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Thread: Time to bring back the prose?
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 06:56 PM #91
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Readability is important for me because I DM most of the time and I get ideas and inspiration from picking up the rule books and reading a page here and there.
If I pick up the Players Handbook from 1st 2nd or 3rd edition and start reading at a random page, I start mentally taking notes, thinking of adventure hooks & etc. After a few minutes of paging through the book I want to sit down and start playing or at least start planning for the next game night.
After a few minutes of reading the 4e PH I want to put it down and do something else.
You can say that it's not the book's job to make me want to play the game but...that's kind of a self-defeating attitude if you want people to buy what you're selling.
I'm not asking for fiction or rules written in iambic pentameter, but the 4e's PH1 went too far in the direction of "bone dry" for my taste.
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 07:00 PM #92
Superhero (Lvl 15)
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 07:02 PM #93
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
When peple say 4e is bone dry compaired to 3e and before... Can someone give me a specific example?
Are you talking about things like magic items and spells? Or rules like combat and skills?
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 07:05 PM #94
Superhero (Lvl 15)
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 07:08 PM #95
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
Prose for fluff, concise words for crunch.
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 07:16 PM #96
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Exactly. When I read the PHs from earlier editions I get a strong sense of the game world and how the mechanics fit into and reinforce that world: even though no "setting" is being introduced.
I think part of the issue is the design ethos (that was already growing in the late 3.5 era and was then fully embraced in 4e) that good design entails having a 20 foot high electrified barbed wire fence separating "crunch" from "fluff".
Honestly, if I were the Czar of 5e development, one of my first acts would be to ban the designers from using those two terms at all.
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 07:45 PM #97
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Level: Brd 1, Sor/Wiz 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: One or more living creatures within a 10-ft.-radius burst
Duration: 1 min./level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
A sleep spell causes a magical slumber to come upon 4 Hit Dice of creatures. Creatures with the fewest HD are affected first. Among creatures with equal HD, those who are closest to the spell’s point of origin are affected first. Hit Dice that are not sufficient to affect a creature are wasted.
Sleeping creatures are helpless. Slapping or wounding awakens an affected creature, but normal noise does not. Awakening a creature is a standard action (an application of the aid another action).
Sleep does not target unconscious creatures, constructs, or undead creatures.
A pinch of fine sand, rose petals, or a live cricket.4e sleep
You exert your will against your foes, seeking to overwhelm them
with a tide of magical weariness.
Daily ✦ Arcane, Implement, Sleep
Standard Action Area burst 2 within 20 squares
Target: Each creature in burst
Attack: Intelligence vs. Will
Hit: The target is slowed (save ends). If the target fails its
first saving throw against this power, the target becomes
unconscious (save ends).
Miss: The target is slowed (save ends).3e mirror image
Level: Brd 2, Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal; see text
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Several illusory duplicates of you pop into being, making it difficult for enemies to know which target to attack. The figments stay near you and disappear when struck.
Mirror image creates 1d4 images plus one image per three caster levels (maximum eight images total). These figments separate from you and remain in a cluster, each within 5 feet of at least one other figment or you. You can move into and through a mirror image. When you and the mirror image separate, observers can’t use vision or hearing to tell which one is you and which the image. The figments may also move through each other. The figments mimic your actions, pretending to cast spells when you cast a spell, drink potions when you drink a potion, levitate when you levitate, and so on.
Enemies attempting to attack you or cast spells at you must select from among indistinguishable targets. Generally, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment. Any successful attack against an image destroys it. An image’s AC is 10 + your size modifier + your Dex modifier. Figments seem to react normally to area spells (such as looking like they’re burned or dead after being hit by a fireball).
While moving, you can merge with and split off from figments so that enemies who have learned which image is real are again confounded.
An attacker must be able to see the images to be fooled. If you are invisible or an attacker shuts his or her eyes, the spell has no effect. (Being unable to see carries the same penalties as being blinded.)4e Mirror Image
Mirror Image Wizard Utility 10
Three duplicate images of you appear, imitating your actions
perfectly and confusing your enemies.
Daily ✦ Arcane, Illusion
Minor Action Personal
Effect: Three duplicate images of yourself appear in your
space, and you gain a +6 power bonus to AC. Each time
an attack misses you, one of your duplicate images disappears
and the bonus granted by this power decreases by 2.
When the bonus reaches 0, all your images are gone and
the power ends. Otherwise, the effect lasts for 1 hour.
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 07:50 PM #98
Hydra (Lvl 25)
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 07:57 PM #99
Defender (Lvl 8)
I also often read pre-4th books (have always loved perusing PHBs) for pleasure (and ideas etc), lately i've been reading the Basic Rulebook (Moldvay) a lot, just pick it up when i'm relaxing after work for awhile (read certain chunks, reread them later).
I read the 4th Ed PHB, well, everything but all the powers, once I got halfway through the Cleric powers section, my eyes started to water, I got the gist, so I just looked at some random powers of different levels for each class to get an idea of their powers, all quite similar to me, so after that, when a new class came out, I would read everything about it(features etc), just not their powers section. I never just pick up the 4th Ed PHB on a Sunday afternoon to have a nice 30 minute read.
I would like a less dry read in 5th Ed, but be able to find rules easily, so I think more examples spread out through the books would be good, especially in areas that could cause mechanical confusion.
Oh, and a bit more humour/whimsy/tongue-in-cheek please, it can be charming.
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 08:03 PM #100
Magsman (Lvl 14)
I think Morrus hit on something here in talking about wanting to sit down and read the books. I got the 4E books, but in retrospect I didn't need to. I have DDI for a reference. I no longer pull out the books at all. In fact, I leave them at home when I go game. DDI is my reference, and I no longer have evocative reading material to get me jazzed up to game.
Well, I do, but it's for 1st edition, not 4E. Thus, I'm running a 1E game right now.
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