D&D 4th Edition Things wrong with 4e: Dragons - Page 7


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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    It's not wasted space -- every word is used to present the dragon as a multidimensional antagonist. Combat stat blocks are, contrary to early 4e design choices, not the place with the most important information.

    In a game called Dungeons & Dragons it's also probably more important to have a few iconic dragon antagonists right in one of the main books than it is to have mimic kings and bear wizards.

    And if you want to just plunk one down in your homebrew, well, the statblock is still there, and is still useful for you, and can be found either in the book itself, or in D&D Insider's online database, which, you may find to your delight, is almost entirely stat blocks.
    It is wasted space if I have no use for it. If I have no use for the majority of a book, I will not purchase it. If I want to buy a book of iconic examples of monsters, I will specifically buy it. That is a book of icons, or villains, or adventure hooks, or NPCs, or whatever. It is not a book of monsters. They've sold books like this before, and I have purchased some of them after deciding that the information within was worthwhile, while I have ignored others, even when I could get them at a discount.

    I am not spending $30 on 30 monsters and lots of fluff I'll never use. I don't even use relatively scant fluff presented for 4E monsters most of the time.


    --

    Now what I might find compelling would be if they made a list of Monster Themes that applied concepts like "Ritual Master" or "Illusionist Tormentor" or "Desert Menace." Imagine if all that stuff you want to apply specifically to the blue dragon could be instantly applied to ANY monster, in part or in whole, and monsters that warranted it would get suggested themes mentioned in their stat blocks? You could introduce some basic themes in the DMG, then expand on them in future books. You could have basic themes like "Hive Queen" that turns a monster into the center of a hivemind, and then advanced themes like "Master of Intrigue" that would come with a lot more tools.

    Then you could have your blue dragon that uses illusions to menace the desert, who uses a mimic to guard its horde, and I could have my mimic that uses illusions to menace the desert who keeps a pet blue dragon to eat people who want to disturb its plotting.
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

 

  • #62
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    Well, with the playtest coming in four weeks, maybe we will get a chance to see what a low-level "7e" dragon looks like.

    In any case, colour coded dragons are a staple of D&D. But it is probably about time that non-colour coded dragons become a standard optional rule.
    -Kaodi

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    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    -Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.

  • #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaodi View Post
    Well, with the playtest coming in four weeks, maybe we will get a chance to see what a low-level "7e" dragon looks like.

    In any case, colour coded dragons are a staple of D&D. But it is probably about time that non-colour coded dragons become a standard optional rule.
    like metallic

  • #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmjow View Post
    like metallic
    I am pretty sure metals have colours.
    -Kaodi

    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    -Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.

  • #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaodi View Post
    I am pretty sure metals have colours.
    well all dragons havecolours unless you don't want to be able to see them :P

  • #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar
    It is wasted space if I have no use for it. If I have no use for the majority of a book, I will not purchase it.
    "If I can't have exactly what I want, I don't want anything!"? It's your money, I suppose. Seems a little narmed to me, but I guess if WotC can sell you a DDI sub for that month, they'll get your money one way or another.

    I think it's the rare player who can't get some use out of contextual information. Like, maybe you're not a white dragon fan, but you see frost giants in your White Dragon entry, and THOSE seem awesome, plus you already have a map for their lair (just use the White Dragon's lair with the serial numbers filed off), complete with traps and hazards like the White Pudding, and rules for blizzards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar
    I am not spending $30 on 30 monsters and lots of fluff I'll never use. I don't even use relatively scant fluff presented for 4E monsters most of the time.
    It ain't fluff. It's useful game mechanical information. A blue dragon using Mirage Arcana isn't superfluous description, it's an essential part of using that monster in the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar
    Now what I might find compelling would be if they made a list of Monster Themes that applied concepts like "Ritual Master" or "Illusionist Tormentor" or "Desert Menace." Imagine if all that stuff you want to apply specifically to the blue dragon could be instantly applied to ANY monster, in part or in whole, and monsters that warranted it would get suggested themes mentioned in their stat blocks?
    OH BOY MORE PREP WORK! Thanks, Paperwork Fairy!

