Seminar Transcript - Reimagining Skills and Ability Scores - Page 21





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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
    I love the 4e cosmology.]

    I love that we have the middle world, with its twin reflections (one light, one dark).
    I love that we have the Astral Sea (which looks amazing, and should be the basis for any future Spelljammer), with these "Hyperboreas" and "Elysium Fields" and "Mount Olympus" floating in it, and that you can sail past the edge of the world into the stars where the gods dwell.
    I love the Elemental Chaos, churning and roiling in endless fury (remember: Gaea emerged fully formed from Chaos, as well).
    And below all of Creation, you have the Abyss, the End of Things, the shard of entropy bent of undoing the planes, like a black hole trying to consume everything.
    Yeah, I gotta say that the 4e Cosmology is boss. It is very much a riff on western classical mythology with some very nice strong underlying concepts and powerful themes. Amusingly the custom cosmology I created for my main homebrew back in the 80's is almost indistinguishable from the 4e version. It is great for spawning really good thematic high level story arcs.

    I also liked the general consolidation of different variations of bad guys. There are still plenty of them and room for more, but there is a lot less "stuff just for the sake of more stuff" in there.

 

  • #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Whether it's a positive or negative modifier is just nomenclature. I think poeple get too hung up on the word "negative".

    You can achieve the same effect by lowering the baseline, and handing out more positive modifers - just some races don't get them for some abilities. Same mathematical result, but now a bunch of folks are happy because they're not getting a negative modifier.
    There is a difference. Say I give races that are strong a +2. Now, for a race that doesn't get a +2 they will be as good at being a fighter as most of the other races, and a few will be better. OTOH if a few weak races get a -2 then those races are worse fighters than almost all other races. People aren't too worried about playing a race that is as good as most of the other races for a given class. People will very rarely play one that is worse than 90% of the other races.

    One way is prescriptive, it says "hey, play this if you want to be the best at X", the other is proscriptive, it says "hey, don't play this, it isn't good enough to bother with."

    I don't think it is impossible to make a good system that has a few small penalties but if Orcstein has to buy an 18 INT just to get a 16 and every other race can have an 18 (even if its cheaper for a few) then Orcstein is a lot less viable seeming option. Plus his +2 STR is not worth much to him, so he's hit doubly, triply really because buying that 18 that is now a 16 means he's dropping other stats to do it.

    OTOH if there is no penalty then Orcstein is still not as good a wizard as Elfstein who pays for a 16 and gets an 18, but at least he's par on his ability to be a wizard. Sure, he's weird for an orc, but he's a PC, not your run of the mill orc.

  • #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammael View Post
    I believe most of the anti-Modron lobbyists are no longer with WotC, so there may yet be hope.

    As for the Great Wheel / 4E Cosmology, despite being a big fan of Planescape, I freely admit that the Great Wheel has flaws and that there are some cool things that can be scavenged from the 4E Cosmology.

    However, one thing I really disliked was the concept that all planes must be adventure-friendly. No, they bloody well shouldn't be, some of them should be the most soul-sucking life-draining hope-crushing breath-stealing places EVAR. And that's precisely their charm. Not every place exists solely to be adventured in.
    The 4e cosmology didn't do much for me, but I probably would have been less hard on it if it didn't come off as pastiche of the Great Wheel too often. It would have been perfectly fine as the cosmology for a specific setting, but trying to junk the Great Wheel and use the 4e planes as a replacement -retroactively in all the campaign worlds for 4e even- it felt hamhandedly imposed and didn't feel like what I was used to the D&D cosmos being.

    Like Sammael said, it felt too centered on the PCs and PC ability to "adventure!" in the planes - all of them, like they were all big extraplanar dungeons waiting to be delved, their inhabitants slain, and their treasure taken. I never got the overwhelming sense of mystery, beauty, and terror that I got from the Great Wheel with its sense of a vast, infinite cosmos where the PCs were tiny by comparison. And from that perspective in the Great Wheel, to be very existential about it, if you looked at that as being free to make your way in the cosmos, it made any great PC success in those vast, alien landscapes even more incredible.

