more details as to how it works, if there are any restrictions on creature type, or anything else?

There must be something. Some explanation would be needed as to why certain monsters fall apart at the slightest scratch, while other seemingly identical monsters are full strength and take many more hits to kill.

Also, am I correct that this "minion" setup usually involves great numbers of them?

Since HP are abstracted even more in 4E (with healing surges and all), shouldn't creatures get more HP in a pack, since pack tactics help them avoid injury? To be consistent in the treatment of HP, it doesn't really make sense that More Monsters = Less HP per monster.

I say leave all monsters of the same type with the same characteristics. It's easier that way.

This just seems like 4E's very own "facing" problem.

(Speaking of which, do creatures in 4E have a front and back again?)

Nope, nothing "in game" which makes them different. Basically, the DM simply decides that X creature is not a big part in the story and should be easy to club. True20 actually came up with the rule (and name for it) though they handled it differently since True20 doesn't use hit points.

But, in either game, what you end up with is a creature that hits as hard as any other of its ilk but dies the first time it takes any kind of damage.

I didn't like it in True20 and I don't like it in 4e. Basically, it makes the game feel more like Diablo to me than D&D. If a creature isn't important enough to be part of my story then I don't want it there. The part in the story might simply be "random encounter to threaten characters" but he still has a part and I don't want PCs just tearing through him.

What's more, in True20 it was very difficult to explain to my players why this ogre fell to one mighty swing of the barbarian's axe while the one down the trail had to be beaten to death with many such swings.

I'm by no means against taking ideas from 4e (I'm looking at allowing a few rituals to spellcasters so they can make use of some often ignored spells) but minions isn't one of them for me.

The Highway Man
Ungern
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:00 am

Post by The Highway Man »

Yup, I can see how you can feel that way. It's not for every CK out there, obviously.

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