    You seem to be missing the point of what I want out of an MM: stuff I can use to play the game. Not prep. Play.

    When I WANT to do prep, I'm more than capable of removing context for my own diabolical purposes (especially with a handy online tool!). Again, it's pretty basic DM strategy: poach what you want.

    When I don't want to do prep, a toolbox is useless to me when what I need is a chair, RIGHT NOW, because I'm sitting in front of my players and they are looking at me expectantly and hoping for an exciting adventure.

    Toolbox is all well and good -- it's perfect DMG and online supplement material. It should absolutely be there. But the game also needs to present me with prefab stuff, and it needs to do this right out the gate, in the core books, because if I'm a newbie DM and I want to run a game tonight, I need to be able to.

    I should be able to pick up the game (the three core rulebooks) and play the thing that very night if I want to, just by following the instructions on the page.

    And, I think it's worth mentioning again, this isn't about "fluff vs. crunch." What I miss about dragons in 4e isn't fluff. It's all useful game information, it's just not combat information (4e provides me, well, TOO much info on that front). Since the game is more than combat, I don't think it's asking too much for WotC to provide DMs with more than combat things to do.
    Last edited by Kamikaze Midget; Friday, 27th April, 2012 at 01:33 PM.
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  • #67
    What's wrong with giving you tools to add to monsters, if you don't want to use them? Aren't you arguing that it's OK for a book to have stuff you don't use?

    Just because you don't want to have modifiers for monsters doesn't mean they shouldn't exist. You don't have to add class levels or templates to monsters, but it's nice to have them exist.
    Well, Im sorry, I thought my Dark Lord of the Sith could protect an exhaust port less than two meters wide!

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  • #68
    I do agree there is something missing about 4th Ed Dragons, but I can always slap on the Wizard template to get my wand-wielding dragon (you know the picture).

    But still...niggling...something missing.

  • #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Wombat
    What's wrong with giving you tools to add to monsters, if you don't want to use them? Aren't you arguing that it's OK for a book to have stuff you don't use?
    Not a thing. I said as much. Tools are good, they should be there, we do need them, I absolutely want the tools. It helps make D&D the awesomely unique experience it is. Include them.

    But if I'm a new DM, or a DM with a limited time budget, or a DM who likes spontaneous play, or whatever, I'm going to need prefab chairs, too. A tool is only useful if I have the time and inclination and vision to use it to construct what I need. If I don't -- if what I have is a need RIGHT NOW for a finished thing -- D&D needs to provide that.

    And not as an option, or as an add-on. It needs to provide that right out the gate, because if I'm a new and/or lazy DM, I'm not going to bother getting more books and information just to be able to play the game out of the box.

    Tools are vital to D&D, but they can't be the whole shebang. A Monster Manual, I feel, needs to be the place to show DMs how to run monsters. Which means more than just an alphabetical list of combat stats. That need is better met via online tools and databases.
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  • #70
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    I want tools AND fleshed out information. I run my games with a handful of powerful "forces" acting on the world typically run by a full fleshed out NPC(s) that I add my own touches to. I'm not concerned quite as much with their combat powers (but I usually add or tailor them to make sense with the themes of the campaign), but I spend the majority of my time on their motivations, actions and plans.

    Those NPCs are going to deal with various creatures throughout the realm. I want someone else to do the leg-work for me on those parts. I don't really want to design every aspect of the Gnolls that worship the Demon, I want to spend my time working on the Demon itself and therefore giving my players interesting interactions that they choose.

    I can get much more out of my games spending the lion's share of my time designing patrons and villians and other NPCs rather than designing goblin bands, orcish hordes, or gnoll cults.

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