D&D 4th Edition Blog: Reacting to the Reaction




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    Blog: Reacting to the Reaction

    In his blog, Developer Tom answers a question from one of our feedback channels, goes over how reactions have worked in 4th Edition, and explains what our goals are for reactions in the action economy.

    Read Blog: Reacting to the Reaction on D&D Insider here!



  2. #2
    I was hoping this would be about reaction rolls. #oldschoolproblems

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    Ignore El Mahdi
    Very Cool! Easy, Fast, and Intuitive...exactly how I like my RPG rules to be.

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    Ignore dd.stevenson
    His constant abuse of the word "technology" spoiled an otherwise fine article.

    Perhaps this means I'm not part of the group he feels he needs to impress, this time around.
    Last edited by dd.stevenson; Saturday, 23rd June, 2012 at 01:17 AM.

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    I like reactions. Being able to act when it's not your turn somewhat mitigates the artificiality of having turns in the first place. It also presents new tactical options. It seems like they're on the right track in terms of keeping it simple.
    "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dd.stevenson View Post
    His constant abuse of the word "technology" spoiled an otherwise fine article.
    It is one of those words that dosen't always mean what people think it means.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jadrax View Post
    It is one of those words that dosen't always mean what people think it means.
    That's inconceivable!

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    Ignore dd.stevenson
    Quote Originally Posted by jadrax View Post
    It is one of those words that dosen't always mean what people think it means.
    I think it's an abuse, not a misuse. As in, "boy, I really abused myself some alcohol last night!"

    In other words, I think there are better terms to describe his design choices ("design choice" comes to mind), but instead the author went with a buzzword. And that's fine--it is what it is...

    ... but I find it interesting because the motif of borrowed tech sector terminology appeals to certain market segments but not to others. (You aren't likely, for example, to hear Paizo or Goodman Games describe their design choices as "technologies".) And I find that off-putting because, as was pretty clear by the tone of my post, I'm not a part of the segment that this otherwise fine article is being pitched to.

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    Reacting to the Reaction

    Tom LaPille has posted a blog entry on the 5e action economy and I'm really not impressed.

    He's trying to present it in opposition to the 4e action economy when it's nothing more than a thinly warmed over version of the 4e action economy.

    He starts with a simple misunderstanding of the 4e action economy and from that makes a false comparison between the 4e action economy and the 5e action economy. He claims that the 4e action economy is Standard/Move/Minor, and the D&D Next one is Action/Move/Interrupt.

    That's an apples to oranges comparison he's running. First he's comparing an on-turn 4e turn to a full round in 5e. Second he's ignoring free actions and actions that are part of your move. Third he's ignoring certain spells that take their own specific undefined action type in 5e (Healing Word, I'm looking at you).

    The Reaction Action, his Great New Thing is neither more nor less than an Immediate Action in 4e. It's something you can do once per round as a response. The only difference is that he's cut off parts of the design space by cutting out interrupt actions.

    So we have

    (4e) Standard Action vs (5e) Action
    (4e) Move vs (5e) Move Action
    (4e) Free Action vs (5e) Free action
    (4e) Minor Action vs (5e) ill-defined mishmash including 5ft actions, spells that allow other spells, and free actions that somehow don't count as actions
    (4e) Immediate Action vs (5e) Reaction Action

    (4e) Opportunity Action vs (5e) Goblin Conga Line, all running past and stabbing

    Now the Opportunity Attack thing is a debate for another time. But would someone please explain how fuzzing up the minor actions, and reducing the design space by removing the possibility of interrupts is in any way simplifying the action economy?

    As for his claim about people stressing how to use their minor actions, that's an easy problem to fix in game design. You add a minor 'aid' action that gives an ally a +1 bonus - and then make the player describe how the aid happens. This should not be hard.

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    I find all the butthurt about action economy highly amusing.

    D&D always had a mix of the same actions: attack, cast a spell, move (up to twice) and do something else. This action economy is present in Basic and Advanced D&D, and pretty much worked the same in both (with some differences in round phases and the unnecessary addition of segments). Its only 3rd edition, with the addition of meaningful free actions (IE quickened spells) and full-round actions that action economy becomes something to squeeze every last drop out of. While 4e (and SW Saga) tried to simplify the action economy (mostly be removing full-round actions and limiting free/swift/immediate) but in the process created a feeling of "three actions; make them count" which was exasperated by 4e's early grind (you don't DARE waste a round in 4e doing something that doesn't do damage, which is why minors became the "dome something else" default action).

    5e is pretty much removing the "mandatory" minor and rolling that into reactions, which is the only action legacy from 3e/4e. That's fine. If an action distrupts the normal "standard/move" then its an exception. Really, any economy that saves me from "5-foot/full attack" and its opposite "I cast a spell, a quickened spell, and my summoned monsters each do full attacks" than I'm happy panda.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhandus
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