    The planes existed before the mortal world, and while mortal belief can shape some of them, they aren't tailor made for PC travelling, segmented into neat tiers like carnival rides with a plastic glabrezu holding up its hand saying that adventurers must be this level to adventure in this layer of the Abyss which will have encounters tailor made to fit their level. The planes are dangerous for the unwary, but yet you can go there with the right tools or knowledge at very low level, but you had better be prepared for it not being pleasant, or normal, or designed around shallow mortal perceptions.

    That said, I'm not averse to cherry picking some 4e people and places for inclusion into the Great Wheel, including a number of things that Rob Schwalb and Brian James did in a few places.

    But I want my Blood War, yugoloths, guardinals, factions and all that other GW awesomeness back.
    Last edited by Shemeska; Wednesday, 1st February, 2012 at 09:09 AM.

  • #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemeska View Post
    But I want my Blood War, yugoloths, guardinals, factions and all that other GW awesomeness back.
    Blood War is mentioned as a Cold War in 4E... I don't think it's all that bad concept for some campaigns. You know, Cold War can be a serious playground for some fiends...

    Yugoloths must come back. No doubt about it. 4E's forced duality (gods vs primordials, demons vs devils) should go away.

    Guardinals, sure.

    Factions were mentioned here and there, outside of Sigil IIRC.

    I wouldn't mind Planescape coming back...
    F I G H T E R

  • #205
    Reading that makes me feel like they're just pissing all over everything I liked about 4E. The more I read about 5E, the more disappointed I'm becoming. My favourite race (Deva) as a THEME? One of my favourite classes (Avenger) as a theme? This coupled with earlier reveals of "no power sources" and Vancian magic just makes me feel like this edition was specifically targeted to alienate me - or people like me.

    For all I know next they will announce that if you don't like anti-heroes you can't play the new edition, because they will be enforced on everyone. Yeah, I know it's a ridiculous statement, it's supposed to be.

  • #206
    Funny. That's exactly the way many of us felt with the roll out to 4E. It's not that pleasant a feeling. At least they are not specifically saying that your favorite edition was badwrongfun like they did in the roll out of 4E. It's still early in the game, they may yet have a number of 4E like options even if they aren't core.
    Don't like 4E? No sig for you here.

  • #207
    Quote Originally Posted by talok55 View Post
    Funny. That's exactly the way many of us felt with the roll out to 4E. It's not that pleasant a feeling. At least they are not specifically saying that your favorite edition was badwrongfun like they did in the roll out of 4E. It's still early in the game, they may yet have a number of 4E like options even if they aren't core.
    And that's exactly what they said they will avoid. That they will want to unify everyone this time - so stuff that both 3E and 4E people will like. All I see so far is "we're remaking 3.5 with some names borrowed from 4E".

  • #208
    WHy not make a anger as a theme? It sounds like a great idea to me and I had avengers in my groups for years, it makes much better sense to make it a theme to add to some of the other classes, the closets it will be to a 4e avenger will probably be avenger paladin or an avenger cleric but I totally dig they idea of an avenger wizard.

    Also, some of the races are also more suited for themes, not sure about devas being a theme, it's the first I heard of it, but anything that will make the bloated race lists smaller is a good thing in my book.

    Warder

  • #209
    I kind of like the concept of Devas as a theme. Think about it: the 4e Deva was all about them being reincarnated over and over. Why not be reincarnated as different races instead of the same race? I think the concept is very flavorful. (If that's what is actually going to happen. Remember it's still early in the playtesting stage). And the same with some class concepts. Anyone with a religious flavor could take an oath and become an avenger. Like the afore mentioned wizard/avenger. Cool concept.


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  • #210
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    Loving everything that I am seeing so far. 4D6 drop the lowest is my groups preferred method. I really like the role playing/ on the fly feeling that I am getting. Let's see if it translates to the actual game. I got the same feeling from the pre 4e info and was disappointed. I fall into the grognard, Modav Red Box, changed to Pathfinder group. Not trying to start an edition argument, they are all good for their own reasons.
    Last edited by Spacekase; Wednesday, 1st February, 2012 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Clarification
    Fear is the mind killer -Frank Herbert

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